My wife and I have this ongoing game where we cast the movie version of our life. We choose actors to play our friends and family. We’re mostly just finding famous people who resemble our loved ones, but it’s a fun game to play when watching a movie to look over at her and blurt out the name of a friend that matches up with the respective actor.
With that in mind, we at the Film Yap have done our own fantasy casting, choosing an actor to play the lead in a hypothetical movie being made about each of our lives.
In choosing someone to play you in a movie, there are several things to consider. First off, this is Hollywood casting, so the actor or actress we choose can be better-looking than we are. In Hollywood biopics, characters are always glammed up. Consider Brad Pitt, George Clooney or Will Smith playing any real-life person; chances are they’ll be better looking than the real-life character.
But it’s not as easy as just thinking up the most famous actor who shares your hair color. It’s more than just outward appearances, though there should at least be a superficial resemblance: hair color, eye shape, chin or mouth. Much of the casting is personality; it’s a bit harder to capture that than merely picking the nearest blond/pudgy/brown-eyed actor and saying, “That’s me”; the character traits have to match up, and it’s only then that the game really works.
We invite you, the Film Yap reader, to contribute your own casting suggestions. Who would play you in a movie, and why?
Fantasy Selection: Philip Seymour Hoffman
Rationale: “Anthony Michael Hall is who everyone says I look like — in his dweeby phase before he turned into a big lunk. But my fantasy pick would be Philip Seymour Hoffman, because he’s blond and awesome.”
Fantasy Selection: Kevin James
Rationale: “Aside from the obvious physical similarities (we’re both a bit rotund and we share a similar facial shape and structure), Kevin James’ affable nice-guy persona is pretty much in line with my own personality. He’s friendly and personable with a hint of introversion, he’s perhaps slightly athletic for a big man and is more comfortable in a T-shirt and gym shorts than suits (this photo notwithstanding).”
Fantasy Selection: Jesse Eisenberg
Rationale: “Is this a conspiracy to further connect me to Jesse Eisenberg? I think so. I actually went as Mark Zuckerberg for a Halloween thing last year. I would hate to have a movie be about my life because it seems like it would be a horrible experience. My fears were confirmed with “The Social Network.” I adore the movie; it’s brilliant on so many levels. What I didn’t expect was that everyone who saw it would think about me when they watched Mark Zuckerberg. More than 50 different people came up to me in its opening week to say that the first scene reminded them too much of my fast way of speaking. Considering the character isn’t the most honorable guy in the world, I was a bit discouraged. Yet I had friends write long explanations about how we’re the same person and even my own dear mother found comparisons. So I guess it’ll have to be Jesse Eisenberg playing Mark Zuckerberg playing me. Did I adequately answer your condescending question?”
Fantasy Selection: Patton Oswalt
Rationale: “I’d like to think we have several similarities — stature, facial features, a tremendously fucked-up sense of humor. Plus, unless we’re playing someone who’s really, really out there (a la “Big Fan”), guys like us are always bound to be the comic relief. Based on what I know of Oswalt, his life seems similarly informed and influenced by popular culture as mine was — all the way down to career paths. Also, acidic as we both can be, I’d like to think we call ourselves healthily skeptical rather than simply cynical.”
Fantasy Selction: Zach Galifianakis
Rationale: “Although I wish I were Brad Pitt, I’m closer in physicality and personality to Zach Galifianakis, especially his character on the HBO series “Bored to Death.” On that show — and off screen — Galifianakis is a creative, intellectual type without being showy or pretentious. He looks like he’d be just as comfortable roaming around a comic-book shop or pizza joint as an art gallery. I’m like that, I think. I’m only 20 years old, but I’d love for him to star in a film about my adult life as a film critic/nerd, which is hopefully what I’ll remain in the near future.”
Fantasy Selection: Drew Barrymore
Rationale: “I’m one of those people who gets, “You look like so-and-so” a lot. But if I had to pick one of those so-and-sos to play me in a movie, I’d have to say Drew Barrymore. Her characters have run the gamut from snarky to sweet, girl-next-door to intense. And she’s frequently underestimated: People see her as this free-spirited hippie girl, but she’s also a smart, hardworking powerhouse. Kind of like me.”
Fantasy Selection: Kevin Smith
Rationale: “I can’t deny the Kevin Smith in me. We share the same love of dick and fart jokes, and while he has a better gift of gab than I do, once I warm up to people I’m as chatty as they come. Now all I need is my Scott Mosier and the transformation would be complete. This movie would be a SMasterpiece.”
Fantasy Selection: Ed Norton
Rationale: “I suppose we look kinda similar … but more than that, I feel like his delivery and overall persona are akin to how am I in real life. His more manic characters (“Fight Club”) are a good representation of how I am when I’m irritated, and his more comedic characters (“Death to Smoochy”) are as zany as my sense of humor. I dunno, though. If I were to pick a dead actor, my answer would probably change.”
Fantasy Selection: Sandra Bullock
Rationale: “I’m going to get this first part out of the way right now: I’ve been known, when I’m laughing, to bust out the occasional snort. And I’m pretty confident that Bullock could get that down (thank you, “Miss Congeniality”). OK, so that’s reason number one I would invite Ms. Bullock to take on the role of moi. Other reasons include: She’s awesome. She’s funny. (I’m known to be pretty funny too. Ask anyone. Ask my mom.) She has brown hair. So do I. She has brown eyes. Check me on that one, too. And did I mention that she’s awesome? To be serious, I find Bullock’s range to be finely tuned and I think she could handle a unique, complex character such as myself.”
Fantasy Selection: Simon Pegg
Rationale: “If anyone should play me in a movie, it should be Simon Pegg. Besides similar features, nose, ears, red hair (maybe not so much now) and goatee, we’re both big “Star Wars” geeks with an affinity for all things comic-book related. The biggest reason I would pick Pegg to play me is because I’ve been referred to as a man-child more times than I can count and I believe that Pegg could easily embrace that part of my personality with ease. Plus, we both would be awesome in the inevitable zombie apocalypse.”