When I create my characters I usually start with an idea of who they might be like, ‘Han Solo crossed with Nathan from Misfits,’ ‘Emma Stone in Easy A crossed with Zoe Deschanal in anything’, ‘Nathaniel from Last of the Mohicans crossed with Eric from True Blood crossed with Spike from Buffy’ – you get me?
Once I start to write, however, the characters take on a life of their own. They literally come to life and start speaking in my head and often times I find them taking me places I hadn’t realised I was going to go. Though not yet to the mental asylum. I end up liking the ones I thought were ‘baddies’ and the ones that I’ve based on my best friends turn out to be evil.
When I’m trying to picture what they look like it helps me to think of actors. I feel like that gives me something to play with visually. Also I like to think that one day David Simon or Alan Ball will come knocking, offer to buy my film rights and tell me that they’ve read my fantasy cast list, spoken to all the actors on it and guess what? They all said yes, filming starts tomorrow, do I want to come and stay at the Chateau Marmont and hang out on set if I’m not too busy?
Ok, distraction. I only do this imagine an actor thing sometimes, some characters are just too much their own person off the bat. Like Lila. I don’t have an idea of anyone who would play her, she’s just herself. She’d be played by an unknown.