Characters From Books When They Are Made Into Movies
How many times have you been irritated by actors chosen for the movie a book you’ve loved?
Books. They fill a need. We create the faces of our characters in our mind. We create their stage, their world. No one else visualizes our books like we do. The people, places, and events in them.
I fell in love with Lord of The Rings as a teenager, decades before the book hit the big screen. Aragorn, also known as Strider, was my first crush. I knew his face, his stance, his body. He was so in my heart that I dressed up as him for Halloween. Brown woolen hooded-cloak, darkened face, cracked leather boots. I strode down the hall at school, face hidden, my cloak swirling behind me as if I parted the foggy woods I dashed through on a perilous mission. This only validated the fact a therapist had once said that my problem in life was that I wanted to be a boy instead of a girl.
Hmmm. Not sure about that considering I also wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder. We had hogs too and I fattened them up with apples and slop. Then on slaughter day I got to keep their tails to roast and eat, just like Laura did. My mother drew the line about blowing up their bladders like balloons so I could play with them. And I really did believe that if I stayed in a closet long enough it would open onto another world that was just like Narnia.
Anywho, I get mad when movies are made of my favorite books with super stars. I boycotted The Bridges of Madison County because Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood played the main characters. They weren’t the people I envisioned as those characters (but I do love me some Clint though). How dare they! Then there’s the Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum. Really? Matt Damon as Jason Bourne? That’s just wrong. He’s too young, blond, and looks like a boy scout. Put him in a Disney flick (oh, wait, they did.) I’ll stick with the books.
And have you often debated with someone about scenes in a movie, and then realized you never saw the movie? It turned out to be the movie you created in your mind. Worth the argument I would say.
I discovered recently that readers see the characters in my book, A Human Element, different than I do. I purchased iStock photos of my main characters, Ben and Laura. Two friends told me I was wrong. That’s not Ben, they said. He wasn’t dark enough, cruel looking enough. They were right. The other man appealed to me, yes… but he wasn’t Ben. When a friend and I argued about the kind of person Laura was she said I was wrong. Laura didn’t cry too much in the book at all. I was told she had to be that way because she is a healer and sensitive. Okay. Okay. Too funny.
So whoever you envision your favorite characters to look like and speak like, they are yours. Cool, right? Then I guess I must accept the fact that my readers will darn-well envision my own characters as they please. Yep. We get to keep them just how we want them for ourselves. No one else. You can visit them, always. They don’t change. They don’t leave you. They are the perfect friend or lover.
Books. They fill that need of going home. When we feel lost we can go home to them. To our past, our first love, our childhood, our first broken heart. They are a safe haven for our unique memories. And no one can take them away. They are…ours.