Sunday, August 8, 2010

Casting Robert Redford

Chaplin in character in the 1910sImage via Wikipedia
A few years ago, I came across an online game, "Who would you like to portray you in a movie about your life?" If there are to be flashbacks, obviously that means you'll need multiple actors to cover your bases, but assuming that's easily done, who would you have in the title role?

I've thought about this myself, more as an exercise in self-examination than anything else. Those times when I'm feeling so foolish I'm certain I must have woken up with egg on my face, it would have to be Charlie Chaplin, someone who could turn walking down the street into an occasion for laughter. And sometimes that's all it takes or so it seems.

When I think I've got my act together, my mind runs to Kevin Costner, Harrison Ford, or a younger Robert Redford. What these actors have in common is an ability to be boyish and playful, yet mature at the same time. They've all played characters who've been kicked around by life and yet managed to remain hopeful. A guy who is available to others because he knows what it's like to have been on his own. Not that I'd lay claim to being that kind of person, but it's something worth aspiring to, you know?

In any case, my choice would definitely not be someone who's never fallen flat on their face or has only known success. Like anyone, I suppose it would be nice to be viewed as having always gotten things right, but that's so far from the truth as to be comical. Actors have to be able to identify with their characters and one who doesn't know how to screw up would have a hard time with me.

Nor could it be someone who's "pretty." I know, I mentioned Redford, but he's not a Ben Affleck or Matt Damon. Place either one of those in the lead and everyone will accuse me of lying for sure -- everyone except my mother. Thanks, mom, I love you, too. Anyhow, I picked Redford because I learned my lesson about him the hard way. Back in college a sweet young librarian mentioned one day that I looked like Jon Voight. I blushed and thanked her, replying that I knew another student who strongly resembled Redford and for some strange reason, she suddenly lost all interest in me. Well, I'm definitely not making that mistake again.

(Public Domain image of Charlie Chaplin via Wikipedia)

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