J.T. Ellison is the bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Taylor Jackson series, including All the Pretty Girls, 14, Judas Kiss and the forthcoming Edge of Black. She was recently named “Best Mystery/Thriller Writer of 2008” by the Nashville Scene.
Here she shares some casting options, provided by friends and fans, for the two main characters should the series be adapted for the big screen:
Contrarian that I am, I don’t like to tell people who I see in the roles of my protagonists, homicide lieutenant Taylor Jackson and FBI profiler Dr. John Baldwin. So I reached out to my friends and fans, asked their opinion. The responses I received were fascinating. No one saw the characters the same way. I love that. My goal as a writer is to create a world for you, the reader, to escape into. I’ll give enough detail to get you going, but it’s YOUR imagination that fills in the blanks. That’s how I like to read, and that method has colored my writing.
Here are the nominees to play Taylor Jackson – my tall, honey-haired, gray-eyed, tough as nails cop:
Sonya Walger – I liked this suggestion; she played a federal agent in Sleeper Cell and did a marvelous job. Brings gravitas to the role.
Blake Lively – An interesting choice to be sure. My extent of experience with her is playing the role of Serena van der Woodsen in Gossip Girl. She’s definitely tall enough, and that hair works too. A good choice, all in all. She’s young enough to grow into the role, too.
Amanda Righetti – Nearly tall enough, and that imperfect, broken nose is exactly what I’ve pictured on Taylor, so that’s a wonderful choice.
Charlize Theron – Anytime you’re dealing with beautiful blondes, of course.
Nicole Kidman – An interesting choice, because she does live in Nashville now, and she might like to take on a meaty role set in her adopted hometown. And she’s tall enough, too.
Jennifer Garner – She’s got that kick-ass physicality that would make her just right for the role.
Now, for Baldwin. He’s big (6’4”) black hair and clear green eyes. He’s incredibly handsome, lean and well-dressed, and brilliant. Hard shoes to fill…
Jason O’Mara – I’ve never seen him in anything but I’m assured that he would work, and work well. He is European, so his background would be useful when we’re delving into Baldwin’s polyglot nature.
Alex O'Loughlin – I think he’s too small for Baldwin, but what do I know? He can smolder, and does have a nice intensity on the screen.
Thomas Gibson – I’m a Criminal Minds fan, so I can completely understand this choice. He’s deep and serious and can act his pants off. I wouldn’t quibble.
Ben Affleck – Not a bad choice at all. He’s the right size, has the ability to capture the attention of the women around him, and the subtlety to handle the role.
Hugh Jackman – An excellent choice. He’s fun to watch, and I can see him embodying this role well.
So that’s it, we’ve got a load of excellent suggestions to play Taylor and Baldwin. Now we just need to get the books optioned and get them on the silver screen! Many, many thanks to all the folks who participated in this for me, and a special thanks to Marshal for letting me go my own way with this post.