I shared a few of these at the launch party, but I thought I’d share them here, as well. My “dream cast” for the characters of Stone Curse – I’ve tried to describe the characters without giving spoilers.
A few people have asked where I came up with the inspiration for the Beast’s “look” in my story, as well as why I chose to curse him to look like a bear.
Description from the story: “Prince Barend was enormous, twice the height of a normal man if he stood on his hind legs, though he mostly stayed on all fours. His body was most like that of a wolf’s, though his four massive feet were more like a bear’s, with sharp, dangerous claws. He was covered in long, shaggy black fur and had a pointed snout.”
I wanted my beast to look very different than Disney’s version, and more like an animal than many of the illustrations I’ve seen in fairy tales. I liked the idea of a lion/wolf/bear combination, and typed that into google image search for fun (thinking maybe someone had drawn a sketch of something like what I was picturing)… and lo and behold, this was the first result…
Yes, that is a real animal. It’s a breed of dog called a Tibetan Mastiff and I really want one! I mean, it looks terrifying, but also extremely adorable – which was exactly the combination I was looking for. I wanted my Beast to be fearsome, but not necessarily hideous.
Early on in my writing endeavors I happened across a picture of Bridget Regan in her role as Kehlan Amnell in Legend of the Seeker. I did not know it was a picture of that character, having never watched the show, or even the name of the actress. All I knew was that she looked exactly the way I pictured Karyna.
(Karyna has green eyes, not grayish blue). But the sort of wavy, very dark hair, light freckles across her nose, sweet face… it was exactly what I had pictured in my imagination as I wrote her character.
We don’t see Barend in his human form for very long in the story, but this is sort of how I picture him. Nathan’s too old now to play Barend, but this is a DREAM cast, so if I could get young Nathan Fillion for this role in the imaginary movie based on my story, I’d snatch him up in a heartbeat.
Barend has slightly darker hair, but other than that, I think the resemblance is pretty solid. (Helps that Nathan Fillion is perhaps my favorite actor right now). In a movie version we might even get to see flashbacks to younger days, which could be fun. Barend is a serious, responsible older brother type – though we also know he was the mastermind behind a fairly large-scale prank in his youth, so he also has a sense of humor and therefore reason to use that crinkly smile.
Setella is one of a very small handful of servants that have stuck around after the curse falls on Thorndale Castle.
She had to be elderly, she claims that she only remains there because she is too old to leave and has nowhere else to go. But she also had to look pretty fit and capable: we see her bustling about the kitchen, and she somehow wrestles a large rug out to the courtyard all by herself to beat the dust from it. I also didn’t want her to be too instantly recognizable (no Julie Andrews or Judi Dench). Sally Ann Howe would be perfect for the role. (And I loved her in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)!
Ritter took a while to figure out, but then I remembered Noah Wyle. I loved him in The Librarian and the Quest for the Spear, which is cheesy as all get-out… aaaand, that’s probably why I love it. He looks very much the way I picture Ritter in this picture.
I also know he can pull off characters that are both serious and silly, and can definitely be convincing in the playful banter department… which is a necessity for dear Ritter. (Don’t tell anyone, but Ritter’s my favorite).
Though Karyna is the main protagonist of Stone Curse and plays out much of the action, Princess Bellenya was always meant to be the “Beauty” of this Beauty and the Beast retelling. Where Karyna is pretty, Bellenya is breath-takingly beautiful. She also has to have a quick wit and a mischievous twinkle in her eye, because she’s got a very fun sense of humor.
So there you have it, my Dream Cast for Stone Curse. For those of you who have read the story, what do you think? Is this how you pictured the characters, or do you have other casting ideas? I’d love to hear your thoughts!