After I casted the movie Hellbender, Jason Jack Miller showed me a blog post where he had done the exact same thing for Hellbender, and then digging around on the exact same site, I found he'd also cast The Devil and Preston Black. So I've decided to do a little compare and contrast.
First up Hellbender:
Who Jason chose: Jake Gyllenhaal
Who I chose: Garrett Hedlund
Jason, I'm sorry, but I just don't see it. I love Jake, but he's too much of a puppy dog to fill the part. Garrett has the ruggedness, and the earthiness that I read into the role. I think Garrett can fill the well worn flannels and the trucker caps better than Jake.
Who Jason chose: Miley Cyrus (pre-twerk)
Who I chose: AnnaSophia Robb or Katie Cassidy
You know I have to say I get Jason's choice. She has that softness and the touch of country the part of Alex needs. She'd look great in a pair of cowboy boots, I have to say, but I'm still not completely sold. She's better than my two choices, but she's still not the one. I feel like if Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood could still portray college aged girls, they might be better fits, but the right Alex is still out there, waiting to be found.
Who Jason chose: Paul Walker (Sniff!)
Who I chose: Ben Foster
Paul would've been great in the role, thinking on it, but even if he was still around, I still would've chosen Ben Foster. Let's be honest, Who is just as much of a loose cannon as Ben Collins? Ben Foster is who. Who can show you all the layers that lie just beneath the surface and tell the immensity of the character's story without hardly uttering a word? Ben Foster is who.
Who Jason chose: David Straithern
Who I chose: NA
Who i would choose: David Straithern
I hadn't actually cast Jamie when I read Hellbender partly because I didn't have a feel for him and partly because he was just background big chunks of the time. While reading The Devil and Preston Black, I tried figure out an actor that was just the right amount of down home intelligence and fatherly instincts. Nothing came to mind, then I saw Jason's pick and knew it was the right one. Perfect!
Who Jason chose: Katie Holmes
Who I chose: A half-hearted vote for Lucy Hale
I get Jason's logic on this one. Katie Holmes has a lot of soft edges the way Katie does. She embues a certain down-home vibe that Katie Stefanic has in spades. My only concern is that the ages are off. I wanted somebody younger and fresh-faced to fit the bill and Lucy Hale was the only one that came to mind. She has a lot of sharp edges on Pretty Little liars, which is why I didn't love her as Katie, but she just released a country album, so maybe she knows how to get a little backwoodsy. Plus the music correlation makes a lot of sense because Katie's pretty versed with a fiddle. Is she the type of girl that "When she's on, she can make you cry?" Don't know. Could work.
Who Jason chose: Patrick Fugit
Who I chose: --
Who I would choose: Patrick Fugit
Patrick needs to be in all the things. I love him and have loved him ever since Almost Famous. He's got the same live-wire, can show you multitudes in just a look presence that Ben Foster does and I think Billy Lewis needs that. He doesn't get much time in the book, but he's really interesting.
Who Jason chose: Jeremy Davies
Who I chose: --
Who I would choose: Jeremy Davies
No, I'm not intentionally piggy-backing on the choices Jason made. But he made such great, shrewd choices that I have to bow down to the master and give credit where credit is due. Jeremy Davies is yet another awesome live-wire who needs to be in all the things and even though Darren doesn't have a big part, Jeremy Davies could sell the crazy better than anyone. Co-signed.
Who Jason Chose: Charles Durning
Who I chose: Clancy Brown
I'd say who you choose depends on how you read the part of Charlie Lewis; Craggy old grandpa with a hint of menace, or pants-shittingly scary with a hint of ferocity with regards to protecting his family. If it's the former, Charles, and if it's latter, Clancy. Charlie Lewis put the fear of God into me, so I'm going with Clancy.
Now, onto The Devil and Preston Black:
Who Jason Chose: Joseph Gordon Levitt
Who I Chose: Ethan Peck
Why am I always casting Joseph Gordon Levitt out of stuff for these imaginary movies? I did the same with him when I cast Joe Vampire. Authors keep seeing him as their every man and I keep seeing him as anything but. I mean, you know I love me some Joseph Gordon Levitt, but he's not who I'd envisioned for this part at all. When I'd originally casted Ethan Peck in Hellbender as Preston, it's because the character read as tall, dark and haunted and I've been dying to see Ethan Peck get something like that. When I read The Devil and Preston Black, he's all I could see. His deep voice and physical presence seem to be exactly what Preston needs. And, okay, this might be an overshare, when the sex scenes start happening, he'd have my full attention.
Who Jason Chose: Mila Kunis
Who I Chose: Ivana Melicevic
Don't ask me to explain my choice because Jason's is clearly better, but either would work i think.
Who Jason Chose: James Franco
Who I chose: I got nothin'
I could never get a read on Pauly, there wasn't much of a physical description. The only thing I knew about him was the he was a recovering alcoholic and he was taking whatever work he but I think Franco would work.
Dino 'Mick' Micheleno
Who Jason Chose: Robert Forester
Who I Chose: Iggy Pop
The part read less wisened father figure and more aging rockstar holding onto the glory days to me. I love me some Robert Forester but no.
Who Jason Chose: Channing Tatum
Who I Chose: I got nothin'
This character was another blank slate for me. I couldn't quite see who could play him. And I look forward to seeing Channing in anything and everything. This would work. Cut print send.