One thing I do when writing (probably a lot of other writers, too) is to cast my characters in my head. But this is not just for fun. I find it in fact very helpful. Although I don’t deny that I sometimes end up cruising around for hours on the net just to find the right actors. But it all serves a purpose. Even though the casting is just happening in my head, it does influence my writing. My characters come to life and depending on the actor/actress I chose, they behave in a certain manner. Especially when it comes to dialog. It becomes richer. The tone and melody of speech changes depending which actor/actress I imagine. The same character comes across totally different if I imagine Benedict Cumberbatch or Jack Black. See my point?
And if you still don’t believe me, that an actor does influence the tone of a story, here a visual example. The legendary film “Back to the Future” actually started filming with the great Eric Stoltz as Marty Mcfly. But after watching some of the footage, the director and producer realized that Stoltz’s “type” didn’t get across the humor they were aiming for. Even though the performance was good, and even though they were already weeks into shooting, they decided to cast the role of Marty Mcfly new. Michael J. Fox came in. And I think we can all agree, this was not a bad decision.
Now have fun watching these little clips here, which compares the scenes of Stoltz and Fox.
(Clip-Source: youtube.com, Chanel: UnknownArchive, Eric Stoltz in Back to the Future (Spliced Footage))
(Clip-Source: youtube.com, Chanel: Arthur Bluvstein, Eric Stoltz as Marty Mcfly in Back to the Future!)