Authors Reveal Who Their Characters Look Like:

by Maryse on March 7, 2011 · 18 comments

in Behind The Books, Character Look-Alikes, News

Well I’m at it again. Obsessively stalking the internet for “tidbits” of cool info that we don’t really need, but love to know.

See here was my problem of the day:

Sometimes, I can picture a character perfectly in my head, and then other times…nothing. The images keep getting jumbled in my head, and I can’t stick to just one (kind of ruins the momentum of the story, if I can’t “nail him down” you know?).

Usually, you’d think a book cover would help alleviate that problem. That’s all fine, ‘cept when the book cover is just a sexy tattoo’d torso (yeah yeah…I get it we’re supposed to come up with the “image” ourselves – sexy generic torso’s suit us all I guess). No predefined “image” equals no complaints, right? Right.

True. Cause sometimes, we’re gifted with a “whole” cover model, only to quickly realize that the model selected doesn’t represent the character at all. Grrrrr!! I find I can bond much better with them when I “know” what they look like. I can connect, relate, crush…all the things required to fully absorb and become involved in a series.

Too often I’ve used the same human celebrity (that seems to be the only one that keeps popping in my head), for so many different characters. What!? I get lazy, and don’t feel like putting the book down to look up an image for the new guy ;)

Peter Steele anybody? He still remains my “Wrath” so I hate picturing him on other characters, but there have been times where I’ve had no choice (long black hair, lethal, super masculine, vampire in leather look). He’s got a lot of creep factor too, but I found a few of his “looks” that worked. How about “Ben Barnes” for Richelle Mead’s Dimitri Belikov? Perfect. Unfortunately, he’s perfect for many other characters too. Oh and that hot scruffy and beyond sexy bad werewolf guy—> in “Skinwalkers”. Yup…he’s pretty much been my stand-in werewolf for every book I’ve read (not such a bad thing, when I think about it…) hehe. But, that was getting old, so I’ve been having to force myself to find other options.

Google helps…I do a search “who does such and such look like” and am granted slew of suggestions. Often though, it’s the same guys over and over again. I think many are stuck in the same rut I am.

What I find even more exciting is when an author finally divulges a few of her own inspirations. I mean, she did create the character, and I’m quite willing to follow her magic. And while I might stop and balk for a second and the author’s choice (whattt? him? I didn’t even consider that!), if I’m not too deeply entrenched in the series, I go with it, and often, I see it.

So here’s what I’ve found so far. And let me tell you. This will be an ongoing, probably never-ending project as I continue to dig up some of these juicy author confessions. If I’ve missed any, email me and let me know, and I’ll add them to the list.

Jeaniene Frost tells us this of her “Night Huntress” characters:

Mencheres and Kira

“In my head the best representation I could give would be Oded Fehr for Mencheres (but with longer hair than in that photo) and Milla Jovovich for Kira.”

Spade (as found in her interview with “allthingsurbanfantasy”) –> she links to pictures of Christoper Douglas (the long haired version). Hmmm..I think I need to re-read Spade’s book with this new “portrayal”.  ;) Tee hee!!

“People ask me if the model is how I picture my hero, Spade. Short answer: no. The hair color and length are right, though, and as an author that’s all I can ask. For those who want an idea of what I think Spade looks like, here’s a link with some pictures.”

Bones (as found in an interviewwith bloodybookaholic):

“When writing about Bones’s appearance, I was thinking of Viggo Mortensen’s cheekbones, Billy Idol’s bleached hair (yes, that SO dates me, I know!), and Bruce Campbell’s dark eyebrows, …all mixed with a body that came straight from my naughty imagination. The English accent resulted from my long-time love of them (I blame my teenage crush on Billy Idol, but really, is there anyone who doesn’t like English accents?). Then Bones’s swagger, attitude, and biting wit were combinations of things that cracked me up, plus hints of John Cusack in Grosse Point Blank and the “hail to the king, baby!” arrogant hilarity from (again) Bruce Campbell in Army of Darkness, all mixed with how his character appeared in my head. So in many ways, Bones is a stir-fry of a lot of different people and things simmered together with my own twisted imagination.”

Cat (same interview with bloodybookaholic)::

“I’ve said before I thought if Scarlett Johansson dyed her hair red, she’d be a good representative of Cat.”

Terri Garey on “Sammy” from her “Nicki Styx Series

The character of Sammy isn’t completely based on Billy Idol, though.  I wanted remove some of the rough edges, give him a wry sense of humor and some sophistication, and the perfect model for that seemed to be Simon Baker, who plays Patrick Jayne on the TV series, The Mentalist.  Those sexy blue eyes of his, slightly wrinkled at the corners, seemed to have that perfect “wise-beyond-his-years” look that I imagined Sammy might wear. Highly intelligent, a con man’s con man, with a slightly wounded air and a mysterious past.  Oh, yes, Simon Baker got himself incorporated into the character of Sammy, as well.

Karen Marie Moningon “Barrons” (Fever Series)

“…my inspiration for Jericho Barrons-actor, model, director and musician Eric Etebari

On MacKayla (from an interview on author’s website):

“If you were casting the Fever series for television, who would be the ideal actress to play Mac? Why?

That’s a tough one. I don’t watch much television and what I do see is after the DVD’s have been released, so I’m woefully out of date. If backed to a wall I’d say Mac is one part George from Dead Like Me, one part Sara Pezzini from Witchblade and one part sweet southern belle who’s being forced to discover there’s steel under all that magnolia, after all.”

Lynsay Sands (Argeneau Vampires Series) About Lucian (as she posted on her own forum)

“Hmmm, well the closest I’ve seen to Lucian is David Beckham (with hair, not his shaved head look era). Unfortunately, he’s not an actor. Sigh.”

In Mortimer’s book, he is also described as looking almost exactly like David Beckham. I think he fits well for many of our favorite characters ;)

Michelle Rowen

On Nathaniel:

“The first, Nathaniel, in my 2006 release ANGEL WITH ATTITUDE was easy to cast. At the time I was a bit infatuated with Jude Law, so there you are. Jude was the Nathaniel in mah little brain.”

On Darrak:

“Finally I settled on the perfect mix of hot physique and quirky/fun personality (she posted a picture of Ryan Reynolds).

This isn’t exactly how Darrak looks in my imagination, though. I was surprised by how much of a perfect match the cover model chosen is to how I pictured the character in my head. So it’s a nice blend of the two.

Sidenote: ooooh YESSSS!! The covermodel “Darrak” is one of my absolute favorites, so let’s go with that! Can we?! Pretty please?

Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dark-Hunter Series) On Acheron (as found on this Barnes and Noble discussion)

“Have I ever thought of who would play characters? Most people already know that I’ve thought of Travis Fimmel as Acheron for a while now. However, the others I haven’t really casted yet.”

On ”Sin” (as found in this genawolfe interview)

Q: If Devil May Cry were being made into a movie, what Hollywood heartthrob would you want
to play Sin?
A: Oh that’s easy. Sendhil Ramamurthy.

J.R. Ward on The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series: Okay, so this is stuff I found on the internet, but no direct J.R. Ward quotes as of yet. I always knew (because I saw it everywhere) that J.R. Ward visualized Butch as David Boreanaz but here are a few more tidbits (heresay as of now, until I get it from J.R. Ward’s mouth in one way or another):

From this Youtube video comments section:

“…J.R Ward says when you see the bath pic it’s when say yeaaaaah! that’s Butch, David Boreanaz is soooo Hot!”

From this forum:

“The only person she can envision playing any of her characters is David Boreanaz as Butch. The rest of them, she has not come across anyone who comes CLOSE to the vision in her mind.”

but then….

From this forum:

“jr ward says if ever the books will be made into movies, she sees zsadist as wentworth miller the one who played michael scoffield in prisonbreak, butch is david boreanaz (angel) and wrath is some rock lead vocalist (*peter something*)- the name of the band escapes me too– these three she can see as brothers—while she’s not sure who to play the others—and she thinks there’s no one can play rhage”

Stephenie Meyers on her Twilight Saga (old post from back in 2007) –> Note: These are bits and pieces taken from a very detailed post, so read it if you want to see all of her favorite suggestions, pictures, etc…

“Meanwhile, years have passed, my actors have aged, and I think the time has come to recast the Twilight Movie. (For fun, of course! I still have no say in who gets hired.)

The most disappointing thing for me is losing my perfect Edward. Henry Cavill is now twenty-four-years-old. Let us have a moment of quiet in which to mourn…

Bella: My narrator is actually surprisingly easy—there are several people that I think could do a decent job with Bella, Ellen Page and Danielle Panabaker among others. Right now my favorite choice is Emily Browning, of Lemony Snicket’s fame:

Carlisle: Second only to Edward on my “passionately decided” list is Carlisle’s character. My favorite: Charlie Hunnam. The reason this actor was able to get such a hold on me was his work as the title character in Nicholas Nickleby. He pretty much was Carlisle in that movie.

Charlie: There are tiers to the Charlie wish list. At the very top is John C. Reilly, the Oscar winner. Yeah, not likely, I know. But he would be so perfect.

Other options include Vince Vaughn (give it a minute…picture him with a few extra pounds and a receding hair line…can you see it?) and a more likely chance would be Adam LeFevre (I know him as Damon Bradley in Only You).

Alice: The only actress that springs immediately to mind is Rachel Leigh Cook

James: Ah, James! This is one of the most fun to cast. I started out leaning toward Joshua Jackson, who could do a fantastic job (and I still love you, Joshua!), but then I saw Cillian Murphy in Batman Begins. Cillian Murphy!!!

Emmett: Daniel Cudmore, X-Men‘s Colossus

Rosalie: I didn’t find an actress that looked like Rosalie to me, but I did find a model…Joanna Krupa. And hey, don’t all models want to be actresses?

Laurent: Do you think John Stamos would mind doing a cameo? And Graham Greene seems like a natural for Billy, if Billy’s character makes it into the movie…

And finally, I found my favorite Jacob Black, though he’s a New Moon – aged Jacob (which means he’d be way, way too old to ever play Jacob if they ever made New Moon into a movie. Sigh. This is sort of what Jacob looks like in my head, though.) Steven Strait

Ok so as I said, this will be an ongoing project/list, so if any of you out there remember an author mentioning an inspiration for one of her characters (male or female), I’d love to hear about it! I’ll do the research and add it here :)

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Penny March 7, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Okay, some I had to look up too. I can visualize some of the choices def. being the characters, the shocker for me was Jacob(Twilight) I thought the same thing with Steven Straight and was really disappointed with the movie Jacob because of it!!

Maryse March 7, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Me too!! Steven Straight would have been perfect for Jacob…I used his image in my head while reading the series without even knowing that the author had him in mind too.

Lezanda March 8, 2011 at 2:57 AM


When I was reading the BDB I found this video on youtube. For me this guy got it spot on. Except for “Wrath”! I totally agree with you on Peter Steele or maybe a long black haired Viggo Mortensen.

Kathryn H April 28, 2011 at 6:21 PM

Oded Fehr, he must be exhausted. He’s been running through my head for the past month!

Carole D May 20, 2011 at 7:34 AM

At the moment I’m totally obsessed by who would play what roles in a Fever series movie (although, I haven’t figured out how they would make them without a X rating. LOL) Any ideas on your front?

Jennifer B May 21, 2011 at 8:59 PM

I wish the authors would provide a photo of the characters with the book. A real photo would be great but even if it had to be computer generated that would be fine. I get a vision in my head of the character and then read further in the book and they mention something about the characters look and the vision in my head is so wrong. I think the only problem with trying to find real people to play the BDB guys is their size and they are totally built. There aren’t enough gorgeous, over 6 foot tall and built like body builders in the world with long hair to play them all (so unfortunate). Finding the guys face wouldn’t be so hard but none of them have the hair, body or height.

Cindy Kay August 11, 2011 at 8:51 PM

Just saw the movie “Losers” with Chris Evans as Jensen. He was exactly what I imagined Gideon, from “Midnight Breed” series to look like.

Nicky Charles September 10, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Hi! I was actually reading your review of S.C. Stephen’s ‘Effortless” and then got distracted by the rest of your site and found this page. If you’d like to see my picks for my characters (Kane, Ryne, Bryan etc) you can check them out at my facebook page:


Nicky Charles

Maryse September 10, 2011 at 6:46 PM

Hi Nicky!! Thanks so much for that! I LOVE ALEX! I couldn’t get enough of him in Moonlight, so I can’t WAIT to read The Bonding with him as the “star”. Nice choice!! I actually read all three of your Laws of the Lycans books so far, and loved ‘em. Even reviewed one, a while back. Speaking of which, I should review another ;)

Maryse September 10, 2011 at 6:48 PM

Forgot to mention that I just added “The Bonding” to your series reading order guide on my Reading Order Lists. Please let me know when it comes out, and I’ll activate the link.

Kate August 12, 2012 at 6:44 PM

For Kenyon I think that Adam Copeland or Edge would be perfect for the role of Talon. and maybe Julia Jones for Sunny

Kellie December 28, 2012 at 9:17 PM

Hi Maryse, I know you love Travis Maddox (don’t we all?) lol. So, I pictured a guy who used to play rugby league here in Australia, and is a model also. His name is Daniel Conn, google him or check his photos on facebook, you will be pleasantly surprised! He even has the tatts!. Also, I read on S.C Stephens’ website that she based ‘Denny’ (Thoughtless/Effortless) on an Aussie actor named ‘Craig Horner’, again, it is how I pictured Denny! ;)

Macarena January 6, 2013 at 9:55 PM

V is my favorite character from BDB and the hardest one for me to give a face to, David Gandy is the one I think is close enough, although not quite:

Candace July 7, 2013 at 1:32 AM

Maybe it’s just me, but I have always seen Wrath as Dwayne (sp?) Johnson (The Rock, think of him with the long hair in Scorpion King, with the hair straight down instead of that weird knot on top).

Martha August 16, 2013 at 6:28 PM

J.D. Robb has written so many wonderful Eve Dallas/Roarke books in her “In Death” series. Eve was super easy to cast. The choppy hair, the angled face, the long eyes, the slender, strong body. Rooney Mara seems to slip right into the glove of that part. Roarke is exceedingly difficult, on the other hand. We can always get someone to grow and dye their hair the right length and color. And getting the laser blue eyes would have to be another enhancement. But where are our fallen angels, most-gorgeous-man-in-the-world types? If I could see the rest of the face from the cover of Karen Moning’s “Kiss of the Highlander,” I’m sure we would have a winner. Got to be the most edible mouth in the universe. Alas, it’s not a photo but a painting, I fear. But his would be the face, I’m sure.

Kendra December 3, 2013 at 11:30 AM

For J.R. Wards Black Dagger Brotherhood, Jason Lewis is the perfect fit for my favorite character Rhage. I also picture Jason Mamoa as Wrath.

Carri April 18, 2015 at 10:41 AM

How about wrestler Roman Reigns as Wrath in BDB? He’s my perfect Wrath. Except it’s a shame to cover his gorgeous eyes.

Michelle Ford-Copley May 25, 2016 at 12:23 AM

Peter Steele OR Jason Mamoa as Wrath
Phury, there is a model name Brock O’Hurn- Delicious!
V is David Gandy for me
Rhage is nearly impossible for me. I think of Paul Walkers face and smile but with a LOT more bulk.
Z Wentworth is perfect imo
Butch, I can go with David Boreanaz (sp?)
There are SO many from DH series too…

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