A Man to Admire

This is kind of a continuation from my first post (on the welcome page).

I have to admit that I don’t really admire actors that much.  People who choose to live their lives pretending they are someone else.  I especially don’t admire actors who will play any role that they are offered.

As a rule, I go out of my way to avoid reading or listening to all of the gossip about actor’s private lives.  Or at least I have lately.   I would simply rather not know.  Here is the thing:  as an author it is expected that we don’t jolt the reader out of the reading experience.  We are supposed to set the scene, introduce characters and then have them stay in character throughout the story.  Is that not correct?  Movies used to be an even greater extension of that.  In the movies, especially on the big screen, you are supposed to be exposed to sight and sound to give you a greater immersion experience.  That doesn’t happen anymore, though.

In a book, you can imagine the characters to be however you want them to be, and they never let you down in that respect; well unless the author is an idiot, which thankfully most aren’t.  Basically, in a book, the good guy is good, the bad guy is bad, etc.  And as an author it is your responsibility to make sure your character doesn’t act in a way that doesn’t fit his character.  Even if it is a fantasy, it is important that the characters remain true to who they are.

Now comes the problem, though.  You take a book and make it into a movie and now you have the problem of the actors.  I was recently asked by a reader which actors I would like to play the characters in my book, Dear Tiz.  The problem is that I don’t want any actor to play them.  For me, it would ruin the story to have well-known actors playing my characters.  I told the reader that the only way I could envision my book in a movie is if it were made as an animated film, and if I got to approve the animation for each character.

With so many actors cross pollinating, it is now almost impossible to really believe the characters that you see onscreen.  It diminishes the movie experience; because you are too busy trying to remember where you saw that actor before.  Or worse, you keep seeing him coming at the innocent with an axe, because he played an axe murderer in the last movie you saw him in.  Ok, I don’t usually watch horror movies, but let me give an example from a romantic movie.  You can’t really believe the love story in this movie, because you thought he/she was perfectly matched in the last movie they were in, and you can’t stop seeing them with the love interest from the previous movie.  Talk about ruining the experience of the movie you are watching.  I know it is ridiculous to think that an actor will only do just one movie and then no more.  But think about it.  Isn’t the whole point of going to a movie (or making them) to live an illusion for a moment?  Actors nowadays are so selfish that they cheapen the movie-going experience because they want personal growth, at the expense of the experience, which was the whole point to begin with.  And as movie goers, we are just supposed to suck it up and accept this?   I don’t think we should.  I think that actors should decide what kind of role they wish to play and then stick with it.  They should specialize, like doctors.  I mean who wants a GP performing brain surgery?

I like Johnny Depp as much as rest of the female population, because he is incredibly handsome, lovable and funny, and yes he is a good actor.  That does not make him an admirable person, however.  I have come to expect that his movies are not to be taken seriously, but are more of a parody.  Don’t get me started on The Lone Ranger, I think a real version has yet to be made, although it was an enjoyable movie.  I can go and enjoy a Johnny Depp movie, if I go with the idea of not taking the movie too seriously.  I have been watching him since Edward Scissorhands, and yes I liked it.  It was a great introduction to the actor, since it was a fantasy and therefore not to be taken seriously.  I think that is one of the things that made me a life-long fan of Johnny Depp.  No wait, I really liked him in 21 Jump Street and I haven’t really respected him in a role since then.  Now I watch him for the lighthearted fun of it, but not for a great movie experience.  See the difference?

Stephen Tompkinson

DCI Banks

I may be very wrong about this, especially since I don’t know the gossip on this man’s personal life, and please don’t tell me.  But I think this man might be an actor that I can admire.  In fact, I think I am falling in love with him.  He may not be that good-looking, and his chin does look a little weak, but so far every show that I have seen him in he has played a similar character; a character that I can actually admire, in fact.  Ok, so I have only seen him in Ballykissangel and DCI Banks.  I guess I need to watch some more shows with him, and yet I fear to do so, in case I have to change my opinion of him.  I guess I have to say that I have fallen in love with Father Clifford and DCI Banks, the characters.  Which, by the way, are not that dissimilar to each other when you think about it.  I guess that is what I love.  On a personal note, he might even be the ideal man, as in the kind of man I would personally like to marry.   I mean the combination character of Father Clifford and DCI Banks, not the actor himself.  Just as an aside, I also loved the character of Inspector Morse; Lewis not so much.


A man to be admired, for me it is basically this.

A man who has a certain degree of integrity.   He has a code of ethics that he lives by, even if they might seem outdated or strange to those around him.  I may not even agree with him, but I admire him for them anyways.

He has an opinion, based on deep personal convictions.  He may not always voice his opinion, and you will not usually find him “arguing the issues”.  If he is asked, he may tell you what he thinks, or he might not depending on who is doing the asking.

He doesn’t let anyone change his mind.  He is not afraid to change his mind, but he does so through diligently studying the issues and making up his own mind.

He can love deeply, and is a faithful husband to the woman he marries, which he doesn’t do until he is sure.  He is always polite to the ladies, but he does not let the women in his life boss him around, not even in the way he dresses.

He doesn’t necessarily stand up for himself, but he will definitely stand up for others.

He is a leader, even if he has no followers, because he does not need followers to validate his position.  He is his own man.

Sure, there are probably more things that make up the man to be admired, but I can’t think of them right now.

I suppose you can expect almost all, if not all, of the male heroes in my stories to portray these traits to some degree.