Guest Post from Dan O’Brien:
I thought it might be fun to imagine who would play the characters from The Path of the Fallen. I would encourage people who have read the book to comment, and disagree if need be. If you would prefer not to have the characters imagined a certain way, then I would steer clear of this post. This is a list of actors and actresses I can imagine playing the characters based on what I have seen them in previously (I will comment briefly on what it was specifically that makes them an ideal fit) as well as the look of the character as I envisioned them.
E’Malkai has always been different than everyone else, and the actor who would play him would have to be able to convey both a sense of belonging and distance from those around him. Connor plays Ben Mason on TNT’s Falling Skies, which, in the words of a friend of mine, is little more than a science fiction family drama. That being said, he delivers on a kind of quiet desperation and intelligence that I think would fit E’Malkai well.
Elcites, Umordoc guardian of young E’Malkai, must be able to convey tremendous emotion and power with only slight movements and limited facial expressions. Additionally, the beast-like appearance of the character requires much emoting without saying very much at all. Adewale has a great screen presence, and this was quite apparent in his character ‘Mr. Eko’ on Lost. I think his ability to convey emotional depth with a stare or a posture makes him ideal to play the remorseful and trustworthy Elcites.
Fe’rein, born Ryan Armen, has become the All-god of a world bathed in hatred and shadow. The character undulates between a sullen hatred and a wanton desperation obscured by tremendous power. Ryan has demonstrated his ability to be a likable character, a powerful actor. His performance in Drive solidified for me that he had the physicality and emotional range to truly bring to life the villainous and flawed Fe’rein.
I have to admit that Arile is one of my favorite characters. His wry cynicism and quiet, yet powerful, demeanor makes the choice of Jim Caviezel a no-brainer. His portrayal of ‘Mr.Reese’ on Person of Interest has shown that he can play physically imposing characters.
Leane, E’Malkai’s mother, is a character fraught with secrets and influence. Her sadness is hidden behind a veil of confidence and command that serves her too well. Lena Headey portrays ‘Cersei Lannister’ on HBO’s Game of Thrones and has proven to be an incredible actress. I could not imagine a more cunning character, and as such I think she would be a perfect fit for Leane.
The path of the Fallen began with the exile of Seth Armen. Seth has all of the qualities present in Jude Law’s portrayal of ‘Dr. Watson’ in Sherlock Holmes. Seth is strong, intelligent, and somber by necessity. Though not a major component of The Path of the Fallen, he still has a strong influence over E’Malkai’s journey to discover his place in the world.
Kyien is the leader of the Culouth armies and a narcissistic, unlikable jackass. Ben Foster, from the moment I saw him on Six Feet Under, was brilliant. He has range and I would love to see him play a power-hungry madman who at moments can be cunning and manipulative.
M’iordi is a manicured, cultured councilman who sits at the right hand of Fe’rein. His intelligence, as well as his lust for power, make him a useful ally and a frightening enemy. The obvious selection for Hiddleston’s prowess would be his commanding villainy in Avengers. However, it was a quiet performance in Midnight in Paris that really resonated with me.
T’elen is a powerful and beautiful warrior woman who commands legions and is quick to take a man’s head for foolishness. I have two words for you: Battlestar Galactica. I might as well have just named the character Kara Thrace, but honestly Katee encompasses everything about the character that I could imagine.
Xi’iom is a commander with a simple demeanor and a severe dislike for smiling. If you have watched The Mentalist, then you will no doubt be familiar with Tim Kang’s portrayal of CBI agent Kimball Cho. He has the serious demeanor and unwavering personality that defines Xi’iom so well.
Higald, proud chieftain of the Fallen, is built like a viking: blond hair, cold blue eyes, and a somberness that cannot be quelled. Sounds a bit like Eric Northman, no? Not really, but Alexander Skarsgard has the look, though he would need to put on some muscle to look the part and smile a little less. Higald is not as pleased with himself as Eric on True Blood is.
S’rean is by no means a major character, but he is a significant presence in the second half of the book. Idris Elba has taken on so many fantastic roles from The Wire to Luther that I wish I could cast him somewhere else. Perhaps if the movie ever does get made, casting folks will be able to place him in a role worthy of his acting prowess. Either way, he would be a wonderful fit for S’rean.
This might have been the most obvious cast for me. Ian McNeice has been delighting moviegoers for a very long time, and if I didn’t know better, I would think that I created the part specifically for him. Augustine is the speaker of the Culouth population, a vociferous and superfluous orator with a powerful and distinct voice.
Check out these other posts about The Path of the Fallen: