This post is brought to you by random discussions. A bunch of my writer friends and I were talking about whether we base our character descriptions on real-life people and actors, and it got me thinking about where I got inspiration for my characters.
Now, though I do have a Pinterest mood board for A Study of Ash & Smoke, I rarely look at it anymore. I created it back in the day when I first started writing. Since, I’ve stopped pinning and have relied more on memory or a quick google search to show me the imagery I write. I also rely less on looking at people to describe them, and just pulling random ideas out of my imagination. ***EDIT–2021 Yolandie here. 🙂 The Pinterest board is officially a thing. Find it here.***
Having said that, there are a few faces I distinctly picture when writing certain characters.
When the original story of The Physician’s Apprentice popped into my head, there was one character that already had a face, even before he was named Magnus. Jim Broadbent has always been one of my favourite actors, because whatever he does is brilliant. Also, he has such character and whimsy in his face! When I look at him, I see my Magnus.
For Cara, I’ve always pictured Emily Rudd. In my head, Cara has really big, bright eyes, and an innocent-looking face. I also imagine she’ll look younger than she really is. I get this vibe from Ms Rudd, especially in some of her less made-up photoshoots (though, holy crap, she pulls off a red lippie flawlessly!).
Seraphine was originally based on one of my wonderful friends, Rita. Since then, she’s kind of taken on a life of her own. 🙂 When I first saw Dove Cameron, it was in an interview somewhere (I have no idea where) but I immediately got a Sera vibe from her. They talked about her Disney career and how she had to sing in Disney Descendants, which pretty much sealed the deal. Sera is known for her singing, and pretty much dresses like a Disney princess, so there you go. There’s this one image in particular of Ms Cameron with bright red lips that just screams Sera.
Jerry is basically Ed Sheeran, just with extra padding. I have no idea how tall Ed is, but Jerry is on the short side.
For Malak, I’ve relied on images of Priyanka Chopra. She always looks perfectly made-up and super graceful, which I think are typical Malak characteristics. I do, however, picture Malak’s hair as slightly lighter, with a kind of reddish tinge to it.
Other face claims:
- I picture the emperor as a combination of Ken Wanatabe and Yul Brynner, specifically as he was in The King and I.
- Ghedi is based on the looks of the late, great Nelson Mandela.
- Laroche is inspired by everyone’s favourite villain actor, Mads Mikkelsen.
- I picture Doc Masters as a bearded Danny Glover.
- Finally, I see Ahmed as a young Oded Fehr (and you have The Mummy to thank for that).
I’m sure I’ll be able to expand this list if I think really hard about it. 😛
But I have a book to write.