The Inspirations, Ugly Truths, and Things That Make You Go “Huh?” for Under A Melting Sun
C is for CUMBERBATCH
So brace yourselves. These next three posts are all about the men of Under A Melting Sun, and the muses who inspired them. 🙂
The first one is the always lovely Benedict Cumberbatch. He’s handsome, talented, full of swag, and can play any type of character without flaw. With that said (and this is going to be tough to admit), I used him as a muse for the villain. He isn’t an extremely bad guy, but he sure as hell isn’t good either. He’s snobby, arrogant, and ends up taking a turn for the worst during a rather climactic point of the story. But no matter what, he’s no Cross Lutherus! That villain (from The Benighted) went south for reasons that can’t even be explained. I’m not sure what pit of Hell he crawled out of, but even as the author of the book, I take no responsibility for his actions. I cringed just like all of you when he showed his true self. And the scary part is that he’s not even the worst villain I’ve ever come up with. There’s another whose so dark I have yet to disclose him to the world because he makes me extremely uncomfortable. Brilliant (I’m not going to lie, I feel like a genius), but extremely uncomfortable.
Anyway. The character that Benedict inspired, who really is my tamest villain, is still the bad guy of this story. Now, all the fan girls in the front row who are about to knife me, let me explain:
The character I’m referencing is Dr. J. R. R. Dortworth, a prestigious anthropologist who acts more like an explorer and treasure-hunter than anything else. The reason why I created him is because I needed someone to cause friction and tension with the main character. Otherwise, the story would be boring. We all know this. Don’t hate the player; hate the game.
The reason why Benedict ended up as the muse is because every time I went to write this character’s part, I kept picturing him from the movie War Horse. When Benedict played Maj. Jamie Stewart, he acted like a know-it-all, arrogant dumbass that resembles almost perfectly the characteristics that I wanted Dortworth to have. In fact, the clip below is exactly how I pictured him, suspicious facial expressions and all. To Reese’s laid back attitude, Dortworth is the hot-headed glory hound. Plus, and I hate to admit this as well, villains are becoming my specialty. 😛
Why it may deter you: Who really wants to read about their Hollywood crush being depicted as an insensitive asshole? Unless you’re a Heath Ledger fan and the Joker really rocks your boat, I’d be confident to say that it would be a deterring factor. Unless you’re a really dark soul. In which case, I like you. 🙂
Why it may not deter you: Until there’s a movie out there, Benedict is solely the muse for the character and not physically, emotionally, or spiritually depicting him 100% in anyway. He has simply been the starting point to a complex character. In fact, if you read the book, you may envision someone completely different as Dortworth. We all do it with characters. Most of the time even I will start off with an inspiration that will slowly fade out because the character takes on its own personality that I hadn’t planned on. If you need a perfect example, read The Benighted and watch the slow progressing train wreck that is Cross Lutherus. Again, I take no responsibility.