The "Brit a Day" series

What does a months-long parade of attractive British men have to do with fiction, you might well ask? These gentlemen have inspired some lovely scenes, part of the life I live in my head. Over time, some of these scenes reach out to one another and begin to form a story. For the present, each one of these pictures provides a writing prompt for me, a way to keep me writing with a sense of passion and narrative, even when the stories are not yet fully formed.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Brit a Day [#228]

Everything I know about Henry Ian Cusick I learned from the Sistahs at Henry Ian Daily and the HIC forum. Originally many of them met online to discuss Ian's performance in 'The Gospel of John'. But I wonder how many of them had him on their radar when he appeared on the British series 'Taggart' years ealier? Historical importance of this moment: This may be the first time the television-viewing public was treated to that lovely arched eyebrow.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Brit a Day [#227]

Peeking over Kathleen Quinlan's shoulder is Jason Isaacs in one of his early films, 'Event Horizon'. The postures, expressions, and the b&w nature of this picture make it seem like vintage B-movie, right out of the era of 'Them' and Mystery Science Theatre 3000.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Brit a Day [#226]

John Le Carre is one of my favorite authors, and 'The Tailor of Panama' is an outstanding book, so I had high hopes for the movie, but it was a serious disappointment. Among other things, they totally botched the ending. It's a John Le Carre story--it's not supposed to end well.

The brightest spot in it was young Daniel Radcliffe, pre-'Harry Potter'. Can you believe this is Dan less than 10 years ago?

The young lady is Lola Boorman, daughter of director John Boorman.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Brit a Day [#225]

I barely remember Christian Bale in 'Empire of the Sun' because I really didn't like that movie. There is such a disconnect for me between the child in this picture and grown up Christian Bale, the actor we love today. But the future man's face is there in the boy, the lovely eyes, the beginnings of dimples, the curves of lips and nose that are so distinct.

I would love to have seen him in a TV movie [mini-series?] he made even before 'Empire of the Sun', in which he played Alexei, younger brother to the mysterious Russian Princess Anastasia.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Brit a Day [#224]

As Fall makes itself known--at mid-day, the rays of the sun are coming from that Autumnal downward slant, as opposed to from directly overhead, on these 90 degree days--I am reminded of the May/December romance I seemed to have with myself. My outward self, the December one, just scheduled her first colonoscopy. My inner self, fresh as a day in May, doesn't wear bifocals and doesn't need longer skirts to cover her varicose veins.

In honor of youth, this week's theme will be When We Were Young...Very, Very Young. Alan Rickman began his movie career at the age of 41 [I think], and the top headshot looks to be about that age. When you are coming at this from the direction I am, 41 is quite young enough, thank you. The second picture, which I'm guessing was an early publicity shot for the first HP, makes Prof. Snape seem astoundingly young, like the 30-ish character he is described as in the novels.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Brit a Day [#223]

Let's have one last look at Brianna and Roger, they are so lovely. And I have one last bit of business in the casting department--Fergus, the feral young lad that Jamie takes on as a spy in the court of Louis XV. Fergus is a real piece of work, and his boyish energy [read that 'trouble-making] is the catalyst for several big scenes. Since we're just dreamin' here anyway, I'm going to reach back in time to escort tiny Daniel Radcliffe from his role in 'David Copperfield' to the cast of 'Outlander.'

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Brit a Day [#222]

I'm rather proud of this bit of amateur casting: Eddie Argos as Roger Wakefield and Rebecca Mader [formerly of LOST] as Claire's daughter Brianna. Eddie-as-Roger is the inspiraton for the theme of my posts this week. I've been reading the Outlander series for some time now, and Roger, a professional historian much like Claire's twentieth century husband Frank, is a pivotal character in the second book as well as the third which I'm reading right now. Roger was Eddie in my imagination from the beginning, and once you have a picture in your head of Roger, it follows that you start to wonder who Brianna would be....

The one character that I refuse to cast is the most important one, Claire. I have no idea who she is, beyond equating her with the book-jacket photos I have seen of Diana Gabaldon herself. I think the difficulty of casting Claire lies in the fact that all [at least] women readers of these books tend to feel like they are looking at the story through Claire's eyes. The narrative is told in first and third person, and not always from Claire's POV. Still, I think when we sister readers make that little private movie we inevitably do in our heads, we cast ourselves as Claire.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Brit a Day [#221]

I want to start today's post with a disclaimer. With the exception of Dan Radcliffe, I've shown every actor in character this week, a character that hopefully presages what they would be like in a film adaptation of 'Outlander'. For example, I know that Alan Rickman is not Rasputin, and I know the difference between Christian Bale and Bruce Wayne. This, moreover, is a picture of Henry Ian Cusick playing Desmond Hume, in a universe where Henry Ian Cusick is not identical with Desmond Hume. Got that?

So...I give you Henry Ian Cusick as Jamie Fraser, road-weary and battle-scarred. After mastering the role of Desmond on LOST, Ian would totally get the time travel thing. He would get the essence of Jamie as a man who must do the honorable thing. And I for one would pay money to see him in a kilt.

Ian's eyes are not blue, his hair is not red, and he's not exceptionally tall. But I can just imagine that he would wear contacts, dye his hair, and stand on a box to make his fans' dreams come true.

[One of my girlfriends brought this picture to my attention on Lost Media, and I thank her. Click on it and it gets even more gorgeous.]

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Brit a Day [#220]

The uniform is from 30 years in the future to the battle of Culloden, but Jason Isaacs has some skill at playing a Redcoat, and a villanous one to boot. Fresh from an engagement as Mel Gibson's nemesis in 'The Patriot', I cast Jason as Jonathan "Black Jack" Randall, Frank's ancestor and a British Army officer of the nastiest kind.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Brit a Day [#219]

Dan Radcliffe photographed by Annie Liebowitz. I'm casting him as Frank Randall, history professor and Claire's husband in the 1940's. I mean, there has to be a reason why she thinks about him so often, right?

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Brit a Day [#218]

OK, work with me here. I'm casting Christian Bale as Bonnie Prince Charles Edward Stuart from the second Outlander novel. I know this picture is anachronistic to the Uprising of 1745, but you know darn well that a would-be Scottish monarch exiled in France would have worn Armani if he could have. And nobody wears an Armani suit like Bruce Wayne.

And equating Batman with The Pretender is great historical deconstruction.

A Brit a Day [#217]

Diana Gabaldon really isn't going to like this, but this week our ensemble cast will be outfitting some of the key the roles from her Outlander novels. It's kinda like I'm the casting director for a movie that doesn't exist. Keep in mind, however, that I'm only half way through the third book.

First up is Alan Rickman as Dougal MacKenzie, uncle to the co-protagonist Jamie Fraser. Wikiped describes him thus:

Colum's brother, who serves as the literal and figurative "body" of the pair, since [Laird of the MacKenzie clan] Colum's health meant he is unable to lead the clan into battle. A Jacobite; biological father of Colum's son, Hamish; took Jamie on as a foster son for a year as a teen; has four daughters. He also fathered another son with Geillis Duncan.

Perhaps that's Geilie now with the figurative body of the laird...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Brit a Day [#216]

I'm so excited about this week's theme, but I need an extra day to get my s__ together: I'll do a double post tomorrow.

Today, I've been running [see above] all over LA county, doing my dear non-driving daughter's bidding. Actually, in many ways, today was a dream come true, as I am the girl who as a child had a map of Southern California on her bedroom wall [in North Carolina] and wore the type off the spine of Volume 'L' of the encyclopedia memorizing facts from the entry "Los Angeles." I put a lot of that knowledge to use this afternoon. I've seen Pasadena, San Marino, Alhambra, Norwalk, La Mirada, Whittier, and Buena Park, all within the space of 2 hours.

But I digress--here's the absolute cap of my day--if someone had told me a year ago that I would utter the following sentence, I would have had that person locked up: "I drove three hours round trip to Whittier to adopt a pet rat."

Yes, that's Henry Ian Cusick running through the jungle in today's pic, but you knew that already.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Brit a Day [#215]

These pictures gladden my heart--and make me feel old at the same time. Before he was HP, Dan Radcliffe was 'David Copperfield' in his first performance opposite Maggie Smith who would go on to play Professor McGonagle to his Harry.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Brit a Day [#214]

Eddie Argos has been a member of about three million bands, most of them simultaneously. But perhaps the shortest-lived of them was Black Arts Recorder, a band formed in November 2007 for the explicit purpose of recording a chart-topping Christmas hit. The name of this sweet, cynical track: 'Christmas Number One.'

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Brit a Day [#213]

Ian Cusick went under the radar when he played Demi Moore's jealous husband [jealous of what, that's the key question] in 'Half Light'. Everyone knows I kinda want this man, but I'll tell you something else--I want this ROOM, I want this HOUSE! Look at all those art books--the sagging shelf is a nice touch by the art director, or perhaps this is somebody's real office. Look at that view--never mind that it overlooks the canal which is the scene of The Tragic Accident...Give me real estate in London like this, and the rest will take care of itself.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Brit a Day [#212]

If you do an image search for 'jason isaacs sweet november' you get pictures of Keanu Reeves. Go figure. But eventually you come to pictures of Isaacs as his transgender character from 'Sweet November.' I haven't seen that film, but I plan to--I think there are fishnets that go with that sequined dress.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Brit a Day [#211]

In a film for British television, Daniel Radcliffe portrayed Jack Kipling, Rudyard Kipling's son who, with the elder Kipling's influence, joined up to fight in WWI at the young age of 17. "My Boy Jack" tells the story of how Kipling's pride turned to grief--his son Jack did not return from the war alive.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Brit a Day [#210]

I was going to use a photo from 'The Mechanic' as Christian Bale's off-label film role, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. If you don't know the film, I'll let you investigate why I might be squeamish about it. Meanwhile, I had forgotten that Bale once played Jesus in the 1999 film "Mary, Mother of Jesus." I don't know if this is a still from the movie or just a promo shot, but I'm sorry, he's just too pretty. Good haircut, clean, nicely trimmed beard--he doesn't have a scratch on him. By the time Christ wears the crown of thorns, he should at least have a couple of bruises!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Brit a Day [#209]

We'll see the cast this week in Not-The-First-Thing-You-Think-Of-When-You-Hear-Their-Name roles. Here's Mr. Rickman as Judge Turpin in Tim Burton's "Sweeney Todd." He was once asked in an interview what it was like having his character's throat slit and being dumped down a chute. He replied, in his understated way, "I remember that day quite well....."

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Brit a Day [#208]

We mustn't forget all the hard work that precedes a walk down the red carpet.....and I really like the idea of Alan-Rickman-as-Snape's face bigger than my house on a bill board. Don't know where this photo was taken.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Brit a Day [#207]

I have saved around 600 pictures of Eddie Argos and Art Brut, but not one with red carpet. Plenty of red about a red wall?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Brit a Day [#206]

Ian Cusick working the 'red' carpet, Hawaiian style [above]....

...and LA style, with his wife, Annie Wood.

[Thank you, Amy, for the Hawaii pic, originally posted today at HIDaily.]

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Brit a Day [#205]

Jason Isaacs in June of this year at the Edinburgh Festival.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

an extra brit for gelatru

A Brit a Day [#204]

Here is Dan Radcliffe on the red carpet for the premieres of 'December Boys' [above] and 'HP and the Half Blood Prince.' He definitely has his own, fearless style.

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Brit a Day [#203]

Here are Christian Bale and his wife Sibi on the red carpet at the premiere of Public Enemies. Couples arriving on the red carpet must be very practiced at looking composed, because they are often the picture of tranquility amidst a sea of activity, as you can see in this great photograph below.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Brit a Day [#202]

Celebrities walked the red carpet at the Emmys last Sunday evening with stunning results--THIS photo is not from that occasion, but it is stunning nonetheless. Here's Alan Rickman from a photo dated April 2007. My guess is he was attending the Tribeca Film Festival in support of his film 'Snow Cake'--a quiet little gem that you need to see.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Brit a Day [#201]

Today's post features a page from Vanity Fair when the film 'Neverland' was in pre-production. Look how young Freddy Highmore is in these pictures! He is one of this post's lovely brits, along with Kate Winslet and Julie Christie.

I love the results of photoshoots that take place on empty stages. The textures just speak for themselves.

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Brit a Day [#200]

It is so appropriate that the bicentennial edition of A Brit a Day should feature my favorite brit. I love the picture used and the layout of the this article above, and wait.....we all read French, right?? :{

I jest. One of my closest friends, for whom French is her first language, moved to Northern California this summer. On the day we said our good-byes, another friend brought her a pillow embroidered with her own sentiments in French. When I clumsily tried to translate the pillow to English, my friend sighed and teased me affectionately, "You never did learn to read French..."

Anyhow, for the rest of us, here's another article about Eddie Argos from the early days of Art Brut's invasion.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Brit a Day [#199]

It's Thursday, you were expecting this...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Brit a Day [#198]

I can't resist extending Dan's stay to Day Three. I went to my doctor's office this morning and there was Daniel Radcliffe on the cover of OUT magazine. I am, once again, so proud to be one of his fans. You can start reading the article here, but finish reading it at the magazine's website: