Welcome to the third installment of the CASTING BOOKS blog series. In this series, authors choose one of their books, and then discuss their dream cast for a movie based on that book. This third installment is written by the stupendous S. S. Michaels.

Casting Idols & Cons
by S. S. Michaels

When Jeremy asked me to contribute to his Casting Books series, I jumped at the chance. You may not know this, but Idols & Cons began life as a screenplay, and I have discussed casting it before. The trouble with casting my story is… there is a shortage of twenty-something actors out there. There’s no one to replace the Leonardo DiCaprios and Johnny Depps, so my casting was extremely difficult. I knew I had to include some obvious choices, like:

Justin Bieber. He’d be the perfect leader of my fictional boy band, In Dreams. As Damien Tungsten, Mr. Bieber would find an edgy breakout role to transition him from awkward aging teen star to credible actor. Of course, he’d have to be willing to take some serious risks.

Who would poison him with drugs and take over his band, you ask? How about:

Ross Lynch, from Disney’s Austin & Ally? Sure, he’s a Disney kid now, but so was Kurt Russell. Lynch’s acting on TV leaves something to be desired, but he’s got the right look for our main character, John Thomas/Jake Wolfram. He’d be great in a role, being groomed for the lead spot in a boy band.

How about our crazy artist, Patrick? He’s got to have some serious acting chops, and he can be a little bit older, so my pick is:

Jared Leto. Not only is he the lead singer from 30 Seconds to Mars, but he was in Fight Club, American Psycho, Panic Room, and a lot of other movies and TV shows. I think he could pull off the psycho Patrick Salinger nicely.

Let’s move on to our art gallery owner, Mr. Fawlty.

Great cameo opportunity for the former boy band star turned serious actor, Justin Timberlake.

Now, for the evil cousin Kelly, I chose yet another Disney kid, Bridget Mendler:

She’s shown some versatility, acting in movies and TV shows, so she might be just the right actress.

Poor Mary Bellows (yes, that’s right, I took that name from a Nick Cave song), our hapless victim, might be played by Victorious actress Elizabeth Gilles:

She plays kind of a dark character on TV, so she’s got experience with that.

As for the boy band… I hesitate to say a current group could stand in because they all seem like nice kids, and that’s not quite what the story calls for. Sure, Big Time Rush or One Direction could fill the spot, but they’d have to act like real jerks. It may be best to fill these bit parts with some rough unknowns.

Oh, I almost forgot our greedy manager, Sasha:

Tim Roth. I don’t think he needs any explanation.

And, that’s about it for Idols & Cons. If you haven’t read it yet, go! Read it now! It’s much darker than you think. Could be in a theater near you soon, too!

Thanks, Jeremy, for having me on your blog – always an honor!