Recently, a lovely woman I know introduced me to the Jack Reacher book series written by British author Lee Child. I usually read biographies, non-fiction, art books, humor, poetry and the like – so it has to be an amazing story if I bother to invest the time in a novel. The novels I choose are usually in the crime story, spy, adventure vein – pure escapism. So this was right up my alley, the perfect recommendation.
Enter – Jack Reacher: Part James Bond, part thinking man’s Rambo. Ex military Cop, French mother, American Military father, raised around the world. Enormous guy – six foot four. Only travels with the clothes on his back and a folding toothbrush. Lives below the radar. Total bad ass in every way imaginable. It’s not just that Reacher is tall – when you read Lee Child’s books, you notice right away that Reacher’s size and height are a major part of how he functions in the world and how others see him – His size is almost its own character – “His lazy lopsided grin. His tousled hair. His arms, so long they gave him a greyhound’s grace even though he was built like the side of a house. His eyes, cold icy blue like the Arctic. His hands, giant battered mitts that bunched into fists the size of footballs.” – excerpt from the book TRIPWIRE.
Question: Does this sound like Tom Cruise to you??? Even in four inch platforms, it still doesn’t work. There’s only so much suspension of disbelief we can handle – even in celluloid. Having Tom Cruise play Jack Reacher is like casting Danny DeVito as Abraham Lincoln, or Duane “The Rock” Johnson in the Truman Capote story. HASN’T TOM CRUISE RUINED ENOUGH MOVIES BY INSERTING HIS HOPELESSLY MISCAST SELF INTO THEM? I could go on for days with a huge list of films that would’ve been so much better if Mr. Cruise wasn’t in them – but the one that stands out in my head the most – the Big miscast in my opinion will always be:
Interview with a Vampire. Lestat was a true gothic vampire as only Anne Rice could write one. Vain and arrogant in the classic sense, and probably much taller than 5’7”, he was the Jim Morrison of the vampire world – and you can bet he never sparkled. (yes, that was dig on Twilight… don’t get me started on that crap!)
Don’t get me wrong… I like Tommy. I like him in Top Gun, Risky Business, Rainman and Jerry Maguire. But he’s a “smiling jack” – a “good-time Charlie” – and even with the action-filled, explosion-laden Mission Impossible series, he still can’t kick serious ass like Jack Reacher can. Ok… Now that you know how I REALLY feel – Let’s start a list of actors better suited to play Jack Reacher:
1.) Anyone else. (ok I’m off my Tom Cruise horse, or shetland pony as it were…)
#1 George Clooney
I cannot say enough good things about “gorgeous George”. Even the ridiculous mullet he had on The Facts of Life couldn’t hide the real fact of life here: he is better looking than most of us will ever be. Bastard.
The man has single-handedly brought back classic Hollywood manliness to the status it deserves. But why do I really love George Clooney? He has proven to be the ultimate wing man for me by making gray hair super sexy – although maybe it always was and i never noticed until I went gray myself and women started to comment on it. We all know George can play an action hero. As long as he keeps his hair short like the pic to the right > and some stubble - he’s perfect for the role. Two drawbacks though… #1 he’s ‘only’ five foot 11 inches and he needs to make sure he never smiles in the movie. The Clooney smile has been making both women and men swoon his entire career. I’m serious… whenever he smiles, cute and cuddly panda bears collectively shed a tear of joy.
<< See what I mean? <<
Ridiculously adorable isn’t he? It’s just wrong. Jack Reacher, however, isn’t the smiling type. One thing Jack Reacher is not, is vulnerable. So if Clooney were to play him, that multi-million dollar, Oscar- winning smile that makes his eyes crinkle up into slivers of fathomless dark brown, flanked by merry smile lines and rugged, manly crow’s feet that show the world he is a man of whose experience and wisdom are…
Yeah.. sorry - I kinda have a Clooney man-crush..
Stay tuned for more installments of what is now being called the “Reacher Feature”. (also known as – “DON’T CHOOSE CRUISE”) Where we will examine every actor we can think of who is better suited to portray Jack Reacher.