True Blood Dream Casting – J.B. DuRone

One of the fun things, for me at least, about having read Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse Books . . .

. . . prior to watching the True Blood series on HBO  (which is more or less based on those books) . . .

  . . . is the added insight it gives me into these complex television characters, and the fictional lives they are destined to lead in the future.  Sometimes, it makes me feel downright telepathic . . .

Well . . . maybe not telepathic, but at least like someone who has the “inside scoop” on things.

And while Alan Ball has certainly exercised his right to CHANGE a few things from the books, in creating the show . . .

Not DEAD!

Not a mild-mannered, girly-girl clothing store owner.

Will not GO AWAY!

 . . . one thing he HAS adhered to pretty faithfully, is author Charlaine Harris’ colorful cast of characters, and the various ways in which they impact Sookie’s universe.

For this reason, I predict that it won’t be too long, before a certain hunky personal trainer, named J.B. DuRone, graces our television sets on Sunday nights.   (Because, lets face it, Alan Ball LOVES his sexy men!)

For the uninitiated, J.B. DuRone is Bon Temps townie, born and raised in Louisianna.  He was friends with Sookie and Tara back in high school, and even took Sookie to her senior prom.

“Like my pretty prom dress, y’all?  My Grams bought it for me!”

Now, J.B. works as a popular personal trainer at the local Bon Temps gym, and lives in one of those apartments behind Merlotte’s that Sam rents out.  J.B. has always been a loyal friend to Sookie, and even harbored a little crush on her for a short time.  (What guy didn’t in this series?)  Later in the books, he functioned as an unusually healthy and well-adjusted love interest for Perpetual Dater of Losers and Nutjobs, Tara . . .

“It’s about DAMN TIME!”

In terms of character traits, J.B. has a little bit of Jason . . .

 . . . a dash of Hoyt . . .

 . . . and a dollop of Sam . . .

 . . . all rolled into one glorious package.

Like Jason, J.B. has the looks of Hollywood Heartthrob, and the body of a male model.  He also shares Jason’s not-so-keen intellect.  J.B. isn’t exactly the sharpest crayon in the box . . .

And yet, like Hoyt, J.B. is charming, and sweet, and polite, almost to a fault.  He is the quintessential Southern Gentleman.

With Sam, J.B. shares a protective, almost paternalistic, relationship with Sookie (and later with Tara).  He is always ready to help her out of a jam, even if he doesn’t always no HOW to help, or what the heck is going on.

So, of course, all of this begs the question, who should Alan Ball CAST in the role of J.B. DuRone.  Well . . . I’ve got a few ideas . . .

Below you will find my Top Five casting picks (in no particular order) for Bon Temps’ Favorite Bodybuilder.

1) Channing Tatum

Age: 30

Where you’ve seen him before:  the romantic comedy She’s the Man (starring alongside Amanda Bynes), those Step Up dance movies, the action flick, GI Joe, the anti-war drama, Stop Loss, and that chick flick, Dear John.

Why he’d make a great J.B.:

Like J.B., Channing Tatum is a native Southern boy, having grown up in a small Alabama town.  So, not only will Channing be able to effortlessly pull off the Southern charm necessary for this role, he will also be able to provide fans with a remarkably authentic Southern accent, (something which, honestly, is hard to come by on this show).  In addition to all that “Southern stuff,” Channing clearly has the physique of a bodybuilder, and the chiseled looks to match.  A very young-looking 30-year old, Channing is also “age appropriate,” in that he is believable as someone who would have gone to high school with Sookie and Tara.

2) Nick Zano

Age: 32

What you’ve seen him in: the WB sitcom, What I Like About You (also starring Amanda Bynes) and the ABC show, Cougar Town

Why he’d make a great J.B. :

Not to typecast or anything, but the character of J.B. DuRone is remarkably similar to Vince, the character Zano played on What I Like About You.  Both are charming ladies men, who are capable of being disarmed and “tamed” by the right woman.  Both have startlingly beautiful bodies that are painstakingly well-cared for.  And both aren’t too bright, at least in the traditional sense of the word.  Then again, maybe I’m just shamelessly angling for a chance to see Nick on my TV screen again . . .

3) Cam Gigandet

Age: 28

Where you’ve seen him:  the teen drama The O.C., as Bad Ass Bully, Kevin Volchok,  the film Never Back Down, as Bad Ass Bully, Ryan McCarthy, and Twilight, as Bad Ass Vampire, James.  (Notice a pattern here?)  Cam will also be featured in the upcoming movie / musical, Burlesque  and the upcoming teen comedy Easy A.

Why he’d make a great J.B.:

Under that douchey exterior, and penchant for bad boy roles, there’s a heartthrob inside Cam Gigandet, just waiting to get out.  And this is the perfect role to bring it out of him.  True, Cam would probably make for an edgier J.B. DuRone than the one mentioned in Charlaine Harris’ books.  But, then again, to be a believable match for someone as edgy and abrasive as True Blood’s Tara, maybe he will have to be.  I can just imagine the chemistry between Rutina Wesley and Cam Gigandet, and it would SIZZLE!

In terms of physical appearance, Cam has the body of fighter —  someone who spends hours and hours at the gym, just like J.B. DuRone.  In fact, I’ve never seen a film with Cam Gigandet, where he WASN’T throwing a punch, or exposing those enviable abs in some way!  To top it off, Cam is EXACTLY the same age as Anna Paquin and Rutina Wesley, which would work out perfectly for the J.B. character.  Seriously, how often do actors actually get to PLAY characters their own age, anymore?

4) Tom Hardy

Age: 32

Where you’ve seen him: the Guy Ritchie-directed, trippy action-romp, RocknRolla and the recent box office blockbuster, Inception

Why he’d make a great J.B.:

No modern day male actor exudes more inherent masculinity than Tom Hardy.    Ever word out of his mouth, and every inch of his body just screams “MAN!”  This is exactly the type of guy Tara needs in her life.  He is strong, and a protector.  But he is also remarkably stable, and lighthearted.  This is a guy who can soften Tara’s rough edges, and make her laugh.  Yet, when it is necessary, he can also give a royal beatdown to any evil vampire or werewolf stupid enough to get in her way.

5) Joshua Jackson

Age: 32

What you’ve seen him in:   the long running teen drama, Dawson’s Creek, as the loveable hopelessly romantic, Pacey Witter, the sexy teen film, Cruel Intentions, the teen slasher pic, Urban Legends, and currently, the sci-fi mystery-of-the week show, Fringe

Why he’d make a great J.B.:

Joshua Jackson is the ideal TV Boyfriend.  End of story.  In his role as Pacey Witter, we saw Joshua’s ability to melt girls hearts with a single crinkle of the eyebrow, or a knowing smirk, or a gentle touch.  Pacey, though never particularly ambitious or “wise,” in the traditional sense of the word, was a true believer in true love.  And he would sacrifice anything to protect the object of his desire and make her happy.  These are innocent motives he shares with J.B. DuRone, who is also somewhat of a hopeless romantic, with an inherent need to “care” for the women he loves. 

In his more recent roles, Joshua Jackson has had the opportunity to exhibit a manly side.  Sure, he can be soft and cuddly, but he can also be tough.  This is a guy, who’s not afraid to throw a punch, if the recipient truly deserves it.  And I’m pretty sure, J.B. has thrown a few punches in his day too.

So, there you have it.   My casting choices for Charlaine Harris’ loveably lunkhead, J.B. DuRone.  Alan Ball, if you’re reading this . . . take note!

[www.juliekushner.com]

16 Comments

Filed under casting, Spoilers and Sneak Peaks, True Blood

16 responses to “True Blood Dream Casting – J.B. DuRone

  1. Carol

    Channing Tatum, Cam Gigandet, Nick Zano and Tom Hardy? I love you.

    I’m not sure which one of them I like the most, but all of them are perfectly reasonable choices.

  2. imaginarymen

    “Joshua Jackson is the ideal TV Boyfriend. End of story. ”

    AMEN SISTER!!!!!

    Uhhhh – there’s a TB character who is a mix of Jason AND Sam AND Hoyt!??!

    ;ldsfjaspdfoianwo;peirn;aosdpifnspifun!!!!!!

    I don’t, I can’t, words, words, words, no words…..

    I have no idea if Channing Tatum can act – but I base my judgements on totally shallow things like the fact that his name sounds like a soap opera character and he has what I once heard a comedian refer to as “date rape face” so – no.

    I gotta see “Inception” JUST for this Tom Hardy guy.

    You’ve got a “thing” for Cam whathisface don’t you? Didn’t you already pitch him for something else? ;-p

    OK I have to go now and reflect on the idea of a Jason/Sam/Hoyt hybrid. I may even have to lie down ;-0

    • I THOUGHT you would like my idea to somehow wrangle Joshua Jackson into doing True Blood. 😉 Seeing as we already have playing the Lost Salvatore Brother, on TVD, I figured it was only fitting.

      “Date Rape Face.” – OMG! That just cracked me up. Now that would be one sexy date rapist . . . just saying. Was that inappropriate of me? Probably . . . Date rape is BAD, kiddies!

      This is actually only my second post featuring Cam Gigandet. The first one was for Burlesque, which he was already cast in, so I don’t think that counts. Channing and Nick have both been featured in other “casting posts.” When it comes to TV Boyfriends, I’m slutty, but I’m loyal . . . 😉

      Now time for me to get on my soapbox . . .

      YES! See Inception! See it for the super sexy Tom Hardy, or for ANY other reason, but see it. It’s the type of film that our children (if I ever have any) will study in college, one day . . .

      And READ the Sookie books! 🙂 Then you will know for sure, whether I’m exaggerating in my J.B. DuRone description. (I am a little.) But the character traits I listed are all there. In fact, I think part of the reason, Alan Ball has not introduced J.B. sooner, is that many of his traits were embellished in other characters in the book-to-show translation. (e.g. Jason is dimmer, and Hoyt is sweeter).

      Take from that what you will . . . but read the books. 😉

  3. Nick Zano has my vote; he could definitely play the “not so bright” JB and I like that he’s not as easily recognized as the other guys/is more of an “unknown.”

    • Hi Jessica! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

      You make a very good point re: Nick Zano being less readily identifiable than my other casting choices, and, therefore, more desirable for a role like this one.

      As you might have noticed, I am quite the Nick Zano fan. So, anything that gets him more TV time, is OK by me! 😉

  4. Ventura

    How about Brian Wade? He’s hot and is good at playing a bit dim. He also has a history with HBO playing Encino Man in Generation Kill with Alexander Skarsgard.

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1341438/

    • Ooh! Brian Wade! That’s a really good one! I hadn’t considered him before. But, interestingly enough, his physical appearance probably matches most closely to the way I always pictured J.B. DuRone in my head, when I was reading the Sookie books. He’s age-appropriate for the role too. Nice casting!

      Thanks for the excellent comment, Ventura! 🙂

  5. Will not go away…hilarious 😀

    Interesting suggestions,
    Cam Gigandet is nice to look at, unfortunately I think I would just think at him as an evil vampire from Twilight. Joshua Jackson however, as you wrote, the perfect boyfriend… I can imagine him as a cute, kind of dumb but friendly JB. If that character will appear that is, but he had some importance in the books so maybe Alan Ball will include him in True Blood?

    • Thanks Elisabeth! I do think (and hope) Alan Ball will eventually introduce J.B. DuRone into True Blood world. After all, Tara is in DESPERATE need of a healthy relationship that won’t make her into the victim again. And the fact that J.B. is described as being hot in the books, certainly doesn’t hurt! 😉

      Yay, another Joshua Jackson fan! You are a fellow Dawson’s Creek and Pacey & Joey lover, I presume? I always knew you had good taste! 😉

  6. Pingback: True Blood Dream Casting – Amelia Broadway (May Contain Slight Spoilers) | TV Recappers Anonymous

  7. Racquel

    I’m not exactly sure but some think that he may have combined Jason and J.B. DuRone character in TB. Hence Jason being hot but not so bright but still lovable. I think that’s why they had that photo with Sam/Tara/Jason. http://www.tvfanatic.com/gallery/jason-sam-and-tara/
    This triangle is going to happen eventually.

    Oh yea. As far as the rape face goes. I think Cooter won that hands down. With Debbie in Lou pines and when he tackled Tara (especially that scene) he had major rape face.

    • Good point, Racquel! True Blood Jason Stackhouse is definitely dimmer, but also sweeter, and more sympathetic, as a character, than Book Jason (Alhough, admittedly, Book Jason has redeemed himself quite a bit in the last few of Charlaine Harris’ installments. Perhaps, the television show has influenced that somewhat.)

      I can definitely see the writers working toward a Sam / Tara / Jason love triangle. After all, Tara’s longtime crush on Jason was a major Season 1 plotline that was NEVER brought up in the books. If you are correct, about Jason being “Half J.B. Durone,” then Jason will be a SERIOUS contender for Tara’s heart in the long term!

      That being said, is it shallow of me that I am STILL hoping they introduce a NEW stud in town for Tara? After all, Alan Ball KNOWS his HOT MEN! Look at the WONDERS he did with casting Joe Manganiello as Alcide. (Sigh!)

      Oh, and LOL re: the “rape face” comment. With a name like Cooter . . . he HAS to have a RAPE FACE 😉

      Thanks for giving me some (hot) food for thought! I guess there is nothing we can do now, but count down the (many) days until the TB Season 4 Premiere . . .

      • Raquel

        And they were definitely selling Jason’s protective side episode 10. It was so cute when he brought her breakfast.

        I most definitely want them to bring in some new hot guy in for Tara. Since Jason’s back to Crystal (What is it with these “dangerously in love” the first time I meet you relationships on TB). I want her in a healthy, romantic relationship for once. I didn’t like Eggs. Without sex though. She needs the least amount of complications possible.

        My pick would be Channing (That is one delicious picture). He and Rutina can both dance and it would be fun break from the show’s doom and gloom stance to see them on each other like that. You’d need a samurai sword to cut the tension with that scene. But Alan favors lesser known actors (which I like) so any hot, “strong actor”/dancer would do for me. But with all the reasons you picked Tom Hardy as well.

      • So very true! There are definitely a lot of “love at first sight” encounters on True Blood. With Sookie, the instant attraction that her supernatural suitors had toward her sort of made sense, due to the whole “hot fairy” thing — and on her end, the “can’t read vampires’ minds” thing. As far as Tara and Eggs, the Crazy Maenad definitely helped intensify their sexual relationship. But, honestly, I don’t really get what draws Jason to Dull Crystal. Maybe, he just has a thing for cats? 🙂

        I COMPLETELY forgot that Rutina Wesley is an accomplished dancer, who got her start in the film “How She Move!” Great memory, Raquel! I would LOVE to see the True Blood writers take advantage of that, with a hot dance scene between her and a new studly male lead. In addition to being MAJORLY SEXY, it would also provide a fun, more whimsical side to Tara, which, I think, is MUCH NEEDED . . .

  8. Racquel

    I get those. But explain Jason and psycho Amy. Jason takes the cake for fly-by-night relationships. Thing for cats lol. That was confirmed S1.

    Whimsical Tara. Is that even possible? Every season I think they’re going to stop torturing her and then the next season is even worse.

    Hot and Sexy! Wouldn’t it though? The holding, gyrating, lifting, prolonged eye contact. *sighs*. Romance is lacking on TB. Filming that would probably melt the cameras.

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