Tag Archives: Charlie’s brother

True Blood Has Cast Its Claude: Did they make the right choice? (Contains some spoilers)

Inquiring vamps want to know . . .

 After months of radio silence, the producers of HBO’s supernatural ratings darling, True Blood, have FINALLY begun to pony up some details about the show’s upcoming fourth season.  If prior seasons are any indication, True Blood‘s Season 4 will likely premiere during the Summer of 2011.  It should also be at least somewhat based on the fourth book in Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse fantasy novel series, Dead to the World.

As both a die hard True Blood fan, and an avid reader of the aforementioned book series, on which the show is based, I am always curious as to which actors will end up playing the characters I have read about, and obsessed over, for the past three years.  One of the characters in whose casting I’ve had the most interest was Sookie’s fairy cousin, Claude.  Claude just so happens to be the twin brother of the elegant fairy, Claudine, who we met toward the end of True Blood‘s third Season .  . .

Lara Pulver as Claudine.

In the books, Claude is described as being six-feet tall, with wavy black hair and a flawless physique.  With his chiseled jaw, soft brown eyes, and sensuous pouty lips, Claude’s looks literally take women’s breath away.  Unfortunately, for those women, he is also VERY gay!  In the human world, Claude started off working as a stripper, but eventually transitioned into the dual careers of modeling and night club ownership. 

 In terms of  his personality, Claude is kind of an ass.  He’s rude, arrogant, shallow, super snarky, and massively self-absorbed.  And yet, Claude displays a soft spot for his sister, over whom he is extremely protective.  Later in the series, he develops a friendship with Sookie, and allows her a rare glimpse into his softer, more vulnerable, side.

Recently, the producers of True Blood have announced that the character of Claude will most definitely appear, during the show’s fourth season.  The role will be played by actor, Neil Hopkins.

Lost fans will likely remember Neil from his portrayal of Charlie Pace’s drug-addicted older brother, and fellow Drive Shaft band mate, Liam.

While certainly not a bad choice, by any means (Hopkins did an excellent job playing Liam on Lost, after all), I found the producers’ decision to cast Hopkins as Claude surprising, and a bit off-putting, for a number of reasons:

(1) Age:  Now, fairies are basically immortal.  So, age shouldn’t really make a difference.  Admittedly, however, Hopkins looks a bit older than the baby-faced Claude, who’s features stopped maturing at around age 20, in his book incarnation.  Then again, True Blood has been known to “age-up” its cast from the book to the small screen, particularly when it comes to its supernatural characters.

The 41-year old Stephen Moyer plays Vampire Bill Compton, who supposedly “died” around his 30th birthday.

34-year old Alexander Skarsgard’s Viking Vampire, Eric Northman, was purportedly turned into a bloodsucker by his maker, Godric, when the former was around 21-years old.

44-year old Kristen Bauer’s Vampire Pam joined the world of the undead, during the Victorian Era, when she was just 19.

Perhaps, an older-looking Claude was cast, so that he would be more believeable, as a twin for the mature-looking actress who is currently playing Claudine (see above).  Yet, part of me was definitely looking forward to True Blood roping  more “young blood” (or, at least, more young-looking blood) into its cast dynamic.

(2) Hair Care, Eye Color, Skin Tone:  While it’s nothing a trip to the hair-stylist, some colored contacts, and a little makeup can’t fix, I always pictured Claude as having jet black hair, ivory skin, and dark eyes, since that was how he was described in the book.  This image contrasts starkly with the light brown-haired, blue eyed, and tan complected Hopkins.

(3) Personal Appearance: Claude, as he was described in the books, is an impeccably groomed, assiduously shaved (assuming fairies even HAVE body hair, which they probably don’t), metrosexually dressed, and slightly effeminate male.  Hopkins, at least in the roles he has inhabited thus far, strikes me more as an overtly-masculine, rough-around-the edges, low-maintenance hombre, with a perpetual five-o’clock shadow.

(4) This is how I’m hot: While Pretty Boy Claude is drop dead gorgeous, in an almost feminine “he’s so beautiful it physically hurts to look at him” way, Hopkins strikes me as more of the “ruggedly handsome” type.

And finally . . .

(5) Drive Shaft, Drive Shaft, Drive SHAFT!  I’m actually really worried that, every time Claude appears on screen, I will instinctively begin belting out the words to “You all, Everybody!” 

(Those of you who were Lost fans probably know what I’m talking about here.  Those who weren’t . . . well . . . watch THIS . . .)

Then again, it’s possible that the reason I’m being so VERY nitpicky about the producers’ casting choice for Claude, is that NONE of MY top three choices for the role made the cut.  If you know me well enough, you can probably guess who those three choices were.  But I’m going to tell you them, anyway . . .

Now, let’s see . . . a tall, dark-haired, insanely attractive, smooth-faced male, who looks like he’s in his 20’s, is capable of playing a homosexual, and can exhibit a snarky, rude, and mean-spirited, persona, while still being inherently loveable.  Who on Earth could fill that tall order?  Oh .  . . I know . . . THIS GUY!

Of course, I’m talking about Ian Somerhalder!  Based on their respective physical and personality descriptions, it seems entirely possible that Claude and Damon Salvatore were separated at birth. 

 And those of you out there who doubt that a “ladies man” like Ian can play a convincing homosexual, need only watch the below clip from the 2002 film, Rules of Attraction, to be proven wrong .  . .

Sure, Ian’s a bit busy now, what with his STARRING role in The Vampire Diaries, and all.  But, considering that True Blood airs during the summer time, during his signature show’s hiatus, I’m sure the producers of both shows can work something out!  Then again, I love Ian so much, I’d probably cast him in the role of Sookie’s GRANDMA, if I thought he had a shot at getting the part . . .

R.I.P. Adele Stackhouse

So, Ian would probably be my first choice to play Claude.  However, if he was busy, my second choice would do a great job in the role as well . . .

Like Ian, Ed Westwick fits Charlaine Harris’ physical description of Claude to a tee!  Dark haired, dark eyed, with a sculpted physique, and the smooth baby-face of a guy in his early 20’s (Westwick is 23.), Ed effortlessly embodies the look of this magical character.  As Chuck Bass on Gossip Girl, Ed has also proven himself very capable of pulling off Claude’s unique and multi-faceted personality. 

Like Claude, Chuck can be rude, snide, arrogant, spoiled, and ever-so-slightly effeminate, but he can also be fiercely loyal, clever, and inherently likeable.  It also doesn’t hurt that Westwick is British, especially considering that all the “fairies” we’ve seen on True Blood so far, seem to possess a British accent.  (I’m not really sure what being British has to do with being a fairy.  But, apparently, the two are related in True Blood world).

My third and final Dream-Pick-that-Just-Wasn’t-Meant-to-Be for the role of Claude is Jason Dohring . . .

A few years back, Jason melted girls hearts the world over, as spoiled rich kid / brooding bad boy / hopeless romantic Logan Echolls, in the television series, Veronica Mars.  Logan had this special way of always being two things at once.  He was both snide and sweet; mean-spirited and kind-hearted, good-humored and ill-tempered, arrogant and insecure, popular and lonely, a lover and a fighter, a romantic and a cynic.  But above all, he was a guy fans loved, desired, and rooted for, no matter what jerky or douchebaggy thing he happened to be doing at the time.  If Claude was straight, and human, I suspect he’d be a lot like Logan Echolls . . .

But Claude is not just a loveable scoundrel, he’s also sophisticated and an impeccable dresser.  Can Jason pull that off?  YES HE CAN!

After the unfortunate, WAY BEFORE ITS TIME, cancellation of Veronica Mars, Jason Dohring landed the role of wealthy vampire Josef Konstantin in the short-lived CBS drama, Moonlight.  There, Jason showed himself to have a knack for fashion, as well as a penchant for silk and leather, two fabrics of which Clothes Horse Claude would DEFINITELY approve!

But, as I’ve mentioned, the casting directors at True Blood have already chosen their Claude, and it’s neither Ian Somerhalder, nor Ed Westwick, nor Jason Dohring.  It’s Neil Hopkins.  Therefore, I guess us fans just have to trust that they made the right decision.  

So, in THAT spirit (and to show there are no hard feelings), I’ve decided to end this post with a highlight reel from Neil’s portrayal of Liam Pace on Lost.  And I have to say, it’s pretty darn impressive . . .

Well, at least that’s my take on it.  Now, I turn the discussion over to you, fellow Fang Bangers.  Do you think Neil Hopkins will make a good Fairy Claude?  If not, who would you have chosen to inhabit the role?

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under casting, Spoilers and Sneak Peaks, True Blood

“Keep Your Shirt Off, Sawyer” – A Recap of Lost’s “Recon”

Woo hoo!  A Sawyer-centric episode!  This means I get to use my favorite “Josh Holloway Shirtless” picture again!  Never gets old . . .

Tonight we got to spend an hour with our sexiest Lostie — watching him do the four things that he does best: flirt, screw, brood, and con.  Additionally, we observed  Smokey working more of his manipulative magic, as he tried (in vain?) to recruit both  Sexy Lostie Sawyer and Spunky Lostie Kate to the Darkside.

“This Black Smoke stuff will sure come in handy, when I’m trying to vanquish my enemies aboard the Death Star.  It’s going to be  SO much more efficient than that oversized glow stick I usually use .  . .”

We also learned a bit more (but not too much more) about Team 3, in what is sure to be one heck of a Final Island Showdown. 

Two weeks ago, we met Team Smokey.  Last week, we focused on Team Jacob.  This week, we got a peak at Charles Widmore’s underwater crew, which I would hereby like to dub . . .  TEAM SUBBIE!

OK, OK . . . So, it was actually a BLACK submarine.  You really can’t go wrong with a Beatles reference, though.  Can you?

So, without further adieu, let’s do some “Recon” . . .

Brokeback Cop-land

“I wish I knew how to quit you, Sawyer!”

To be honest, Sawyer’s Flash Sideways bugged me.  For one thing, homoerotic undertones aside (Miles gave Sawyer enough longing looks during this episode to melt the Polar Icecaps!  And don’t even get me started on that “locker boyfight” scene), I just didn’t buy the Miles / Sawyer Bromance.  Perhaps, it was because neither of the typically snarky duo said anything particularly funny in flash-sideways world.  Or maybe, it was because my dream Lostie Buddy Cop Show always featured Miles and HURLEY!

“Sure, dump me for the Hot Guy!  But Sawyer won’t keep you warm at night, like I will.  And HE won’t be able to warn you when the dead person your ‘touching’ has dirty hands!”

Additionally, up until this point, the flash-sideways episodes were all about the characters seeking redemption for wrongs committed in their current timeline.  Here, by becoming a cop instead of a criminal, Sawyer was, theoretically, already redeemed, before the episode started.  Plus, the meat and potatoes of his story, i.e. whether he actually KILLS Anthony Cooper to avenge his parents deaths, wasn’t even shown during the episode.  If Sawyer commits a cold-blooded murder like this, can we truly say he has redeemed himself, just because he did it while wearing a badge?

Get Out of Darkside Free card?

But I am getting ahead of myself here.  Let’s backtrack a bit.  In “Recon,”‘ Sawyer’s flash-sideways ironically begins in precisely the same way his flashback in”The Long Con” began.  Namely, a deliciously Shirtless Sawyer . . .

Oh come on!  Tell me you didn’t want to see that again!

 . . . is lounging around, in a state of post-coital bliss, with a beautiful woman when Oops! a suitcase filled with cash pops open on the floor.  The difference here is that Sawyer’s current Gal Friday has a con artist husband, and, therefore, unlike his previous conquest, knows she’s being played for a fool.  Or does she?  When Mrs. Long Con pulls a gun on Sawyer and demands answers, his apartment is suddenly swarmed with cops, who instantly arrest her.  As it turns out, Sawyer wasn’t involved in a “Long Con” after all.  It was an undercover police sting operation.

“Put your shirt on, Sawyer,” remarks Sawyer’s police partner Miles.  (And, can I just say, “Worst advice EVER!”  Don’t make me show that pic again Miles, because I WILL DO IT!)

Back at the office, Miles asks Sawyer some probing questions about his recent “trip to Palm Springs,” when us viewers know he was really in Australia the whole time.  Sawyer fends off the inquiry long enough for Miles to set Sawyer up on a blind date with his “friend.”  And, who is this mysterious “friend” you ask?

It’s Charlotte Lewis.  Back from the dead and actually wearing makeup!

Charlotte and Sawyer seem to hit it off pretty well.  And after a few drinks, these two end up in bed together.  (Who knew archeaologists were so slutty?)  This is fabulous, of course, because we get treated to more of Shirtless Sawyer.  However, things go off the rails, when Sawyer heads off for a glass of water, and Charlotte uses her alone time as an opportunity to snoop around his bedroom.  First, she finds . . .

Apparently, both on and off the island, Sawyer screws like a bunny, and reads about them too . . .

She also comes across Sawyer’s BINDER OF VENGEANCE – complete with clippings about his parents’ tragic murder / suicide and the elusive Anthony Cooper, whose actions brought about their death.  Sawyer finds Charlotte reading the binder,  promptly freaks out, and kicks her the heck out of his apartment.

WTH Sawyer!  Overreact much?  Is this because I found out that you read books about furry little animals that talk?  Because I promise I won’t tell anyone!

Later, Sawyer feels guilty about his behavior, and arrives at Charlotte’s apartment with makeup sex on his mind.  His weapons of choice?  A giant sunflower and a cheap six pack of beer.

Foreplay?

That’s the problem with dating ridiculously good looking guys, they never really learn how to work for it.  Charlotte, though slutty, is clearly a stronger woman than I am, because she denies Sawyer’s ass.  Dejected, our hero leaves the sunflower outside Charlotte’s door (but takes the beer back, of course). 

You better watch it, Sawyer.  Just because they call it a “six pack,” doesn’t mean you get to keep yours if you keep drinking them like they are going out of style . . .

Upon returning to the police station once more, Sawyer has a run-in with Lostie Charlie’s rockstar brother, and is then assaulted (sexually?) by Miles.  Sawyer assumes Miles has pushed him up against the locker because he wants a quickie is angry at Sawyer’s shoddy treatment of Charlotte.  However, Boyfriend is actually super insulted at having found out that Sawyer lied about going to Palm Springs.  Later, Sawyer comes clean to Miles about the BINDER OF VENGEANCE and his plans to hunt down and murder Anthony Cooper. 

But before these two can hug it out, a car sideswipes them out of no where, and the driver gives chase.  Sawyer chases the hoodlum down a dark alley.  When he gets close enough to ID the perp, he finds out that it is . . .

Kate!  (Which reminds me, if Sawyer is a cop in Flash-Sideways world, why did he help Kate evade that federal agent back at the airport?)

Promises, Jungle Love, and the Smokey Mission

Back on Lost island, a frightened Jin awakens and tells Sawyer that the two of them better get the hell out of dodge, before Crazy Claire and Nu Locke return from whereever they are.  Sawyer then shocks Jin by telling him, “I am with Locke now.”

However, our favorite good-hearted bad ass, later qualifies his statement, explaining that all he wants to do is get off of the island, and Nu Locke can help him do that.  When Jin expresses reservations about leaving the island without Sun, Sawyer promises him that if the two of them find her, they won’t leave the island without her.  When the rest of the Smokey clan arrives at camp, Sawyer and Kate have the heartfelt reunion Skate fans have been longing for all season.  And you KNOW these two still have the hots for eachother!

Nothing says loving like hot bear cage sex.

 Nu Locke is currently playing nice with the Smokey clan, assuring them that he will protect them from the Evil Smoke Monster that killed all of their friends.

 . . . can avoid Evil Temple Fires!

However,  Sawyer isn’t buying it.  He calls Nu Locke out in front of the group for promising to get him off the island and not delivering.  Nu Locke pulls Sawyer aside and admits to being the Smoke Monster, but claims that he only did what he had to in order to escape Lost island. 

Sure, I’m a supernatural mass murderer, but that doesn’t make me EVIL.  It just makes me HOMESICK!

(BTW Dude, you are a PUFF OF SMOKE!  If you want to get off the island, can’t you just blow yourself off?)

Nu Locke then sends Sawyer out on a mission.  He is to head to Hydra island  (locale of the infamous bear cage sex romp), and do recon work on a group of folks there that are intending to do the Smokey clan harm.  Nu Locke strokes Sawyer’s ego, claiming that he chose Hot Stuff for this mission, because he’s the best liar in town. 

 Crazy Moms and the Folks Who Fear Them

Rock-a-bye baby on the treetop, when the wind blows, I’ll  . . . MAKE YOU SLEEP WITH A DOLL MADE OUT OF A DEAD CARCASS!

While Sawyer is on his mission, Kate FINALLY begins to question Claire’s sanity, after she finds the nightmare-inducing dead carcass inside Aaron’s baby bassinet.  “It is all I have left,” explains Claire.

Later Claire jumps Kate and tries to kill her, while Evil Sayid stands idly by and watches, looking bored.  Oddly enough, it is Nu-Locke who comes to Kate’s rescue.  Nu Locke later pulls Kate aside and apologizes for Claire’s bat sh&t craziness.  He feels partly to blame.  (Partly?  Try fully!)  According to Locke, without Aaron, Claire had lost the will to live, and to keep her going, Locke told her the Others took her baby.  This anger, he claimed, helped her to survive.  And now, Claire has transplanted that hate to Kate.

Nu-Locke admits that he was once a REAL PERSON with a bat sh&t crazy mom.  SPOILER ALERT:  Scroll down to find out who Nu-Locke’s mom is . . .

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This explains so much . . .

Kate asks Nu-Locke why he has confided this in her.  Nu Locke explains, “Because Aaron now has a crazy mom.”

Aha!  So Locke is trying to use Kate’s love for Baby Aaron to get her to join the Darkside.  Very crafty . . .

Smelly Dead People, More Promises, and Gun-Toting Submariners

Meanwhile, Sawyer sails off to the Hydra, and is immediately overcome by its smells, both good ( a ripped portion of Kate’s sexed-up bear cage dress), and bad (a pile of rotting bodies next to a nearby downed airplane).  At the plane site, Sawyer meets a woman named Zoe who claims to be the only survivor of the tragic flight.  Sawyer offers to take her back to his Smokey people, but becomes suspicious when she asks him whether his “people” have guns.  Suddenly, Sawyer is surrounded by a bunch of gun-toting mercenaries who take Sawyer down to their submarine where he encounters  . . .

Charles Widmore!

Instinctively recognizing that Widmore is here to off Nu-Locke, Sawyer makes a deal with the Team Subbie leader.  He will get Nu Locke onto the Submarine, so that Widmore can kill him, in exchange for free passage off the island for him and his friends. 

Careful Sawyer.  Remember the last time someone tried to broker this sort of “deal?”  It didnt work out so well for HIM . . .

(Sawyer = Member of Team Subbie?)

Later, Sawyer returns to the island, and provides Nu Locke with a boatload (pun intended) of information about Widmore and his gang, including the faux-deal Sawyer brokered with Widmore regarding Nu Locke’s life.  Nu Locke thanks Sawyer for his loyalty.

(Sawyer = Member of Team Subbie?) (Sawyer = Member of Team Smokey?)

At the episode’s conclusion, Sawyer tells Kate his real plan.  “Let these two Evil Doofuses duke it out amongst themselves.  You and I are going to escape Lost island . . . via submarine!”

(Sawyer = Member of Team Subbie?) (Sawyer = Member of Team Smokey?)   Sawyer = Member of Team Skate!!!!!! 

That’s all she wrote folks!  Tune in next week, when we finally find out how Richard Alpert has stayed so young-looking all these years (and what kind of eyeliner he wears).

 

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Filed under Lost