Dreamcasting Books - Less by Andrew Sean Greer

Sunday 3 November 2019

Welcome to another dual blog with Anne (Rooting Branches). This blog is one of her ideas and we liked it so much we thought would be fun to get on board with right away. This is going to be a (limited?) series where we pick our dream casts for our favorite books. For my first one I’m going to pick my favorite book of the year, so far, Less by Andrew Sean Greer. You can find her blog here and read on to find mine.
Arthur Less: The main character of the book is a 49 year old man who is less (Ha! Get it?) than thrilled with life and wants to find any way to escape his hometown of San Francisco as the impending wedding of his ex-boyfriend Freddy Pelu draws nearer. By means of escape he accepts a multitude of offers around the world to teach or speak and so begins his adventure. Less has blonde hair and blue eyes.
Actor: Edward Norton
I think Edward Norton has the charm and looks needed for Arthur Less mixed with a wonderfully expressive face which will be able to show all the nuanced feelings shooting through Less’s head. Also, Norton is the right age to play Less, 49 going on 50. I would require Norton to dye his hair (or wear a wig) and wear contacts, which should be easy. The one thing he couldn’t do is would be to play a twenty-year-old Less. So that’s why I chose…
Young Arthur Less: Same character, just younger. He’s seen quite a bit in flashbacks with Less’s first big relationship with famous writer Robert Brownburn.
Actor: Freddie Highmore
I think Freddie Highmore is not only a good actor, but could plausibly play a young Edward Norton. If you told me Highmore was actually Norton’s son, I would believe it.
Freddy Pelu: Freddy is Less’s ex and the one getting married that’s causing Less to go on his adventure. He starts out as a young man in impeccable shape and then becomes a still young, but every so slightly less so, man with very small pot belly but still quite attractive. Freddy is part Mexican with dark curly hair.
Actor: Tyler Posey
The thing about Freddy is that he has to look young to really hit home the age difference between Freddy and Arthur. They met when Less was in his early forties and Freddy was 19. Robbing the cradle? Yes. But I believe audiences would get over it if, at least in the flashbacks, the love between the two characters was really shown.
Carlos Pelu: Carlos is Less’s oldest friend and biggest rival. He’s also Freddy’s father (birth Uncle, but adopted father). I actually don’t know what race Carlos Pelu is supposed to be but I assume he’s supposed to be some mix of European nationalities. Pelu is a name from Romania while Carlos is more popular in Portugal and Spain. He’s a close age to Less. Carlos was bronzed skinned and muscular in his youth but middle-age has crept into his life and while he’s still handsome and fit, he’s not as striking as his young self.
Actor: Demian Bichir
This one was hard because, like I said, I didn’t know Carlos’s ethnicity. But the good news is that with Hollywood there’s a golden rule as far as race and ethnicity goes. As long as it looks close, minorities can play other minorities. So that’s why I chose Demian Bichir. He may be from Mexico, but I think he’s the perfect guy to play Carlos. He has a suave and sophisticated air about him. I’d also fully buy Bichir as a lofty poet turned real estate mogul.
Robert Brownburn: Robert is a world famous writer and a member of the Russian River school of writers and artists. He was forty when he met a young Arthur Less (in his early twenties) and for the majority of the book is a older man (Seventies maybe?) who is slowly slipping away. I went back and looked and couldn’t actually find a description of Robert. So it was kind of up to me. I could have made Robert a person of color, but I really think that Greer would have mentioned it if his Pulitzer prize winning author was anything other than white.
Actor: John Slattery
John Slattery is in his 50’s but could easily look younger as to play Robert in his forties. With a bit of makeup he could also pull off the sick older Robert. John Slattery just look like the type to be a fancy writer whose works are considered “literature” and could possibly belong to a writing “school.”
Marian Brownburn: Marian is Robert’s ex-wife. Less met Robert while he was still married to Marian and he left her for Less. Until the events of the book, the last time Less saw Marian was when the two were still together. When Less meets her she’s in her forties or even late thirties but the other times she’s seen in the book she’s late sixties or early seventies and white haired.
Actor: Michelle Pfeiffer
It wouldn’t take much to de-age her twenty years and do the opposite to play an older woman. She’d just have to dye her hair (or wear a white wig) and get her wrinkle game going and she’d be the perfect person for the role. She’s a good actor, we know that, and I think she’d fit the role of ex-wife/doting life partner perfectly.
This book as a lot of other characters but these are the most important ones. I almost included a few characters from pivotal points of the story, but these are the characters that stayed through the whole thing and we, as the reader, got to know the best. There are a of female characters and I feel bad having such a male dominated cast, but when the story follows a gay man and his past relationships, it’s no wonder there aren’t bigger female characters.
So there’s my dream cast for Less by Andrew Sean Greer. If you read the book, what did you think of my cast? If you haven’t, maybe give the book a read and you can use my examples as what the cast looks like.
Be sure to check out Anne’s blog which can be found here.

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