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The Unreliable Narrator

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Kevin Spacey or Alan Arkin?
Give up
As I predicted, I have been offered the part of either Williamson or Aaranow in Glengarry Glen Ross. I am happy with either, but I don't get to choose. For possibly the first time ever I am considered too old for a part: the director wants to cast a younger Williamson if he can. He is hearing two more actors - one older than me, one younger, and if the younger one clinches Williamson, then I get Aaranow. If the older one pulls off a convincing Aaranow, then I get Williamson.

Aaranow is within my capabilities, I think. A bitter, easily-led man at the arse-end of a career he never really chose. Plot-wise, he is principally there as a decoy to lead the audience away from the Big Reveal. Williamson is more of a challenge for me. His character is almost defined by what he doesn't say. He is an authority figure, a controller, who doesn't need to say that much. It will take more work to convince an audience that I am the boss rather than a minion.

Interestingly, the director has cast an Asian as Moss. Given that Moss is the principal racist and uses the most racist language, the irony could work, but I'm yet to be convinced.

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About a year ago, I was offered the twin roles of Claudius and the Ghost in Hamlet. I phoned home to discuss taking the job with Mrs Guru, and her reaction was, "oh, man, those are grown-up roles". I then realised that, like Uncle Monty...well, you can see what comes next.

Kevin Spacey or Alan Arkin? Depends on the size of the casting couch, luv.

I remember seeing a modern reworking of Hamlet where the message was a VHS video cassette. I suspect the main considerations are:-

Does it pay well (ie, does it give you enough)


Does it add credence to your CV for future parts? The fact that you're now hitting age restrictions means that a lot more mature, juicy and meatier roles open up to you (and let's face it, I'm older than you are - I think - and I'll perform at the drop of a hat, you know me...)

There again, do you want to stretch yourself, or degenerate into a Jack Nicholson style old age?

(Hmmmm, need to get my eyes checked - read comment from guru and it said Uncle Morty - memories of Tinniswood's I Never Knew You Cared spring to mind. Now that, Sir, is a role which has never required the two main starlet assets - ie, teeth and tits (ask Babs Windsor)

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