Casting Durosimi

As I commented in the last blog, we did not initially know who should play Durosimi in the Blind Fisherman film. Suna Dasi and Loretta Hope were the obvious choices for Melisandra and Annamarie, respectively. As soon as John Basset joined the project, it struck me that he’d make a fine Reverend Davies. But, these three characters don’t really feature in the original Blind Fisherman piece while the two who do – the fisherman himself and Durosimi – were turning out to be a challenge.

Looking back, we started unconsciously figuring this out at Steampunks in Space, with a conversation about the team member all of us knew least at that point. What does he want, we asked each other. What would he enjoy? Because the heart of this project has always been about people doing what they love, and for one of our team we weren’t sure we’d pinned that, and we knew it mattered. Tom, Gregg and I had quite an involved conversation on that score, and still, at the time, the penny did not drop.

Eventually it struck me that we should ask Dr Abbey Masahiro if he would like to play Durosimi. At this point, we knew he had a background in directing and producing films and we knew he was up for working on a Hopeless Maine project, but that was about it. Only after we asked did we find out that he also has a lot of acting experience.

We knew before we asked that Dr Abbey is something of a wizard. But, our experience of him – as with this portrait Tom did – is of him being a charming and whimsical sort of wizard. Durosimi is not that sort of wizard, he is the sort to sacrifice children by throwing them into the sea.

Consequently, when Dr Abbey’s Durosimi photos came in, we were both startled and delighted. Tom had a very strange moment of realising that this was pretty much the face he’d been seeing when he was drawing Durosimi twelve years ago. So here he is, slightly terrifying and absolutely perfect.

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