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Gosling vs. Diggs: The fight to be me

November 06, 2011|By Stephen Markley, For RedEye

I recently sold the movie rights to my memoir, "Publish This Book," which basically means two things: 1) I don't have to eat cans of that weird generic soup from Aldi that always seem to have minor deformities in the carrots anymore and 2) It is now possible that someone will make a movie of my life and thus hire an actor to play me.

This is disturbing on quite a number of levels. Do I want someone better-looking than me, thereby causing people to be extremely disappointed when they meet the real me? What if he's less attractive but is better at playing me than I actually am at being me? What about a black guy?

I'd like to offer some suggestions for who should play the lead role if the film version actually goes into production.

>>Ryan Gosling. He's kind of the "it" actor right now, and I very much enjoyed watching him stomp a guy's face apart in "Drive." He's got that kind of simmering cool Steve McQueen quality that I would very much like to project if I were not so busy leaving my luggage in trunks of cabs and chasing after them in the streets of New York at 4 a.m.

>>Andy from "Weeds." I don't know the guy's name, but Andy from the Showtime show "Weeds" looks weirdly, eerily like me, and people point it out all the time. In fact, the first time I ever watched "Weeds" I was stoned (naturally), and watching that guy talk, move around and interact with the world really started to freak me out the way you'd get freaked out if your doppleganger chased you down a dark alley with a butcher knife.

>>Nicolas Cage. And I don't mean Oscar-nominated Nic Cage. I mean lunatic, bat-feces crazy Nic Cage from movies like "The Wicker Man" and "Season of the Witch."

>>Taye Diggs. I'll admit it: I've always wanted to look like Taye Diggs. That guy is as handsome as a penguin in a tuxedo. If I ever become really wealthy, I'll probably undergo Michael Jackson-like amounts of plastic surgery to look like a burn-victim version of Taye Diggs.

>>John Travolta. This would only work if my roommates, who were central characters in the book—James, Elliott, Liam and Erik—were played by Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence, William H. Macy and, let's say, Ted Danson. Instead of a (wildly smart, entertaining) book about the travails of a young writer, they could set it as a motorcycle road trip movie. I'd probably want to see it called "Wild Hogs 2: Publish These Hogs!"

Ultimately, my main concern would be that the film adaptation be faithful to the book. Like 16th century French writer Michel de Montaigne said, "I write to keep from going mad from the contradictions I find among mankind … Like how Ryan Gosling can look so studly yet simultaneously intelligent and approachable. Totes dug him in 'The Ides of March.'"

REDEYE SPECIAL CONTRIBUTOR STEPHEN MARKLEY IS THE AUTHOR OF "PUBLISH THIS BOOK." REDEYECHICAGO.COM/MARKLEY

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