Back in July, I asked readers who they had cast in their imagination for the characters in the The Never Hero.  It’s a bit overdue, but here is compilation of the responses. Some were spot on with what I had pictured when I was writing, some were a surprise, others were a complete mystery. I’ve listed all names that were brought up below, added a few of my choices and a few that have come up in email correspondence.



  • Grant Gustin
  • Andrew Garfield
  • Daniel Radcliffe
  • Stephen Amnell
  • Dylan O’Brien



  • Emma Stone
  • Bella Thorne
  • Sophie Turner
  • Summer Glau
  • Anna Kendrick



  • Jay Baruchel
  • Fran Kranz



  • Jonah Hill
  • Kevin Smith
  • Nate Torrence



  • Amanda Crew
  • Ashley Greene
  • Krysten Ritter
  • Tara Reid



  • Alan Richton
  • Zac Efron



  • Paul Bettany
  • Woody Harrelson
  • Julian Sands
  • Jared Leto



  • Gerard Butler



  • Jared Padalecki



  • Vanessa Williams
  • Cynthia Addai-Robinson

I made a few observations after compiling this:

  • Subconsciously (or perhaps consciously I guess), a number of folks are seeing Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy when they imagine Jonathan and Leah. Given I grew up reading Spider-Man comics I have to wonder if I didn’t somehow cause this by accident.
  • Never set out to to do it, but there is a clear casting diversity issue. I included my choices for Olivia at the bottom after noticing, though I realize now that I never actually pointed out the characters ethnicity in the text itself. Luckily, this is not an issue in the sequel as the character population grows. Still, I never planned on having a bunch of white folks interacting with one another. In self-reflection, it is disillusioning, I wasn’t aware I had such a glaring myopia in my writing. At least my male to female ratio wasn’t too skewed.

Got a better person in mind for one of these characters? Let us know in the comments.

18 thoughts

  1. While all of these are solid approximations I just can’t see them welding in a garage, the glam shots probably don’t aid in that opinion haha but I instantly was reminded of Abigail Spencer’s role in Chasing Maverick when I was introduced to Leah. The rest match up pretty well, Kevin Smith fits Hayden like a glove.

      1. Haha no such luck, no goose, geese, or poker either. But some amazing big wave surfing and if I could actually type it’s “Chasing MaverickS”

  2. I think Kiersey Clemons from the series “Extant” would be a good choice to play Olivia. Enjoyed the book, looking forward to the sequel.

  3. Tara Reid, Daniel Radcliffe and Zac Efron don’t fit The Never Hero. We also need to think about age that’s important for UW students. What about Leah’s sibling? Get Harper from the Whispers she was also in Ant Man, she’s very cute and has this strange creepy factor all at once. Much better than Matilda.

  4. Another side role with a decent approximationot for James Fletcher, the hardware store owner. I picture James Tolkan as an older principal Strickland from Back To The Future sans the bow tie, with the smoking habit of his role: Sriker in Top Gun.

  5. Ha, that is so weird. I was definitely picturing Johnathan as African American as I was reading the book. Donald Glover would have been boss.

  6. I don’t know, but I imagined Lincoln as a Black male the entire time I was reading…..not sure why…

  7. I am not a fan, but as I read this I kept picturing Van Damme as Heyer. Someone older, rode hard and put up wet, and with an accent. Maybe even Swartzinager (sp?). For Lincoln I picture Thor, but have to agree with other commenter that Lincoln would be best suited as African American!

    As for your diversity problem I would recommend female roommate be Asian! A lot of actors chosen are probably too old for the parts, and as I see this as a multi-parter they will not grow into, but out of, these characters.

    Your choice for Douglas is perfect. Who is going to play Evelyn?

    1. You know, I hadn’t thought about Evelyn till you mentioned it, but as I was just reminded of the new X-Files episodes coming out, it occurred to me that Gillian Anderson with some grey in her hair would “look” the part. Though I’d have to see her in a “pissed off mother” role. I’ve only seen her play a rather control FBI agent, don’t really know how well she could pull off losing her cool.

      1. I guess I could see Gillian, she would look good with the Douglas you have in mind. Do you think Lucy Lawless is too old for this role? Sigourney Weaver might be too tall. I will have to think about it. What age would you put Evelyn at in this? Whoever you choose will have to be young enough to be age regressed to the younger Jonathan.

        She needs to be pretty kick-ass. What about Halle Berry?

  8. That was the tricky thing when I thought about it. She’d be in her forties around the time Jonathan’s current story is taking place. There are a few scenes in the sequel that would/could need to be shot with a younger Jonathan where she would have been in her late twenties/early thirties. I was going to write more but realized I was approaching spoiler territory.

    1. I’m expecting Douglas and Evelyn to have more back story and for it to be pretty awesome.  The hints that Heyer has given for why Jonathan was chosen are a clue! You might want to consider Lucy Lui!!  She would be a fierce mom and able to kick some heiny!!  There are a couple of other things you might want to check out in this latest book, but will send them later, about finished and will send everything from this read-though in one batch.  Next I will get my Publication Manuel out and go through it for punctuation and other things.


  9. Dude, all I know is Jeff Bridges better be Jesus in “Testament Reloaded” the mini series 🙂

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