> What was it about Bruce that made him your first choice?
> Was it a particular quality or characteristic he expressed in a
> previous role, or did he just have "the look"?
It was a number of things. He looked like what I thought
Sheridan would look like, and had the right attitude. He had a
reputation for being an actor associated with lightweight dramas
(though he was capable of much more), and I knew this would play in my
favor in that people would be set up for one thing, and then I'd yank
it in the other direction; even made sure that I gave him lightweight
dialogue, had a jolly attitude, for most of his first few episodes on
the show (exempting "Revelations").
So when the first eps aired, and people were going on about
"smiling jack," I knew I had them set up for the whack-upside-the-head
that was coming down the road at them, and the character.
(It's sometimes like an elaborate game of chess...I try to
anticipate the viewer reaction so I can, well, turn this on them and
use it to my own advantage. Look at folks' initial reactions to Londo
and Vir as another example of this. I've said before that I'm not
averse to taking aspects of the actor -- Mira's background in
Yugoslavia -- and using them for the benefit of the story, so you can
bet I'd be willing to do that with the audience as well. I say if
people are going to apply their preconceptions to a character or an
actor, then it's perfectly fair game for me to turn this around on
them. So those who saw depth in Londo or Vir -- and were ploinked for
it -- got to see their suspicions confirmed (good result) and those who
thought they were just buffoons got to have their brains splattered
when they saw the depths that emerged (also a good result). So why not
do this with Bruce?)
Other reasons...Doug and John had worked with Bruce before, and
knew him to be a stand-up guy, loyal and honest and hardworking, a team
player, and a genuinely nice man who was far more talented than the
roles given to him before had let him show, more range and more colors
than he had previously had a chance to display. He's also a stone SF
fan, both in media and literary SF, so I knew he'd have a great respect
for the story.
I've been remembering some of the other choices we were
considering for Sheridan...James Earl Jones, John Rhys Davies, Barry
Bostwick, Michael York, Michael Moriarity, A. Martinez...but for me,
Bruce *was* Sheridan, and when it came time to make a decision, it was