…clawing at the ceiling of his grave…

All this week, I'm recording the audio version of John Scalzi's The Android's Dream. It's a delightful book, with wonderful characters, smart dialog, and some of the most enjoyable side trips into world building I've ever read in a SF novel. Also, it's really, really funny.

Tomorrow, I'm going in later than usual, because I have an audition in the morning for a show that I'm really, really excited to possibly be on. I can't say what it is (whether I book the job or not, when it's all resolved I will reveal at least the title of the show), but it's something I've wanted to work on for years, with some creative people I really respect. So, yanno, fingers crossed and all that.

The sides I got for the audition are just wonderful (an incredible rarity these days, sadly) and the character is one of the best-drawn and most clearly-defined characters I've read in years. I'm really looking forward to trying on his skin for a little bit, and seeing how it fits. And then making a lampshade and some luggage out of it, so I can carry him with me wherever I go forever and ever and ever.

I'm really looking forward to this audition, and no matter what happens, I'm grateful to the writers and to casting for giving me something I can really work with, instead of something I have to overcome, which seems to happen more frequently than not, (and which I will blame on Reality TV, because … why not? Fuck Reality TV, man. Fuck it right in its empty soul and black withered industry-destroying heart.) This character is a thinker, reclusive, intense, and broken. The sides just hint at it, but there is something seriously wrong with this guy, and the scenes are so well-written, I can set my twisted imagination free to run around in the field of dark and fucked up things, and use whatever it digs up to inform the character choices I make. This sort of thing hardly ever happens (the material we typically get for television just isn't this solid), so I'm making the most of it; it's pretty fun, and tremendously satisfying.

This afternoon, I told my manager, "even though this guy is nothing like me, he's right in my wheelhouse as an actor, and I'm really looking forward to this, and I feel like I'm less likely to suck than a year or two ago, because I've been lucky enough to work a lot recently, and I don't feel like I'm all rusty and weird." He pointed out that I've been getting cast in a lot of roles like this, lately, too, so something is working when I play these guys … though both of us decided it was probably a good idea not to dig too deeply into the roots of this particular mystery. Besides, my imagination is doing a pretty disturbing job all on its own, and I don't want to mess with its mojo, lest it decide to turn me into a lampshade or something.

65 thoughts on “…clawing at the ceiling of his grave…”

  1. THE ANDROIDS DREAM is one of my favorite Scalzi novels and I LOVE Scalzi. Wil, you have to let us know when this becomes available because I love listening to your ‘reading’ voice(s). It reminds me when I was a young lad when I would ask my dad to tell me a story before I went to bed. He would ask me what kind of story I wanted to hear and then away he went and off I drifted off into dream land.

  2. My guess is Law and Order. Dark character, been on for years and who doesn’t wanna be on Law and Order? I think Wil Wheaton might be the only person left in America who hasn’t been on it. In fact I think if I check imdb I might find out I’ve been on it.
    Good luck with whatever it is.

  3. I’m guessing Dexter. Each season they have a new recurring guest star playing some very dark, broken villain. I think that this would be perfect fit.

  4. So this is a little off subject, but the clown sweater ended up in posession of one Don Bolles (drummer of the Germs.)
    I managed to snap a picture wearing it but unfortunately last time I talked to Don some random girl had stolen it from him. It’s still out there somewhere!!

  5. Wil. To see you in Doctor Who would be awesome! You would then be part of that tiny group of actors who have appeared in both Star Trek and Doctor Who, the names of whom escape me right now. Perhaps the next incarnation of The Master?

  6. I purposefully did not do any research into Gaiman, as I wanted to garner my own first impression (other than what has been said about him in blogs and tweets). He was so classy and well-spoken, it was a truly exciting experience to listen to him read his prose! I will never think of elephant spunk or ant hills in Africa the same way again – nor will the ASL interpreter, I imagine.

  7. Hello:
    i signed up to twitter to make this comment but i don’t know how it works so i don’t think i did it correctly. anyways, i just wanted to ask you about something i read about you making a movie or something years ago about tramps and train hoppers in the US, I wanted to get some more information about it. if you were down to let me know that would be cool. maybe just what happened with it or where i could read about it or something.

  8. Android Dreams is an awesome book for the reasons you mention. I was really disappointed to find Scalzi hasn’t written more books like that (he mostly does military scifi). But he’s certainly an author I keep an eye on now!

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