I agree with those of you who’ve said the Balashov has the cleanest character arch in the novel… and that’s exactly why I would not cast JD in the role.
I would cast him as Samarin, without a doubt. Samarin almost shapeshifts like a spirit to reflect the hunger and needs of each character he encounters. He fills himself with their longings. I don’t think challenges get any better than this for an actor.
For Balashov he is the lost lamb in search of a shepard.
For Mutz he is the abused prisoner looking for a savior to help reclaim his life.
For Mutula he is superstar entertainment in dull town.
For Alyosha, he is a man who still remembers the boy inside.
For Anna, he is the banquet she has starved herself to feast upon.
I would love to watch the transformation in JD’s face when he realizes a saving a single boy is more important than saving mankind.
by James Meek
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