"I know DiCaprio has come a long way from the sort of roles I automatically imagine him in. He's not the teen pinup pipsqueak of yore.
But Travis McGee? Really?"
No. Of course not.
Jeff Chandler could have played McGee in the old days - he's the way I see the character in the books. Even Clint Eastwood in his forties would have been an interesting choice. Rod Taylor was completely wrong in Darker Than Amber, and Sam Elliot was only marginally better in The Empty Copper Sea. At least Elliot looked the way I see McGee in the books.
Maybe today someone like Hugh Jackman or maybe even Daniel Craig (among non-US actors) could play McGee. Daniel Day Lewis has the right angularity and features. Christian Bale could do in a pinch. Among US actors the part could be pulled off by, say, Josh Brolin, though he may be just a tad too broad (in the muscular sense) for the part. Michael Weatherly (DiNozzo in NCIS) has the right size and can look pretty tough on occasion, or for that matter Mark Harmon probably isn't too old for the part yet. Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice) could do it - he's certainly lanky enough, if perhaps just an inch or two too short. (Weatherly and Jackman come in at 6'2", Donovan,?Bale,?and Harmon are at 6' even. Day Lewis is 6'1.5", and Daniel Craig is shortest of the group at 5'10".?Josh Brolin is just a bit taller at 5'10.5". Can't we grow them tall in this country?)?McGee, of course, was supposed to be 6'4". Find me a good actor at that height, howaboutit.
My original choice, Chandler, was actually 6'4", and he had the premature gray hair and the chiseled features to do McGee right. A pity he died before the series was even written (1961).
Leonardo DiCaprio, though? Sorry. He might be close in height, and he might have finally gotten his man's body, but I just can't get past the baby face and the adolescent voice. Pass.
SIX MILE CREEK, March 2010, Five Star Mysteries
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