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Monday, March 14, 2016

The Talisman

Well, let's start this post off with some relatively good news for yours truly: I am now the proud owner of a physical copy of The Colorado Kid!

It was ordered for me back in January by my loving wife, and was supposed to arrive on the 8th of February. After it was officially 20 days late, I gave it up for lost in the mail.

Three days later it got here, safe and sound. Yay! Still don't have a job, so all is not perfect in my little world, but at least I have a modicum of good news.

Anyway, now on to The Talisman.

This book is a collaboration between King and Peter Straub, two authors whose personal styles are all but diametrically opposed. King's prose and dialogue tend to be pretty down to earth and realistic. He also tends to keep things moving at a nice clip. Straub is quite florid and glacial, at least in my one experience trying to read one of his novels, a supernatural creeper called Shadowland. My chief issue with that book is that its characters didn't talk like people. Their dialogue sounded like they were rehearsing for a play.

But both Straub and King are important names in horror, so it might seem odd that the two of them getting together produces a non-horror novel. The Talisman is pure fantasy from the word go. And it's portal fantasy, for that matter.

As I've said before, I read a shit-ton of fantasy, and it's far and away my favorite genre, but I'm usually not a fan of what I call "portal fantasy".  You know what I mean. If I'm looking at books on the rack and one of them says something like "16-year-old Cody couldn't stand the thought of spending the summer on strange old Aunt Hazel's farm. But when he discovers a mysterious door in her attic..." such a book gets put right back where I found it.

But this isn't normal portal fantasy. It's not even portal fantasy of The Dark Tower variety. No, this is more like what would happen if you sat King and Straub in a room together, got them flying high on coke, read The Chronicles of Narnia to them and then told them to write their own version.

The end result is, well, one very odd book. It's not bad; there were some really great parts, and they probably outnumbered the less-than-great parts. It's just...weird. I'm still not 100% sure what it was about. It felt disjointed, all over the map, and that's probably because of clashing narrative styles. I understand that King and Straub basically took turns writing this thing and when one of them got stuck, or felt they'd written enough, they'd send what they had to the other and he would continue from there (though there was an outline, made by King). This means there are plenty of chapters that end on one note and the next begins on a completely different one.

For example, one chapter ends with our young hero, Jack, thinking that he's run into one of his demonic pursuers again, in this case a shape-shifter that calls himself Elroy. And when I say "thinking" I mean the prose literally says "the herdsman was the Elroy-thing". But the very next chapter begins with the words "Except it wasn't." Turns out Jack was mistaken, but I'm not sure how, because the "Elroy-thing" and this herdsman are both described and neither looks anything like the other.

That's the example that really seems to stick out to me. Also, there were times when I felt like I was reading a Stephen King novel (especially when certain words or phrases are repeated to make sure we know they have meaning) and at other times, the story slowed right down and got overly florid and I knew Mr. Straub had taken over.

I remembered liking this book the first time I read it, and I was genuinely excited to get to it this time around. That feeling didn't last throughout, however. It came in fits and starts. The beginning is boring as hell. After getting over that hump, things got better for a bit, but honestly, a lot of this made me want to go read a real fantasy novel.

Essentially, this story is about a young boy named Jack Sawyer, the son of an aging B-movie actress named Lily Cavanaugh, who has grown up all his life having very realistic "daydreams" involving other worlds and strange happenings. His father has recently died under somewhat mysterious circumstances, and his father's business partner, "Uncle" Morgan Sloat (does any name scream "I'm the villain!" more than that?) apparently is interested in taking care of Lily and Jack. Lily doesn't trust Morgan at all, and has moved out to a nearly deserted hotel in New Hampshire, taking Jack with her. Jack also doesn't trust Morgan, and his mind for whatever reason connects Morgan to the death of "Uncle Tommy", his father and Morgan's lawyer, who was always good to Jack and who was recently mowed down by a van.

Now Lily seems to be dying, and while wondering what he can do about it, Jack meets Speedy Parker, a friendly old black handy man (shades of The Shining) who seems to know more than he's saying, and that he knows a way Jack can save his mother's life.

You see, Speedy, and apparently Jack's father Phil, Morgan Sloat and probably several others, have knowledge of an alternate world they refer to as "the Territories", and this world is connected in a mysterious way to our own. The Territories are mostly peaceful, agrarian and technologically on par with our own medieval period. As Morgan describes it, "they have magic like we have physics", so it's basically your standard-issue fantasy world, with probably even less thought put into the social, political and geographical landscape than hacks who try to write fantasy by essentially just copying Tolkien's Middle-Earth do.

But then, that's not the point of the story. The point is that Jack's mother is dying, and there's something Jack can get that will save her; the titular "Talisman", which is all it's ever referred to as. It's in a "bad place" on the other side of the country, but Jack can get there by also traveling in the Territories, which are smaller than our world, so he'll cover more ground faster. But then, there's that connection between the Territories and our world that I mentioned. See, stuff that happens in that world affects stuff that happens in ours, such as a murder on that side causing mass death in our own, and many people on our side have "twinners" in the Territories. A "twinner", as best as I can describe it, is the version of you for that other world. Because that world is different, your twinner is different and yet they look like you. Even that doesn't really explain it because we find out that Morgan's twinner looks like him in the fact but is taller and didn't lose his hair, two things that really can't be explained by just "having lived a different life in a different place."

Twinners are a neat concept, but handled weirdly, almost as if Straub and King had different ideas as to what a twinner actually is. Morgan Sloat is the twinner of Morgan of Orris, and in one scene, Jack watches with horror as Morgan Sloat rips open a tear in reality and steps through from our world to the Territories, literally transforming into Morgan of Orris as he does so. This, I took to mean, was an indicator that the two men are pretty much the same man, or at least Orris was the guise Sloat uses when in the Territories. Osmond and his twinner, Sunlight Gardener, also seem to be more or less the same man, with similar mannerisms and memories, just a different manner of dress. Later, we're told explicitly that Orris and Sloat are two different people, alternate versions of each other, and that when Sloat "migrates" to the Territories, he automatically ends up in Orris's body, wherever Orris happens to be. This goes against the scene where Sloat steps through the rip in reality, but King or Straub, whichever of them wrote the later scene that describes what happens when Morgan migrates, tried to cover that up by saying that Sloat had been "lucky" that Orris was already there when he stepped through. This is just lazy writing because Orris was clearly not there in the scene as written, and this was a very transparent attempt to rationalize an earlier scene.

But Jack is "single-natured", meaning his twinner is dead. When Jack flips back and forth, he is in whatever corresponding spot he was in our world or their world. In a weird, almost neat twist, everything about Jack's clothes and items change, as well. His backpack becomes a medieval style traveling bag, his clothes become more medieval and his money becomes what they use for money. He even finds himself automatically speaking and understanding their language. This is never explained. Just part of the magic of flipping over.

Laura DeLoessian is the Queen of the Territories (see what I mean about geopolitical structure not really being explored? How much of the Territories is she queen of? Are there other nations? Do the Territories have a real name or are they just "the Territories"?) and she's dying, as is Jack's mother, because they're twinners. Apparently a twinner's death affects the other, but not always by both of them actually dying. It's very complicated and not really explored at all. A lot of stuff isn't really explored or explained. I sound like I'm ragging on it, but honestly, I think if King and Straub had tried to explain it, it would have been immensely unsatisfying and would have made everything lamer.

And now I want to pause for a moment and share a story with you from the first time I read this. As I have probably mentioned, I'm a divorcee, and the last time I read this I was still with my first wife. I have eczema patches here and there and one of her pet peeves was when I would get itchy in my sleep. For some reason the sound of me scratching at my eczema drove her nuts, and she would tell me to go downstairs until I was finished being itchy. While I was in the middle of reading this, one night I was half-asleep and dreaming that as I scratched my chest, a bridge was being built in the Territories. So I'm not kidding, this conversation happened between my former wife and half-asleep me:

Wife: Quit scratching.

Me: I have to. I'm building a bridge.

Wife: What? Whatever, if you're gonna scratch, go downstairs.

Me: I can't. If I go down there the bridge won't get built.

I didn't know about the conversation until the next morning when my then-wife asked "how's that bridge coming?" and I wondered how she knew about my dream.

Anyway, that's a lot of background for what's really a simple plot. Jack needs to save his mother's life, and in so doing also save the life of Queen Laura DeLoessian, and meanwhile he's being tracked by Morgan Sloat who has dark and sinister plans for the Territories, and wants Jack out of the way before he ruins them.

Sloat's goals are actually kinda nebulous. We don't spend a lot of time getting into his head. It seems like he mainly wants to plunder the Territories for their resources but also wants to rule them. It's semi-explored that becoming the Territories' absolute ruler is more Orris's goal, while plundering for resources is Sloat's. So he's basically every despotic villain you've already seen, not all that interesting, but that's where a dynamic actor could probably help. It's a bit odd just how far Sloat is willing to go to accomplish his goals, at one point even suggesting the death of his son would be an acceptable loss. Did I mention Sloat's just a talent agent? Yeah, he and Jack's dad ran a talent agency that represented his mother. Sloat was more the business end of things, while Phil, Jack's dad, handled the clientele, but Sloat wants to branch into other business ventures and considers nothing too far to go in pursuit of money and power. So, essentially, he's Donald Trump.

I sound like I'm damning this book with faint praise, but I actually do like it. I don't love it like I remember loving it the first time out, but this is an important chapter in the unfolding saga that is the SKCU, so this really needs to be filmed. Not to mention, it later has a sequel, Black House, which is both an awesome book (again, that's my recollection, and I hope I'm right) and very, very tied in with the Dark Tower mythos, so we need a film of this one.

I wasn't sure what format to film this in. Filming it as two movies, a la Kill Bill, would give it more than enough time to tell the whole story, but as I was reading I realized how episodic this book is. Jack literally goes from one bad situation to another, and they don't always build on each other. It kinda feels like I'm watching TV.

I decided to cast this as if it could go either way; a mini-series or two films. The actors I chose have done extensive work in both formats (well, most of them) and would work no matter which way it was done.

I also decided that our main character, Jack, should be aged up to teenage years. I started off thinking he seemed far too mature to be twelve, and as I read I kept thinking that. He's described as twelve but in no way, shape or form written as twelve. Same with his friend Richard, who becomes a major character in the book's second half.

Jack is described as a handsome young lad with hair that's a bit too long, tall for his age, and the more he travels back and forth between this world and the Territories, the more the Territories seem to rub off on him and cause people to be unusually drawn to him. In this case, the actor I pictured might or might not be the absolute perfect choice, but he's a good young actor who matches his physical description and has some residual popularity. I went with Chandler Riggs of The Walking Dead fame.
Morgan Sloat/Morgan of Orris was harder, because even though they're twinners of each other, they don't look alike as far as their body type. All the same, I wanted one actor to play both. Make--up, wardrobe, wigs and camera tricks can help the two characters look suitably different. When I read this the first time, I pictured Liam Neeson, only with a fat suit and balding hair when he's Sloat. This time, I realized how great James Spader would be. Spader really is short, getting heavier as he gets older and losing his hair. Considering there are more scenes of Sloat as Sloat, this means a minimal amount of make-up, etc., would be necessary. Orris would require them to make Spader look taller and slimmer, but that can be done. Spader has this crazy-awesome resonant baritone voice and naturally plays evil very well. But can I believe him as a nerdy guy who went into the talent rep business? Absolutely.
Then there's Jack's mother, Lily Cavanaugh Sawyer, who is also Queen Laura DeLoessian. I have to say, I kept my choice from the first time I read this. I feel like maybe she's too big a star, after all, this role is more or less a cameo, but somehow this actress's face is the only one I can see. The fact that she's probably older than Lily is supposed to be, but still beautiful, will help communicate Lily's illness making her age too fast. I picked Julianne Moore.
Lester "Speedy" Parker is another almost-cameo. The first time I read this book, I pictured Morgan Freeman in this role, but the more I read, the less he fit and I realized that Freeman can't literally play every magical negro out there. Besides, I've already used him. My choice for this one is probably going to cause some disagreement. See, Speedy Parker in our world looks like a very old man. Much is said about his grey steel-wool hair and lined, leathery face. But his twinner, Parkus, is a very healthy-looking badass. It's implied that Speedy has aged prematurely due to alcoholism and other factors (he actually gives Jack a bottle of cheap wine, telling him he'll need it to travel to the territories; only King would write a portal story where wine is, seemingly, what transports you). I decided I'd cast a younger actor capable of being aged up through make-up. Andre Royo is in his late 40's but those of you who are familiar with The Wire know how superbly he "de-glams". I see no issue turning him into a decrepit old man.
Then there's Osmond, AKA the "Reverend" Sunlight Gardener. Oh, what a character this is. Probably more psychotic than even Morgan, Gardener in our world is a "minister" who runs a home for wayward boys that Jack and his companion Wolf essentially become imprisoned in. Osmond, meanwhile is the whip-bearing psychopath that Orris employs as his right-hand-man. Gardener is who we really spend more time with, though, through Jack's stay at the Sunlight Home. He is probably one of the most hate-worthy characters in this or any of King's books, a boo-his villain you can't wait to see get his comeuppance. He just feels slimy. There's no better way to put it. He's basically every snake-oil salesman you've ever met, with a sort of craziness in his eyes and a deceptively soft, almost effeminate manner, until he gets to preaching at which point he turns into Billy Sunday. Osmond is a less complicated character; he's just a really bad guy who runs Orris's labor pits where the toxicity of the materials they're working with and around mutate both the prisoners and their guards. His own son (Osmond's that is, the twinner of Gardener's son) has mutated horribly, in one of the more unnerving scenes in this book (I called it non-horror, but oh boy are there some Lovecraftian overtones to this; might be part of why I like it). The first time I read this, Christopher Walken was my head-Gardener/Osmond, but this time around, I pictured him as Brad Dourif. He just does slimy so well, and I want you to feel the slime dripping off this character.
Before Jack gets to the Sunlight Home, however, he has another, nearly as bad problem after he ends up in a dying town called Oatley. He ends up getting a job at the Oatley Tap, the local bar, working for a truly despicable character named Smokey Updike. This is one of the most obvious times in the story where I just couldn't believe the character to be twelve. Smokey ends up hiring him because Jack is underage and can therefore be paid whatever Smokey wants to pay him. However, as Jack's job requires him to be seen by customers, I sincerely doubt anyone would hire a 12-year-old. A 16-year-old, though? Maybe. Especially in 1981, when this story is set, and I would actually like to keep the setting, especially considering its sequel focuses on Jack as an adult. Smokey is one of the few villainous characters in this book that's just a bad person, not a twinner, not in any way connected to the Territories. He's described as skinny and greasy, and it wasn't hard at all to picture Sons of Anarchy's Kim Coates in the role.
While in Oatley, Jack is menaced by a cowboy type who looks like actor Randolph Scott. This is Elroy, a sort of weregoat creature (but described as something more horrifying; more shades of Lovecraft) who is trying to scare Jack into going back home. Looking like Randolph Scott isn't really 100% necessary for the actor. He just has to be able to look really, really creepy and Lee Tergeson knows how to do that.
Jack doesn't just make enemies on the road, though. In fact, one of the first people he meets is the captain of the Queen's guard, a man named Farren, who isn't a large role but is certainly important. Farren's description wouldn't be out of place on an episode of Game of Thrones or something, so I cast a middle-aged, still-handsome Australian actor who can play period: Callan Mulvey.
Then there's Wolf. Oh boy. One of the more well-known characters from this story, Wolf is a werewolf herdsman who looks after the Queen's cattle. In the Territories, apparently this is pretty common, for a wolf-man to be a sheep herder. Wolfs are quite peaceful (they're all called Wolf, from what I can tell), just intelligent enough to seem like a simpleton, but much smarter when it comes to smells, and very large. Wolf himself is seemingly a young boy, at least by Wolf standards, though he looks like he's in his late teens or older to Jack, very tall and broad-shouldered and with a wide-open, friendly face. He also says "Wolf!" a lot while talking, which I pictured more as him kind of barking. Wolf is well-loved by quite a few fans (and despised by others) so I had a hard time getting someone who was just right. But then I got into watching Downton Abbey with my wife, and actor Matt Milne is just the man. He stands 6'5" and both looks and talks like a Scottish Eddie Redmayne. I don't know why, but I always pictured Wolf talking like a highlander, so this really fit even better. Watch Downton Abbey if you think this picture doesn't look giant enough. Or just google "Matt Milne Downton Abbey" and have a look at the images that come up.
At Sunlight Home, several of the older boys act as lieutenants to Gardener, the ones that have been totally brainwashed by him. In the book there are five or six of them, including Sonny Singer, the ring-leader, and Hector Bast, the enforcer, who's Wolf's size and built like a tank. I decided that really only Singer needed to be cast, sorta standing in for all of them except Bast, and Bast is so big that I had an impossible time finding someone who looked both big enough and young enough. I'm sure such an actor exists, but he's probably an unknown. Singer, meanwhile, is of normal size but abnormal evil. He's got to be played by someone automatically unlikeable and Frank Dillane can't look pleasant even when he's trying to.
After Jack escapes from Sunlight Home, he makes it to Thayer School where his friend Richard Sloat, Morgan's son, is studying. This leads to one of the most Lovecraftian scenes in the book and I bloody loved it, but Richard I found to be an insufferable little snot that I didn't like at all. I kept wondering why Jack would ever call this little shit a friend, let alone his best friend. I warmed to Richard very slightly toward the end. He's described as every kid who made you want to pound on him when you were in school; bespectacled, smartly dressed and oh-so-sure he's smarter than you. What really made me dislike him was that Richard is the sort of kid who has absolutely no patience for anything that isn't concrete, scientifically, veritably, absolutely real. He doesn't even like realistic novels. At one point Jack asks him what he's got against a good story, and Richard gives the most punchable reply possible: "Well, there's no such thing as a good made-up story, is there?" We later learn that he has his reasons for this, and they are pretty understandable, but still, I had a hard time feeling any sympathy for him at all. I picked Charlie Plummer to play him, for reasons this picture should make obvious.
The next two roles are smaller but memorable. Anders is the man who runs the Outpost Depot, a train station in the Territories set up by Sloat and Orris together, who is terrified of Morgan but who helps Jack and Richard get further west by train. I love adding technology to a traditional fantasy setting, so this put a grin on my face. Anders is described as being very tall and broad with a broad white beard and looking about 70 years old. This was a no-brainer. James Cosmo fits the bill.
Jack's father, who would only be seen in flashback, is Phil Sawyer, the twinner of Prince Philip Sawtelle in the Territories, long-dead husband to Laura DeLoessian. Jack's memories of Phil made him seem like a pretty standard nice guy, without a lot more to go on. Still, he's a large enough part of the story that he needs casting. The first time through I pictured Anthony Edwards, but he's too old now. I went through a dozen or so "nice guy" actors, discarding several as too famous for such a small role or too old, too young. Finally I hit on Jeremy Sisto, an actor it's almost impossible not to like, and as he's 14 years younger than Julianne Moore, it can help underscore just how much her disease is aging her.
Bottom line, this is a divisive book. You might like it, you might hate it, you might even find yourself liking in spite of itself. I know that scenes where everything went to Lovecraftian Hell were my favorite, but there's so much that happens in between them, and this is a very slow read. That's another area a film version might help. Just as many love the Lord of the Rings films but find the books slow and ponderous, this story is very cinematic, and just waiting to be cleaned up and streamlined.

Thinner is next on the reading list, but I'm not sure if I'll be doing a post for it. There's a film already, and I understand it's terrible, but I've heard from some who've read it that the novel itself isn't really any better. At least the title is accurate as far as the book's length, so it won't take me long (I hope) to get through. After that is another novella that's been filmed already, Dolan's Cadillac. That one probably won't get a post due to how recent the (apparently very, very bad) film version was released. The novel after that, though? Oh, it's absolutely getting a post.


  1. I like pretty much everyone you picked here...except Chandler Riggs. I've seen him in two things: "The Walking Dead," in which he is sometimes good and sometimes bad, and "Mercy," in which he is entirely bad. This leads me to believe that he's not a good actor, but that a good director can occasionally trick him into giving a good performance. I'm not sure that would work for something like "The Talisman."

    Andre Royo is a GREAT pick for Speedy. I just started watching "The Wire" (although I'd seen all of season four already -- don't ask), and that guy is the truth.

    I'm not much of a fan of the novel. I don't have the same problems with Straub's style that you have (I loved "Shadowland), but I can certainly see how he would alienate some folks. I read somewhere that he and King did imitations of each other's styles throughout the writing process, so that what seems to be one or the other might not necessarily be. Whatever. I don't much care for the end result, no matter who did the actual writing at any given moment. Not a bad novel; just not one that works for me.

    Congrats on the paperback of "The Colorado Kid"!

    Did the bridge ever actually get finished? ;)

    1. I'm afraid I have bad news on the bridge front. It did get finished, but a giant-ass snore from me brought it all down.

      I know people have issues with Riggs, but most child actors are actually bad actors that mainly give good performances thanks to their directors working extra hard with them. The fact that Haley Joel Osment NEVER gave a performance like the one in The Sixth Sense before or after The Sixth Sense is pretty good proof. Then there's Anna Paquin; wins an Oscar at age 11, doesn't do anything for several years, then gives pretty standard teen/young adult performances from then on.

      I was expecting people to have issues with Royo, but I'm glad you don't. I love him as an actor.

      I didn't realize the two authors tried to imitate each other. That's really kinda cool. There were indeed parts that made me think "Okay, this is definitely Straub writing" but then there'd be an incessantly repeated phrase and I'd think "Okay, maybe it's King". Now I think I understand why.

      As for Shadowland, I barely remember it, but I put it down not long after the line "Begin to eat, my dogs." The scene was a man remembering a time when the headmaster upbraided him for something and the form it took was the headmaster telling him a story about a master and a servant, and how the servant disappointed the master, so the master sic'd his dogs on him. It was so, so awkward to read. It felt so staged.

      And The Colorado Kid is safely on my shelf waiting to be read! And boy does it look weird immediately beside a first edition hardcover of The Dark Tower VII!

  2. I was glad to see a new post up yesterday. I hoped that in addition to being a really long book, you were being delayed by being super busy with a new job.

    I haven't read The Talisman, and to be honest it's not anywhere near the top of my King list, but there were some interesting ideas here. I have to admit having some hesitation with Chandler Riggs for anything, although I haven't watched The Walking Dead in a couple of years, and I hate his haircut as much as his acting. He's in that awkward phase of life, so I try not to be too hateful, and I get that they're in a zombie apocalypse where haircuts aren't a priority, but I can't get on board.

    I love Andre Royo and am always amazed he hasn't broken out more after playing Bubbles. And that's a good pick for the little bitch you want to pimp slap all the time. And of course, Spader is always welcome, and Julianne Moore is a great choice for sickly, on top of the age thing. I'm always struck by how tiny she is whenever there's a red carpet shot or when she's standing next to somebody else.

    I laughed heartily at the Frank Dillane comment. Playing young Tom Riddle probably didn't work in his favor, and to be honest, nowadays he looks a little bit like young Johnny Depp, so I don't see him as being incapable of pleasant. At first glance, I thought the SOA actor was Ian McShane, but he's obviously much younger than that. And I thought redhead Eddie Redmayne WAS Eddie Redmayne, despite having seen all of Downton Abbey.

    I just finished Thinner, and I think it's worthy of a post, and I think you'll probably agree. It's a Bachman book, so it's pretty bleak, but nowhere near as unpleasant as Apt Pupil. Plus I'm pretty curious who you'd cast as the lead, and another couple of supporting roles.

    1. The job hunt is starting to heat up a bit. I have heard back from three jobs just today who might be interested in taking me on, so there's that. Plus an interview I had last week apparently went better than I thought it did, according to the recruiter.

      As for Riggs, see what I said above. Besides, if you do read this book, you'll see how easy it is to picture him as Jack.

      Man, there's some Royo love on this blog, happy to see. The guy's an amazing actor, to the point where I wondered if he was one of the local Baltimore people they hired to play versions of themselves, but then I saw him in other stuff looking and acting nothing like Bubbles and I thought "damn, he deserved an Emmy." Bubbles made me cry, honestly.

      We'll see how I feel about Thinner. I haven't actually gotten a chance to start it yet. See, when I was working, I could read on the bus to and from work, on my lunch hour, and whenever I needed to use the euphemism. Now, I have no commute, I definitely don't get a lunch "break" (more like there's a toddler who wants her food and wants it NOW) and if I get reading time it's a bit of a miracle.

    2. I can't imagine anyone not loving Bubbles or Royo. I could go on and on about some of the stuff I've read about him and seen in interviews, but one of my favorites: Royo's portrayal of Bubbles was so convincing that, during on-location filming, he was once approached by a Baltimore resident and given a small package of heroin, with the man saying to the in-character Royo: "Man, you need a fix more than I do." Royo has called this incident his "street Oscar." There's also an interview with him on YouTube that's pretty enjoyable. It's called "Out of Character with Andre Royo." Apparently the man likes some ass.