The Strain on FX – My Cast vs. The Cast

I’m not sure if anyone else does this, but when I’m reading a novel I often picture the characters as being played by particular actors, as a way to help me visualize what’s happening. It’s also something I do with my writing, actually. One of the interesting aspects of this is when a book I’ve read is made into a movie or TV show – most recently The Strain, which Guillermo del Toro is adapting into a show for FX’s winter season.

Below is a table showing who I would have envisioned playing The Strain’s characters, and who has been cast. Guess what: the lists are pretty disparate.



My Cast

The Official Cast

Dr. Ephraim Goodweather

Patrick Wilson

Corey Stoll

Abraham Setrakian

Josef Somer

John Hurt

Dr. Nora Martinez

Melina Kanakaredes

Mia Maestro

Vasiliy Fet

Liev Schrieber

Kevin Durand

Eldritch Palmer

Tobin Bell

Jonathan Hyde

The Master


Robert Maillet

Firstly, I can’t argue with the casting of John Hurt and Jonathan Hyde; they’re both phenomenal actors and I think they’ll do their characters justice, even if Hyde is a bit different than how I envisioned Eldritch Palmer. Having seen Kevin Durand in Lost, I can’t picture him as the focused, compassionate Fet, but he’s similar enough in appearance to Live Schrieber. The same goes for del Toro’s choices for Goodweather and Martinez, who I’ve never seen before. My one sticking point is Robert Maillet as the Master. I have a feeling that he was cast primarily because he’s large and menacing, which is sadly a small component to the Master’s character. However, given that I didn’t recognize Maillet in Pacific Rim, there’s hope that he can command the rich role that he’s been given.

Mainly I think this comparison highlights how differently people envision characters. I’m sure that if I asked other people who they would picture for these characters, their answers would vary significantly – which is one of the neat parts of writing fiction. You never know what the reader is going to see.


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