Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

On Jack Reacher, Tom Cruise And ‘Concealed Homophobia’

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I got to sit down with Lee Child (right), to interview him for the Irish Examiner on the publication of the latest Jack Reacher tome, THE AFFAIR. A very interesting conversation it was, too, especially when Child discussed the negative reaction to the casting of Tom Cruise as Reacher, which he believes is in part a kind of ‘concealed homophobia’. To wit:
SIZE may or may not matter, but for author Lee Child, height certainly isn’t an issue. Particularly if it means that his famously tall hero, ex-US army MP Jack Reacher, will be played in the movies by the diminutive Tom Cruise.
  “Making movies is incredibly complicated,” says Child. “Somebody once advanced the metaphor that you’ve got a hundred extension cords, and they’re all a foot too short. So there are a thousand things to worry about, but an exact physical facsimile of the printed character is not one of them, no.”
  Child is fully appreciative of the fact that Jack Reacher’s fans have been up in arms about the casting of Cruise. “I’m very grateful for the way the character seems to have entered people’s consciousness,” he says. “The ownership of the character has migrated outwards, so that every reader now has a stake in Reacher.”
  By the same token, he believes there’s something sinister in the aggressively negative reaction.
  “I think a lot of this negative anger is a kind of concealed homophobia among certain people,” he says. “I mean, this persistent rumour that Cruise is gay, and the comments about his smallness and his prettiness, smacks to me of something that is not quite all revealed yet.”
  For the rest, clickety-click here