It wasn’t a secret or anything, but I hadn’t really outwardly talked about it. I’d been told that it might turn people off and that the film might lose potential supporters. It was hinted that it’s not the right time, perhaps, and I was ok with people not knowing who didn’t need to. I’ve now been asked quite a bit, however, where I stand in this, so I might as well come out with it definitively. Hell, why should I be unforthcoming?
So here it is: I’m Virgil.
That’s right. I will be casting myself as the lead in my movie, Rolling with Virgil. It has always been my intention. I’m an actor first and foremost (who also has the ability to write when given enough time and inspiration as I’ve had these last couple years), and I wrote Virgil for me to play. Basically, he is me (not biographically, of course, since he’s fictional), and I understand the troubled and romantic buffoon better than anyone. Although the mainstream public may not yet be aware of it, I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a capable actor, and as the person who will be casting this thing, I know that I can play Virgil the way he deserves to be played. Otherwise, I'd cast someone else.
“But,” you ask, “what if a name actor decides he wants the part?”
Wonderful! That would validate that it’s desirable and well-written. I’ve also written some other great parts in the film (if you ask me), perfect for name actors for multiple reasons, for which I have some very specific names in mind, but Virgil will be played by Conrad Shaw.
“What makes you think you can get away with that?”
Simple. I own the story, which is really the thing that matters most. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck pulled it off with Good Will Hunting, and their precedent was Sylvester Stallone with Rocky.
So there it is. I’m not ashamed. I’m Virgil. I’m the actor. You wanna fight about it?