Is it possible to change who you are? Can Jack Reacher ever become James Bond?
I have always been a fan of the action genre in books, television and film. I do not like many female action heroines, although Angelina Jolie was a good Laura Croft Tomb Raider. In the first movie in the series I favored Daniel Craig as her love interest and I continued to like him (even the pursed lips) as the new James Bond. I do not really care for Tom Cruise but he was just enough metro-sexual to pull off the Mission Impossible series. Unfortunately he is definitely not Jack Reacher, too short, too pretty and too well coiffed for the ill kept Reacher. In the books Reacher only travels with one black outfit and they never really discuss how he gets a haircut...
I was at a swearing-in ceremony recently and a young good-looking Judge was doing the honors. In a room full of firemen, policemen, politicians and residents the Judge definitely established his place in the pecking order. When he turned to greet me I was struck by his ease in a room full of strangers. There are individuals in a certain social class that represent an elite segment of our society I prefer to call the 2%. I am not easily impressed by personal appearance but you could see immediately that this Judge was set apart from the other attendees. His clothes were impeccable, his speech was assured and he was a replica of James Bond. He was not the Daniel Craig 007 but the refined Pierce Brosnan 007.
Since attending the event I have wondered if a gentleman like the Judge ever finds himself in the everyday circumstances most human beings encounter in their work world. For instance has an ink pen ever burst in his pocket or a cup of tea spilled on his desktop or has he ever locked himself out of his office. I must admit I do not ever remember James Bond encountering such mundane setbacks. If 007 did get caught during his mission there was always a beautiful Bond Girl to help restore his "dignity". As some of my readers know I can be impulsive but I refrained from asking the Judge when I served him coffee if he knew how to remove stains from his Italian silk tie.
There was a fleeting moment that evening when I envied the 2%. I am sure the Judge had to pay his dues and work his way up the legal ladder, but to be set apart simply because of your position is an experience I will never encounter. I am well past my Bond Girl prime but still like to dream about flying on a private jet and turning heads when I enter a room of strangers. James as a bonus escort completes my fantasy (Craig in tuxedo, Brosnan in anything or early Connery in tuxedo).
I understand Jack Reacher. I shop at Target for disposable clothes, eat in Greek diners and ride public transportation. When coffee spills on my nice black shirt I soak the stain then wash and iron the shirt to wear the next day. If I were to cast Jack Reacher he would be an unknown actor, preferably an ex-special forces soldier now working as a tow-truck driver but not a Hollywood star...
P.S. Ian Fleming wrote the James Bond series and Lee Childs writes the Jack Reacher series.