Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hunk of the Week: Cullen (no, not the vampire one)

The other day I had a question on my Facebook page from Patti St Marie Wilson, one of the fans of my alter ego, Jennie Bentley's Do It Yourself home renovation series:

Who do you think of when you write about Derek? I figured the name came from Derek Morgan - but, your Derek is blond. I'm trying to think of a blond hunk and none seem to come to mind. lol

The truth is, I don't think about anyone. But since Patti wanted to know what Derek Ellis looked like, I had to do a little bit of figuring, and here's what I came up with:

This guy's name is Brett Cullen. Not one of the vampire Cullens, although he's certainly beautiful enough, don't you agree?

Yes, this is close to what my Derek - Avery's Derek - looks like. When I started writing the series, I didn't have this guy in mind, though. In the original outline my editor sent me, the character's name was Mike Ellis, and he was supposed to look like Bill Pullman.

However, I happen to be married to a Mike, so making him the hero of my new mystery series seemed a little self indulgent, and much as I enjoy Bill Pullman as an actor, he doesn't make my heart beat faster. So I had to do a bit of tweaking.

I don't know where I came up with the name Derek; I think I just picked it out of the air. It wasn't because of Derek Morgan, because I didn't watch Criminal Minds then. It's possible I picked it because of Derek Jeter, but I'm not sure. It's a nice name. I kept the character blond because I was already writing the Cutthroat Business mysteries about Rafe, who definitely isn't blond, and I wanted to do something different.

(On a side note, I originally thought Rafe would look something like Derek Jeter. It turned out he didn't. But that's a blog for another time.)

Brett Cullen and I go way back, though. Just because I didn't consciously picture him when I created Derek Ellis, I have to think he was in the backbrain somewhere. See, Brett Cullen used to be on what was - and possibly still is - my very favorite TV show EVER.

It was called The Young Riders and followed a group of people at a Pony Express waystation in Nebraska Territory in 1860. The series ran from 1989 to 1992, and it spawned my #1 celebrity crush, one I still haven't quite been able to shake, 20+ years later.

No, it wasn't on Brett Cullen. Sure, he was hot, but I was young back then, and I was crushing on the boys instead of the men. Brett Cullen played Marshal Sam Cain, who happened to have a thing for Emma Shannon, who ran the waystation.

For your enjoyment, here's a little snippet from the first episode of the show, in which Brett AKA Sam, probably had the best line of the entire episode. Enjoy!


Kelley said...

Oh my...I think you already know I also share your love (obsession, stalking potential) of Young Riders! And Brett Cullen was very easy on the eye back then :) I even remember him from Falcon Crest. Heck, he is still eye candy :) Totally see why you picture him as Derek.

Jenna said...

Kelley... did I know you share my stalking potential? Not sure I did, but awfully glad to hear I'm not alone! Those were cute boys, weren't they? So did you have a fave? Or was Brett Cullen it for you?

Dru said...

I can picture him as Derek.