Various famous people and characters have offered their voices to GPS providers, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Darth Vader, Yoda, Homer & Marge Simpson and Mister Burns, Mr. T, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, K.I.T.T. (the car in Knight Rider), Wallace and Gromit, Snoop Dogg, Brian Blessed, John Cleese, Dennis Hopper, Kim Cattrall, Eddie Izzard, Billy Connolly, Burt Reynolds and Stephen Fry.
There aren’t many female celebrity GPS voices available, which has led to accusations of sexism:
I finished reading Philip Pullman’s La Belle Sauvage last night, in which a benign witch called Tilda Vasara makes a timely appearance. She casts a spell of invisibility that cloaks two child protagonists, and the baby they’re protecting, meaning their pursuers can’t see them. Tilda only sticks around for four pages, but her presence influenced my dreaming.
Trapped in a tedious dream about filing and form filling, undoubtedly caused by sending off four queries to fussy literary agents that evening, I was thrilled to see the witch from His Dark Materials trilogy, Serafina Pekkala fly into view. She appeared as played by actress Eva Green in the film adaptation, which was a bonus, but stayed for only a moment, saying “It’ll soon be over,” before zooming off on her broomstick. I presume she was referring to querying, which I should finish tonight.
It was nice to see one of my fictional crushes, and it made me think about which other fictional female characters I fancy.
Lisbeth Salander, from the Millennium series by Stieg Larsson is a wildly unconventional anti-hero, a mix of vulnerability and sociopathy. Not an easy person to be around, she might well scare the living daylights out of me!
Lastly and less frighteningly, is Bathsheba Everdene from Thomas Hardy’s Far From The Madding Crowd.
She’s passionate and spirited and beguiling. Her determined independence is attractive—not just to me—I’ve known several recently-divorced women who chose her as a role model.
As for my man crush, it’d be Aragorn, from The Lord Of The Rings, as played by Viggo Mortensen in the films. He’d better be gentle with me!
In my own writing, my crush would be for a character called Alice from a novella called Is It Her?, who only appears in retrospect, mainly through the memories of her husband who accompanied her to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland for an assisted suicide to end her suffering from cancer. She also makes herself felt through a loving and practical email she’d time-delayed to be delivered a month into her husband’s widowhood. I imagined her looking like the actress Patricia Clarkson.
How about you?
Who’s your crush?
If they’ve appeared in a film adaptation, were they well cast?