If they make another Dave Robicheaux movie, who should play Clete Purcel, the best sidekick ever invented for book or screen (he didn't feature in In the Electric Mist)? A very difficult question, indeed, as any James Lee Burke fan should very well know. A larger-than-life character with a soft heart but near-psychotic tendencies and a frightening temper to say the least. I've always pictured a slightly younger Nick Nolte as Clete when reading the books. I think he would be excellent as Clete. Who do you think? Gary Oldman, maybe? I would also have said John Goodman, if he didn't already feature in this movie. He's also brilliant as someone with a very dangerous streak flowing underneath his skin.
I just started to read James Lee's books about 6 months ago and have read 5 Robicheaux stories. From the very start I visualised the character Clete entirely as John Goodman...even the voice and i didn't even know about the movies until today. My mental image of Dave has never been of any actor tho. I lived and worked all over southern Lousiana from 1971-1978. I/everyone knew the names of the top mob bosses just by reading the newspapers. They would be ringside at popular boxing matches just like other local celebs (Dr. John for one). It was quite a time to be there. my name is James R Bourke (pronounced Burke). Noboby describes the people and places in that area as well as James Lee. He takes me back.
Yeah, I've also always who should play Clete Purcel in a movie. Tom Sizemore seems a good bet, a younger Nick Nolte definitely (what the hell, why not Nick Nolte now?) I've always pictured Nolte when imagining Clete in my head, so..... A good heart wrapped in a volatile, don't-give-!@#$ attitude and a temper that will scare away Satan himself? Yeah, Nolte.... Maybe Oldman...he can certainly do the anger, but his recent roles (Dark Knight, etc) has softened his image for me.
I've always seen Dennis Franz (Sipowitz on Hill Street Blues) wearing a blond wig and the seersucker suit, as the perfect Clete. Same kickass attitude, but Franz would be too old now to play him. I've pictured Burke as Dave.