Tuesday, March 4, 2008


In an interview with Steve Lewis, mystery writer Edward D. Hoch - who passed away back in January - discussed ideas as to who might play his most popular character: Nick Velvet, the thief who would only steal items that had very little value, preferably no value at all, yet still do so for a very hefty fee.

Here's what Hoch had to say about the possible casting:

"More than twenty years ago when a Broadway producer held the Nick Velvet option, she suggested Ben Gazzara for the part. It was a good idea at the time, but I wouldn't want to suggest anyone to play Nick or my other characters now. The television business is such that casting is dependent upon things like the budget and the age bracket at which the show is aimed. If Nick ever makes it on the air I certainly won't mind if he's young and handsome, even if that's not how I picture him."

Having now read the collection of Nick Velvet stories "The Velvet Touch" (which lacked the story that first introduced me to the character, about the theft of a used teabag), I have an actor in mind for playing the role should we ever be lucky enough to see a series made from the material.

Steven Weber

I think he has the right combination of Everyman qualities for the role of Nick Velvet. Based on his past roles, I think he can easily handle the dramatic as well as the comedic aspects in Nick's life, and be able to deftly switch from one to the other.

At the age of 47, Weber is at the right stage in life to play someone who had been operating on the shadowy side of life and who now could afford to accept only those jobs that he feels could net him the most profit with the least amount of danger and imprisonment. (Of course, as fans of the short stories know, this doesn't always quite work out.)

Capitalizing on his skills in both light and heavy fare, Weber looks like the kind of guy who could be a laid-back rogue in a suit and yet still be able to call upon the skills necessary for any action/adventure needed.

So there's my suggestion as to who should play Nick Velvet in Toobworld.....

Toby OB

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