Thursday, July 28, 2016

Indignation by the book: Meet Tracy Letts as Dean Caudwell

Tracy Letts as Dean Hawes D. Caudwell,
Logan Lerman as Marcus Messner



“Dear Mr. Messner,
  It has come to my attention that you have taken up residence in Neil Hall after having already briefly occupied two separate rooms in Jenkins. I am concerned about so many changes of residence on the part of a transfer student who has been at Winesburg as a sophomore for less than a semester. Will you please arrange with my secretary to come to my office sometime this week? A short meeting is in order, one that I'm sure will prove useful to both of us.
                                                               Yours sincerely,
                                            Hawes D. Caudwell
Dean of Men’’

p. 44, Indignation


“When I entered his office from the anteroom, the dean came around from behind his desk to shake my hand. He was lean and broad-shouldered, with a lantern jaw, sparkling blue eyes, and a heavy crest of silver hair, a tall man probably in his late fifties who still moved with the agility of the young athletic star he'd been in three sports at Winesburg just before World War I. There were photos of championship Winesburg athletic teams on his walls, and a bronzed football was displayed on a stand back of his desk. The only books in the office were the volumes of the college's yearbook, the Owl's Nest, arranged in chronological order in a glass-enclosed case behind him.’’
p. 46, Indignation

I don't know that Tracy Letts (Homeland) is exactly who I pictured while reading this passage in Philip Roth's book—what exactly is a lantern jaw?—but now that I've seen these images of Letts as the Dean he seems perfect for the part.
What do you think of the casting?


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