Gayle Knightley

Callsign: ‘Knightingale

Casting: Melanie Scrofano

When I created the character of Gale Knightly in the game ‘City of Heroes,’ I didn’t exactly have an actress in mind to play her. Even when I started to write the ‘fan-fiction,’ I didn’t really think about it. It was later on, when I was participating in a forum thread about casting your characters, that I started to contemplate it.

In those books, she’s very much the ‘English Rose’ type character. Prim, proper, confident but shy, willowy and elegant. In my head, she was Keira Knightley (the name was a total coincidence!)

For Songbird, the character changed entirely. She was still English, but was sassy, used profanity, confident in her skills, Could be a bit of a smart-ass, but was also broken emotionally. Shorter than her City of Heroes counterpart, and not as slight. Where the CoH character was a thinker and healer, the Songbird version was a kick ass soldier and leader. 

Hence the very deliberate name change. Gale became GayleKnightly became Knightley.

I lacked a muse for her, though… until a couple of years ago when I stumbled across Wynonna Earp on Netflix. The premise seemed a little out of left field, but as I love supernatural related stuff I thought I’d give it a whirl. It took just one episode to sell me on Melanie Scrofano as the muse for Gayle Knightley. Watching her onscreen, it was as if someone had plucked Gayle from my head and thrown her onto the screen. It was uncanny.

Since then, she has always been the image in my head while writing for her.

Allyson Knightley

Callsign: ‘????

Casting: Melanie Scrofano

Easy casting to make. 

Simply because in the book, Allyson is Gayle’s younger sister (by a year) and is identical to look at. Most people assume they’re twins when they meet them, not realizing there is actually a year between them. Hence, it makes sense to cast the same actress to play both parts.

Allyson is kind of world weary, hard working, hard drinking and loves a good time in order to de-stress. After binge watching her work on the aforementioned Wynonna Earp, she definitely has the range to play both characters as different people. 

So, that’s what it’s in my head, but what about my beta readers?  What did they suggest for the casting of Gayle and Allyson Knightley?

Krysten Ritter
was Wifey’s choice.
Jennifer Lawrence
was Chell’s choice.

Scarlet Johannson
was Nikki’s choice.

The amazing Gayle and Allyson art was done by Zeiyth. You can find all the links to her on the ‘Look here for Artists‘ page!