Monday, January 21, 2008

Male On Monday - Justin Hartley

This Monday at The Pink Heart Society our very own Trish Wylie is back to introduce us to the inspiration behind her latest hero - Justin Hartley...


I knew at some point in my adult life my addiction to Superhero's would have a payoff. And you need to understand I'm an avid follower... from an early age... Christopher Reeve as Superman started me off... Finally, in 2007 I found not just one excuse - sorry - JUSTIFICATION for the addiction but TWO. And today I bring you the first of them...

Because it turns out I developed a bit of a thing for men dressed in green leather last year.

Now before any of you jump in here with a lewd comment on that one, let me explain. It's a SUPERHERO in green leather - and those boys can get away with wearing pretty much anything while saving the world. Look below the leather - STOP IT! - and you'll discover more than a little hero inspiration in there.

In this case a certain Mister Justin Hartley. So lemme just tell you a little about the man behind the face in front of the character that became the inspiration for the kind of hero I could happily retire with in real life...

Born on January 29th 1977 in Knoxville, Illinois (Happy Birthday in just over a week Justin!), Justin Scott Hartley was raised in Orland Park, Illinois with his older brother Nathan and younger sisters Megan and Gabriela. He attended Southern Illinois University and The University of Illinois in Chicago majoring in History and Theater and played various sports from high school up including baseball, basketball and soccer.... still listing his favorite pastime as baseball and playing basketball avidly to this day.

He went to Los Angeles after college, wanting to act and knowing it was a big move - not to mention risky. In fact, he says he got there and flipped out:

'All I could think was that I went to college-I can't be a waiter! But the bottom line is, that's what you do. If you work nights in a restaurant, you can go on auditions during the day. I got hooked up with a manager out here and got into an acting class. The first audition my manager got for me was for "Passions." I tested for a role and didn't get it. Then, I came back...'

This one he got - the role of Nicholas Foxworth Crane (Fox) not only gaining him a loyal following of fans along the way but as is the way of the business, leading him into roles in a movie called Race You To The Bottom and a pilot episode of Mercy Reef where he played his first Superhero as Arthur (AC) Curry aka Aquaman. The pilot wasn't picked up unfortunately (cos I've seen lots of pics of him swimming and it's a shame really even before I take into account my Superhero addiction...) but it was popular when it was put online and what it DID DO was bring him to the attention of the producers of Smallville; the TV Show telling a continuing story of a certain young man called Clark Kent...

And it was here he truly made his mark and where he came to my attention - cos anyone who knows me will know I'm a huuuugggeeeee Smallville fan (And yes, I am just enough of an addict to catch all the little clues to Clark's future persona as they're threaded through the seasons and to debate the free-license taken with the mythology and to... welllll don't even get me STARTED on the subject of flipping Lana Lang!) But Justin playing Oliver Queen aka the Green Arrow, ( he's a sort of Robin Hood hero and Justin is the only guy to ever play Green Arrow on screen btw...), the new superhero in town - well - ladies... My little muse went INSANE with excitement - especially with the Justice League episode! She bounced off the walls.... pressed her little nose tighter to the screen.... insisted the volume was turned up and all the repeats were watched and the DVD box sets were ordered for further *study* and then she wanted to visit youtube and... my appreciation of a Superhero both in and out of green leather grew with each episode...

Lemme tell you why, apart from the obvious. For those uninitiated to the Superhero world - Oliver Queen is a CEO/millionaire - tick box one in muse's list of favourite hero inspiration requirements - add Justin's smooth, suave, confident performance as the edgy Oliver Queen and a glimmer of a lightbulb is appearing over my head. Oooohhhh this is how a young millionaire should be. Aha! I feel a Modern Heat coming on...

(As fellow Smallville fans know, The Green Arrow is no Boy Scout. He has a dark side and a guilty past. He's fought an addiction, for example, to a substance that causes instant healing but has very nasty effects on a Superhero's personality. And Oliver Queen, as a prep school bad-boy, was partly to blame for a school mate's death - the incident that's caused him to try to do greater good ever since... all of which adds a depth to the character that Justin plays so terribly well! A millionaire hero with a troubled past and a need to do good deeds secretly a la Darcy when he helped out...oooohhhh I DARE YOU TO watch this guy in action as Oliver and NOT have an idea or three jumping straight into your head demanding attention! And remember we talked about adding edgy to tall, blonde and handsome heroes recently? Nuff said.)

Then they added a touch of romance. With Lois Lane - but we'll not debate or explain that one cos this blog is only so long. But we had the accidental meeting when she assumed he was a delivery boy, belittled the millionaire she thought had sent him and actually tipped him. Which he found highly amusing. And then she had to go grovel to him. Which he knew she would. Two very strong personalities butting heads? Muse is now rubbing her hands with glee! This is like a study aid!!!

And as if that wasn't enough they added conflict. Cos Lois Lane couldn't really discover she was falling for a Superhero, could she? Clever writing that I thought; setting up her future conflicts by having her heart broken by someone who couldn't tell her the truth... Of course Muse snorted at that point and said she could write a clever story too. She even stuck her tongue out at the screen. And started plotting like crazy when Oliver did his wonderful goodbye scene with the classic line of; 'This is it, the moment, right? The moment that I'm gonna regret for the rest of my life - isn't it?'

To see what I mean by that and the very moment a hero was born in my head you can go see at Youtube here

So I had my hero inspiration for His Mistress: His Terms. Of course that's where I parted ways with the Superhero and attempted to create a super hero of my own. Did you see what I did there? Clever writing straight off the bat really ;) So if you read the book and Alex bears a remarkable physical resemblance to any of these lovely pics then I will unashamedly hold my hands up because Justin Hartley and the Green Arrow is where the initial spark of an idea came from. After that... well that's what Male On Monday is all about, isn't it?From that spark of inspiration came a fully blown hero straight out of my head and Alex is now Alex. And oh my... well the fact the book was written in three weeks with the help of the cheering squad at my Blog says it all really, doesn't it???

But back to Justin. His Smallville appearance was swiftly followed by appearances in both Cold Case and CSI: NY in 2007 and he has the movies Spring Breakdown and Red Canyon in 2008 while he returns for (hopefully) a couple more episodes as the Green Arrow - maybe more - writer's strike settlement willing. PLEASE. So you mark my words - if you haven't seen this chap around before then you will do. He's the kind of hero we love to write put on the screen in my opinion.

Oh, did I mention he's 6ft 3 tall - need I say more??? And now some little details on the man himself:

Best qualities he says are humor and honesty ("If you only need one. I'm humorous about my honesty.") - I think I'm smitten.

Worst Quality? He says he's impatient...

Cooking Speciality is apparently 'Grillables'

Must-See TV is 24 and he's a huge West Winger - "I know it's been cancelled, but I watch the reruns all the time. I’m also a big sports guy as well." That's him endeared to our Ally then...

Greatest fear is heights. I hear ya Justin!

If he could keep only one household appliance it would be a coffeemaker. Thats Natasha taken care of too. The points just keep adding up!!!

And something we might be surprised to know about him? He's a history buff. Any Historicals authors need a helping hand with anything???

If he couldn't be an actor he'd be a teacher. The cause he most believes in is peace. If he had one wish it would be that every child gets to go to Disney World. The best one word or short phrase that he thinks describes him? Honorable. I can hear the collective sigh.

And last but not least - his epitaph would be: "If you ever need to talk, you know where to find me."

Now I may be a tad biased here, but this guy is pretty much what Male On Monday is all about, isn't he? Tell me he doesn't have hero inspiration oozing from every pore!!! Still not convinced??? Heavens but you lot are hard to please!

Okay then. FINE. Justin Hartley married his Passions co-star Lindsay Korman on May 1, 2004 and their daughter Isabella Justice Hartley was born on July 3, 2004. (aptly named when her dad was to put together young Superheros The Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman into the Justice League in Smallville three years later...that's what we in the trade like to call foreshadowing...)

And like a true hero he is very happily married, very obviously in love with his beautiful wife and completely enthralled by his first child:

"Lindsay is my hero. She's done such a good job. She's just basically my rock. There are times when I feel horrible. Isabella will call me and talk to me. She's two and a half and she's asking me when I'm going to come home, how many days. She understands I'm not there. It's heartbreaking when I'm on the phone and she's like, "Do you wanna play this with me?" We don't lie to her and try to get her to ignore it. Lindsay is a wonderful, wonderful mother to Isabella and a great wife. She's incredible."

Yup. Pretty darn heroic all round in my book (no pun intended...) And how CUTE is Isabella?????

To find out more about Justin Hartley I recommend Justin Hartley.net and Justin Hartley online. net and for info on Smallville I absolutely hands down recommend Kryptonsite.com And if you come back in May I'll tell you all about the knock on effect watching this one Superhero on screen had on my being inspired by a second one... who became the infamous Gabe in the follow up book Claimed By The Bad Boy Billionaire.

Well people will keep asking us where we get our ideas from ;)

H's & K's

Trish




Trish's latest release (featuring the hero who *physically* looks incredibly like Oliver Queen aka Justin Hartley despite the dark haired chap on the cover) is on the shelves in the UK and Ireland RIGHT NOW!


You can order His Mistress: His Terms from both Amazon and the Mills & Boon website and for more info on what Trish is up to and her books you can visit her Website or her Blog...

6 comments:

  1. Yup! I write Historicals. And never mind the green leather - I can just see this guy in tight breeches, top boots, and an open shirt.
    Annie Burrows

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  2. Wellll Trish, I have to say that first pic you used on your blog aaaaallll the time you were writing this book didn't do it for me. But after reading your post, and checking out more pics and discovering the guy is 6'3" and loves sports and West Wing, you're right, I'm now a believer a blonde can be a hero after all!!!

    Thanks for the fab new Hero inspiration!!! Where would I be without PHS, I ask you?

    Ally

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  3. Annie - I'D READ THAT BOOK!!!

    And Ally now c'mon! You KNOW there's always method in my madness ;) Pretty much. Sometimes... okay every now and again...

    I like to think I have excellent taste...

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  4. I thought that I was the only one who fell in love with that green superhero. I can only hope that the writers of Smallville, bring him back for lots more episodes this year. Very good choice for this weeks Male on Monday, Imo.

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  5. It's been several days since you posted this, so I'm not even sure you're gonna read it. I was looking for Justin info, and I came upon this post instead. I think it's pretty cool he was your inspiration for your hero, and I love how two of my favorite things-- romance novels and Justin-- are put together. You got me interested in your book, and I'll look for it when it hits the US. And thanks for posting justinhartley.net here. I help the webmaster with that site! lol

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  6. Well, it looks like I have a new romance novel to read! Heard about your blog from a fellow Justin fan -- and I do love a good romance novel.

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