Edgar Allan Poe: The Aussie Twink Years

Quoth the raven, “I’m a hot piece of ass”.

If there’s one role that’s perfect for not exactly pretty actors, it’s Edgar Allan Poe. The famed Victorian-era author of the macabre wasn’t ugly by any means, but his high brows, odd-shaped head and eye bags along with his distinct personality means it’s a role that seems tailor made for a good character actor rather than a handsome leading man.

That’s why one bit of casting over the weekend is rather strange. 26-year-old Australian Chris Egan (“Resident Evil: Extinction,” “Letters to Juliet”) has been cast as the writer in ABC’s “Poe”, crime procedural which paints Poe as the world’s very first detective who uses unconventional methods to investigate dark mysteries in 1840s Boston.

Egan is a decidedly odd choice for the part. The blond actor, who could’ve stepped out of an Abercrombie catalogue, got his start as a teenager on soapie “Home and Away” playing a surfer kid who was notable for being annoying and filling out a green speedo rather well. He then went to the U.S. to pursue acting and scored a few small roles in the likes of “Eragon,” “Virgin Territory” and the short lived TV series “Vanished”.

It was his casting as the lead on NBC’s “Kings” that surprised and demonstrated some decent acting skills that allowed him to hold his own against the formidable likes of Ian McShane, Brian Cox and Sebastian Stan. That, and a deal with the network, is probably what lead to his casting, though to be fair to the actor it sounds like quite a few names tested for the part.

Yet by casting this young and CW-esque, it changes the tone of the whole series which originally seemed to be going for something like a more serious and period “Castle”-style show. It also puts immense pressure on the still relatively unknown Egan to carry a major network series like this. I guess we’ll have to wait and see the results in a few months.