So in 17th Precinct, he's going to play a Jeff. My initial reaction was "Ugh, Jeff?" and I still don't feel like the name suits him. I'm not sure what it is about Jeff that bugs. Too macho? Too American? Too old for him? It just feels off. It feels downright offensively dull for him. I mean, James isn't the most exotic name in the world, but it's handsome and... Hmm. Maybe James is so common that there's no specific image, but Jeff gives me a very macho American image that totally doesn't fit James.
This got me thinking about names I could see him having. I also discussed this with M on Twitter, so the list is partially mine and partially made in cooperation with her. This is very important for his future projects, so I hope he's going to read and take heed.
My favorite character name so far: Gabriel McDow (FlashForward).
Beautiful, sounds poetic, not overly popular nor too weird. Gabriel is something that really fits James for some reason.
Runners-up: Gaius Baltar, Justin deVere Montague, Danny Rubin, Sebastian
My least favorite one so far: Mason Duryea (Numb3rs).
Sounds hard, strange, and deliberately unattractive.
Runners-up: Raoul, Aspyrtes, Clive Lanyard, and of course, Jeff.
Then there's Pursuit Delange. It's a really bizarre name. But you know, it's so bizarre that it comes back to being kinda fitting in a comedy like that. So we'll let that one be.
Names I can see James having
(* = he's played a character by this name)
I think these have the feel of slightly effeminate and sensitive, yet masculine and strong guy. But this might be a matter of taste. I'd love to hear others' thoughts...
Anthony (but not Tony)
Jonah / Jonas
Leonard (but not Lenny, just Leo)
Mark* / Marcus
On the fence about: Barry, Dominic, Jack, Randall/Randy, Rhys/Reese, Robert, Ross, Walter, William (Will would be ok but not Bill)
Names I cannot see him having
Bob (not sure about Robert. I guess it's a no to Robert and yes to Robin.)
CarlChristian (bc he is Jewish; it would really fit him otherwise)
Larry (I guess that's a no to Lawrence too, although that might fit him better)
OMG I have to stop before I include all the names in the world. Is anyone still reading? Hello? Echo! Oh dear. Well, when the news comes in, they'll be back.