Is the ‘Gone Girl’ Lawyer Based on a Real Person? Tanner Bolt Seems Familiar to You for Good Reason
Gone Girl is coming! Gone Girl is coming! While you anticipate the premiere of your fave thriller novel turned movie, polishing your magnifying glass and getting your trench coat dry cleaned, you're probably going over the details of the book in your mind. Like the compellingly unsettled, eerie feeling you got every time you opened the book, how it made you weary of everyone close to you even your own mother (sorry, Mom!), all the times it made you double, triple, quadruple question the institution of marriage, and how you felt suspiciously OK with the book's lawyer, Tanner Bolt. Speaking of Bolt, he always seemed too familiar, like I'd seen or heard of him somewhere before. So, is it just déjà vu, or is Gone Girl's lawyer based on a real person?
The answer doesn't appear to be definitive, but people have made comparisons. Shmoop.com's character analysis of Bolt likens him to the schmoozer Chicago lawyer, Billy Flynn, and Tyler Perry, who portrays Bolt in the movie, told Vulture of his character,
I'm grateful that I've never needed or had to have known a lawyer like that, but I've seen some ambulance chasers that were pretty interesting! [Imitates TV ad] "Have you been hurt in a car accident? Call me! I will get you a check. You weren't hurt? It's okay — we'll pretend!" Yeah, that guy, absolutely.
And so it seems Bolt is like a compilation of lawyers, both real and fictional.
It is important to keep in mind that Gillian Flynn, author and screenwriter of Gone Girl, has said before of her audience that, "They don’t understand that it’s just fiction" in reference to people questioning her parents in an interview with The Telegraph. She recalled critics saying, "What kind of parents raised a girl like that? What happened?" For one, I think really good parents must have raised such a talented and ambitious writer, and secondly, it brings up the fact that we dig too far into things some times.
Yes, Bolt could be slightly based on a few lawyers we've seen in our time. Maybe a bit of him was inspired by the well-groomed Robert Kardashian who defended O.J. Simpson in his trial, or Mark Geragos, the outspoken lawyer who The Business Insider referred to as possibly, "the most 'famous' of the celebrity attorneys." But that doesn't mean he actually is either of them or any other lawyer. Indiewire.com refers to Bolt's character as, "...A shark! Arrogant, brash, and an asshole, but very good at what he does apparently." Really, he seems like the summation of stereotypes. And, as Shmoop.com and Perry point out, with the twist of a complex and frustrating layer of humanity underneath that surface judgement.
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