And his answer actually surprised us:
by Ken Levine
When you sit down to write characters do you ever think of certain actors for the parts to help yourself write it, even if they might be unattainable, and do you ever go so far to name them (Seth Meyers-like)or is that crossing the line between storyteller and fanatic fan?
Anna, we use specific actors as prototypes all the time. Especially when a team is writing a pilot, having someone in mind greatly helps both partners envision the same character and hear the same voice. We often will select unattainable actors. And sometimes for the draft we’re submitting to the network we’ll flat-out say in the description: (picture Anne Hathaway).
One time we wrote a character for a pilot and modeled him after a specific actor. And then that actor actually came in and read for it. He read the lines exactly the way we pictured it. When he left we both looked at each other and said, “Nah, I think we can do better.” By the way – we did.