Living… in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with his wife June and two sons.
Profession… astronomy professor. Randall works for the University of Michigan, where he focuses on trace gases and dead galaxies, and he hasn’t published in a while. Unfortunately, he and a doctoral candidate named Kate Dibiasky have discovered a series threat to all of humanity: a comet is set to crash into the planet Earth in six months and 14 days. They calculate that the chances of “planet extinction” are set at 99.78%.
Interests… saving the world. Randall and Kate are on a mission to make everyone aware of the impending disaster. After reporting their findings to the Planetary Defense Coordination Office (a real government organization), they appeal to President Janie Orlean. But Orlean was too preoccupied with the upcoming midterm elections in three weeks and getting her Supreme Court nominee through to focus on it. She decides to sit tight and assess. NASA is no help either, as the head of NASA is completely unqualified as a former anesthesiologist and a President Orlean super donor. They then take their message to the media, declaring on a morning talk show that the asteroid “will have the power of a billion Hiroshima bombs.” The audience reaction to the news was mixed: Kate is made fun of on social media with a viral meme. And Dr. Mindy becomes an overnight sensation because of his looks. Randall is hastily thrust into the spotlight and forced to adjust to life as a prominent public personality.
Relationship Status… on the rocks. Given his work crisis, Randall hasn’t been home with his family much. When morning show host Brie Evantree throws herself at him, Randall finds it impossible to say no. With the world possibly ending, he and Brie are living life to the fullest in an all-consuming fling.
Challenge… failing to be taken seriously. Randall is trying to scream at the top of his lungs that the world is about to end, but no one seems to care. His only hope is President Orlean, who is now trying to cover up bad news of pictures being discovered of some naked pictures she sent her Supreme Court nominee (and lover). She decides that focusing on the asteroid could be good for her career, so she plans to use Randall to help with that. Though Randall doesn’t mind if the attention can help save humanity and the Earth as we know it. Randall is trying his best to keep things together, but he has anxiety and the Xanax he takes is not doing the trick anymore.
Personality… logical, meek, and brilliant. Randall is a geek who is focused on logic and math without great communication skills. He’s one of the most unlikely candidates to become famous, and he clearly isn’t ready for it. Fame helps him come out of his shell, but it goes to his head. It becomes hard for him to realize how his actions are affecting the people he is closest to because he is receiving so much praise from the general public. He starts to lose sight of the most important part of his life: his family.
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