October 12, 2007
Playing Casting Director
I'm currently reading Henry James' A Portrait of a Lady, which I've long shied away from after viewing a most horrendous adaptation starring Nicole Kidman. (The director, Jane Campion, if I recall correctly, tried to get way too creative...as if the movie took its inspiration from the boat scene in Willy Wonka.)
That said, I'm quite enjoying the book and am thinking the time is right for another movie version. Here's who I'd cast:
Isabel Archer: Bryce Dallas Howard. We need an American here, and I think the usual suspects (Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway, Michelle Williams) are played out. Since I was bowled over by Bryce Dallas Howard in HBO's "As You Like It," I'll give it to her. But am not tied to it. There might be a better young ingenue.
Henrietta Stackpole: This is strange, but in my head, I'm picturing her as Sara Tancredi from "Prison Break." Laugh all you want. (Which reminds me, we need to see that Prison Break hottie, Wentworth Miller in a period film. With a name like that, he was born for it.)
Lord Warburton: James Purefoy is who I'm imagining (maybe because he's been on the brain lately...see post below.) And he's good dashing "lord" material.
Madame Merle: Helen McCrory (aka Anna Karenina, aka, Tony Blair's wife in "The Queen.) I think she's someone Isabel would harbor a girl-crush on, yet she'd be good at being subtly Machiavellian. The Kidman version went with Barbara Hershey, which was pretty spot-on.
Gilbert Osmond: John Malkovich was the all-too obvious choice in Campion's film, but I'd like to see Ralph Fiennes here, instead.
Ralph Touchett: Ioan Gruffudd (gotta get our boy in here somewhere.) Rupert Graves would also work.
Caspar Goodwood: I'll say Daniel Day-Lewis, just because this character so reminds me of his Cecil Vyse in A Room With A View.
Mrs. Touchett: Let's go with Ellen Burstyn...I'd like to see her all done up in costume.
Anyway, if the movie I'm imagining in my head is any indication, I really ought to be picking out my gown for Oscar night when I'm nominated for "best casting." And I could probably get them all to work for free, of course.