top 5 wednesday: Fancasts

Top Five Wednesday was created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey and is currently hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Check out the goodreads group to learn more.

T5W: September 20th: Favorite Fancasts:  Discuss your preferred fancasts for some of your favorite characters. (Fancasts means actors you’d like to play your favorite characters or imagine your favorite characters as.)

This is something I think about a lot when I read, and I was having a really hard time narrowing it down, so we’re doing 5 men and 5 women!

The women:

Tatiana Maslany as Miranda in Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.  I absolutely love Station Eleven – I’ve read it twice and it has such a theatricality to it that I’d love to see it play out either on stage or on screen.  The character that I connect to the most in this novel is Miranda, so I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about who would do a good job at playing her, and I think Tatiana Maslany fits the bill perfectly.  Their physical descriptions match, and Tatiana has that intelligent, artsy look about her that I think would be able to easily embody the spirit of Miranda.

Jessica Brown Findlay as the narrator in Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.  The unnamed narrator in this novel is youthful, romantic, kind, and a bit naive, and I think Jessica Brown Findlay would play her with the appropriate sort of charm and humility.

For the role of Rebecca, I’m torn between Rachel Weisz (love of my life) and Eva Green.  Thoughts?

Shoba Narayan as Inej Ghafa in Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.  Shoba is a theatre actress most recently seen as the Natasha understudy in Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812.  While Inej and Natasha are two entirely different types of characters, I still think Shoba would rock it.  Just look at her expression – she’s got that Inej-esque ‘I’m adorable but I could still fight you and win’ thing.

Rosamund Pike as Cathy Ames from East of Eden by John Steinbeck.  There was news about an East of Eden remake in 2014 with Jennifer Lawrence cast as Cathy, and I’m really hoping that doesn’t happen, not least of all because Rosamund was born to play this role.  She’s got the ‘I will charm you and then kill you’ thing down pat.  And she’s just a fantastic actress that I think would bring the appropriate sort of depth to Cathy’s very complex character.

Saoirse Ronan as Camilla Macaulay in The Secret History by Donna Tartt.  I’m obsessed with Saoirse Ronan and pretty much fancast her in everything, but this role in particular I think is perfect for her.  Camilla is quiet, intelligent, subtle – all qualities that Saoirse has shown time and again that she can play brilliantly.  I’m not sure who I’d cast as her twin brother Charles, though – thoughts?

The men:

Cillian Murphy as Cyril Avery in The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne.  This is a tricky role to cast, because even though Cyril is the heart and soul of this novel, he also manages to be eclipsed by the larger personalities around him.  I think it’s important to cast an actor who could play the role with a sort of subtlety and quiet humor, as well as being the kind of person you just want to root for through everything, and Cillian Murphy seems perfect for it.

Dev Patel as Saeed in Exit West by Mohsin Hamid.  I’m obsessed with Dev Patel, he’s another one of these actors who I fancast in everything.  I think he would be perfect as kindhearted, idealistic, sensible Saeed – that seems to be his personality anyway, so casting him is kind of a no-brainer.  Any ideas for Nadia?

Matthew Beard as James in Tender by Belinda McKeon.  (I’m risking my life in certain friend circles by not putting Domhnall Gleeson here, and I agree that Domhnall would have been perfect for the role ten years ago, but the fact is, he’s too old now.)  Matthew Beard is a sort of lesser known actor whom I love a lot – I got to see him in Skylight on Broadway in 2015 alongside Carey Mulligan and Bill Nighy, and the energy and youth and vivacity that he brought to his limited stage time makes me think he would be absolutely perfect as James.  Side note: he is also my Francis Abernathy fancast, but I decided to stick to one character per book for this post.

John Boyega as JB Marion in A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara.  There’s something about this book that resists fancasting, to me.  I know last year Scott Rudin signed on to adapt it as a tv show (sigh), but I’m selfishly hoping that doesn’t go anywhere…  I think if A Little Life has to be adapted, it would best work as a play – I don’t think a tv show or film would be able to capture the heightened drama and theatricality of the narrative without coming across as melodramatic.  All that said, there’s one actor that I think would work really well in this story, and that’s John Boyega as JB.  John seems like such a nice, warm person and JB is… not quite that, but John’s proven that he’s able to act in roles where he has more of an edge (Imperial Dreams, etc) and I think he’d be able to capture what makes JB so frustrating and sympathetic simultaneously.  I mean, I still don’t want to see A Little Life adapted – but if it has to be, I want John Boyega in it.  (I wouldn’t be able to cast Willem or Jude if my life depended on it.)

Colin Farrell as John Proctor in The Crucible by Arthur Miller.  And obviously, we can’t wrap this up without including my man… it is my dearest wish in life (okay maybe not my dearest, but top ten) that Colin Farrell start to do more theatre, and ever since seeing Ivo van Hove’s production of The Crucible last summer, I can’t get the idea of Colin as John Proctor out of my head.  It’s the kind of role that Colin usually goes for – leading man suffering some kind of existential crisis – but I also firmly believe that Colin’s the kind of actor whose performance depends on the quality of the script he’s working with (I’m allowed to say this, I’ve literally seen 31 of this man’s films as of this weekend), and you can’t get much better than The Crucible.  I think he would give a really dynamic and engaging performance, playing this role either on stage on or screen.

So what do you think of my choices?  And do you have any ideas for the ones I asked about?  Comment and let me know!


51 thoughts on “top 5 wednesday: Fancasts

  1. i’ve no idea about the books mentioned πŸ˜…πŸ˜…(save six of crows and the secret history [i know, im a disappointment) but tatiana maslany? rosamund pike? shoba narayan? saoirse ronan? jessica brown findlay? the female fancast lineup is BOMBTASTIC πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘Œ but dont get me wrong, im not saying that the male lineup ain’t good–just that i’ve never heard about them πŸ˜… but i think they’re great actors too

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I agree! It feels like sort of lazy casting since Rachel just starred in another du Maurier adaptation…. but oh well. She’d bring that ~sexy and sinister~ thing so well.


      • I’m loving it!! I haven’t felt so immersed in a book in a while. I only have 50 pages left, but I was reading on the bus and had to stop when I got to work. I’ll definitely be finishing it at lunch or on the ride home, though!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I love Kaz SO MUCH, he is definitely my fave. But Inej and Jesper are also amazing. And I fell in love with Wylan in the second book! I basically love all of them except Matthias who I find extremely boring.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Omg phew I am glad to hear you say that because Matthias is such a fan fave and I’m just like ????? I do love Nina a lot but I hate that so much of her narrative revolves around Matthias when he has the personality of stale bread.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Is he really????? I mean, I know he gets betterish toward the end of the book but he is BORING and annoying. And I love that you say that because I literally wrote in my journal after finishing the book “Nina is better [than him] but I hate that her whole being revolves around Matthias.” I get that she loves(?) him and feels like she owes him for “betraying” him, but she was just doing what seemed best for everyone at the time and yeah, it sucks that he ended up in prison but it’s honestly mostly his own fault! (Oops, apparently I have a lot of feelings about this book.)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Tbh…. I hate to say it but I am convinced that his fandom popularity is down to him being described as a cute white boy. He has nothing else going for him. He’s got literally no personality and his redemption arc (wow people who are different from him are PEOPLE TOO!!!) is so fucking basic. I LOVE Nina though, that thing she does at the end of SoC AHHH!!! She is badass and amazing and can do so much better than boring Matthias. And omg NO WORRIES I love talking about SoC, I didn’t read it too long ago so it’s still fresh for me too!

        Liked by 1 person

      • You are….. honestly probably right, though. His only traits are being Strong and Loyal. And yes, she could do waayy better!! She’s such a wonderful selfless person I love her.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This was such a GREAT post. And I completely agree about A Little Life, I would not want it to be adapted. I do like your idea of it being a play a lot though! And I like your fancast of Inej a lot, even though Neelam Gill will always be Inej for me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much!!!

      I think A Little Life would be really interesting as a play…. obviously a lot would have to be condensed, but I wouldn’t be too upset about that as long as it’s able to capture the ~vibe of the story. That’s what worries me about a tv series adaptation, even if it’s technically faithful to the plot I just feel like the tone is going to be off.

      My only problem with Neelam Gill is that she’s too tall! I can’t even remember if Inej’s height is described in the books at all, but I picture her as tiny!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. GIRL THIS IS AMAZING I don’t even know where to begin!!!!

    YES to Tatiana as Miranda! She’s Canadian as well, isn’t she? If the book were ever made into a film (which I really think it should be) there’s some chance of Tatiana actually being cast, now that she’s done with Orphan Black and is an Emmy award winner.

    I haven’t read Rebecca yet but JESSICA I love her so much. She rocks period dramas and she’s totally got that Gothic vibe going on. (omg, though, is the narrator really unnamed throughout the entire novel? how strange!)

    SHOBA WOULD KILL IT as Inej!! And she’s a lot less intimidating than the popular fancast for Inej (Neelam Gill).

    YES SAOIRSE. Seriously, how has Secret History not yet been made into a dramatic #aesthetic film with gorgeous cinematography?

    The fact that you cast Cillian Murphy now makes me want to read that book lmao!! And I love your other choices, even though I have not read most of those books. (Did I dream that you said you had chosen a soap opera actor for Kaz?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • THERE YOU ARE I have been waiting for you to comment omg I knew you were gonna like some of these

      Ugh I REALLY hope Tatiana will be considered if they make a Station Eleven film, she was born to play this role. I have a whole Station Eleven fancast actually with the exception of Arthur – for some reason he’s weirdly difficult to cast?? Sort of torn between Colin and Ewan McGregor but idk…

      YEAH the narrator in Rebecca is unnamed! I feel like it’s really hit or miss when books do this, but tbh I think it makes more narrative sense in Rebecca than any other novel I’ve read where the narrator is unnamed. I can’t wait for you to read it because you will FULLY support the Jessica casting and I want to know who you’d cast as Rebecca (I’m leaning toward Rachel Weisz).

      I was just saying in another comment the only problem I have with the Neelam fancast is that Neelam is 5’10” and I picture Inej as tiny!

      Seriously when will they come and film a TSH adaptation in my backyard???

      OMG you gotta read THIF, Olivia and I are obsessed with it.

      And you absolutely did not dream that lmao. His name is Sean Ward and he’s too old but I picture all of the characters in their 20s anyway so oh well. He’ll do until I can find a better one.


      • HI yeah I’ve been asleep. I ended up staying home from work and woke up at one pm lmao!! I’m just catching up on all these fancasting posts now (and totally ignoring the paper I have that’s due today, alas).

        I’m so excited to read Rebecca; I really hope I like it!

        I’m with you on the Neelam Gill casting; I thin Inej is canonically tiny.

        omg I was going through people’s castings and one person literally cast Cillian Murphy as Kaz and they used a picture from Peaky Blinders…

        Liked by 1 person

      • OMG that’s a day well spent tbh!!!! Are you gonna do a fancast post?

        Oh my god, Cillian Murphy could definitely be an older Kaz but I think for canon!Kaz his age is stretching it A BIT……. or a lot………

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m literally so relaxed right now, I’m just sitting here on my computer with Tabby on my bed and the windows open and I’m really enjoying life lmao.

        I think I’m gonna make a post, yeah! I have five people all picked out, but now I just need to find picks and organize it and everything. I am grudgingly working on my paper since I realized it is due at 6:45pm and not midnight, so as soon as I get that done I will work on the fancast.

        You know, I would kill for a Six of Crows film/TV show by like…HBO or Starz or something where they age up the characters and make it super gritty. And then Cillian could be Kaz. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • Omg that sounds FABULOUS. Then again I’ve had a pretty low-key day at work so I shouldn’t complain… but I’d rather be hanging out with my cats.

        YAY COOL I can’t wait to see yours! Ugh good luck w/ your paper.

        Omg that would actually be SUPER cool, I am here for it!!!! I really want there to be a SoC film or series but I’m also super wary of the corny way YA book adaptations tend to come across on film… I did like the Hunger Games films though, so maybe something like that wouldn’t be too objectionable. But I’d also go for an aged up gritty version.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. OMG THESE ARE PERFECT. Tatiana Maslany is perfection, oh my gosh, she looks exactly how I pictured Miranda. Saoirse Ronan, especially in that picture you chose, would make a great Camilla, just for the reasons you said. She has that subtlety and softness that would be fantastic in a Camilla portrayal. I have no idea who would play Charles, though, but I want to find someone!! And people who would play the rest of The Secret History characters lol. Cillian Murphy would be a wonderful Cyril, I’m only about 200 pages in but I can totally see it. And I’d love to see John Boyega as JB….I feel like he would make me like JB more than I do, but like you said he could probably pull off all of JB’s qualities that drove me crazy. I don’t know who Shoba Narayan is, but she has SUCH an Inej face. Pretty and sweet but like she could turn fierce in .5 seconds.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve thought about Secret History casting before and LIKE in theory it’d be cool to cast actual twins as Charles and Camilla but who in the heck???????? So we’re gonna go with Saoirse lol. BUT WHO SHOULD CHARLES BE??? I feel like that ~charming and handsome but arrogant~ type is always the hardest for me to cast for some reason. (See also: I CANNOT for the life of me come up with a good Julian in THIF.)

      The most popular Henry fancast that I’ve seen on tumblr is Zane Holtz and I can TOTALLY see it I MEAN–zane-holtz-a-good-man.jpg

      And I like Matthew Beard for Francis even though he isn’t technically ginger, but we can dye him ginger lol. But who are Charles and Richard and Bunny???

      AHhh how are you liking THIF? Chelsea is also gonna start it this week and I’m dying to see what you guys think of it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Right after I read your post I saw another person cast Zane Holtz as Henry and I very much have to agree. He has that…squareness about his head that is very Henry-esque. And omg Matthew Beard looks like a great Francis, he has that pretty, kind of flighty look about him. I’d love if someone found a good Richard!! Though tbh he’s the one I picture the least clearly, maybe because we’re always seeing out of his eyes?

        I am LOVING THIF. Like, I haven’t had this much fun reading a book in while, and I did not expect it to be so funny. I mean, judging from the title alone it sounded a lot more serious. And normally I’m not a huge fan of long, wandering dialogue scenes but I find them so entertaining. And like, the Averys were awful but they were so hilarious?? Like Charles made me laugh out loud. And Julian drives me crazy but he cracks me up?? This book is like my exact sense of humor, and I know it’s only going to end up paining me more (POOR SEAN AND JACK), but I can’t help be so entertained.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve seen a lot of people cast Alfie Enoch as Richard which I’m not opposed to because he’s great but tbh it just feels sort of lazy since he plays the equivalent character in How to Get Away With Murder. I’m not sure who I’d cast though??? I totally agree that he’s the most difficult one.

        I feel like Sam Claflin would have made a really good Charles a decade ago… ditto Ed Speleers for Bunny. But they’re probably too old now so HMMMM. I’m gonna continue to brainstorm this.

        AHHHH YAYYY omg perhaps another 5 star book finally???? tbh I was lowkey nervous to see how you were gonna react to it because I feel like the humor is SO hit or miss, like I found it absolutely hysterical but I guess some people aren’t totally jiving with it??? SO I AM VERY RELIEVED YOU ARE LOVING IT. omg I know what you mean about expecting something heavier but IT IS STILL PRETTY INTENSE, it’s on my coveted ‘I actually cried’ shelf on Goodreads. SEAN AND JACK omg 😭 that’s when I knew this book was going to destroy me. BUT IT IS ALSO SO HILARIOUS. CHARLES AND MAUDE ARE THE BEST. Okay we need to talk about this in more detail when you finish obviously.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Funnily Ed Speleers actually looks more like how I picture Charles! Though I totally see him for Bunny, too, only he needs to be a bit…seedier lol. I’d love a Secret History movie but I’d also be terrified. If they didn’t nail the aesthetic I’d be HEARTBROKEN.

        I’m about halfway through THIF, Cyril’s engaged to Alice and it’s KILLING ME because PLEASE TELL HER. I’m afraid of how he’s going to end up hurting her oh god. Like up until this point Cyril hasn’t really frustrated me and it’s mostly been the people around him, but he’s walking on thin ice. Though it’s also understandable on his part. But omg I was thinking about how if this book’s humor didn’t work for someone and they bought the book, it would feel like such a waste of money. It’s so dry and over the top sometimes (WHEN HE KILLED THE PRIEST) but I love it. All of these characters are awful but they’re so hilarious?? Except Catherine she’s not awful, I LOVE her and I want to see more of her so badly. But omg I’m kind of scared that it made you cry because that does not bode well for me. I’m thinking 5 stars but I don’t want to jinx it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ed Speleers could totally be Charles! If he were a BIT younger damnit. But I guess I pictured him as Bunny because of the times in Downton when Jimmy could be a total asshole. Though I guess Charles is also an asshole so really it works for either one.

        But omg I know what you mean about being scared of a TSH film. This may just be my love of theatre talking but tbh I think it may work better on stage?? Since it sort of plays out like a Greek tragedy anyway… I’d just be so afraid that a movie would turn out super corny and melodramatic.

        AHHH okay I’m gonna message you on Goodreads about THIF in a minute but YES TO EVERYTHING

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’d love a TSH play so much…I feel like it’s kind of like ALL in that a film adaptation could just overdo it. And I just feel like stage actors would have a lesser chance of disappointing me?? Like they’re on a better plain of ~drama~ that just suits those characters and books more.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This is such a great line-up of actors and I agree 100% on the books I’ve read. I would cast Tatiana Maslany in absolutely anything anyway, but she’d be a great Miranda! Love the idea of Saoirse Ronan as Camilla too.

    Cyril’s only 7 at this point in The Heart’s Invisible Furies, but I support Cillian Murphy in anything. Also the timing is so interesting because I just started reading the book yesterday, and as soon as they said Cork, I was imagining the text in accents from The Wind That Shakes the Barley, which stars Cillian Murphy, and then I saw your fancast on my lunch!

    Ooh I can definitely see John Boyega working as JB in A Little Life, but you are so right, it would work best as a play. Naturally you know what this means, I NEED to see who you’d cast in a play-version!

    I really need to read East of Eden and Rebecca!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oooh that’s so funny!!! Olivia and I were going all out on this fancast, literally googling lists of Irish actors, and I’m convinced that no one would play this role better than Cillian. I think we’d need to cast three Cyrils, though to do this properly… a child, one in his late teens or early 20s, and Cillian. I’m not sure who I’d cast for the other two. It’s tricky because no one looks quite like Cillian… Also I am completely stumped for a good Julian. Let me know if you can think of anyone.

      Omg I’m going to have to think about this play cast and get back to you. Naturally this is something I take VERY SERIOUSLY and requires a lot of reflection.

      I think Hadeer’s going to try to read Rebecca this fall, you guys should coordinate!!


      • Okay having finished the book, yep I can see Cillian Murphy being a great Cyril! The other person who might do well with it is Damien Maloney from Being Human UK, I think he does slightly clueless about people really well, but I support Cillian in anything! It is really frustrating that there’s no one who looks much like him though. For Julian, I’ll have to think on it. I don’t have a film actor in mind, just James Daly would be perfect in a play version as young-mid Julian.

        I look forward to eventually hearing your play cast for A Little Life!

        Ooh cool, I’ll talk to Hadeer about it!


  6. Fascinating post. I haven’t read many books on your list, but I can comment on Rebecca. I agree that Jessica Brown Findlay will be a nice cast, but it is still very hard to beat Joan Fontaine. In my mind, the narrator maybe looks like young Rachel McAdams. As for Rebecca herself, I picture someone like brunette Jessica Chastain, if only she were a bit younger.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t seen the original film but Joan Fontaine seems excellent! Jessica Chastain would be perfect, I don’t think she’s too old as Rebecca and Max are meant to be a bit older anyway. I wonder if she could pull off dark hair.


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