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!
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?
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!