Home  |  Reviews  |  Vlogs  |  Interviews  |  Guest Posts  |  Fairy Tales  |  Jane Austen  |  Memes  |  Policies

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Dream Casting Austen: a colorful conversation

Okay, technically we touched on a version of this question last year, and technically a couple of our lovely Janeintes who are participating this year answered it last year. BUT we have some fresh blood this year, that didn't get to answer this question, and we mostly didn't really approach it the way we are this time, AND I frankly just like to ponder this from time to time, and was curious whether the answers would change. (Also, I forgot that we talked about it last year. I mean, it was only sort of -- we were talking about bad casting in Austen and just. . .whatever, we're talking about it again!).
So. I asked  . . .

Though there has never been (and probably will never be) a perfect cast in any Austen adaptation (there's always someone that falls flat, or that just does not suit the character), which one character do you think HAS been perfectly casted? And which one character would YOU perfectly cast (and with whom)?
MISTY: Alright, first up, I guess lets see if answers have changed at all. Maria and Cecilia? I believe last year, you weighed in on some characters you believed were either cast really well, or really poorly. Did that factor in this year?
MARIA: I (still) think that Ciaran Hinds was the perfect Captain Wentworth.
MISTY: Now, see, I just couldn't get past some things with him. That whole cast, in fact, was just too old and a little off to me. but Rupert Penry-Jones, on the other hand. . . Well, I already said we should start a movement to make him Wentworth from here on out.
CECILIA: Alicia Silverstone's Cher in Clueless is a perfectly cast modern Emma. When I defend Emma as my favorite Austen heroine, the linchpin of my argument is well-you-liked-Cher-didn't-you?
MISTY: Yes yes yes. Yes, yes yes yes!
CECILIA: My perfect casting pick? An I-Captured-the-Castle Henry Caville as Knightley.
MISTY: YES YES YES. Though he's kinda youngish. But then, maybe that'll help the Emma/Knightley relationship not squick me out quite so much.
CECILIA: There's even a clip of him making out with Romola Garai (Emma 2009) to get your imagination halfway there. :p

MISTY: Did I mention yes?
LISA: I thought Donald Sutherland’s portrayal of Mr. Bennet in the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice was brilliant: we see an intelligent, handsome, affectionate man whose key flaw is a kind of destructive laziness.
And I mean, Donald Sutherland is basically perf, so. . . I think the chemistry, unspoken understanding and playfulness between him and Kiera is the first time I've seen a pair capture what I thought of as the Lizzie/Mr. Bennet relationship.
LISA: In an alternate universe, I’d love to see a young Meryl Streep play Elizabeth Bennet. (And with her real hair, not wearing a ghastly immobile wig like the one Jennifer Ehle sported in the A&E P&P.)
MISTY: OR in this universe, I could really go for her as Lady C. OMG, SOMEONE MAKE IT HAPPEN.
MARGARET: Well, Tom Hiddleston is my muse for Henry Tilney these days. I hear his voice when I write or read Henry's dialogue. I don't exactly "see" him in my head, but Henry-in-my-head is tall and lanky these days. It's not just that Tom Hiddleston is a nice-looking young man, but he's very Tilneyish. He's intelligent, well-read, and incredibly kind, and has a goofy sense of humor.
MISTY: Totally true!
MARGARET: Oh, and he's an excellent dancer--just like Henry.

MISTY: I never get sick of that. . .
MARGARET: I'm really looking forward to his upcoming film Crimson Peak, which is like if Northanger Abbey really were a Gothic novel instead of a parody of one. I have often thought Guillermo del Toro would be an awesome director for an adaptation of NA, so this is probably the closest we will ever get!

MISTY: Ooh, I hadn't watched the trailer yet! It is VERY Northanger!
MARGARET: I have often thought Guillermo del Toro would be an awesome director for an adaptation of NA, so this is probably the closest we will ever get!
LAURIE: One can never say it enough times: ColinFirthColinFirthColinFirth…And yet, His Royal Darcyness is not the only example of casting perfection.
MISTY: Though as a certain Amanda Price says, even Colin Firth wasn't Colin Firth. *winks*
LAURIE: Imogen Stubbs in the Ang Lee Sense and Sensibility is the quintessential Lucy Steele. We’re talking Lucifer in a bonnet. You can practically catch a whiff of brimstone as she plies her fan.
MISTY: I did really want to shake her. . .
LAURIE: The way she puts her arm through Elinor’s in fake sisterly affection and later through Edward’s when he tries to flee the room that contains his fiancée and the woman he loves gives me the shudders. She is the embodiment of just how diabolical the veneer of phony civility and social propriety can be. It’s enough to make me long for a claymation Celebrity Death Match between Elinor and Lucy.
MISTY:  Yes. Yes, someone do this thing, yes.
LAURIE: As for playing casting director, I think it would be great fun to see Anna Kendrick play Elizabeth Bennet in yet another adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Because there can never be too many of those.
MISTY: There never can! And she would bring a whole new audience/generation to it. And she'd certainly keep it interesting. Hmm. . . who would be her Darcy? You know what, why don't YOU guys weigh in on that in the comments! That could be a fun little game! =D

That's the last of the colorful Janeite conversations from JAFF writers this year! If you missed any, you can catch up on them here!
But keep an eye out, because we're not quite done yet -- I've got one last colorful conversation coming, from AIA readers!

Big thanks to:
Maria Grace, author of Mistaking Her Character, et al.
Cecilia Gray, author of The Jane Austen Academy series
Lisa Pliscou, author of Young Jane Austen
Margaret C. Sullivan, author of Jane Austen Cover to Cover, et al.
Laurie Viera Rigler, author of the Jane Austen Addict series

Click here to return to the Austen in August Main Page


  1. Anna Kendrick's an intriguing choice!! And may I jump in with much ditto on Sutherland? <3<3 I largely ignored this dynamic in the books until I watched this adaptation, and it made me go back to the material with new eyes.

  2. Well I preferred Mr Bennet in the 1995 version but I just loved Brenda Blethyn in the 2005. She was just perfect as Mrs Bennet. I didn't really like the 1995 portrayal of her, it was over the top.

    Some of my favourite casting was Felicity Jones as Catherine Morland in 2007 NA. You could see the naivety so perfectly. Also loved J J Feild as Henry. I wasn't hugely keen on NA when I first read it, as I felt that he was laughing AT her rather than with her, but they captured in this adaptation the fact that though he was laughing at her it was only because she made it so irresistible, which I got when I read it again.

    I also loved Samantha Bond as Maria Bertram in the 1980s Mansfield Park.

    1. Just to add, I saw your comments above re. Wentworth and I disagree with both of you, Hinds was too old for the part and Penry Jones too pretty. Does he look like a man who has spent time on a boat with no sunscreen? No way! I also think Hinds looks too Heathcliff-y for Wentworth. Loved Amanda Root as Anne, but again she was a bit older than the part. I liked her far better than the later Anne though.

    2. I adore Brenda Blethyn as Mrs. B! She humanized the role, and having some quiet moments for a loud lady gave balance.

      I can't help but love Rupert PRETTY-Jones. (And agreed on liking Amanda Root more than the most recent. If she were only younger, she'd have been perfect.)

  3. I am terrible at this casting thing. I like Lisa's point about Sutherland. I would have never picked him and yet he did capture a lot of Mr. Bennet.

    1. It's so hard! I always want someone new, someone who hasn't been discovered, so that the role isn''t tainted by other things they've done -- but of course, how can your cast them if they haven't been discovered? lol!

  4. GAH! As if I needed a reason to adore Tom Hiddleston even more. He would, though, truly be a perfect Henry Tilney. *swoons*
    If we're going modern American P&P adaptation (and really, can we? Slightly different costumes and different accents and new scenery, but it'd still be period-appropriate, right?), I'd cast Nathan Fillion (it'd be a great challenge from his usual roles).
    No, wait! Benedict Cumberbatch. Screw the American P&P idea, I just want to see him haughty and gorgeous.
    Or, still yet, Jamie Bamber. Hmmmm.....

    1. Forget Jamie Bamber. Richard Armitage!

    2. YES, BETH. Yes. he is my number 1, it needs to happen DARCY.

  5. I also thought the Donald Sutherland//Keira Knightly combo was perfect. I do be to differ on the perfect Darcy....for me it is Matthew MacFadyen over Colin Firth.

  6. I also thought the Donald Sutherland//Keira Knightly combo was perfect. I do be to differ on the perfect Darcy....for me it is Matthew MacFadyen over Colin Firth.


Tell me all your thoughts.
Let's be best friends.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...