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Thursday, August 15, 2019

If Austen Adaptations Were Diverse... guest post from Kerri

We've had some Austenesque dream-casting discussions here on Austen in August before, but today's guest post from Kerri (aka The Book Belle) takes Austen adaptation casting in a direction it sadly hasn't gone, and desperately needs to. After all, Jane is a writer of the people, beloved the whole world over. You can find Kerri on her blog or booktube channel, but before you jet off to internet-stalk her, click through to see who she would choose for some diverse Austen adaptation casting, and to share your picks in the comments!

The recent casting of Halle Bailey as Ariel in the new live action Little Mermaid got me thinking. What if we recast Austen's characters with POC actors? It's no secret that all of her adaptations are very white, so let's bring them into the 21st century and imagine a more diverse casting!
Now, I can't recast every character or we'd be here all day (though I'd love to, tbh), so I decided I'd just recast the main couples in each of Austen's books. So without further ado, let's get this party started!

Pride and Prejudice

Yaya DaCosta attends the 2019  Essence Black Women In Hollywood Awards LuncheonFox has cast
Inspired by Pride by Ibi Zoboi, I decided to cast Yaya Dacosta (Afro-Brazilian) as Elizabeth and Jessie T Usher (Black) as Darcy. You can't tell me that the look Yaya is serving isn't 100% Elizabeth.
Danilo Carrera
For everyone's favorite sweet beans that must be protected at all costs, I've cast Tessa Thompson (also Afro-Panamanian) as Jane and Danilo Carrera (Mexican) as Bingley.

[Side note from Misty: I'm here for Tessa Thompson all-the-things, but I especially love the idea of her as Jane, of all the characters! I'd like to see her sweet side.]


Chloe BennetSam Milby
The effortless elegance of Chloe Bennet (Chinese) is perfect for our poised and nosy Emma, and the approachable smile of Sam Milby (Filipino) makes him the perfect Knightly. Power couple, anyone?
Auli'i CravalhoДин То́мас Однокурсник Гарри. Полукровка. В «информационной войне» принимает сторону Дамблдора и участвует в Отряде Дамблдора. Встречается с Джинни. Дин предполагал, что он маглорождённый, и поэтому вынужден был скрываться от егерей. Принимал активное участие в битве за Хогвартс.
Human ray of actual sunshine Auli'i Cravalho (Hawaiian) embodies the sweet innocence of Harriet. On the other hand, Alfred Enoch (Black), with his crooked smile and one dimple, is the best Martin and you can't convince me otherwise.


Emeraude Toubia on Instagram: “truly. madly. deeply”Daryl (Shemar Moore) Very close to my vision of him, since it's very hard to find a half black half asain man that is as perfect as him I would like to see Shemar play him. He is half black and half white, so he does have that in common with Daryl.
Emeraude Tobia (Mexican) is sweet as sugar, making her an ideal Anne for our straight-laced military man Wentworth, played by Shemar Moore (Black). We all know how well these two can do angst, IMAGINE THE TENSION.

Sense and Sensibility

Gugu Mbatha-Raw | Photograph: Alex Bramall for the ObserverPin for Later: Feast Your Eyes on All the Handsome Celebrity Guys at the Met Gala Trevor Noah
The stunning Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Black) would slay as sensisble Eleanor. And I know he's not really an actor, but I can't stop imagining Trevor Noah (South African) as Edmond. Those EYES, y'all!

 For The People Casts The Originals Alum Charles Michael Davis | TV Guide
Yes, I know Mbatha-Raw is black and Camila is Latinx so they don't look like sisters, but can you just imagine Camila (Brazilian) bringing some of her Veronica energy to Marianne? Perfection, thy name is this casting. As for Charles Michael Davis (Black), he's got that stern military-man look about him but when he smiles, he lights up the whole room; a match made in heaven for Colonel Brandon!

Mansfield Park

#picfrom #geethagovindam  #vijay  #vijaydevarakonda  #rashmikafamily #rashmika #rashmikamandanna @rashmika_mandanna  @thedeverakondaManny Jacinto
If anyone can make the often-controversial Fanny Price likeable, it's the ever-incredible Rashmika Mandana (Indian). As for sweetheart Edmund, Manny Jacinto (Filipino) is the perfect choice to bring his compassionate and playful side to life.

Northanger Abbey

Lyrica OkanoJason Genao
Sweet but realistic Catherine would be wonderfully portrayed by Lyica Okano (Japanese). As for unassuming but supportive Henry, Jason Genao (Dominican) would make this sweet romance the cherry on top of Austen's story.

BONUS: Sanditon

17 Insanely Adorable Photos Of The Chai Hansen - IMDb
We'll never know how the story was meant to end, but that doesn't mean we won't cast it with some bomb af actors! I have no doubt that Disney alum and award winning China Anne McClaine would bring Charlotte to life with sparkle, spirit and warmth - just as she should be. As for beach boy Sidney, I had to pick Chai Hansen (Thai), because with his Australian accent and long, curly hair, how is he not the perfect beach babe?

Thank y'all for reading my diverse Austen casting! And thank you to Misty for hosting the best Jane-themed event around! Be sure to always support artists of color and enjoy the rest of Austen in August!

Jane Austen, Austen in August, blog event, Jane Austen fan fiction, JAFF, The Book Rat, BookRatMisty
Click here to return to the master list of Austen in August posts!


  1. Love this idea!!! I am terrible of coming up with "casting" ideas, so I definitely enjoyed your choices.

  2. I'm in awe of your casting ability, Kerri. I really don't watch much TV and movies so I'm glad to see these gorgeous people and imagine them in the roles of Austen's characters.

  3. I am useless on actors, so I can't comment on most of these, but I wanted to comment to say hello to another Ceri, albeit with a different spelling to mine :)

  4. I viewed the Pride and Prejudice Atlanta movie, and I enjoyed it. I don't usually care for modern versions, but this one caught my attention. You have made some interesting cast ideas. I recently viewed Black Girls love Jane Austen blog and found it just as interesting as yours. Thanks for posting!

  5. Loved the casting, especially Elinor and Edward (love the idea of Trevor Noah as Edward Ferrars -- who I think has more of a sense of humor than most readers/viewers give him credit for). Related to this: I've really enjoyed reading diverse retellings of Austen's books, most recently Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors, Unmarriagable and Ayesha at Last. And Ibi Zoboi's Pride is on my TBR list, for sure. Thanks for this post -- so much fun to view, but also really important to think about how Austen's stories have the power to transcend race and nationality. I think the number of Austenesque variations out there are proof of that -- and I hope different kinds of castings on TV and on film will be further evidence of her universal appeal.

  6. Loved this post. awesome multi-racial choices. I am familiar with some of these international artists

  7. I would love to watch your adaptations as I loved your castings. Although I wouldn't mind seeing Tessa Thompson sweeter side as Jane, I can't help imagining her as Elizabeth with Nathalie Emmanuel as Jane.

  8. It was wondering if I could use this write-up on my other website, I will link it back to your website though.Great Thanks. Seo Profile


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