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caracas1914

The Casting & Recasting Thread

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Sorry if there is already a thread on this.

The 1944(?) movie Mr. Skeffington, where the female lead was such a dazzling beauty, she kept mutiple suitors enthralled for decades. Bette Davis was fine in the role but I would have loved to have seen someone like Vivien Leigh in that role, who really was a stunning beauty.

Also both the 70's version of the Great Gatsby and the recent one had disappointing Daisy Buchanans. My ideal for the older version would have been Katharine Ross and for this last one Scarlett Johanson.

Oliver Stone's "Alexander" , should have dumped Collin Farrel (a good actor I might add) who was miscast and had in his "Golden boy" era Jude Law tackle the role.

Edited by caracas1914

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Dakota Fanning would have been recasted by Taylor Momsen for The Runaways. I'm sorry, but the biggest fail of that entire movie was Dakota's inability to sell the underaged sex kitten rock star. I absolutely hate the fact that the people who did the movie basically promised Dakota Fanning that role when she was 12, and they never really took into consideration whether or not a 15-year old Dakota could really pull off Cherie Currie. (Believe me, she didn't. Which made Stewart's Joan Jett really shine in comparison.)

Edited by methodwriter85
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I agree Davis seemed a bit miscast in Mr. Skeffington (and in Jezebel, which seemed like a consolation prize for her not getting to play Scarlett O'Hara.) I would have loved to see what she could have done with Scarlett, whom Mitchell described as "not beautiful" in the first sentence of the book. I'm intrigued by the idea of Leigh and Davis swapping roles.

 

Speaking of swapping roles--and of the 1974 Great Gatsby--I thought Redford should have played Tom Buchanan and Dern Gatsby. Redford could have conveyed Tom's aristocratic airs and sense of entitlement effortlessly, while Dern could have captured Gatsby's "trying too hard to be one of the cool kids" quality. 

 

Totally agree with the miscasting of Colin Farrell as Alexander the Great. I wonder what Heath Ledger would have done with the role. And Angelina Jolie as Alexander's mom was just as ridiculous. Maybe replace her with Glenn Close?

 

I wish Streisand had seen past her own ego and cast someone else as Dr. Lowenstein in The Prince of Tides--Debra Winger, maybe?

 

I've often wondered why Eric Stolz was replaced by Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future.

Edited by GreekGeek
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I've often wondered why Eric Stolz was replaced by Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future.

 

To put it bluntly, he wasn't funny.

Edited by methodwriter85
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Totally agree with the miscasting of Colin Farrell as Alexander the Great. I wonder what Heath Ledger would have done with the role. And Angelina Jolie as Alexander's mom was just as ridiculous. Maybe replace her with Glenn Close?

I also would have liked to have seen HL in that role. But there was a lot going wrong with that movie that I'm not positive that he could have saved it either. The hair, the accents the inability of Stone to dramatize any event in Alexander the Great's life succinctly. Angelina Jolie was fine as the mother of little Alexander and preteen Alexander but there were some very unnecessary scenes with what was suppose to be 18 yr old Alexander and quite frankly, it had been a while since Colin Farrell passed for 18. Heath Ledger might have worked much better in that regard but would you want him saddled with that?

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Should have recast Charlize Theron in Monster. I know she did a great job but there must have been plenty of heavier plain older actresses who would kill for that part.

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I thought that CT was great in Monster.  A "heavier, older" actress could've technically played that part, but many of them couldn't have done it as well as she did, IMO.

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I've often wondered why Eric Stolz was replaced by Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future.

I believe the general consensus (based on the people in the movie and the released scenes where he was in it) is that he went much, much darker with his portrayal than what the light-hearted tone of the movie was supposed to be.  

 

This is a random recast, but it's sticking in my head since I watched it recently - I would've recast Blake Lively in The Town.  She can play older, but not that much older, and it makes no sense in the context of the story that she is supposed to be the same age as Ben Affleck.  They don't look remotely close to being the same age.  

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I thought that CT was great in Monster.  A "heavier, older" actress could've technically played that part, but many of them couldn't have done it as well as she did, IMO.

 

Case in point: Elizabeth Taylor as Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe. Like CT, she gained weight and used make-up to look older. Elizabeth was only in her mid-30's, her character was supposed to be in her mid/late 40's. I can't picture anybody else playing Martha.

 

I would have recasted Darryl Hannah with Kim Basinger in Wall Street. I bet she would have done a great job. (If you needed a bombshell blonde type for that part.)

Edited by methodwriter85
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I know Charlize did a great job but who knows, a castling call for a plain heavier actress might have uncovered a hidden talent who would also have done a great job. We'll never know.

 

I remember when Michelle Pfeiffer played a plain down-and-out waitress, they really had to give her a makeunder and some said the role should have gone to Kathy Bates. It's not often a lead role requires a woman to be plain and dumpy.

Edited by shang yiet
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I know Charlize did a great job but who knows, a castling call for a plain heavier actress might have uncovered a hidden talent who would also have done a great job. We'll never know.

I always loved Kathy Bates' comment in an interview about "Frankie and Johnny." When talking about being passed over for Michelle Pfeiffer, she said if there had been any part she would have expected to beat the beautiful Pfeiifer for, it was this one since Frankie was supposed to be unattractive and heavy-set.

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I know Charlize did a great job but who knows, a castling call for a plain heavier actress might have uncovered a hidden talent who would also have done a great job. We'll never know.

That's how I feel about the whole issue with Emma Stone in Aloha. No one can say that a biracial person wouldn't end up looking just like her but the fact remains that no one in Hollywood was looking and because of that no one is even trying to discover /develope another Emma Stone like talent that is not white. Hell, I feel that way about the Hunger Games too. That's not to say Jennifer Lawrence wouldn't have gotten the job but maybe a biracial actress could have been discovered in that audition process that could have headed Lionsgate 's next big project.

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My problem with the Charlize Therons and Michelle Pfeiffers getting those "frumpy" roles is that there's also all this praise for being so "brave".

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Stardom is very image-dependent, so there is a certain amount of risk in deviating so far from your established niche.  Not enough to build an entire magazine article around, but it's there.

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My point is that Charlize Theron and Michelle Pfeiffer (back when she did "Frankie and Johnny") could do a glamorous role the next time out, they certainly weren't going to be permanently typecast as frumpy and unattractive.

So those actresses get the "pretty" roles and because of makeup get the dowdy roles, AND credit for going against type. It's the same problem I have when a white actor gets a clearly written ethnic role, they get the white roles, (which are like 90 % of roles)and now can get the 10 % ethnic roles too?

Edited by caracas1914
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To me thought the "unattractive" thing is a two way street.  I remember when Halle did Monster's Ball and she talked about auditioning for Lee Daniels for the role.  She said that Lee initially told her "no" because she was "too beautiful" to play a "poor, down on her luck woman".  Halle got pissed off and challenged Lee and said.  "Are you serious?  You really think that there aren't poor women in the ghetto and in the rural South who aren't just as "good looking" and "beautiful" as I am." 

 

Lee said he took her statement and really thought about how his own bias towards "beauty in general and who he thought that applied to" and how he was using it against not someone as successful as Halle, but how that translated to how he cast the "poor/average characters in his films".

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Well, in the case of Charlize Theron in monster we know what her character looked like and how much CT would have to change from what she looks like.

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Well, in the case of Charlize Theron in monster we know what her character looked like and how much CT would have to change from what she looks like.

I see your point, but is that really any different from actors who put on weight for a role or who wear prosthetics or heavy make-up?  In Charlize's case it really worked, she really did look like Eileen and was incredible in the movie.  To me though, the most interesting thing that movie did was get Charlize actual legit respect for being talented.  A lot of people in Hollywood and out really started to pay attention to her talent after that.

 

Ironically, the experience of changing her looks is what got the general public to think of her more than just an interchangeable pretty face.

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I'd love to know how Kingdom of Heaven would've turned out if Ridley Scott had cast someone like Christian Bale in the main role rather than that acting vacuum Orlando Bloom.  Not that the movie wouldn't have had other problems, but at least the bulk of the acting wouldn't have been one of them.

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  Regarding Charlize Theron in Monster, while IA that some of the press did go overboard in calling her "brave" for playing the role, for better or worse, it also showed that she's not just another pretty face. Theron's Oscar win for that film wasn't just a fluke, as her Best Actress nomination for North Country and all the Oscar buzz for her role as Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road proved.  While image is extremely important in Hollywood  (to put it mildly), if an actress has also got the talent to back it up like IMO Charlize Theron does, then they can have thriving careers.

 

  Re Chicago, while Richard Gere was OK as Billy Flynn, it's a shame that the producers didn't get who they originally wanted-Hugh Jackman. Unfortunately, while Jackman was offered the role, he didn't take it because he thought he was too young for it, which is a shame because if he had played Flynn, I think he would have killed it.

Edited by DollEyes
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I recently read that Al Pacino was asked to play Jimmy Conway in Goodfellas and turned it down. I can't imagine him in that role. I can buy Robert DeNiro as an Irishman but Al Pacino? Nope.

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Colin Farrell should have been cast as Jack Dawson in Titanic.  To me, Leonardo DiCaprio seemed too young to pull off the role - despite the smash the film became.   I remember some of Leo's detractors referred to him as "fetus head" for some time due to his boyish looks.

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I respectfully disagree. Colin Farrell is very talented and very hot, but at the time, he was an unknown; DiCaprio, otoh, was not only much more famous than Farrell, he had already gotten his first Oscar nomination for What's Eating Gilbert Grape a few years before, so director/writer James Cameron's reluctance to risk his multi-million dollar dream project on a nobody was IMO understandable.

Edited by DollEyes
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And Colin Farrell would have been pretty green at the time; I don't know if he would have been able to pull off the role.

 

I'm not sure if Sean Young would have been right, but Darryl Hannah definitely needed to be recasted in Wall Street. If we needed a blonde bombshell, Kim Basinger or Michelle Pfieiffer would have been good.

Edited by methodwriter85
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As I recall for Titanic, it came down between Christian Bale and Leo for the role of Jack, and James Cameron went with Leo because he didn't want two English actors playing Americans for the main roles (as Kate Winslet was already cast). I'm curious as to what Bale's portrayal would've looked like, but I think Leo is still the right choice between the two (even though I am a huge fan of Bale's).

And, funnily enough, it was just a couple years later where Leo was originally cast as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho, and then dropped out due to Gloria Steinem's (Christian Bale's step-mother) urging, and was replaced with Christian Bale. I can't imagine anyone other than Bale in it, but I would've loved to see what Leo could've done with that role.

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I don't think Leo could have ever gotten the bod that Christian Bale had for Patrick Bateman, though. I kind of think it was necessary for Bateman to have this otherwordly, perfect male model body- because he was a perfect robot that mimicked human looks and human behavior, but underneath the pretty package depravity and sociopath tendencies lurked. And the body showed that utter devotion to the surface.

 

Leo's been able to slim down for parts when he needs to and he looks fine, but I don't think he is genetically capable of that perfect, magazine-ready mesomorph body that Bale's able to get. He's basically got a former twink bod that kind of struggles to stay thin now, as opposed to Bale's jock bod.

Edited by methodwriter85
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I would have recasted Michael Huisman in the Age of Adaline. No knock on him (I LOVED him as Liam in Nashville), but he had so little chemistry with Blake Lively, and it was all the more jarring by her having more chemistry with Young AND Old William.

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And Colin Farrell would have been pretty green at the time; I don't know if he would have been able to pull off the role.

 

I've seen some of his early stuff, and I think he'd have been fine.  He couldn't have been any worse than DiCaprio, who I think was bloody awful.  (Of course, I think that about the whole movie, but especially his performance.)  But I understand about the fame being important for carrying the film.

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I agree Davis seemed a bit miscast in Mr. Skeffington (and in Jezebel, which seemed like a consolation prize for her not getting to play Scarlett O'Hara.) I would have loved to see what she could have done with Scarlett, whom Mitchell described as "not beautiful" in the first sentence of the book. I'm intrigued by the idea of Leigh and Davis swapping roles.

 

Speaking of swapping roles--and of the 1974 Great Gatsby--I thought Redford should have played Tom Buchanan and Dern Gatsby. Redford could have conveyed Tom's aristocratic airs and sense of entitlement effortlessly, while Dern could have captured Gatsby's "trying too hard to be one of the cool kids" quality. 

 

I've often wondered why Eric Stolz was replaced by Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future.

 

I could be wrong, but I think I read that Bette Davis wasn't interested in the Scarlett role; I'll look through my book(s) to see if I remembered incorrectly.  I know the casting circus for GWTW went on for a year or two, but Jezebel, the quick-and-dirty GWTW, was released in early 1938; Davis may have been downplaying her interest, or she may have legitimately been hesitant to repeat essentially the same role, although in color and with much more ornate costumes and sets. 

 

I love Katherine Ross but don't know if she could have come off as ethereal as Daisy was supposed to be - not that Mia Farrow was anything to write home about.

 

Michael J. Fox was the first choice but couldn't get out of his TV contract for filming.  Eric Stolz - whose work I love - was reportedly very "method" on the set, took everything way too seriously, and in general didn't fit in with the cast or the tone of the film.  By that time, Fox's show had finished filming his show for the season, and they scooped him up. This is a pretty good account of how they switched Fox for Stolz; this summer being the 30th anniversary of BttF's release, it got a lot of attention.

 

 

 

ETA: I didn't realize this post was a couple of weeks old, and the BttF issue had been addressed.  Sorry, not trying to step on anyone's toes.

Edited by harrie

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I love Katherine Ross but don't know if she could have come off as ethereal as Daisy was supposed to be - not that Mia Farrow was anything to write home about.

I'm still trying to figure out what exactly Mia Farrow was trying to do in that role. Her voice was so annoying.

 

Natalie Wood was first choice but turned it down, because she was focused on having a family. I think she could have done pretty well in the role- she did ethereal beauty very well.

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Christie and Shepherd would have been good. They both could have conveyed the sadness under Daisy's "perfect rich girl" surface. Black and Minnelli--no. They do fine as Everywoman salt-of-the-earth type gals, or as vulgar types, but ethereal beauty is not a quality I associate with them.

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Didn't Karen Black play Tom Buchanan's mistress in the movie?

Goodness knows I have some images of crazy eye Black acting in the recesses of my memory.

 

Oh, crap! -- she was Myrtle Wilson, the garage owner's wife who got run over.   

Christie and Shepherd would have been good. They both could have conveyed the sadness under Daisy's "perfect rich girl" surface. Black and Minnelli--no. They do fine as Everywoman salt-of-the-earth type gals, or as vulgar types, but ethereal beauty is not a quality I associate with them.

 

I can see Minnelli doing fragile and frenetic, but not ethereal; and, while I had Karen Black potentially double cast in the 1974 TGG, you're right -- she's kind of crazy, maybe bird-like, but that's not ethereal. 

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Speaking of Karen Black, I had a hard time believing that even going with gender transition, Jesse from Nightmare on Elm Street 2 would have ended up as her in Come Back to the Five and Dime, JImmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. But I guess she had a really good plastic surgeon?

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Hey, I was wondering the user who started this post and the mods would considering expanding the scope (and title) of this thread so that we can talk about casting in general? I.E. Casting kudos, people we wish had been recast, etc etc. I've been wanting to start a general casting thread but I'm not sure it would stand out enough from this.

Edited by methodwriter85

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Hey, I was wondering the user who started this post and the mods would considering expanding the scope (and title) of this thread so that we can talk about casting in general? I.E. Casting kudos, people we wish had been recast, etc etc. I've been wanting to start a general casting thread but I'm not sure it would stand out enough from this.

 

We don't have issue with that. Title and subject changes are based on consensus in these cases so we can wait to hear what other posters think.

 

I find casting interesting as well. There are some casting directors who do deserve more recognition for their work. They actually create a lot of stars and elevate actors into more notoriety.

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I always look for the casting director in movies. Some have a prescient sense of which up and coming actors are going to eventually make it big.

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There should be an Oscar for casting.

 

Honestly, hands down, the most impressive casting I've ever seen in my life was Christine Taylor as Marcia Brady in the Brady Bunch movie. THAT was just incredible to watch. She nailed that character/child star in every imaginable way. There's been a lot of "t.v. show to movie" adaptions, and I've never seen any other movie-based-on-a-t.v.-show adaption so faithfully re-adapt the feeling of the original piece.

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I think Shelley Duvall as Olive Oyl in Popeye is the single best bit of casting I've ever seen, but it's not really an indication of genius on Altman's part to cast her in that role.

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I think Shelley Duvall as Olive Oyl in Popeye is the single best bit of casting I've ever seen, but it's not really an indication of genius on Altman's part to cast her in that role.

 

It's similar to Matthew Lillard as Shaggy- really great casting in one particular instance, but the movies themselves sucked.

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The casting of Virginia Madsen as Jennifer Lawrence's mother in the upcoming "Joy" is perfect. The two of them really do look alike. 

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The casting of Virginia Madsen as Jennifer Lawrence's mother in the upcoming "Joy" is perfect. The two of them really do look alike.

That's how I feel about the casting of Chris Hemsworth as Kirk's father in the Star Trek reboot. Very strong resemblance between he and Chris Pine.

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There should be an Oscar for casting.

 

I completely agree.  There was a documentary on HBO about a year ago that went into depth on that subject.  It's the Director's Guild that fights it tooth and nail.  The President of the  guild was interviewed and frankly was a total asshole about it IMO.   Their position is it's ultimately the director who chooses what actors to put in a movie.   But I think it's a weak argument.   Wouldn't the director also ultimately be responsible for things like makeup and sound too?

 

I recommend the documentary.  I think it was called Casting About.  It was great to listen to veteran casting directors and their stories of actors they fought for and such.

Edited by vb68
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Was that the documentary about Marion Dougherty? That was very good and I was very touched by all the actors that vouched for her as the one who really made their career.

Was that the documentary about Marion Dougherty? That was very good and I was very touched by all the actors that vouched for her as the one who really made their career. Hell, Martin Scorsese thanked her in his Oscar speech saying that between her and the cast how could it go wrong.

Edited by raezen
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