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I am sitting here, listening to triple j's Hottest 100, which makes me feel all nostalgic even though I haven't heard almost any of these songs, as I've barely listened to the radio at all in the last year. It also comprises pretty much the entirety of my Australia Day celebrations, stranded as I am way out here in chilly Chicago. (Australia Day ought to be bbqs and backyards, shorts and singlets, and lazing about. Not staying up until 4 in the morning with headphones on to hear what #1 will be, and then basically dying of sleeplessness later that day because I work at seven. I haven't entirely decided whether I WILL stay up, but then, I do have a jar of Vegemite which I have neglected shamefully for several months. So ... that might help.)

We're just past halfway and so far, The National's come in at 93 with "Anyone's Ghost", Broken Bells at 95 with "The High Road", and some band called Tame Impala was at 74 with "Lucidity" (which frankly didn't excite me, but I doubt they'll care). I don't know which I'm enjoying listenting to more, the music or the accents. "The coveted #1 possie." Thanks, Zan Rowe. And the photos. Slip'n'slides! And they're encouraging fund-raising efforts for the flooding. Ah, Australia. Never change.

So, since I have finished all my homework reading already, and I need periodic distractions from my current Leverage fic, this is something I can thinker with while listening my night away. I know fantasy casting isn't a new thing, but I have Opinions, and an inclination to picspam right now. Also, no one around me in RL reads Pratchett, so I can't go and have this conversation with them. I guess it's a pretty specific geekery.

As usual, opinions, disagreements, and notions in the comments. Specifically who you'd cast as your favourite character X from Y, or whatever.

Warning: Picspam Ensuage.


What's interesting to me, about it all, is how people see the characters they read in their head. And that fine art of matching not just appearance but some kind of intangible essence of the actor to the character. For example, I have always found the movie of Gone With the Wind pretty unsatisfying, because when I picture Rhett Butler, I do NOT see Clark Gable. Dashing as he is, no doubt, I always pictured Rhett more rugged. Consider his introduction in the book:

As she chattered and laughed and cast quick glances into the house and the yard, her eyes fell on a stranger, standing alone in the hall, staring at her in a cool impertinent way that brought her up sharply with a mingled feeling of feminine pleasure that she had attracted a man and an embarrassed sensation that her dress was too low in the bosom. He looked quite old, at least thirty-five. He was a tall man and powerfully built. Scarlett thought she had never seen such a man with such wide shoulders, so heavy with muscles, almost too heavy for gentility. When her eye caught his, he smiled, showing animal-white teeth below a close-clipped black mustache. He was dark of face, swarthy as a pirate, and his eyes were as bold and black as any pirate's appraising a galleon to be scuttled or a maiden to be ravished. There was a cool recklessness in his face and a cynical humor in his mouth as he smiled at her, and Scarlett caught her breath. She felt that she should be insulted by such a look as was annoyed with herself because she did not feel insulted. She did not know who he could be, but there was undeniably a look of good blood in his dark face. It showed in the thin hawk nose over the full red lips, and high forehead and the wide-set eyes.

When you read that, do you see this:
 


No, you do NOT. You see THIS (nevermind the moustache; handily, the timeframe of Deadwood is contemporary with GWtW):
 


I mean, maybe Clark was all intense and piratical for his era, but there was always something too rubbery and smarmy about the way he exercised his expressions for me to be, you know, interested in him. Someone get that man some red blooded machismo, or don't let him be Rhett Butler!

Of course, Ian McShane is more than twenty years too old in DW to be Rhett, and really, if we're honest, too short. (Although the Pirates people had the good sense to cast him as Blackbeard for the next sequel; well done, those people.) However, in the interests of the public interest and responsible research, I went looking for a younger pic of him....
 


... Well alright then.

I promise, in spite of recent comments, I do NOT think Ian McShane should play every brooding romantic anti-hero of the 1800s, although you'd have to admit it wouldn't be a bad start. (Other than Mr Thornton, or for that matter, the entire cast of Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South. Because that was pitch-perfect in every particular. Hands off. Sadly, as this post is not about those productions that got everyone so right that you can no longer imagine anyone else, I won't be mentioning Lord of the Rings, either. I'm sorry, Éomer!) McShane actually did play Heathcliff at one point, as it happens, although I haven't seen it. Another example: you'd think Ralph Fiennes would be a pretty safe bet as Heathcliff, but he was a little, kind of, milksoppy. Wibbly. You know how it is. On the other hand, I thought he was absolutely perfect as Count Almásy in The English Patient (and that is by no means a slight on either actor or character, because I love that book and that character particularly is probably my second favourite in it).



So don't feel bad, Ralph Fiennes. There's a particular malevolence you have to pull off to manage Heathcliff, and while you've done Nazis, serial killers, and disfigured scourges of the wizarding world, it sort of all missed the mark doing a vindictive, miserable foundling on the moors. It's an intensely personal brand of spite, which elevates micromanaging cruelty to an artform.

Hope springing eternal, as it does, I'd be willing to see what James Purefoy could do with it.



Mind you, a less wishy-washy Catherine than Juliette Binoche would be helpful, too. She was delightful in Chocolate, but too ... French for Catherine. You need someone able to go convincingly to the sharp end of willful, spoiled, irritating ... Catherine Zeta Jones, perhaps. I think Kristin Scott Thomas is skilled enough to combine that with the bewitching fascination Cathy is supposed to wield, although I suspect she may bring too much a sense of restraint to the character. It's a difficult line to negotiate.



In any case, when it comes to fantasy casting, I usually don't give a damn (or at least this much of a damn), but Pratchett's stuff seems to be a particularly rich source of this kind of thing. Probably because he plays with character types and tropes so much that there's already a filmic legacy in how these characters should look. Being that this is fantasy casting, I do have the edge that I can cast anyone I want regardless of age, state of existence, availability, paygrade, ability with accents, and so on. Their edge is in being able to actually hire actual people to do the actual show; having said that, Charles Dance as Vetinari? I think NOT. Apart from anything else, the man is supposed to have BLACK HAIR. C'mon, people!

(Note: in each case, I went looking for the official character illustrations after I picked out the actor photos. Make of that what you will.)

The casting people did also have a go with Jeremy Irons as the Patrician in The Colour of Magic, which I salute for a jolly game attempt, and possibly the best you're going to get in our generation. However, clearly, the man we're looking for here is the incomparable Christopher Lee.

 
 

... Wouldn't you agree?
 


YES.

For Vimes, I've seen some interesting proposals and casting notions, such as Dennis Quaid (hm) and Hugh Laurie, and of course there's Prachett's own fantasy casting of Pete Postlethwaite, but for me, Craig Ferguson is all over that. And it's not just the appearance; it's the addict thing, the worn and grizzled thing, the dealing-with-humanity's-crap thing. I think he'd be awesome.

 

I haven't done most of the rest of the Watch, although when I tried I discovered the almost-impossible nature of casting Carrot. (I'm not touching Nobby with a ten-foot-pole, which at least is the common reaction.) The combination of qualities is ridiculously difficult to balance, let alone portray well by one person. I've heard the Brendan Fraser suggestion, and when he was the right age I think he might have been able to pull it off (Carrot's supposed to be around early twenties at this point in the timeline, I believe). And be able to take the red hair dye, which as far as I'm concerned is a must.

However, I'll go out on a limb and suggest that Channing Tatum might actually be able to do a very convincing Carrot. Sure, he has the jaw, and the shape that led to the name "Carrot" in the first place, but I've seen him do innocence and depth (although I was also forced to sit through Dear John, and for what it's worth I'll grant that he did his very best), and of course the notion that he has a punch that can lay out a troll is completely believable.




On to the character who was the first to inspire this whole idea of Pratchett casting for me, years ago, because it was immediately obvious that Cohen the Barbarian NEEDS to be played by Clint Eastwood. Survived everything, and only getting tougher with age, like teak.

 

Immediately followed by the inescapable realisation that Granny Weatherwax IS Maggie Smith, or the other way around, or whatever. Harry Potter has very helpfully cast her as a venerable witch, so little imagination is required.



EXCEPT that Granny is Bad Ass and McGonagall, bless her heart, is ... doing her best. Granny needs something more like THIS expression:



And then, of course, it would be utterly, utterly wrong to not put these two ladies together to depict Granny and Nanny, in all the delightful intricacies of their friendship.



Not to mention Judi Dench is in herself the perfect person to relish the hell out of the dirty-song-singing, pipe-smoking, irrepressible matriarch/midwife Nanny Ogg.

 

Of course, major props to those people who cast Jane Horrocks as the third in the coven in Wyrd Sisters (also had Christopher Lee as Death, which you can't really argue with), Magrat Garlick, because she is exactly, exactly right.

 

To be perfectly honest, I don't know what to do with Agnes. So that's no fun, so let's skip right on to Greebo in human form. Given this description on Wikipedia: he looks like a 'beautiful, brainless bully' who has raided a leather goods store for the discerning pirate, and appears ready to unbuckle any amount of swash, radiating an aura of raw sex that can be felt several rooms away, and of a megawatt magnitude. He is typically covered in scars, has retractable nails (or more accurately, claws) and maintains a slitted left eye, I appreciate the thought that's gone into such suggestions as Sean Bean, Jeffery Dean Morgan, Clive Owen (really? I mean, I guess I see it, but I don't really see it), and Johnny Depp (again, really? He's sexy, but he's too cerebral ... although going back to Rhett, he might be quite interesting), and I'd add things like Karl Urban and Robert Downey Jr (who is cc'd on the Depp considerations ... Downey as Rhett? *fans self*). But enough of that, because GERARD BUTLER. That is all.




GET THAT MAN AN EYEPATCH!!!... Ahem.

Also: approved.

A few randoms: even though it's probably waaaaay below his interest, I always thought Edward Norton would make an interesting Rincewind.

 


Whoever plays the rest of the Faculty, and I haven't thought about that much yet, I think Bill Bailey HAS to be in there somewhere. And as many of the Pythons as you can bribe/threaten/coerce.

And, because I have a soft spot for Kevin McKidd, I'd love to see him as Rob Anybody. Especially the blue whorls all over. Yes please. AND he can keep his accent, yay!




The last one I've actually given any thought to (this being the produce of idle minutes spanning at least five years) is Susan Sto-Helit, who I find very difficult to nail down, but I think Helena Bonham Carter could do some very fun things with the character.
 
 

Oh, and lastly, I will say I'm impressed at the casting of Moist von Lipwig in Going Postal. Richard Coyle seems to have that right balance between "ordinary and unremarkable" and visually intriguing, which is no mean feat. My best attempt at it would probably be something like Peter Sarsgaard or maybe Martin Freeman.




... And Angus and Julia Stone come in at #1 with "Big Jet Plane". Awww! YAY the local artists! And Angus was so excited he was going to have a spliff and a lie down. That just about made my (very short) night.


HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY EVERYONE!!!

Comments

( 11 speakses — have a speak )
fleurlb
Jan. 26th, 2011 08:19 pm (UTC)
Happy Australia Day! Enjoy your countdown. I *heart* The National but amen't familiar with that song. Must look it up.

Chicago....how did you end up there? himself and I lived in Ravenswood for six years and Wheaton for three. I miss Chicago sometimes.
themonkeytwin
Jan. 26th, 2011 11:59 pm (UTC)
I think it's off their most recent album. Which would make sense, I guess. (Sidenote: I love "amen't". I'm guessing that's from across the pond? I haven't heard it over here.)

I'm studying over here. Urban ministry, and I liked Chicago, and Americans have more of a focus on urban stuff than Australians, so this is where I washed up. Chicago is a neat town. Definitely my preferred city out of the big three over here. I've been out to Wheaton once, maybe twice. It was nice, but I like the inner city. :)
fleurlb
Jan. 27th, 2011 09:58 am (UTC)
Amn't is an Irish thing, I think. I've never heard it anywhere else. It's one of my favourites. That and using after to express the idea that you only recently did the activity. Like I'm after eating breakfast.

Wheaton was not our first choice, but we wanted to buy a house and found a good one out there. I loved Danada Equestrian Center, volunteered there for a few years. Great people, horses, lots of fun.

I have the most recent National album, but it's not on my iPhone so it doesn't get listened to too much. I really should refresh what's on the phone - I'm getting sick of my playlists. Liam loves music and it's one of the few things guaranteed to calm him.
themonkeytwin
Jan. 27th, 2011 08:58 pm (UTC)
It definitely sounds Irish. And the "after" thing is delightful. If only I had an Irishman to practice on! I picked up using "brilliant" and "grand" from my last Irish colleague.

*confession* I can spend hours fiddling with my playlists. It's a sickness. :)
fleurlb
Jan. 28th, 2011 01:55 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah, 'grand' is probably the most contagious Irishism out there.

I'm not much of a playlist fiddler - I just really have one playlist which is about 30 of my favourite songs that I enjoy enough that I don't want to skip them. I find it's important when I'm driving to have a playlist of songs that I'll want to hear without skipping through.
themonkeytwin
Jan. 28th, 2011 09:50 pm (UTC)
See? That should have been a question on the music meme. Care to share?
fleurlb
Jan. 29th, 2011 01:32 pm (UTC)
Sure - but it might be boring to list all 30+ songs, so I'll just share the songs that will make the cut and be on my next driving playlist. So these are the songs that I can *still* (after about six months) listen to without want to skip, ever:

"Lost to the Lonesome" - Pela - a happy little song. Love the line "Don't just stand there like a ghost in my room"

"Sideways Walking" - Eastern Conference Champs - This is the Lil'Bit's absolute favourite song. Calms him down every time, so it definitely stays. (I listened to this song incessantly on repeat when I was pregnant, so I'm pretty sure it's no coincidence that LB loves it.)

"Slow Show" - The National - The last part chokes me up every time.

"Kids" - MGMT - Great beat, very good song for zipping along country roads.

"Mr Rock & Roll" - Amy MacDonald - Another one of LB's favourites. And I love the line "I wish I knew you before". Like I always tell LB - there is no before for him. I've always known him. Which is kind of a cool thought that makes me happy.

"The Boxer" - Simon and Garfunkel - Sort of like my theme song. I have the last line tattooed on my arm.

"In the Sun" - Joseph Arthur - Someday, I'll use this song to write a songfic of Eliot and Aimee. But first, I have to finish that help_pakistan story that's months overdue. :(

themonkeytwin
Jan. 31st, 2011 01:27 am (UTC)
Six months – that's impressive! I'm definitely too restless to stick with anything that long. Last count, I have thirty different playlists! And I'm still tweaking them.

Thanks for the sharing, and the very sensible whittling down. I always think music choices are a really good way to get to know someone. My philosophy being, once you can make an entire mix tape for someone where they love every song, whether or not they've ever heard it before, you're well on your way to really knowing them.
fleurlb
Jan. 31st, 2011 11:20 am (UTC)
Im kind of freakish in my ability to listen to the same songs over and over. Drives Himself nuts, in fact. Having a playlist for six months is kind of unusual, but we were having some issues with our iTunes library and I didn't want to synch my phone u til I was sure all my music was present and accounted for.

ITA with you about mix tapes.
tahirire
Jan. 26th, 2011 09:51 pm (UTC)
Oh my gosh, Gerrard.

That is all.
themonkeytwin
Jan. 27th, 2011 12:00 am (UTC)
!!!INORITE?!!!!

nghn.
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