Sunday, 18 May 2014

Fantasy casting

Do you ever imagine yourself as a Hollywood or Drury Lane producer, able to assemble your ideal cast for a classic production?

My dreams go back a long time. I would have loved to have seen Orson Welles, knowing his hobby of conjuring, as Prospero, with John Houseman, the other half of a well-documented break-up and partial make-up with Welles, as the usurping duke cast up by The Tempest. Those two greats have since passed on, as has Marlon Brando who would have made a superb King Lear. There is a story told by a fellow-actor that Brando himself had the ambition to play Lear, and had the part by heart - even when he needed cue cards for whatever film they were currently working on. Goneril and Regan would have to be Kristin and Serena Scott Thomas, still happily with us at the time of writing. They would speak in RP, contrasting with the rural English of Lear (Brando would have had no trouble with that) and of Cordelia. (She would be played by the most promising newcomer of the day.)

Turning to books, the Sheens would have to play the main male leads in "So Little Time" (see earlier post). Martin would be the older Jeffrey with Emilio Estevez as his younger version. There should be no difficulty in finding a younger member of the clan to play Charlie. Sally Field was my original choice for the wife, given her ability to play a wide age-range, but now I think I would go for Goldie Hawn and Naomi Watts as the older and younger versions.

This was all sparked off by noting that Nigel Kneale's "Kinvig" is on YouTube. Probably spread too thin over a series, this neat idea would make an ideal one-off TV movie. Matthew Kneale could adapt his father's scripts. Des and his wife would be Harrison Ford and Kathy Bates, with Martin Lawrence as the anorak Ted. To cap it all, the dual role of angry customer and ethereal being from outer space has to be played by Charlize Theron, who has all too rarely been given the chance to show what she can do in a comedy.

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