Gigi Radics for Esmeralda was a suggestion made by Christine (see suggestion here) and it’s a great choice. Gigi Radics is a Hungarian pop singer who is also Romani in decent. In a time where Hollywood keeps whitewashing it’s roles, it would be a great to cast an actual Romani for one of the most well known Romani characters even if in the book she was just raised by the Romani and is really French. Esmeralda’s backstory is more a mute point anyway given movie versions make her a full Romani. Hey, if a movie version wants to go with her original backstory that’s great but if they are going to stick to film tradition for the character and thus simplify the the plot than why not cast someone who would be authentic for a change. It would also be a great PR move but the real question is would Gigi Radics REALLY be a good choice for Esmeralda?
A note – I have seen her credited as Radics Gigi but I’m going with Gigi Radics.
First off, let’s just define the role of Esmeralda where Gigi Radics would be an appropriate casting choice. Since she is a singer it would most likely be a musical and one where Esmeralda is a full Romani in origins. This mean either a Disney Live-Action version where she would sing (maybe none of the Live action versions have been musicals yet) or the Disney Musical Stage Show version or a Notre Dame de Paris version or even a whole new musical version.
Radics is a very skill singer and sings both in Hungarian and English. She has a very strong yet tender voice which would be suitable for Esmeralda. She came in third in A Dal 2013. A Dal is The Hungarian Contest to see who performs at Eurovision. She also competed in A Dal 2014 but she didn’t places as high. She is also on the short list A Dal 2017.
The real question is can she act? She hasn’t done that much acting. The only thing I have found is she was in a Hungarian musical called A Játékkészítő which I think means “The Game Creator” or “The Toy Marker,” I do not have any command of Hungarian. All I can say is seeing clips of the musical broke my mind a bit, it was so strange. It was like weird combination of “The Nutcracker,” “Adventure Time,” “The Never=ending Story” and weird pop music. It’s all over the place and a type of weird I’m not used to.
Radics plays Hajasbabák which means “Hairy Baby.” Her costume looks like a cross between Katy Perry and Princess Bubblegum. Hajasbabák’s character is pretty, confident, enthusiastic and a bit silly and yeah, Radics communicated those characteristics in Hajasbabák’s song Babaház Soul (Dollhouse Soul). Just so we’re are all super clear, I might be addicted to Babaház Soul, it’s just so weird yet a lot of fun. I don’t know what she is singing or why she singing it but I like it.
While we’re on this subject let’s discuss Radics’ dancing. With regards to Notre Dame de Paris for whatever reason most of the Esmeralda have very mechanical movements during Bohemienne so much so that it is annoying and really distracting. Radics during Babaház Soul has some fairly basic moves and struts around a lot but she owns it and looks natural. It could be that up-tempo dance moves are easier than whatever they make Notre Dame de Paris’ Esmeraldas but do but I think Radics could perform a dance if needed.
Then there is her looks, does Gigi Radics look the part? Her look is like text-book Esmeralda. She has the big dark almond-shaped eyes and long dark hair Esmeralda has in the book. She is very pretty with a lovely smile that is captivating. She also still quite young which is a perk, it would be weird to have an Esmeralda in her 40’s but heck if they can cast Quasimodo with 40 year olds why not Esmeralda? Though it is nice that Radics is in a very good age range for Esmeralda.
All round, I think this is a good casting pick. It would be awesome to see her play Esmeralda in some version. It would be great if was musical since Radics is a singer but it’s not necessary . But what do you think? Would be a good choice for Esmeralda. Also she just released a new song.