Let’s travel back to July 2016, a better time, Disney Star, Sofia Carson, expressed a desire to play Esmeralda. Well to be specific she said that she thought “Esmeralda would be a beautiful role to play.” She also did a recording of Someday in Spanish. So let’s explore this more casting option. You can see the interview here.
Since she very clearly was suggesting playing a Live-Action Disney Esmeralda we’re just going to consider that version of the character.
Let’s start with Carson’s look. Carson is of Spanish descent, more specifically Columbian. She still rather young and I’m still not sure how old Esmeralda was supposed to given Disney’s age inflation but let’s just say she is in a good range. She does have the darker features one would expect from Disney’s Esmeralda and contact lenses could give Carson that emerald eye color. One thing that somewhat could work against Carson is that she does have a very youthful somewhat cute look. Just looking at Carson I don’t see her as sultry. Beautiful yes, alluring no. Could she act alluring?
Sofia Carson as Evie, Descendants
I will be frank I have only seen clips of Carson’s acting. Carson hasn’t really escaped that Disney style of acting. She is best known for playing Evie in Descendants. Evie is the Snow White’s Evil Queen’s daughter. I wouldn’t know how to judge someone’s acting skills in that or any made for TV movie Disney TV makes. It’s a very specific style of acting. She could be a great actress or not. Can’t say. I would venture to say she might be good pending on the director. Can’t honestly say I can gauge her acting skills.
Sofia Carson would not be my first, second to even third pick for Esmeralda but given that she seems to loves and respects the character she could pull it off and make a beautiful Esmeralda. But what do you guys think? Do you think Carson would make a good Esmeralda?
This was a suggestion by Marni, click here to see the suggestion. Hans Matheson is one of those super versatile actors that you don’t even know you have seen in movies or television. He’s a bit like Rufus Sewell in that regard. Matheson literally just becomes the character so much that you don’t really notice him as the actor. I don’t mean that in a bad way, he’s just a type of actor where his acting precede himself. But how would Matheson be as Frollo?
Hans Matheson as Thomas Cranmer, The Tudors
As previously mentioned, Matheson is great actor. I have no doubt he could play Frollo as the script and movie’s direction would portray the character. Frollo as a judge or as a priest Matheson has the skill set to play Frollo effectivly.
Hans Matheson as Alec, Tess of the D’Urbervilles
The only real issue with Matheson as Frollo is a purely superficial one, his looks. Matheson is conventionally attractive with square jawline. These are not bad traits but they do work against Frollo’s ugly austere looks as described by Hugo. Looks are really a minor issue with casting ultimately because with make-up you can change everything about a person, so he could be made to look like Frollo if really needed.
Hans Matheson as Marius Les Miserables 1998
Matheson is great actor who could pull off the conflicted, tortured inner workings of Frollo even though he resembles Phoebus more. But what do you think? Matheson for Frollo?
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.
Gigi Radics as Hajasbabák, A Játékkészítő
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.
Let’s just say we live in a Fantasy world where they’re making a movie version of Notre Dame de Paris and it’s a better English translation of the musical. Who could we get to play Pierre Gringoire? One possibility I could see is Terrance Zdunich.
Zdunich isn’t a widely known actor but he was in a weird horror musical called Repo! The Genetic Opera which came out in 2008. I knew about it at the time since in 2008 I was a huge Sarah Brightman fan but I couldn’t bring myself to see because Paris Hilton was in the movie. Fast-Forward to 2016, I finally watched it because I was working on a list of seven horror musicals. It was really one those movies that I found to confusing to hate but is probably not a great movie I also was wrong about Paris Hilton, she was perfectly cast as a spoiled rich girl who addicted to surgery, needs drugs and isn’t a great performer, it’s a meta role. However what struck me was Zdunich as the Graverobber.
Terrance Zdunich as The Graverobber from Repo! The Genetic Opera
I mean just look at him in this movie and tell you can’t see him as Gringoire? There something about the styling of The Graverobber that is very reminiscent of Notre Dame de Paris. Zdunich’s mannerism are on par with a lot of Gringoire’s actors. Even the Zydrate Anatomy number is very similar in feeling to Val d’Amour.
But if you need more convincing just watch the Zydrate Anatomy part, which also features Paris Hilton.
But what do you think? Do you think Terrance Zdunich would make a good Gringoire à la Notre Dame de Paris?
Let’s end this month with another singer since that has been the sort of theme to this scary casting picks. Here for your consideration is Jack Black, a musician who makes comedic songs and does act, which is really more than you can say for the previously people this month. But why would Black not make a good casting choice for Quasimodo? Well it’s not really a question I think anyone has ever asked because it sounds too ridiculous.
For the record, Jack Black is fine in his singing and acting capacity but oh dear god is he wrong in type. Most actors have a type, roles the can play well. Sometimes an actor can surpass it and play roles that you would never expect but mostly they are in some kind of type. This is more true with singers as they are all about an image and Jack Black has the wrong image. Black has a very crass and vulgar way about his humor that is so wrong for Quasimodo. Quasimodo is often depicted as sad yet kind. Sometimes he gets his whole hating people angle but that is rare. Quasimodo has been somewhat vulgar once but it was wrapped up in arrested development. In the French parody he was childlike and drew some crude pictures of Esmeralda but that is still not at the level of Jack Black.
However, there is always the chance that someone, some weird coke-brained studio executive makes a Hunchback movie that casts Jack Black as Quasimodo. It would be Black in Quasimodo make-up but it would really just be Black being himself or his type with his humor. And yet it would still be a better Quasimodo than most of the shitty Disney Knock-offs, which is just sad and little scary to say.
You know I take it all back, I want a version of Hunchback with Gerard Bulter as Frollo, Ariana Grande as Esmeralda, Justin Bieber as Phoebus and Jack Black as Quasimodo. It would be at the most cringe inducing train wreck of epic proportion, that though your eyes will burn, your stomach with expel its content, ever muscle in your being with compel you to run you will not be able to avert your gaze for it is true evil but it would be a at least a new Hunchback of Notre Dame movie.
Last week Ariana Grande as Esmeralda was the Anti-Hypothectical casting pick but let’s keep that scry casting for Notre Dame de Paris or a general musical movie going for Phoebus with Justin Bieber. This suggestion came from Haylley and it was too scary. Posting pictures of this guy is causing me to gag.
Justin Bieber is a shit. He started as a punchable teen ideal with high pitched voice singing about Shawty and what not. Then he turned into more of a shit with a string of DUIs and egging his neighbor’s house. Now he makes songs about douchey apologies and being confused about mixed-signals that seem to be meta in intent. You can probably figure I’m not a fan but the question is how would he be for the role of Phoebus?
Let’s start with Phoebus as he is in Notre Dame de Paris, a womanizing smug-ass douche. On paper Justin Bieber could work as a personality. But the idea of his vocals singing Dechire/Torn Apart or Belle fills me with absolute dread. Just so many noes.
How about Disney Phoebus? If we go off of the stage musical where Phoebus actually sings despite that the Disney movie had Kevin Kline who is a fantastic singer then again Bieber fits Phoebus’ character at the start of the show but I doubt he could pull off Phoebus’ character arc as Bieber is not an actor. Also again Bieber near any Hunchback production turns my blood ice cold.
No to this one, a billion noes. There is nothing even slightly good about this idea, it too horrific for words. Even writing about it is causing me to break out in goosebumps, a cold sweat, and sinking feeling in my stomach.
Let me get this right out the way, I’m not a fan of Ariana Grande. I do think that she is a good singer though. This anti- hypothetical casting choice scared me more when I first thought of it than after really thinking about it and reviewing Grande’s work, much Taylor Swift with Fleur de Lys. However if this casting ever happen for either a movie, musical or a movie musical I would be very disappointed.
Ariana Grande does have a good other all look for Esmeralda. She is of Italian decent and have dark eyes and golden tan tone to her skin. I would venture that her hair is naturally dark. So at least she has the look down.
Ariana Grande as Cat Valentine, Victorious
As for acting, I’m going to be SUPER generous and say the court is still out in this one. Aside from her Broadway working and playing herself her only big role was on Nickelodeon’s Victorious. In the same vein as Disney shows type of show are very hard to gauge a person true acting talent. Grande’s character Cat Valentine is an idiot, I once heard her character describe as a hot Ralph Wiggum. Maybe she is capable of acting, maybe she would be awful.
However one of the big issue I have with Grande for the role of Esmeralda is her image, her persona. It’s a weird combo of sexy and childish, which maybe is perfect for Esmeralda in the eyes of the people who have never read the book or miss the point of her character. The actress/singer who plays Esmeralda should come off sexy without really being aware that she is in fact attracting attention. Grande also seems not super genuine in her persona, it doesn’t feel natural to her. So her as Esmeralda would be a mess as Esmeralda is naturally sexy but unaware of her appeal and Grande forces it on her viewers. Then again Esmeralda has been written as more in charge of her sexual powers before and I’m sure will be again and maybe Grande is a better actress than Victorious made her out to be.
In someways this wouldn’t be the worst casting option available but far from ideal. Though if they ever made a pop star laden movie version of Notre Dame de Paris seeing Ariana Grande and Taylor swift in would be like some kind of wrapped miracle. Maybe they could just cover He is shining like the Sun together that would be something, good or bad, it would be a sight.
It’s October so that means a four scary casting options.
Ahhh, Gerard Butler we met again. For those of you who live under a rock in a deep cave, Gerard Butler was in the 2004 film version of the Phantom of the Opera musical as the Phantom. The Phantom’s character is kind of like the combination of Quasimodo and Frollo as he is deformed but very much motivated by sex and a wrapped sense of what love is, though Phantom has an arc and learns and Frollo doesn’t. Anyway so Butler was criminally mis-casted as the Phantom and now let’s muse him being cast as Frollo.
Butler isn’t that bad of an actor, there are worst people, Butler just picks bad movies so if he were in any version of Hunchback it would mark it as a bad movie. More than that, Butler is completely wrong in type for Frollo. Frollo is meant to have a older austere look and is considered ugly by shallow Esmeralda. However that is the in book, the movies are different so we can’t wholly dismiss Butler’s look. Bulter actually has a similar look to the 1956 Frollo, Alain Cuny. Also, think about it and I mean REALLY think about it, is there any movie version were Esmeralda is scared of Frollo and calls him ugly? If there is one, I can’t think recall it. Esmeralda in the book is aware of Frollo and is scared of him because he is mean to her but in the movie versions she isn unaware of Frollo. One reason for this is that most of the versions show Frollo’s first look at her and it’s not in a flashback or recounted to the audience, so Esmeralda doesn’t know about Frollo and it’s not till the point of attack that is she made aware of him and how awful he is to her. Him being ugly isn’t even that much of a big deal within the movies, all he needs to be is against Esmeralda for her not to like him and this can be done with him being a priest fighting and then giving in to his lust or being a jerk to Esmeralda’s people.
Gerard Butler as The Phantom
If it sounds like I’m condoning Butler being cast as Frollo, I’m not, I’m merely illustrating a the discrepancy between the book and movies because there is another issue with Butler, his acting. I did say he wasn’t a bad actor but he doesn’t range. Butler is not capable of playing Frollo. He probably would just yell most of his lines and make rugged poses. Any sense of Frollo’s inner conflict of being godly vs his lust would be throw out the window for some hammy loud lines.
Butler playing Frollo would be a mess and I would also say that if Butler were cast as Frollo it probably wouldn’t even be the worst part of the movie, and that is the scary part . Also I don’t another handsome Frollo.
Today let’s consider an actress who could be a good casting choice for Esmeralda if the movie went with her book backstory of being at least half-French and that actress is Gemma Arterton. This was a suggestion made by Amanda, click here to see the suggestion.
Gemma Arterton as Princess Tamina in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Gemma Arterton is a British actress probably most known for playing Princess Tamina in Prince of Persia. In that movie she does look quite exotic and would even fit the mold of Esmeralda who is s full Romani. Arterton’s look without all the dressings of Tamina would still suit Esmeralda. She has dark eyes and darker hair, though hair is so easily changeable. She doesn’t have that pale English Rose look either as her skin seems to be more olive which also a plus for Esmeralda.
Gemma Arterton as Tess in Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Now I admit I haven’t seen Prince of Persia, I only saw a few clips but she seemed fine in that movie. It’s hard to judge that movie as it’s a panned video game adaptation but she seem fine. I have seen her in the 2008 BBC mini series of Tess of the D’Urbervilles, in which she plays the main character. Tess is tragic figure very similar to Esmeralda. I won’t go into too much detail but in way like Esmeralda, Tess is a simple but beautiful young woman who is punished for being lovely. That is a rather simplistic over-view of both characters. Anyway Arterton does a wonderful job as Tess, she come-off as bittersweet, tragic but still very naive which are great quality to bring to the role of Esmeralda.
What do you think? Would Gemma Arterton be a good Esmeralda.
I love getting suggestions for these Hypothetical Casting posts especially for the minor characters. This one comes from Amanda as seen on my post for Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Phoebus. This one is for Sarah Bolger as Fleur de Lys.
Sarah Bolger as Mary Tudor, The Tudors
Bolger is an Irish actress who most known for her roles as Mary Tudor on The Tudors and Aurora on Once Upon a Time. Of these two shows, I have seen one and clips of the other. The one I have seen was The Tudors and though I could be wrong, I think her role as Mary Tudor speaks more to her capacity to play Fleur de Lys. Mary much like Fleur de Lys is under appreciated and has a cruel side, though Fleur de Lys is on a smaller scale than Mary Tudor. When I was watching The Tudors I recalled that I wonderd how Mary could go from a seemingly nice person to someone who wanted to burn people. In any case Bolger has the acting skill to pull of a sympathetic yet menacing Fleur de Lys.
Sarah Bolger as Aurora, Once Upon a Time
Now for looks, Bolger doesn’t have that standard trait that is associate with Fleur de Lys, she isn’t blonde, GASP. Hair color is not a deciding factors for an actor after all there are wigs and hair dye. Besides the point there is no working rule that Fleur de Lys needs to be a blonde, it’s just a nice visual foil to Esmeralda, but since there have been blonde or near Blonde Esmerlada who to say what hair-color Fleur should. Beside Bolger has played a formerly blonde character turn Auburn with Aurora. Aside from the ever huge issue that is hair color, Bolger has a very good look for Fleur de Lys as Amanda said in the comments “she is very pretty and have this manipulative-cute look.” I really don’t think I could have said that better.
But what do you think? Would Sarah Bolger make a good Fleur de Lys? Also would people be interested in posts on Once Upon a Time episodes? I have thought about it in the past.