Ariana Grande picture image

Ariana Grande

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 picture image

Ariana Grande

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 picture image

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.

Ariana Grande picture image

Ariana Grande

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.

Ariana Grande picture image

Ariana Grande

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.

Gerard Butler picture image

Gerard Butler

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.

Gerard Butler picture image

Gerard Butler

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, The Phantom of the Opera picture image

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.

Gerard Butler picture image

Gerard Butler

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.

Gemma Arterton picture image

Gemma Arterton

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 picture image

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 picture image

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.

Gemma Arterton picture image

Gemma Arterton

What do you think? Would Gemma Arterton be a good Esmeralda.

Sarah Bolger picture image

Sarah Bolger

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 picture image

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 picture image

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.

Sarah Bolger picture image

Sarah Bolger

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.

 

 

 

Freddie Highmore picture image

Freddie Highmore

Sometimes these Hypothetical Casting posts get away from me. I have a habit of focusing more on the Esmeraldas and the Frollo options that sometimes the minor character don’t get that much attention. That’s why it’s great to be reminded, I want to thank Skylar for the suggestion of Freddie Highmore for Gringoire.

Freddie Highmore as Norman Bates Bates motel picture image

Freddie Highmore as Norman Bates

So let’s talk about Freddie Highmore. From a acting stand point, I’m more familiar with his work as a child actor like in Finding Neverland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. However he was decent in both those movies. He seemed to be a better than average child actor. Now that he is grown up so has his acting. I did watch some of The Bates Motel and his acting prowess is in no question. He can act.But that isn’t the question. The Question is, would Highmore make a good Gringoire? That is a hard question because like our old friend Phoebus, Gringoire is another character that can be a hero, a coward, a verbose poet, there in the background, or not there at all. So like Phoebus, actors with a range are more preferable, and yes Highmore does have a range.

Freddie Highmore picture image

Freddie Highmore

Of course the REAL question is does Highmore have the right look for Gringoire? As you may have guess, looking the role isn’t the end all be all, make-up and costumes can work wonders and often looks are ignored. Plus Gringoire’s looks really aren’t that important to his character. So why should it be important? Well gotta have something to go on but Highmore does have a good look for the way Gringoire looks in the book. He is describes as “all, thin, pale, fair, young still, although already wrinkled in the brow and cheeks, with two brilliant eyes and a smiling mouth…”  So yeah I think Highmore fits that look really well, a little too well.

Freddie Highmore picture image

Freddie Highmore

Someone cast Freddie Highmore as Gringoire right now! But what do you think? Highmore for Gringoire?

 

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau picture image

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

There is no shortage of actors in the world who could be cast as Phoebus. At his most basic Hugo-ian level, a handsome jerk, is not a hard role but Phoebus does get facets in his personality that versions can and do add in to his characterization. He is sometimes the hero, a reformed rake, a jerk-face villain or an extra. He is a swiss army knife character. That is why sometimes you need an actor who is at the ready, who is capable of playing all those types of roles, sans the extra. One such actor is one Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister, Game of Thrones picture image

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister, Game of Thrones

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is best known for playing Jaime Lannister on HBO’s Game of Thrones. And if that doesn’t speak to Coster-Waldau’s ability to play Phoebus, I don’t know what else to say. Well to be fair, Jaime is not the womanize Phoebus is after all Jaime has only been with one woman (his twin sister) but that is beside the point. Coster-Waldau has the acting chops to play Phoebus effectively no matter what role the movie cast for  Phoebus.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau picture image

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

On looks, Coster-Waldau has what I think is the ideal look for Phoebus. He looks like a prince charming which Phoebus needs. Phoesbus has to be a pretty boy to foil both Quasimodo and Frollo. Ideally, Phoebus should be shining like the sun, (pardon the lyric use from Notre Dame be Paris.) Honestly, I don’t think you get more of a good of a look to Phoebus than Coster-Waldau.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau picture image

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

 

But what do you think? Would Nikolaj Coster-Waldau makes a good Phoebus? A Bad Phoebus? Or A Great Phoebus?

Also the Game of Thrones book series, A Song of Ice and Fire makes for some excellent summer reading.

 

 

Francia Raisa picture image

Francia Raisa

Three years ago I did a post comparing HBO’s Game of Thrones and Hunchback , in which I said Arianne Martel resembled Esmeralda in the looks department and I quote myself here “I would say whoever they get to cast her for the show could make a lovely Esmeralda…”  However stupid poo show runners cut Arianne from the show and made that whole storyline stupid. However since other people like to do speculative casting I thought heck let’s just find a hypothetical casting for Arianne Martel and apply that actress to Esmeralda. One actress that came up was Francia Raisa.

Francia Raisa picture image

Francia Raisa

Francia Raisa is an American Actress  of Mexican and Honduran decent.  This gives her a very good look for Esmeralda. As is the case for most movie Esmeraldas is that she looks exotic to the “standard French type.” So her look is one point for most movie versions of the character. She also has soft features which makes her look cute, so she has the whole cute yet sensual aspect that is very applicable to Esmeralda.

Francia Raisa as Shahrzad in Beyond Paradise picture image

Francia Raisa as Shahrzad in Beyond Paradise

As far as acting goes, I can’t super speak to her ability. She is most known her role on the TV show The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Bring it On: All or nothing, two things I have avoided watching. I did try and watch some clips from her 2015 movie Beyond Paradise and wasn’t that impress with any or it. That being said she seems like she gets the mostly sexualized roles, which for Arianne Martel is fine but for Esmeralda it’s a mixed bag. Esmeralda isn’t supposed to sexual aware of herself but movies ignore that so it’s probably not a big deal. I would give the movie a great director and she’ll be fine.

Francia Raisa picture image

Francia Raisa

But what do you think would Francia Raisa be a good Esmeralda? I don’t think she would be my top point or even top five but there are far worse casting options out there. Gotta say her name is like near spot on for the role.

 

 

 

 

Michael McElHatton picture image

Michael McElHatton

Michael McElHatton plays Roose Bolton on Game of Thrones  and since its Sixth season is starting up agian and it has a plethora of awesome actors I thought let’s cast from that pool. To be honest I was between picking McElhatton or Stephen Dilane who played Stannis but picked McElhatton first because of reasons but mostly I just thought of him first.

Michael McElHatton picture image

Michael McElHatton

 

So why would McElHatton make a good Frollo? Well he’s got the right look. He has an austre yet elegant look and has some good angle going on in his face.

Michael McElHatton picture image

Michael McElHatton

Second, his speaking voice, it’s amazing. It’s very cool yet smooth. If a movie ever did Frollo’s monolouge, his voice would be ideal for just saying those lines. And if not can he just do a Hunchback of Notre Dame audio book?

Michael McElHatton as Roose Bolton in Game of Thrones picture image

Michael McElHatton as Roose Bolton in Game of Thrones

Aside from Game of Thrones, McElHatton hasn’t done much film work (though GoT is a TV show). He mostly does TV, shorts and Voice work BUT the acting he has done on Game of Thrones is very good. Roose Bolton is a horrible person and he captures Roose’s cold and calculating persona perfectly. Frollo and Roose don’t have much in common of an acting front but it’s clear that McElHatton has the acting to pull off Frollo.

Michael McElHatton picture image

Michael McElHatton

What do you think?  Would Michael McElHatton make a good Frollo?

Game of Thrones Hype.

Anna Kendrick picture image

Anna Kendrick

It’s a fantasy of mine that one day there will be a great well done movie version of Notre Dame de Paris. Let’s just say for fun that someone in Hollywood banking on the success of Les Miserable wanted to make it who is an actress in Hollywood that looks the part of Esmeralda, can sing and is popular? Seems like a tall order but all signs point to Anna Kendrick.

Anna Kendrick as Cinderella Into the Woods Picture image

Anna Kendrick as Cinderella

Anna Kendrick has been a lot of successful/popular movies like the Twilight saga, thou we won’t hold that against her, as well as Pitch Perfect movies and Into the Woods. She also a very talent singer who has performed on Broadway. She was in High Society at the age of 12 where she earned a Theater World Award as well as nominations for Featured Actress in a Musical at the Drama Desk Awards and Tony Awards. Kendrick is a very effortless actress, meaning that very natural and it seldom feels like she is playing a role.

Anna Kendrick picture image

Anna Kendrick

Kendrick has a chameleon voice as she can easily to do many style of singing however her natural voice seems to be fairly low to middle range and I think she’s considered a Mezzo Soprano as she is a great belter. Esmeralda’s voice typically is in this range so it suits her voice but more than that, she would bring a bright warmth to the songs.

Anna Kendrick picture image

Anna Kendrick

Notre Dame de Paris Esmeralda run the gambit of looks but there is a standard which is she typically brunette or a red head. Her hair is often also wavy. That is pretty much Kendrick hair style, so it’s easy to envision her in the role.

Anna Kendrick picture image

Anna Kendrick

Anna Kendrick would make a ideal Esmeralda for a movie version as she a great actress/performer/singer and she just bring a likability to to her roles. But what do you think? Would Anna Kendrick make a good Esmeralda? And would you like to see her sing Esmeralda to a Taylor Swift Fleur de Lys?

In light of the way the 2016 Oscars acting award nominations went and with the general whitewashing of roles in mainstream big budget Hollywood movies, Esmeralda is an interesting role to discuss as her book self and her film presence are at weird odds.

Patsy Ruth Miller as Esmeralda Hunchback chaney version 1923 picture image

Patsy Ruth Miller as Esmeralda

In the book Esmeralda is presented as a Romani, and without getting it into too much, the Romani people are Ethnically different from the rest of Europe specifically France.  However Esmeralda’s backstory in the novel is that she was born Agnes to a French woman and raised by the Romani. This backstory is really only presented in two movies (three if you think the Dingo version count), those versions are the 1923 version and the 1999 Parody version albeit that version flips things around whereas she is born Esmeralda to Cubans and raised as Agnes by mean French people.

Lesley-Anne Down as Esmeralda, 1982 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Lesley-Anne Down as Esmeralda, 1982 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda in most movie versions of Hunchback is depicted as a full Romani, though the 1982 version  there was a throw away line that questioned her background but it went no where, so it hardly matters.

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda, 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame, picture image

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda, 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame

This brings us back to the topic, as Hollywood whitewashes many roles it interesting to note that in Esmeralda’s case they take role of girl who despite having dark hair and eyes  with tanned skin is for all accounts a white girl and instead makes the role one for a very specially ethnic minority and yet casts mostly white women. So far in movie versions only Gina Lollobrigida and Salma Hayek have looked the way the film versions theoretically want to depict the character.

 

Maureen O'Hara as Esmeralda

Maureen O’Hara as Esmeralda

While in my own naive  little world I think casting should go to right person for the right part but it’s not that simple. A lot of roles are specific to someone’s looks and background. Hollywood however does of course forget that or ignores it and has a history of awarding parts that should go to people of minorities to white actors. Like the casting  of Emma Stone in Aloha or Rooney Mara in  Peter Pan or pretty much everyone in The Last Airbender or Scarlet Johansson as Major Motoko Kusanagi in the upcoming Ghost in the Shell movie, heck Lucy was a Akira knock-off… I digress. The list of whitewashing practices in Hollywood is long.

And as this pertain to the Oscars, actors who fall into minority seldom get nominations and seldom win. Just for example Asian actors which Indian actors fall into, Only two Actors won the Academy Award for Best Actor, Yul Brynner (1956) and Ben Kingsley (1982). Kingsley also  got a nominations in 2003. For Actress only Merle Oberon got a best actress nomination in 1935 and no one else since. For Best Supporting Actor, only Haing S Ngor has won in 1984  and only five others have been nominated, Sessue Hayakawa (1957), Mako (1966), Pat Morita (1984), Ben Kingsley (1991) and Ken Watanabe (2003). Oddly the same goes for Best Supporting Actoress with only one winner and five others nominated. The only Asian winner was Miyoshi Umeki in 1957. The five who were nominated were Meg Tilly (1985), Jennifer Tilly (1994), Shohreh Aghdashloo (2003), Rinko Kikuchi (2006) and Hailee Steinfeld (2010).

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 Hunchback of Notre Dame, picture image

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 Hunchback of Notre Dame

So how does this apply to Esmeralda? The Hunchback of Notre Dame as I have said before, could be one those movies made specifically to win  awards. The role of Esmeralda could be deepen which has been done in the past like in 1939 version or even the Disney version. It could be made into one those Oscar bait roles with relative ease. If that did happen given the state of Hollywood I would prefer to see an Actress who fits into the Romani look more than being a purist to the book. Either an Indian actress or Hispanic actress could fit nicely, though ideally, a young Romani actress would be ideal.

Melanie Thierry as Esmeralda

Melanie Thierry as Esmeralda

Though given Hollywood’s warped sense of itself they probably would make Esmeralda a Romani, as  is the traditional method to her character and cast a popular blonde actress.

Is there an actress you would like see play Esmeralda?