Britney Spears picture image

Britney Spears

This was a suggestion by Roman. I suppose for this suggestion to make sense we are going to have to posit that this casting would have to occur in the early 2000s, like after 2002 with Spears’ film debut in Crossroads but before she gave up her dream to be a film actress because Spears had the good sense to not pursue that path.

 

Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake picture image

Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake

Spears did have enough influence prior to her break-down that she COULD have play rich-bitch Fleur de Lys though it might have depended on the style of Hunchback. Like if it was all star cast for a teenage MTV demographic. So maybe Justin Timberlake as Quasimodo, Freddie Prinze Jr as Phoebus, Shannon Elizabeth or Eliza Dushku  as Esmeralda, Ashton Kutcher as Gringoire and Paul Rudd as Frollo. You know, a 90s/2000s teen comedy take on Hunchback. That sounds abysmal and yet I would have to watch that train-wreck of an idea while at the same time cursing the heaven for allowing to exist.

 

Britney Spears in the Work B**ch music video picture image

Britney Spears in the Work B**ch music video

So Britney Spears as Fleur de Lys? Well that best I can say for that idea is at least she’s blonde. Fleur de Lys has long been cast as blonde to counter Esmeralda’s dark hair, however it’s mentioned in the book that she has blonde hair and that she wears sky-blue.   So Britney Spears fits that important hair color criteria.

 

Britney Spears as Lucy in Crossroads picture image

Britney Spears as Lucy in Crossroads

As for acting, well Crossroads was nominated for a lot awards, mostly Razzies of which Spears herself won worst actress and worst song.  But is playing a jealous bitch all that hard? Could Spears have pulled it off? As far as Fleur de Lys goes in other versions, I often find her delightful. I think there is an art to making a unlikable character come off as interesting and in some way likable. Whether it was a case of the acting other characters or just her actresses, Fleur de Lys would have been out of Spear’s range as an actress. That isn’t saying much  as her other film rolls were a Flight attendant in Longshot which was a cameo, in the music video “Boys” in  Austin Powers in Goldmember, a cameo in  Pauly Shore is Dead and finally a cameo in Fahrenheit 9/11. She also had a cameo on Sabrina the Teenage Witch.   Not sure if you noticed a pattern. She did cameo as herself, not acting.  She can’t act and didn’t try after Crossroads.

However not being able to act hasn’t stopped other would be actors. To be fair she did fake the world with her early days innocent act.  Maybe Spears could have played Fleur as herself? Like if there was a case to cast Spears as Fleur de Lys, then the project would have been less about the characters and plot and more about the notoriety of the casting so it wouldn’t have mattered if she could act or not. The name would have been enough.

 

Britney Spears picture image

Britney Spears

Fortunately, Spears hasn’t been in a movie in since 2004 even as cameo and I don’t think any studio would take a depressing book and make a rom-com for teenagers using former “it” celebrities. But the idea of it is super cringe-inducing.

But what do you think? Could you stomach the idea of Britney Spears in a version of Hunchback? 

Disclaimer: I know very little to nothing about Medieval Fashion and even less about the Romani people. Also this post only focuses on Esmeralda and Fleur de Lys’ costumes.

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1977 picture image

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1977

On first glance Esmeralda’s costume in this version sucks. It looks like something a Juliet would wear. It’s a pink overdress with a high waistline with a dark red and gold embroidered bodice. It’s layered over a chemise with bell sleeves and embroidered armbands. She wears bangles on both wrists and has pink ribbons in her hair. It also seems like she has another gold over layer around the bodice that has some streamer-like detail going done the skirt What is this costume?

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda

Well this could be one the worst contextually Esmeralda costumes or it could be one of the most accurate. Isn’t that a crazy thing to suggest?

Looking at art from the late 1400’s with Romani as the subject matter, they didn’t dress all that dissimilarly from White Europeans. They do seem to be wearing a cloth headdress which is exactly what we see in Caravaggio’s fortune teller painting and in Manfredi’s painting but not in Vouet’s fortune teller painting. What is in all these paintings that is in not in the earlier illustrations is the sari-like drape garment.  So it would seem, at least me, that the blanket sari-like wrap was a garment worn by the Romani in the late 1500’s and not in the 1400’s. Could be wrong but given the art available, it points to that notion.

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda

Which bring us back to the 1977 version of Esmeralda and her Juliet-ish costume.  A pervasive thought is that Romani were given clothing for fortuning or what not, so Esmeralda COULD have been given this dress in exchange for pleasing some noble for her dancing. Makes a certain level of sense.

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda

Comparing Esmeralda’s costume to Fleur de Lys’ costumes you may notice that Esmeralda’s dress has a different silhouette. Fleur’s costumes are more in keeping with the style of  noble women in the 1480’s. The color for Fleur and Esmeralda’s costumes were inspired by the 1956 version of Hunchback; a red tone for Esmeralda and blues for Fleur, someday we’re going to discuss the topic of Esmeralda wearing red again, because I have more to say on that subject.

Hetty Baynes as Fleur de Lys 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Hetty Baynes as Fleur de Lys

Since we’re on the topic, all Fleur’s  costumes are all very beautiful in this version. She gets the fur trim and the hennin which all things that were in style for a lady of her standing in the 1480’s.

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda

Esmeralda’s costume looks a bit more like the style from the 1450’s which had a higher waist line but was that costume designer Dorothea Wallace’s intent? Was Wallace’s aim to emulate a style from the 1450’s suggesting that Esmeralda was gifted her dress? Or is there something else operating here? Something Groovy???

Dior pattern from 1977 picture image

Dior pattern from 1977

Like every single period movie ever, costume design is more of a  reflection of the time in which the movie is made rather than historical accuracy. It’s a truth! In the 1977 version while there is a historical silhouette that looks like Esmeralda’s movie costume, the silhouette was in vogue in the 1970’s especially with long gowns. High-waisted  empire waistlines were not super popular in the late 1970’s but you did see it. Also the dull muted pink color of Esmeralda’s dress was in keeping with the muted earth tones that dominated 70’s fashion. Whereas Fleur’s costumes are light and bright in color I.E not as trendy for the decade.  See another example here 

 

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda

Does this mean anything? In my non-expert expert opinion, I think this means the costume of Esmeralda is trying to endear the audience to Esmeralda as her costume is aesthetic pleasing to the times and Fleur de Lys’ costumes are not as trendy. Meaning the costumes are showcasing the lovable tragic heroine and the cruel rich bitch.

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda

So while Esmeralda’s costume is a 1970’s take on Medieval style  and Fleurs’ costumes are a little bit more in keeping with medieval sensibilities but are the costumes in the 1977 version good? For the most part they are good.As earlier started Fleur de Lys costumes are all lovely but Esmeralda’s costume  doesn’t seem correct. This actually could be less of the fault of the costume and more with the casting. Michelle Newell is not a great casting pick for Esmeralda. This costume does showcase a sweeter Esmeralda that had not been seen since 1923 but it just doesn’t really work with the character or the attitude of the actress.

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda

Esmeralda’s costume could have read as more accurate depiction of what a young Romani woman could have worn in the 1480’s, the reality is that her costume was just made with the 1970’s fashion aesthetics in mind.  

Hetty Baynes as Fleur de Lys 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Hetty Baynes as Fleur de Lys

Fleur de Lys’s most interesting function in Hunchback is to act of Esmeralda’s foil. If Esmeralda is dreamy and romantic towards Phoebus then Fleur de Lys  has knowledge of his tendencies for wantonness.

 

Hetty Baynes as Fleur de Lys & Richard Morant as Phoebus de Chateaupers 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Hetty Baynes as Fleur de Lys & Richard Morant as Phoebus de Chateaupers

In this version’s case the Esmeralda is earthy yet childish. Many people call her “girl” and Phoebus calls her “child.”  So this Fleur de Lys is prim and for lack of a better word, an unfeeling bitch.  She also seems very sexually overt, like she always ready for Phoebus.  It just makes her more interesting than a straight depiction of the character.

 

Hetty Baynes as Fleur de Lys 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Hetty Baynes as Fleur de Lys

I want to mention really quickly that the juxtaposition between Fleur de Lys and Esmeralda leads to a really great edit, and this many be the only time I mention the editing in this version because there is not much to discuss.

As Esmeralda torture is going on the movie cuts to Fleur de Lys and Phoebus. Phoebus is feeding her grapes. This is symbolic of pleasure.  Fleur de Lys’ mother enters the scene and tells Phoebus his name has been brought up in a witchcraft case. Fleur de Lys questions how can that be and  he makes an excuse saying it was nothing. He then rests his hands near Fleur de Lys’ mouth and she bites his fingers. It then cuts to Esmeralda screaming as she being torture. Esmeralda’s  scream starts over the Fleur de Lys’ scene before it cuts away, or a sound bridge.

 

Hetty Baynes as Fleur de Lys 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Hetty Baynes as Fleur de Lys

Fleur de Lys is one of the few highlights of this version. Her bitchiness is just so refreshing in an otherwise soulless adaptation.   

picture image

 

Daisy Ridley for Esmeralda was suggestion by Sky. At first this made me think of Ridley to play Fleur de Lys. As much as I love Ridley’s Rey, I do want to see Ridley playing a character like Fleur, maybe as a bitch maybe not. For whatever reason I have a soft-spot for Fleur. Sure in the book Fleur has blonde hair but so does Jehan and Quasimodo has red and Esmeralda has dark eyes, why get bogged down with colorition when other movies ignore them so much? Fleur de Lys could have brown hair why not?

 

Daisy Ridley picture image

 

Given Ridley’s star in on the raise it hard to see her accepting the role of Fleur where as  Esmeralda is a leading role. I could see her doing Fleur pending on other facets of the production like the director and if it was more of an ensemble piece.

 

Daisy Ridley picture image

Daisy Ridley

So let’s consider her for Esmeralda. The only way I could see her playing the role is if they did Esmeralda’s original backstory, as in she is French raised by Gypsies, even if they did not have the whole of the Sister Gudule plot in the movie.

 

Daisy Ridley as Mary Debenham from Murder on the Orient Express picture image

Daisy Ridley as Mary Debenham from Murder on the Orient Express

On the acting front I could Ridley playing the role even though she still fairly new and so far her biggest roles have been Rey in Star Wars and Mary Debenham  in Murder on the Orient Express. She also playing Ophelia in upcoming movie. Not sure how Ridley would play the role but my guess it would less overtly sexual than some other actresses and portrayals but you never know.

 

Daisy Ridley as Rey from Star Wars The Force Awakens picture image

Daisy Ridley as Rey from Star Wars The Force Awakens

Ridley has one big thing working for her as Esmeralda and that  is her sword and fighting ability. Ridley has done a lot of strength training and fight choreography for action scenes in Star wars. Those skills could translate into some nice dance choreography.

 

Daisy Ridley picture image

Daisy Ridley

I could see her going either way. As much as I think Daisy Ridley is cool person, she would not be my top pick for either role but if she were casted for either Esmeralda or Fleur  I would happy to see her grace a Hunchback version?

What do you people think? Ridley for Esmeralda? Ridley for Fleur de Lys? Or Neither? Or Both?

Stéphanie Schlesser played Fleur de Lys in 2014-2015 French Language Asian Tour. She does play and sing the role very well. She also played Juliette in the South Korean Tour in 2015  of Romeo & Juliette which is one of France other reloading musicals.

I put a lot of thought into the pronouns for the subject line however there isn’t much to say on the characters’ characterizations, so we’re combining them into one post. 

Ye Gringoire

Esmeralda & Gringoire, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Esmeralda & Gringoire, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

As Phoebus is Esmeralda’s primary  romances focus there isn’t that much for Gringoire to do especially in the second act. Gringoire does marry Esmeralda, tries REALLY hard to seduce her  and helps out with her act. Basically he is her friend. He does seem to be a writer as evident but him holding paper in his first number.  

One thing that confuses me and I’m sorry if I didn’t mention it before, Esmeralda marries Gringoire BEFORE meeting Phoebus. This means her rejecting  him is  less about being a naive girl who thinks she was in love with handsome soldier and is more about that she just isn’t into him. I don’t know but it seems less dramatic if you ask me, which no one did.

Back to Gringoire. His character seems to air on the side of comic relief. His numbers are light and almost fun. Esmeralda rebuffing him and indicating he would be hanged if he didn’t do as he was told were cute. Though he does try to something to Esmeralda when she was sleeping which is creepy, though he did do creepy things in the book, like spy on her through a keyhole so it’s not out of character but why would you have that but mess-up the order of the story.  There are some weird decisions in this ballet.

He does seem like a good friend to Esmeralda. He tries and comforts her when she learns about Fleur de Lys and he gives her two hugs in the second act. Once right before the first execution attempt and a second right before she actually executed. Since there is no attack on Notre Dame to save her hugs are all he really does and maybe that is enough to show he cares.       

 

Il Clopin

Clopin, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Clopin, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Clopin is definitely there. Since he looks like a pirate I would say that he is a leader of Court of Miracle- Leader of the Thieves and not the Duke of Egypt- Leader of the Romani. So many version combine the two characters and yet I’m pretty sure there was a third guy in that leader mix.  Yet the text is confusing because it makes it seem like Clopin has all these titles, like Daenerys Targaryen, so reading the book I got confused and felt like an idiot that I would even think that Clopin wasn’t the Duke of Egypt   but yes Clopin and the Duke are separate characters and there is a third guy, the Emperor of Galilee. Duke’s given name is Mathias Hungadi Spicali and the Emperor’s name is Gulillaume Rousseau. I do recall the duke being in the 1950’s version and the Jetlag version but no version has had a the Emperor of Galilee for good reason he is fat drunk who doesn’t do anything that I can recall.

Anyway back to this Ballet’s version of Clopin, I assume that is what they call him  but I can’t read cyrillic so I don’t really know.  While he doesn’t lead the attack on Notre Dame he does care for Esmeralda as evident by a hug he gives her in the second act.

He does try to hang Gringoire, which a one of Clopin’s tasks and oddly like the Disney movie he hosts the Pope of Fools crowning. Not much to him but he seems like a jovial guy in an eyepatch.

 

De Fleur de Lys   

 

Fleur de Lys & Phoebus, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Fleur de Lys & Phoebus, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Fleur de Lys is a justifiable bitch, like in the 1956 version, I’m starting to see a little bit of a pattern. She loves Phoebus but her gives his love away to another girl. This metaphor is made clear by the scarf Fleur gives Phoebus which he gives to Esmeralda.
Unlike some other versions of Fleur, this version of her doesn’t help bring Esmeralda down or revel in her death. She is just sad and angry  about Phoebus loving someone else but she does take him back without question and marries him. She is boring in this version and that is about it.  

Esmeralda & Phoebus, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Esmeralda & Phoebus, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Unlike the other characters we have looked at so far, Phoebus’ depiction is a bit different from the book. In all honesty he isn’t like his book persona but instead he resembles how Phoebus was adapted in the 1956 French movie. I’m willing to bet that the movie took its cues from the ballet, that is if this version of ballet is the same as first ballet from 1844 and not a version of the ballet created after 1956, I have now confused myself.  If I had to guess I would still say this characterization of Phoebus is from the 1844 ballet.

 Esmeralda & Phoebus, La Esmeralda Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Esmeralda & Phoebus, La Esmeralda Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

So how is this ballet Phoebus like 1956 Phoebus? For starts this Phoebus does seem to genuinely like Esmeralda as evident by the scarf. Though not in either the book or the 1956, Fleur de Lys gives Phoebus a scarf which he give to Esmeralda.When Esmeralda learn of Fleur de Lys, she  sadly tries to give it back to Phoebus and motions for her to keep it.  Basically the scarf is a symbol for  love. One of the real tragedies is that Phoebus goes back to Fleur after Esmeralda is sentenced to death. In the 1956 version it seems like a defeatist move that he couldn’t be with Esmeralda, not sure what his motive is the ballet but it’s probably the same thing.  He can’t be with the one he loves so he settles.

Phoebus & Fleur de Lys, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Phoebus & Fleur de Lys, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

There isn’t much more to this Phoebus, he just a dashing romantic knight, they kept it nice and simple.        

These are Notre Dame de Paris Style Dolls made using Divine Dolls Dark Mage Creator.

Esmeralda

Notre Dame de Paris Style Esmeralda composed using Divine Doll Dark Mage Creator picture image

Notre Dame de Paris Style Esmeralda composed using Divine Doll Dark Mage Creator

Fleur de Lys

Notre Dame de Paris Style Fleur de Lys composed using Divine Doll Dark Mage Creator picture image

Notre Dame de Paris Style Fleur de Lys composed using Divine Doll Dark Mage Creator

Personally I liked the idea of the costume concept more than the show’s actually costumes. I do like that the newest version updated the costumes but I think they could be tweaked and reimagined a bit more. Notre Dame de Paris was never Phantom, I don’t think people are going to feel betrayed if the costumes are not the some from production to production.

I do wonder how different the show would be with different more time-appropriate costumes. Like Fleur de Lys in ornate gowns and the like. Or Esmeralda in maybe brightly colored pattern fabrics that have a hint of belly dancing to them.

Sorry for yet another video, personal life and stuff.

Just a few reactions of this video;
– I really do want to analyze Fleur-de-Lys’ costume. I haven’t sat down and REALLY thought about but I’m not sure how to feel about. Of course the costume I REALLY want to discuss is Frollo’s, I have some words for that one.

– I really like this Fleur-de-Lys, she has a lovely clear voice that is the perfect tonal foil to Tawaji’s voice,  Alyzée Lalande gets a solid A from me.

– Not sold on Martin Giroux as  Phoebus. Granted I haven’t gone through this cast with a fine tooth comb to really assess their performances but he just seems from this vid to be on the generic side. To be fair few Phoebus performer stand out so it could be the role.

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.