When I was making a page on Frollos of Notre Dame de Paris (which I probably needs to updated or something), I was struck with how young the Italian cast was skewing on their casting for Frollo.

Vincenzo Nizzardo as Frollo  10th anniversary cast of the Italian Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Vincenzo Nizzardo as Frollo

For the 10th anniversary cast of the Italian Notre Dame de Paris, Vicenzo Nizzardo was casted and at the time he was roughly 25, so he is a good solid ten years younger than book Frollo. At the time was I off-put by this choice towards a younger Frollo but recently I have asked myself, Can we have a young Frollo?

Lemud Illustration of Frollo picture image

Lemud Illustration of Frollo

Frollo in the book is in his mid 30’s which for the 1400’s is considered old but more than that, he looks old. If I remember the book correctly, Frollo always looked older even when he in the height of youth.

Richard Harris as Frollo, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Richard Harris as Frollo

Traditionally in films versions Frollo is played but an older man. Here is a list of the guys who have played Frollo and their ages when they played the role, (in the 23 and 39 version case I’m counting Jehan as the Frollo and I’m not counting cartoons versions.)

Walter Law (1917) – 41
Annesley Healy (1922) -N/A couldn’t find a birthday year
Brandon Hurst (1923) – 57
Sir Cedric Hardwicke (1939) – 46
Alan Cuny (1956) – 48
Kenneth Haigh (1977) – 46
Derek Jacobi (1982) -44
Richard Harris (1997) -67
Richard Berry (1999 parody) – 50

Jehan Frollo (Sir Cedric Hardwicke) 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Jehan Frollo, Sir Cedric Hardwicke 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Movie Frollos have an estimated average age of 49 with a mean of 46 and a range of 41 to 67. That means, if I remember correctly and Frollo is about 36 years old that is 13 year differences between his book age and the average.

Richard Berry as Frollo 1999 Quasimodo d'El Paris picture image

Richard Berry as Frollo

Hollywood and movie typically cast actors who are older than their roles, I mean Quasimodo is typically played but 40 years old when in the book he says he about 25 year, I should do a post of that someday because that is more irritating.

Derek Jacobi as Frollo, 1982 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture imahe

Derek Jacobi as Frollo, 1982 Hunchback of Notre Dame

So back to our original question, Can we have a young Frollo? I would say ideally it should be the best actor for the role but that doesn’t always work. Frollo should at the very least read older than the rest of the cast, especially Quasimodo and Esmeralda. So an actor who is at least in his upper twenties through his 40’s is perfect. What is really should come down to is the actor has a hard austere look. Having a Frollo with softer features robs the intensity from the character and if that means casting an actor who is younger so be it. I could forgive a movie that makes a Frollo that has ten year old difference with Quasimodo, as long as they make it clear he is the care giver and he has the right look.

Alan Rickman picture image

Alan Rickman

Benedict Cumberbatch picture image

Benedict Cumberbatch

Charles Dance picture image

Charles Dance







Does this mean I think an actor who is older wouldn’t work for the role? No, I still maintain that Alan Rickman and Charles Dance would make great Frollos, though if they cast Benedict Cumberbatch that would be great too. Should find a  Non-Britsh actor for a recommendation for Frollo, geezes

What do you guys think? Would you be okay with a younger actor playing Frollo? Quite honestly I would just be happy with another film version.

This was too much math for one post, @@.

6 Thoughts on “Can we have a young Frollo?

  1. Gnostic Coyote on 05/08/2015 at 11:56 pm said:

    Setting aside faithful adaptations for a second, I feel that a younger Frollo also makes the him more dynamic and complex, simply by virtue of upending the image most people have of the character.

    If there were a “Notre Dame” adaptation I would be overjoyed of Cumberbatch was cast as Frollo. He has the voice I associate with the character (Disney having been my first introduction), but more importantly he has the talent to play the character a complexly as he written.

  2. Paul Thierry on 05/08/2015 at 10:32 pm said:

    I’d rather have an older actor to play Frollo, but if he had to be young, I guess Colin Morgana should be the one. He is an amazing actor, and can pull serious roles very well. He kinds of reminds me of Benedict Cumberbatch, perhaps he should play the younger version of Frollo in a backstory where Benedict was the older? That would be awesome. I personally don’t think he is atractive, but I like his high cheekbones as it gives an austere look, check it on this pics:




    Sometimes he looks handsome on pictures, but with the right makeup and on screen he don’t look as good loking, and he is an amazing actor.

    • Payton on 06/21/2015 at 9:59 pm said:

      My best friend is obssesed with Collin Morgan, I don’t really think he is handsome, not ugly either, just average english guy. Perhaps this is due to the fact that I like blonde guys more, also strong guys. Anyway, he looks to “happy” to be Frollo, perhaps when grows older? Don’t think so, Alan Rickman is for now my best bet, her is a relly great actor, despite being older than Frollo.

  3. hunchbacked-one-eyed-lame on 05/07/2015 at 4:52 pm said:

    No, I feel it ruins the point of the character. Youth makes Frollo far too sympathetic. Features that are not severe and aged, but instead handsome and young, are an instant recipe for sympathy, not terror and pathos, from the audience. The more attractive a person is, the more likely an audience is to be on their side. This is why Quasimodo and Phoebus, very much the opposite of their physical appearances, are often difficult to correctly characterize. Quasimodo, for much of particular adaptations is characterized as a venomous freak, and Phoebus is an idealistic soldier. This is especially a problem in early theatrical productions, even in Hugo’s own La Esmeralda. Frollo’s aged appearance is partially a physical manifestation of his own repression. His sexism, his disdain for his fellow man and his irrational fear of women, only add to this. He looks like a bitter old man because that is what he is internally.

    Now Quasimodo being portrayed by older people, I think, is a bit easier to explain. Quasimodo is a very demanding role, not just from a physical perspective, but also from an emotional one. An actor needs experience for difficult roles. Besides that, it’s difficult to decipher age underneath makeup. While it may be a bit unconvincing that 39 year old Charles Laughton declares that he is “Twenty five next month,” it is at least probable.

  4. Esmee on 05/07/2015 at 10:34 am said:

    Honestly, with hair and make up effects we could have a Frollo in his twenties. To me what matters are the actors eyes and whether or not they can capture the intensity of the character.
    Not sure of an American actor who could be a possibility, mainly because I haven’t seen a recent movie in ages…because they’ve all become the same teen(s) save the dystopian future society kind of story and I’m not into that. And I don’t really know any of the names of young Hollywood, because they all act in the same kinds of films, which I never see. I could tell you who I think might make a good Jehan-maybe Justin Long, or who would make an interesting Clopin-Johnny Depp. But that’s about it.

  5. Skylar on 05/06/2015 at 3:29 pm said:

    I think that younger Frollos are fine, I would honestly rather have a Frollo in his late twenties instead of a Frollo in his fifties. I honestly have no idea who could be Frollo that isn’t British, I have no idea why. Actually a lot of the Hypothetical Casting for Phoebus and Esmeralda are British too. Maybe it is because all British people know how to act .

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