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?


Samantha Barks  picture image

Samantha Barks

A movie version of Notre Dame de Paris is a compelling idea. It has an artistic representational quality with a gritty style that could be really fun as movie but who could you get for the roles of such a movie? Oddly, one can just look to the last big budget Victor Hugo movie for a candidate for Esmeralda, one British actress Samantha Barks.

Samantha Barks as Emily Barstow in The Christmas Candle  picture image

Samantha Barks as Emily Barstow in The Christmas Candle

Samantha Barks played Eponine in the 2012 version of Les Miserables which rumor has it she beat Taylor Swift for. Prior to that Barks was part of reality show where the winner got to play Nancy in Oliver, called I’d Do Anything (appropriate name for a reality show) and played Eponine on stage. Since Les Mis (and at the time I’m writing this post) she has been in two other movies, Christmas Candle, and a minor role in Jack And The Cuckoo-Clock Heart. However Barks is in a few upcoming movies, so we’ll see how her career goes.

Samantha Barks as Eponine in Les Miserables picture image

Samantha Barks as Eponine in Les Miserables

On an acting front, Barks seems to be fine. Her depiction of Eponine was heartfelt but I don’t think the role of a tragic girl doomed to the friend zone isn’t all the hard to convey effectively. And her role is The Christmas Candle, it was was okay, though to be honest I really couldn’t get in that movie at all maybe because watching a Christmas movie in April doesn’t have the same impact, also it was beyond sappy, like chokingly saccharine. And I didn’t see the Jack And The Cuckoo-Clock Heart movie. However I think she could pull off Esmeralda on acting and singing end as Barks does have a lovely voice.

Samantha Barks  picture image

Samantha Barks

But how is she on the looks? Much like Esmeralda, Barks has the dark eyes and the dark hair that Hugo described Esmeralda has having, though Notre Dame de Paris does seem to like Esmeralda with red hair, though I think Barks might look ok with a touch of red but that it not a necessity to the role. Barks also has an earthy, natural quality about her which I think for a Notre Dame de paris Esmeralda is a good thing. The musical Esmeralda never seem to be the innocent celestial creature that Hugo described but a beautiful, free-spirited dancer who loves life.

Samantha Barks  picture image

Samantha Barks

Samantha Barks has everything that a good Esmeralda should have, now we just need someone to make the movie and cast her in it. I would love to hear her sing Live for the One I Love, plus how fun would it be if Taylor Swift were to play Fleur de Lys off Samantha Barks’ Esmeralda? Fun might be the wrong word.

Anyway what you guys think of Samantha Barks for Esmeralda in a movie version of Notre Dame de Paris or just in Hunchback in general because she could just pull of the role in a straight adaptation though I see her more as Notre Dame de Paris Esmeralda.

Oh Wait, it’s already happen!


Go to 2:20 for the picture proof.

Keanu Reeves picture image

Keanu Reeves

For the last two Octobers I have made scary anti-hypothetical casting choices that were meant to terrify you to very your core with Miley Cyrus and Megan Fox as Esmeralda but this year, I thought we take a more fun scary anti-hypothetical casting choice, Keanu Reeves as does it really matter? It’s Keanu!

Now before you tell me Keanu Reeves is a good actor, go watch Bram Stoker’s Dracula , I’ll wait.

Keanu Reeves as Jonathan Harker from Bram Stoker's Dracula picture image

Keanu Reeves as Jonathan Harker from Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Wasn’t he hilarious in it? I died laughing at his first line with his stilted awkward British accent. Even Keanu Reeves himself knows it was a bad performance, but to be fair it was poorly acted by everyone. The fact remains however Keanu Reeve should not be in period movies, go watch A Walk in the Clouds, I’ll wait.

Keanu Reeves as Paul Sutton from A Walk in the Clouds picture image

Keanu Reeves as Paul Sutton from A Walk in the Clouds

See! Keanu is just weak and mis-casted in Period flicks. Keanu also  has weird speech pattern and woodenness that works in some movies like The Matrix or the thriller genre but it would not work in The Hunchback.

Keanu Reeves as Kai from 47 Ronin picture image

Keanu Reeves as Kai from 47 Ronin

Is it likely that he would cast in Hunchback? Who knows, he got into an adaptation of Chushingura, 47 Ronin, as a half Japanese guy which was not in Chushingura so I guess if he be in that movie it’s possible, I mean anything is possible. But who would he play?

It’s too scary to fathom him as Esmeralda, Fleur de Lys, or Djali, so let’s just let that idea disturb us in another post someday or in nightmares, your choice.

Keanu Reeves as Ted from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure picture image

Keanu Reeves as Ted from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

I could see Keanu Reeves thinking he’s a serious actor even though he never escaped playing Ted from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure , so I could see him going for Quasimodo or Frollo. Though him playing Ted playing Clopin would be amazing.

Either Frollo or Quaismoodo would be hilarious, could you imagine him saying Frollo’s monologue to Esmeralda in the jail scene or as Quasimodo asking why he wasn’t made of stone? I can it would be unintentional hilarity. Reading the jail scene in my terrible Keanu impression, oh it’s so silly.

Keanu Reeves as Neo from Matrix picture image

Keanu Reeves as Neo from Matrix

But since most actors who want to be “serious” and let face it serious often means ugly, I would say he would want to be Quasimodo. His weird speech pattern might be a benefit since Quasi is deaf but still Keanu Reeves in a period film fills me with an eerie combination of delight and dread because it’s funny for 5minutes and then it’s painful and then silly again and then you just get numb and then sleepy, it’s likes hyperthermia.

Though be under no allusion Period+movie+Reeves = Bomb at Box Office so if this did happen it would not be a good thing for Hunchback, it would be horrifying.

The 1997 version of the Hunchback confounds me a lot. You pretty have the right actors for the characters and they do a fairly competent job with material they are given but the material given to them is so wrong for a Hunchback adaptation. It’s clear that this movie was emulating the 1939 Laughton version with the printing press and a very sympathetic Quasimodo but it fails to measure up became the execution is miserable.

It’s like if you have all the ingredients to make a simple chocolate cake but half through you decide that you want to make it your own except you have no concept of cooking so you just start throwing whatever you want in there like Bacon, Walnuts, Cherries, whatever. Then you’re surprise when it doesn’t cook right and no one likes it.

Mandy Patinkin as Quasimodo, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Mandy Patinkin as Quasimodo

Quasimodo and Esmeralda are the least offensively bad but to be fair these types of versions of the characters that they are portraying are common. Humanize and sympathetic Quasimodos are the norm with film adaptions because the audience has to like Quasimodo despite his looks.

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda

Same goes for Esmeralda. Having a shallow immature girl is not the way to win over an audience. Having a strong confidence yet kind beautiful women works perfectly. Both of these character choices reflects an easy out. A Quasimodo and Esmeralda with a character arc would be hard to write. On could argue that Quasimodo’s arc would be realizing Frollo is a mean jerk face but since he is a villain that’s easy. THe real issue is with Esmeralda is that she doesn’t do anything in this movie outside of looking attractive . She gives Quasimodo water for feelings of guilt but that it. Her importance is just being there for Quasimodo and Frollo to react to and not doing anything.

Richard Harris as Frollo, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Richard Harris as Frollo

Then there is colossal fail that is Frollo in this movie. The biggest issue with Frollo in this movie is that is obsession for Esmeralda is the result of feeling weak with regard to the king’s attitude on the printing press. His lust for Esmeralda feels like an afterthought and that shouldn’t be. The plot revolves around that. Once that decision was made other integral parts of the plot suffered like why would Esmeralda get the blame for the minster’s murder? Who saw the knife and knew it was her’s when it’s only in one scene? No Phoebus and Gringoire does nothing.

The 1997 Hunchback fails as Hunchback adaptation because Frollo’s lust set the story in motion. A failure to understand what drives the story is the reason why this version even with good castings fails.

Next time the Direction

Richard Harris as Frollo, 1997 The Hunchback  picture harris

Richard Harris as Frollo, yells No!

Seeing how it is the month of Halloween when frights and terrors rule the land, let’s imagine a truly terrifying casting option for Esmeralda.

In my mind, the idea of Miley Cyrus playing Esmeralda is cringe inducing.


Miley Cyrus picture image

Miley Cyrus

Cyrus isn’t an actress. She fits more into celebrity end of fame. She says one thing on twitter and it’s everywhere. She shocks, so that people will talk about her.

But let’s discuss her as actress as that is what she started out as I guess and that is the point of this post. To put it bluntly, she can’t act. I have seen her in the Hannah movie, Bolt and 30 grueling minutes of Last Song. Cyrus can only act like herself; a self-indulgent women-children who thinks having fun is partying and being overtly vulgar.

The idea of her playing any character from literature is bone-chilling. She can not play characters that have any complexity or depth. Even Esmeralda in the novel is too complex for her acting skills.

If she were to play Esmeralda can you imagine the dance scene *shudders*. And then the rest of  it would be hackneyed and hammy. Of course, Cyrus doesn’t seem to be concerned with acting these days but the threat looms, like Slenderman lurking in a deep dark forest.

If however she ever got it in her head to play Esmeralda she has means to do it. Let that  thought  steep into your mind and then stop your heart in the small-hours of the night when hell opens upon you.

You know who would make a really great Esmeralda? Alica Vikander!

Alica Vikander , picture image

Alica Vikander

Alicia Vikander is a Swedish actress who has been in some major films recently. She was the star in A Royal Affair, she played Kitty in the 2012 Anna Karenina film and she is in the upcoming Seventh Son and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Alica Vikander picture image

Alica Vikander

Vikander has a very good look for Esmeralda. She has a nice olive complexion, dark eyes and dark hair.  She also has a very expressive face. In addition to being a fine actress she was a dancer. She studied Ballet for nine years before making the decision to quit when she was sixteen.

Alica Vikander  picture image

Alica Vikander


She just seem like she would make the perfect Esmeralda especially if a film went with Esmeralda original backstory.

Alicia Vikander, picture image

Alicia Vikander

What do you think, would Alica Vikander make a good Esmeralda who is there a better actress for the role?


Alan Rickman picture image

Alan Rickman

Alan Rickman has been  confirmed to play Frollo in the upcoming Hunchback movie. I think this really great casting as he fits  Frollo perfectly. Finally something good about the Brolin version.


Check out this site to read all about;


David Tennant picture image

David Tennant

I was reading a blog that thinks that David Tennant should be cast as Clopin. And while the blog tells the reader not to take it seriously I agree David Tennant would make a great Clopin.

David Tennant as The Doctor, Doctor who, picture image

David Tennant as The Doctor

Devaid Tennant is most known for his playing of the tenth incarnation of The Doctor in the BBC version of Doctor Who and for playing Bartemius “Barty” Crouch Junior in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

David Tennant as Barty Crouch, Jr, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Picture image

David Tennant as Barty Crouch, Jr

Tennant is cheerful, charismatic and he has a quick witty way of talking that would be perfect for Clopin. However he can also be threatening. Both of these facets are integral to Clopin’s character.

David Tennant as The Doctor, Doctore who picture image

David Tennant as The Doctor

There just something about his mannerism and looks that I think make him an ideal choice for Clopin.

David Tennant picture image

David Tennant