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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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