Whew. I’ve been so lazy busy with actual life stuff and blogging wise with the 90s Performances Showdown (which you should be voting on) I’ve not done a legitimately post for a few days. So, what better way to return with some gender-bending casting fun for you? Behold, Take Three of my tentative new series “Inverse Casting”. Re-casting any older film but with the inverse – change the race, sex, sexuality, age, nationality. Anything goes.
Today I’m re-casting one of my favourite films, the caustic take on British Royalty Tony Harvey’s The Lion in Winter. As you know, I adore Kate Hepburn and good as Glenn is in the TV version stepping into Kate’s shoes as Eleanor would be a challenge for any performer. So, I’ve switched the genders for the seven main roles of the film. Potential shenanigans ahead.
King Philip – Carey Mulligan
Timothy Dalton was 24 when he made his film debut in this. And Carey is certainly more established but when it comes to navigating the emotions which come with adapting to maturity and responding to the thrust of newly found responsibility she’s been adept at handling that. Of the seven principals Philip is certainly the least essential (he is the lone visitor) but even with a sliver of screen-time I’d be intrigued at seeing what Carey could do with this.
Alais – Ben Whishaw
True, Ben Whishaw is over 30, and as much as I’ve been impressed with him elsewhere (why aren’t you watching The Hour) I’ll always think of him as the willowy John Keats forever. And, yes, Jane Merrow was the weak link in the original film I’d love seeing Whishaw a) caught in a May-December romance b) falling prey to a cougar and c) being someone sexual object.
John – Mia Wasikowska
I am not much a fan of Mia Wasikowska, which might suggest some sadist tendency on my part casting her as the awful John. Possibly. Still, even as I’m waiting to be assured of Wasikwoska’s worth as a performer, I’d be intrigued by seeing her play so against type with the physicality which John would require. And, yes, a part of me would just love to see her reaction to being called a “walking pustule”.
Geoffrey – Romola Garai
...the overlooked second child, always planning and sneaking...
Richard – Rosamund Pike
...the eldest child, steely and observant, and bent on being king...
King Henry II – Emma Thompson
...the ruminating king, unsure which of his children should succeed him...
Queen Eleanor – Gary Oldman
...the smart, caustic, coquettish, imprisoned queen....
Previously Inversed: Glengarry Glen Ross; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
What do you think of my English gender-bending? Who would you trade in? Who would you replace?