ACTORS mismatched to roles

Discussion in 'General Film Discussion' started by Jeffbert, Dec 26, 2011.

  1.  
    Jeffbert

    Jeffbert New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    141
    I can best explain what I mean with an example:

    Kirk Douglas was a prominent, perhaps, even a great actor. Yet, he was an inappropriate choice for the role of Ulysses/Odysseus because that character was described as having massively broad shoulders and being rather muscular, if not huge. True, I enjoyed the film, but--:D

    Likewise Professor Challenger has a similar physique, but Claude Rains is even more mismatched than Douglas, as he is rather small in stature. Challenger was a bear of a man, as I recall. I loved the film, but could not suppress an occasional snicker. :p
  2.  
    J-Sun

    J-Sun Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Messages:
    2,942
    Do you mean specific books-to-movies miscasts based on book descriptions (or the impression left by the book) or more general miscasting? Because, while I like a lot of Johnny Depp flicks, he was a terrible Willy Wonka. He didn't visually fit and the way he played it made it worse. But I can't think of too many more off-hand - negative (media) stuff tends to fade from my mind while the positive sticks.

    For general stuff, there's any movie Gene Hackman has ever been in unless he was a grumpy manager of a McDonald's in some movie. He's apparently regarded as not just a good, but great, actor by many but he just always hits me wrong in everything.

    Then there are retro-miscasts. Airplane is one of the funniest movies in the universe and it would have been even funnier if I'd have been more familiar with most of the actors in it before it. (For instance, I did know Barbara Billingsley in her signature role, which makes her scene just mind-blowing.) As is, I can't watch stuff like Forbidden Planet (with Leslie Nielsen) without laughing. I just can't see them right in their classic parts any more.

    -- Oh, how could I forget: Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist in The World Is Not Enough. She was way more off than anyone I've mentioned so far.
  3.  
    Jeffbert

    Jeffbert New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    141
    Yes, I mean characters as described by the novels in which they originate. :D

    Airplane was actually a direct parody of a 1950s film with Sterling Hayden (GENERAL RIPPER OF DR. STRANGELOVE) as they guy who talks down the amateur pilot flying the airliner. TCM showed both Airplane and Zero Hour! in that order some time ago, though I watched them min chronological order. Nearly everything in Airplane is a direct parody of something in Zero Hour! :) If I had watched them in the order shown, I would have been laughing at Zero Hour!, though it is a serious film.:D

    Yes, I think I know what you mean, an actor who is known for work in a certain genre seems out of place in another genre, but I am only thinking about physical characteristics, though I suppose broadening the topic may be entertaining. When you see an actor you associate with say, tough-guy roles, cast as a milquetoast, it just seems odd, even funny.
  4.  
    steve12553

    steve12553 The Enigma of Steel

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,307
    Stephen King's Carrie. The main character was pimply and overweight and generally a mess as opposed to the fairly attractive and slim Sissy Spacek. Many times the actor's ability overcomes the fact that they don't quite look the part.
  5.  
    springs

    springs Juggling life

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    Messages:
    8,362
    The classic has to be Morgan Freeman in Shawshank; in the book he's called Red because he's a red head with an Irish background. Yet, now, who else could be Red?
  6.  
    FireDragon-16

    FireDragon-16 Chelsea

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    390
    Robert Pattinson as Edward in the Twilight movies. I honestly don't think he's that attractive in general and he really doesn't fit the picture of Edward in my mind.
  7.  
    Metryq

    Metryq Cave Painter

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Messages:
    940
    Bridget Moynahan as Dr. Susan Calvin in I, Robot. When I first saw the trailer, I remember thinking, "Since when was Susan Calvin a smokin' hottie?" As noted elsewhere on this forum, the movie I, Robot is much closer to Roger MacBride Allen's Caliban than Asimov's anthology. And while the book spans many decades, Calvin's face was described as "thin" and "plain" (as a teen in "Robbie"), and the reporter in the intro wonders if she ever smiles. This does not mean that Calvin is ugly, just that her demeanor is cool, perhaps a little severe. "Clinical." Essentially, the Dr. Calvin in the movie did not talk like the character in the short stories. In the movie, Calvin got ruffled on several occasions, while in the book she was always very cool and collected—except briefly in "Liar!" when one robot rubs her the wrong way. (Hell hath no fury like a robo-psychologist scorned.) While the book Calvin was logical and precise, the movie Calvin was Yet Another Spock Wannabe™, spewing jaw-breaking polysyllables.
  8.  
    springs

    springs Juggling life

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    Messages:
    8,362
    Keanu Reeves in Much ado about nothing; Shakespearian Ted Theodore Logan. Funny, but oh so wrong.
  9.  
    Connavar

    Connavar New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    8,127
    Keanu Reeves again but this time in Constantine. Sure John Constantine series Hellblazer isnt a book but a comic series. Constantine is chain smoking blond brit with an bad boy attitude. Reeves played Constantine like he was a soft tragic hero.

    He was so mismatched. All the attitude, awesomeness of the character gone to become another generic Reeves hero....
  10.  
    Cam Winstanley

    Cam Winstanley New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Messages:
    8
    Kudos to whoever did the casting for the Watchmen movie. Regardless of whether you love it or hate it, you've got to admit that all the main characters completely looked the part.
  11.  
    Metryq

    Metryq Cave Painter

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Messages:
    940
    Hear! Hear! Or +1 as they say these days. Shoot the hostage.
  12.  
    Ray Pullar

    Ray Pullar Licensed operator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Messages:
    29
    Sly Stallone as Judge Dredd. Too short, too thick.
    Kyle MacLachlan as Paul Atreides in David Lynch's Dune (1984). Too old (in the book Paul is 15 years old at the start).
    Casper van Dien as Johnny Rico in Starship Troopers. Looks nothing like a Tagalog speaking Filipino (the character's ethnicity in the Heinlein novel). Also too old to be in high school at the start of the story.
    Keanu Reeves as Johnny in Johnny Mnemonic. Too Keanu Reeves.
  13.  
    springs

    springs Juggling life

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    Messages:
    8,362
    R we saying Keanu Reeves in anything that wasn't written for him? He's cropping up a lot.

    Nic Cage in Captain Corelli's; truly awful casting, truly awful acting.
  14.  
    Abernovo

    Abernovo Accident-prone, allegedly

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    Messages:
    2,380
    Still gives me shivers. Great book, terrible film - and Penelope Cruz as Pelagia?
  15.  
    Ray Pullar

    Ray Pullar Licensed operator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Messages:
    29
    I didn't criticize Mr Reeves for his portrayal of Bob Arctor in A Scanner Darkly. I'd be more likely to find fault with Robert Downey's playing of Barris who in the novel comes across as a less nervous & silly man and rather more sinister and menacing.
  16.  
    springs

    springs Juggling life

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    Messages:
    8,362
    Flattered by Cage, that's about the best you can say.;)
  17.  
    Jeffbert

    Jeffbert New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    141
    :eek: I did not expect so many responses! :) I will respond specifically to this one, & apologize about the others getting no response.
    As far as race goes, I do not think it is so important here, but I never read this novel. Unless Red was of a very different physique than Freeman, I think it is not all that important. However, I can think of a few exceptions:

    1. Samuel L. Jackson as Nick (Sgt.) Fury in Capt. America
    2. James Mason as Capt. Nemo in 20,000 Leagues--

    For #1, Fury, though not depicted in this film, was the leader of THE HOWLING COMMANDOS during WWII, it was not at all likely that they would have a black man commanding a mostly white unit. I really do not like the history revisionist stuff that has been going on lately. But even disregarding race, Fury was a very muscular man, unlike Jackson. I really did like the film, & was not really bothered by this until just now as I thought about this post. O.K., even more unlikely that James West could be black, but WWW was pure fantasy, anyway. :p Why be accurate about DUM DUM DUGAN but switch races with Fury? :confused:

    #2 Nemo was an Indian (of India), & though this may have had no bearing on the Disney version, I was reminded of it when watching NADIA OF BLUE WATER anime, & LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN. Of course, back then, there was simply no way they would have made a film starring an Asian, but they did not even try to make Mason appear Asian as they did with Karloff, Lorre, & the guy who played Charlie Chan.
  18.  
    springs

    springs Juggling life

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    Messages:
    8,362
  19.  
    Perpetual Man

    Perpetual Man Former Comment Giver

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,586
    When Marvel recreated some of it's titles for the modern age a few years ago (The Ultimate titles), one of the strongest was The Ultimates, written by Mark Millar art by Brian Hitch. This was in all but the name, The Avengers.

    This had a much more cinematic feel to it, stunning visuals with massive, breathtaking story arcs; and one of the things that was said from the word go, was that Fury was going to be a driving force behind it.

    Both Millar and Hitch spoke about one thing concerning the character and that was how Samuel L Jackson was who they both thought of immediately and wrote/drew the character with that in mind.

    When the movie franchise(s) started, almost from the word go there was a fan movement to have Jackson play the character if he were to appear.

    And I guess that is why Jackson is playing Fury in the movies!

    [​IMG]

    Fury as he appeared in The Ultimates a loooong time before he appeared on the big screen


    And talking of mismatched actors in films and Nick Fury, David Hasslehoff anyone?

    [​IMG]
  20.  
    Boneman

    Boneman Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    Messages:
    4,487

    Oh my god, yes! Ruined the whole film for me. I could just about take Sting as Feyd Rautha Harkonnen, but Kyle was awful... Sian Phillips was excellent, on the other hand. And sorry to say, but Sir Patrick Stewart as Gurney Halleck was way too sophisticated (and bald...)

Share This Page