We all agreed that John Malkovich was by far the worst Poirot ever. Though to be fair, I  saw a movie with Tony Randall playing the detective, which was just…..indescribable…. It was done in the sixties, so I’ll forgive it to a point…. But what other roles have been horribly miscast?

I love Tom Hanks. He is one of my favorite actors, and he actually seems like a really great guy. Fine actor. I can’t tell you how good I think he is. Except, you know, he can’t play everyone. For example- “Bonfire of the Vanities”. Not only was this a horrible adaptation of a book, it was just a horrible movie. I mean horrible. And miscast is an understatement. The last person who should have played the arrogant prick of a main character was Tom Hanks.. (In hindsight Kevin Spacey would have been perfect actually…)

And how about the iconic Dan Brown character, Robert Langdon. I remember reading DaVinci and was casting the movie in my head. I immediately thought Liam Neeson. Maybe Russell Crowe. Tom Hanks never entered my imagination. I have no doubt that Tom Hanks is a brilliant guy- but he doesn’t play as an elbow patch wearing Harvard academic. Not. at. All. And they keep making the movies with him, and I keep watching them, and I keep shaking my head…..why oh why?

This is one of my problems with film adaptations of books. As a reader, you get a mental picture of a character. This week a couple of people had very interpretations of what Jack Reacher should look like. And that’s great, because we all bring our own interpretations into things. But when you have imagined a character one way, and then see them on a big screen as something else….well, it’s hard to change your mind.

Sometimes you have the perfect casting. Colin Firth is Mr. Darcy. End of discussion. I will never read P and P again without picturing Firth. Jennifer Ehle is Elizabeth Bennett. David Suchet is Poirot.

It’s a wonderful thing when an author writes such a brilliant character that we all “know” what they will actually look like. We know how they would act, we know how they would react. Some authors have the innate ability to bring a character to life. Things like this are what makes a great book: iconic characters and settings. And a literature purist just doesn’t want to see the dream fade. They want the character to live on in their memory.

If I overthought this subject a little more, I could probably argue that there is some psychological component to this. We imagine something and then the reality is quite different. Maybe we want to keep our fantasies safe…..but this is a blog for another day…

But anyway….worst miscastings?

34 thoughts on “Who?

      1. We only discovered the series in the past year, and my husband is so sad that we have only been able to buy some of them. He enjoys watching them with me, so I suspect he’ll dig up the rest of them somewhere online if he can. They are available on netflix or something, but I can’t watch the tiny smartphones, so he keeps trying to find them in dvd format that willplay here on the US machines–

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  1. Christopher Walken as King Louie in the live action of “Jungle Book.” Plenty of others in plenty of other films.

    The studios cast who they do because the actors are famous. Like you said, you saw them. 🙂

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    1. I get so invested in certain characters I can’t divorce myself from it when I watch. I had a conversation the other day about how I won’t rate anything a 1 Star because I always try to find something redeeming. I might write about that today….hmmmm…..

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  2. I couldn’t agree more. I’d read a lot of Agatha Raisin mysteries by M.C. Beaton and Agatha in my mind resembled a rather stocky, older, brusque woman with a messy bun and orthopedic shoes. When the t.v. series aired they cast a much younger woman. It was very jarring and difficult for me to accept this flirtatious, young actress in that role. Especially since I listened to the books and Agatha definitely didn’t sound young.
    I agree about Tom Hanks. I love him as an actor. He’s my You’ve Got Mail guy, but he’s not right for every role.

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    1. I always thought if Agatha as you describe her. I can’t imagine her young and flirty, but I haven’t read her books in awhile. And yes, you can be a great actor, but realistically, nit every role is right for you

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      1. Oh I love the actress who plays Agatha Raisin! But, then again, I’ve ever read the books. However, the actress is clearly middle aged and that is emphasized in the series countless times. She’s aging, retired, trying hard to maintain her sexuality, but it is clear she’s in her mid to late 50’s. (Not old but not young). She’s scatter brained for sure. But I don’t know if I’d see too many characters wearing a messy bun. Hmmm…. now I have to read one of the books. I
        I was told about the series from a friend of mine who lives in England and who read the books and loves the series. So I suppose we all have our own imaginations. I’ll get back to you all after I order a book from amazon and let you know if I think she’s portrayed realistically. Miss Fisher’s murder mysteries are fabulous! Check them out. The actress is perfect!

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      2. My impression of Agatha Raisin is based on the AUDIO version, not the book. The voice of the narrator clearly sounds older than a woman of 55. And I didn’t start the series, which has many books, from the beginning. So even as respects the books she’d probably be closer to 60 or older by the time I would have started reading them.
        I actually really enjoyed the movie version, and the actress who played Agatha, but I just couldn’t reconcile it with the voice of the audio narrator. When I separated the two, it was easier for me to relax and enjoy the program. 😊

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    2. Hi Cozy. I just downloaded the first Agatha Raisin book and got to where the author described her physically. It said she was 53. The actress who portrays her is just shy of 50 so she isn’t far off the mark. Quite honestly I assumed the actress was around 55. Based on the book and what I’ve read thus far she seems to be a good match, other than the actress – Agatha is blonde. She’s always trying to get in shape in the tv version which goes along with the book description of her not being particularly thin.. Plus they describe her wearing suits for her business in the beginning. So I think it’s a close enough depiction. I read quite a few Aurora Teagarden mysteries and while Candice Cameron Bure is much prettier than my imagined picture of Aurora, I still enjoy the tv mysteries. I like a good cozy mystery and a female protagonist any way I can get one. I get bored with of all the male detectives on television and in movies, so, I don’t mind some artistic license taken as long as more women are given work on screen.

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      1. I LOVE the Aurora Teagarden mysteries as well!! 😃 I’ve also listened to those and the audio narrator is a great match. She sounds the way I could envision Aurora sounding. I was definitely okay with Candice Cameron Bure as Aurora even though she looked different in my mind. I still hold to my original statement about Agatha Raisin though. That actress did not look like she needed to lose an ounce of weight!! 🙄

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      2. Ha! No she doesn’t even though her character is portrayed as being worried about her weight but winds up stress eating all the time. And then exercising or riding her bike to thin down. She’s a petite actress for sure.

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  3. Drawing a blank here, but I’ve seen it happen. And I shake my head and try to go with it. After all, it’s just entertainment. This is why most movies I watch are dvds from the library. Not costing me a nickel to turn it off if I don’t like it.

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  4. Great post. One of The worst castings was Keanu Reeves In “ Much Ado About Nothing”. I love that guy. But he should never do Shakespeare! Never! And Emma Stone can be brilliant, but she is often stuck in films and cast inappropriately. In the film “Magic in the Moonlight” her love interest was Colin Firth and it was ridiculous. She couldn’t match his level of talent and looked like his daughter. Jennifer Lawrence as Joy? Really? I think directors and producers think about box office sales rather than characters. The entire remake of Footloose was awful. As far as books go, I’m usually never completely satisfied with the movie version. Especially remakes. And you are so right. Colin Firth will forever be Mr. Darcy! Sometimes they get it perfect.

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  5. Loved this – absolutely worst adaptation of a book? Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Author said it was like being given his first born with his ‘ears pinned on backwards’ . I’m sure anyone who has read it will agree with me that what they did with Carlo and Iannis was unforgivable…

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