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Redwood Falls Gazette - Redwood Falls - MN
  • Joshua's column: Miscast on the stage of life

  • Have you ever wondered who Hollywood would get to play you in the movie of your life? What if that person plays me better than I do?
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  • I feel sorry for most actors who have played Superman.
    Basically, they fall into two categories:
    1) Christopher Reeve
    2) Everyone else
    No matter how good anyone else who’s ever been cast as Superman is, they still have to deal with, “Wow, yeah, he was pretty good...but he’s no Christopher Reeve.”
    The best any of them can hope for is to be told he’s almost as good as Christopher Reeve.
    I suspect that’s why there hasn’t been a Wonder Woman movie yet. She’s a hugely popular character, and yet would you want to be the person who has to follow Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman?
    I know I wouldn’t.
    Some actors embody a certain character so well, they ruin it for everyone who comes after them.
    Then there are those roles that audiences accept a certain amount of variation in, such as Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Who, and James Bond. There half the fun is debating who played that role best.
    (For the record, Bela Lugosi, Jeremy Brett, Tom Baker, and Sean Connery.)
    Some roles are obviously horribly miscast, and you wonder what someone was thinking. After Seth Rogan, pretty much anyone can play The Green Hornet and do a better job.
    Then there are those actors who actually do a good job, but are perceived as being miscast. I’m probably the only person on Earth who thinks Robin Williams was a great Popeye.
    Have you ever wondered who Hollywood would get to play you in the movie of your life?
    The casting would be crucial in determining how everyone sees you for the rest of your life — and afterward.
    Say someone did The Joshua Dixon Story back in 1946. To this day, it would make a huge difference in how I am remembered in the year 2013 depending on if I were played by Humphrey Bogart, Groucho Marx, or Gary Cooper.
    In the 1946 biography of Cole Porter Night and Day, the producers cast dashing, debonaire Cary Grant as the notoriously nebbishy composer, and (oops!) forgot to mention he was gay.
    What parts of your life would the filmmakers decide not to mention, and what would they emphasize? What parts of your life would the Hollywood version condense because they’re, well, boring and not that important.
    Odds are it would involve your family and friends.
    What people in your real life would get combined into a “composite character” because they’re judged not significant enough to stay individuals?
    Hollywood screenwriter: “Sorry, Aunt Agnes, Aunt Ann, Aunt Corrine Rose, Aunt Regina, Aunt Louise, Aunt Mildred, and Aunt Mary Ellen.... You’re all Aunt Daisy now. Oh, and you’re an alcoholic who hangs out at the pool hall all night.”)
    Page 2 of 2 - All I know is, whoever they cast as me is going to get it wrong.
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