"Mr. & Mrs. Smith" was on TV today and as I was doing chores I was watching it, and laughing out loud a lot. I like black comedies and I kept thinking to myself how funny Brad Pitt was in the role because I liked his goofiness. Of course, my thoughts then digressed to what the movie would have been like if another actor had been cast.....
What about all those movies in which you know the wrong actor was picked to play the role?
I remember when it was first announced that Daniel Craig was going to take over as James Bond and I thought no way! That guy is not even cool enough for the role. Was I ever wrong.
So you can imagine how hard it is to cast a movie. There have to be times when the casting seems like a good idea at the time, but I expect once filming starts it becomes obvious when the casting is just all wrong.
And then there are the movies that make us think, how the hell did they ever think this was a good idea???
Here's my list of the most miscast roles I can think of off the top of my head.
Jessica Alba in The Fantastic Four
I don't think one has to have any particular feelings about Jessica Alba one way or another to come to the conclusion that she was all wrong for this role. I mean really, Sue Storm? The blond, all American girl? Sister to Johnny Storm (played by Chris Evans)? When did this ever seem like a good idea? I thought Alba came across as too shrill and she never interacted naturally enough with Evans to play his sister. And do I need to mention the horrible dye job? Wrong wrong wrong.
Kevin Costner in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
I haven't watched this movie in years because it I couldn't put myself through it again. I can't begin to understand why this iconic role would not be filled by an English actor, much less Kevin Costner. I think this film was done not too long after "Dances With Wolves" and Costner was in full arrogance and thought he could do anything. Clearly speaking with an English accent was not one of his skills.
Hayden Christensen & Jake Lloyd in the second Star Wars Trilogy
I know I'm not alone in having problems with the last three "Star Wars" movies George Lucas produced. I think one of my biggest complaints has to be the casting. This was the time to really lay down the character of Darth Vader and I can't help but feel that Lucas failed miserably. Lloyd can be excused for being a little kid-- he couldn't really help it that he wasn't suited for the role. But Christensen has not proven that he ever had the acting ability to pull off a young Vader. I wanted to blame Lucas' directing, but I keep hearing that Christensen is pretty wooden in everything he does ("Jumper" being the latest example). On the other hand-- Lucas had to have had his pick of virtually anyone for the role(s), why did he pick these two?
Tom Cruise in Interview With a Vampire
I know a lot of people go back and forth on this one. A lot of people have come to the conclusion that Cruise did a good job in the role of the vampire Lestat. Maybe. But I still feel as if Cruise was all wrong. I remember when I read the book, Lestat seemed very delicate and charismatic. Cruise could potentially pull off the charismatic part, but he could never be called delicate looking. Lestat was the rock star, all lithe grace and sinuous movement. Cruise is bold and never subtle. The image in my head never gelled with the casting of Cruise.
Ben Affleck in Daredevil
I've heard that there are people out there that didn't mind Affleck in this role. I'm not one of them. I wanted to like this movie a whole lot but I could never buy into Affleck as Matt Murdock. Maybe it's because he never seemed like the guy who would have enough discipline, or smarts, to become Daredevil. Maybe he's just too goofy for me. I don't know. I like it when real actors are picked to portray my favorite comic book heroes, like Christian Bale and Robert Downey Jr. Wouldn't someone like Bale have been kick-ass in this role? Maybe they'll remake it someday with someone tough enough to pull off the character.
Kate Bosworth in Superman Returns
I didn't like Bosworth as Lois Lane. I don't know if that was because of how the character was written or because Bosworth wasn't convincing. This might be a case in which I am picking on the actor when really, the movie is to blame. It never did have the magic of the original. But then, it was basically just a copy of a good movie that didn't need a remake. But I still think the movie might have been better had they cast someone who could play Lois with a little more life. You may or may not have liked Margot Kidder as Lois, but you have to admit, she had a lot more sass than Bosworth did.
Denise Richards in The World is not Enough
Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist? This was a good idea? Ever?
Will Smith in The Wild Wild West
This movie was soooo bad. I'm not even sure I should pick on Will Smith exclusively. It was bad enough that the original TV series was mangled so badly and Will Smith was cast in the role of Jim West, but Kenneth Branagh was horrible! I don't think I have ever sat through this whole film. In fact, I doubt casting anyone other than Smith could have saved this film, but the casting was a mistake too.
Ben Stiller & Owen Wilson in Starsky & Hutch
Why did these two have to go and ruin Starsky & Hutch? Why? I admit it. I like the old series. I don't remember it much from when I was a kid but I've managed to catch a couple of episodes since then and it was not a bad show. It could have been a decent cop movie, but no, Stiller and Wilson had to get their hands on it and turn it into another retarded spoof. That just irritates me. But then, Stiller and Wilson irritate me in just about anything.
People I'm "on the fence" about
Keanu Reeves in "The Matrix" -- I don't know that the movie suffered because he was in the role, but how much better could it have been with someone who could act?
Michael Keaton in "Batman"-- I never thought Keaton looked the part. Batman should have a square jaw and be at least six-feet tall. Shouldn't he?
Kirsten Dunst in "Spiderman"-- I'm not sure if it's the role I don't like or the actress. Maybe it's just the hair.
Keira Knightley in "Pirates of the Caribbean"-- I didn't mind her in the first one but she irritated me in the sequels. Is it me, or is her mouth always open?
That's all I have right now. I'm sure if I have time to think about it, I could come up with a ton more. But now it's your job. Tell me who drives you crazy in a particular role. And just for kicks, maybe let me know who you think would have done it better.