Thursday, March 24, 2011

Casting Couch

OK, here's a War and Peace parlor game to play. Who would you cast in the following roles in the film version?

Count Rostov
Nikolai Rostov
Prince Andrei
Nikolai Bolkonsky
Marya Bolkonsky
Anatole Kuragin
Marya Dmitrievna


  1. Natasha could be a young Natalie Portman if dark or a young Kate Winslet (a la Sense and Sensibility's Marianne) if blonde, but I think of her as dark.

    Sonya is a young Mare Wittingham--not pretty but pleasant to look at.

    Pierre is hard; Zach Gali. . . . (from Hangover) is too manly in a way; a young John Goodman is too tall; perhaps Andy Richter--he is sweet and thoughtful and could look both dumb and smart with glasses.

    Count Rostov I have thought of as an older Pierce Broslin.

    I have thought of Nickolai since page 100 as Brad Pitt and Andrei as Jude Law. Dolokov seems like a Paul Rudd--could be charming, could be a snake.

    Nikolai Bolkonsky is an aging, crabby Donald Sutherland.

    Marya is likely to be someone who doesn't seem pretty but can be--her eyes--Maggie Gyllanhall before she was thought to be cute and yet thin like she is now.

    Helene has to be a young Kathryn Zeta Jones or if we want something more slavic, maybe Natasha Kinsky.

    Anatole is a cad. Who can play him? A young James Spader with his hair dyed black?

    Marya Dimitrevna? That great mother of Winslow Boy and Sense and Sensibility--Gemma Jones. Or, if we prefer American, an aging Meryl Streep.

    Those are my choices as of now. But I'm a bit put off by Dolokhov--he is a puzzler on how handsome and ambiguous he should be. . . Barbara

  2. Great responses, Barbara. I knew I could count on you.

    I agree with you 100% on Natalie Portman for Natasha.

    What about Scarlett Johanssen for Sonya? A younger Scarlett Johanssen, before she became quite the voluptuous sex symbol?

    John Goodman was the best I could do for Pierre. Andy Richter seems not quite to have the gravitas. I'd never heard of Zach Galifianakis before, but actually he seems like a pretty good candidate.

    I love your idea of Donald Sutherland for Nikolai Bolkonsky.

    I was thinking Matthew McConaughey for Anatole, but a young James Spader could work too.

    Gemma Jones is good for Marya Dimitrievna—or what about an older Judi Dench?

    Nikolai Rostov seems a little more boyish and a little less sexy than Brad Pitt to me. What about Jake Gyllenhaal or Toby Maguire?

    Dolokhov is a tough one for me, too.