Monday, July 23, 2018

Dreamcasting: Tess of the D'Urbervilles

It's time for another round of Dreamcasting, my ongoing series about the books I love and the movies I'd want to see made of them! This time around, I'm looking at a classic that I think could actually do well with modern audiences, because the themes around sexual coercion, slut-shaming, and both secretly and not-so-secretly garbage dudes that put you on a pedestal still resonate in today's world. So who would I cast in the lead roles?

Tess Durbeyfield: Sophie Turner

I've tried not to just reflexively go for the Game of Thrones "kids" (they aren't kids anymore really but they're still the kids in my head) when looking for British actors, but sometimes they're right. I don't know if her red or blonde hair is her natural look, but I'd love to see her in the red for this role. I've been impressed with her range over the years on Thrones, and I think she can pull of Tess's fundamental goodness throughout hardship and she's such a classic English rose.

Alec d'Urberville: Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Aaron Taylor-Johnson is an interesting actor, and I really liked him as Vronsky in what was honestly not an especially great version of Anna Karenina a few years back. He's got the kind of intensity I think works for Alec and I think he could play a sort of simmering malice well.

Angel Clare: Nicholas Hoult

Angel seems like a good dude at first but turns out to be pretty damn problematic (intentionally). Hoult's big blue eyes lend him an innocence that works for his initial presentation, he's both good looking and seems sweet so the appeal for Tess makes sense, and he's got enough edge for the turn Angel's character takes later in the book.

Liza-Lu: Maisie Williams

Liza-Lu's not a huge part, so this feels like a waste of Maisie Williams, but she and Sophie Turner already play sisters on Thrones, so having them play sisters again here just feels right.

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