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The Top Eight Actors I'd Cast To Put Anne Hathaway In Her Place

By Joanna Robinson | Seriously Random Lists | January 17, 2013 | Comments ()


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News broke yesterday that Anne Hathaway has been chosen to play that irksome, brawling scold Kate The Cursed in a modern adaptation of Taming Of The Shrew. As many before me have pointed out, a great modern Taming Of The Shrew already exists. In fact, if you count the great ShakespeaRe-told series, two great modern adaptations already exist and Rufus Sewell's cross-dressing Petruchio remains a personal favorite.
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Perhaps because of Sewell's imposing physical presence, or because many of the other famous film Petruchios (e.g. Howard Keel or Richard Burton) have been larger men, I always think of Petruchio as a big guy. An arrogant, pushy scam artist who meets his match in Katherine. The casting is tricky, however, and feeds into one of the main concerns that comes with adapting one of Shakespeare's more problematic plays. Even to perform "Taming Of The Shrew" in a classical context these days requires a lot of clever staging and actorly interpretation. Otherwise you're left with the story of a violent, horrible woman starved and physically tormented into submission. And don't get me started on Kate's final monologue ("place your hands below your husband's foot,/ In token of which duty, if he please,/ My hand is ready, may it do him ease"). If that speech isn't performed with tongue fully in cheek, forget about it.

The most generous interpretation of Shakespeare's play (one that both ShakespeaRe-told and Then Things I Hate About You captured quite nicely) is that here are two difficult
people who behave badly because they've never found anyone who truly understood them. Until now. Awww. Some of the "chattel" and "women are made to bear and so are you" language in the original play makes that interpretation harder to swallow, but there we are.

I have no doubt, however, that writer Abi Morgan is equal to the task. Her most high profile project, of course, was the Fassbender sex addiction vehicle Shame. But if you look at the rest of her screenwriting credits (not to mention her theater background), you'll see she has a penchant for writing strong, interesting ladies e.g. "The Hour"'s Bel Rowley and Lix Storm or the titular Iron Lady. She's also got a fascinating film coming soon about Charles Dickens' secret mistress called The Invisible Woman. So though your mileage may vary on Hathaway's personality you cannot, after the year she's had, deny her acting talent. All that remains is to find her the right Petruchio. Here are my top choices.

8. Joseph Morgan: This cat has played the main antagonist on the really great but terribly cheesy "Vampire Diaries" for the past two seasons. He's also just scored the lead in a spin-off which might sound like a great career move but has me worried. Because this guy has a crazy magnetic screen presence and I'd much prefer to see him in more films than watch him parade around in a series of increasingly preposterous wigs. He's got a plummy accent and a snarl that won't quit.
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7. Chris Hemsworth: Too close to Ledger? Maybe. I'm also not sure Hemsworth quite has the chops for this kind of performance. But he'd look awfully good trying.
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6. David Oyelowo: If you don't know Oyelowo's name yet, then you weren't paying too much attention to the film scene in 2012, were you. This actor was in five films last year including Red Tails, Jack Reacher, The Paperboy and Lincoln. He's also an accomplished stage performer and has the dubious honor of being the first black actor to play an English king (Henry VI) for the Royal Shakespeare Company. He also played Orlando in Kenneth Branagh's disappointingly flat As You Like It. So a) impeccable Shakespearean credits b) star on the rise c) devilishly handsome. Yes please.
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5. Benjamin Walker: Meryl Streep's son-in-law certainly has the physical presence. At 6'3" he's the most towering entrant on this list. He's also much more talented than that Vampire Hunter movie would indicate.
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4. Adam Driver: Of all the TV actors I hope will make a huge splash in the film world, Driver is at the top of the list. Arguably the male lead on HBO's divisive "Girls," Driver had an excellent moment last year when he called Dunham's Hannah out on all her bullsh*t. His verbal facility and completely off-beat looks make him a surprisingly attractive screen presence.
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3. Idris Elba: I've never seen Elba take on Shakespeare, though "The Wire" often came close. I think, despite the ten years difference, he and Hathaway could generate plenty of heat. After seeing him spar with Ruth Wilson's Alice Morgan on "Luther," I think he could do great things with an antagonistic love story.
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2. Tom Hardy: Tom Hardy, the rich man's British Channing Tatum, is objectively the best choice here. He could capture Petruchio's brutish pomposity with ease and he's got charm to spare.
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1. Michael Fassbender: Naturally, however, because of the Shame connection, my mind went immediately to Fassbender. He played a devilishly great Rochester and I think he could bring a brainy Petruchio that would be a most excellent match for Hathaway.
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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • Lbeees

    Fassbender was a DAMN FINE Rochester.

  • I'm so over this sudden Hathaway craze to cast her in every period piece imaginable. She's the American Keira Knightley. Stop it, Hathaway's people. Stop it.

  • Does anyone else remember an episode of Moonlighting where they did Taming of the Shrew?

  • Sars

    Tom Hardy is the "rich man's British Charming Potato"? Well maybe if the spud went back in to the woumb, and came out with acting talent, a defined face, a hot voice and a hotter body and incredible charm...then and only then he could be mentioned in the same sentence as Tom Hardy... seriously.

  • John G.

    I never saw Julia Styles' Kat as much of a shrew. She was a feminist, and she criticized her vacuous sister for living a meaningless, consumer-driven life. She was smart, witty, and rightly distrustful of high school. Those are all good things.

  • mattyblue

    i didn't even need to look at the list. idris elba, tom hardy, and michael fassbender. because they all three are the best pick for every goddamn role that exists.

    waiting for you to suggest fassbender as juliet.

  • Idle Primate

    I only discovered Tom Hardy this year and having run through his back catalog would watch anything with him in it. that being said, he would make a great Petrucchio. i'm not sure i can envision Hathaway as Kate, though it seems maybe she has more range than looking nymphish so who knows. doing les miz was a smart career move

  • poopnado

    I think Anne Hathaway is rill pretty. That is all.

  • Tim

    Another off topic comment. What is it with all of these annoying pop up ads assaulting my screen when I get on this site? Calling them intrusive would be putting it lightly. Its getting to the point where coming to this site isn't worth it.

  • Stump

    Joseph Morgan. Yes. Good choice. He needs more to do.

  • Quatermain

    I'd pay to see Elba and Hathaway in 'Othello' but for 'Taming of the Shrew' I'd go for Fassbender as Petruchio.

    Also, I clicked on the link for 'a great modern retelling of Taming of the Shrew' and it kept taking me to '10 Things I Hate About You' for some reason. Either that link is broken or someone pranked y'all.

  • Kala

    I have nothing to add except for "thank you." I've never heard of this Benjamin Walker guy. WHY HAVE I NEVER SEEN HIS BEAUTIFUL FACE?

    Oh, Idris. I don't know what he's like in real life, but I suspect that he may be the perfect man. I'm halfway through The Wire right now (I KNOW, I'm late) and just guh.

  • Adrienne Marie

    Oh, Ben Walker. I saw him on Broadway in "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" and, thanks to the seating gods, had his crotch in my face. Best night ever.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    lucky you...I only saw it from the balcony. (still, fun time though, right? timbers is a crazy genius.)

  • Adrienne Marie

    It was tons of fun. When they busted out the Spice Girls when introducing Van Buren, Calhoun, Adams and Clay, I lost it. I also use, "Eat a dick, you weasel wearing fuck!" when someone pisses me off. Yes, I obviously saw it more than once LOL

  • Slash

    Ech, I have no interest in seeing Anne Hathaway in Shakespeare anything. Cast Emily Blunt and be done with it.

  • Michael

    It's really got to be difficult to be a woman who's at the very top of her career, charming, intelligent, ambitious, and well spoken for the hate she always receives. It's a good thing, Anne doesn't have twitter or read blogs dedicated to her. Oh well, she'll continue to succeed and win many accolades!

  • Hemsworth (6'4") is taller than Walker (6'3") so Walker is not the most towering one of the list. Bazinnggg. I'm a loser for fact checking that.

  • Kati

    Ultimately, they're all the same height lying down.

  • Mrs. Julien

    But different thicknesses.

  • Kati

    And therein lies the fun. Uh, I mean scientific process.

  • My votes for Hardy or Elba.

  • wojtek

    God now I want to rewatch the BBC version with Sewell. Shirley Henderson is SO GOOD in that.

  • Xiufetish

    Sewell is simply too beautiful - I couldn't focus on the soliloquies, because I was too mesmerised by the perfection of his face. A few wrinkles will do wonders for his acting career.

    Shirley Henderson is a revelation in this version, I agree.

    Why "The Taming of the Shrew" with its inherent misogyny, and the rampant unpleasantness of almost all the characters? "Much Ado about Nothing", with its rollicking repartee and genuine warmth between Beatrice and Benedick, is so much the superior comedy.

  • $27019454

    But who says I "can't deny Liza/Anne's acting talent?" Who sez? I deny it. I do.

    No. Wait. I admit she is the best little actress in her high school play. She reminds me of a less-talented early-version Winona Ryder. EMOTING with everything her acting teacher said to call upon! I can almost hear her singing that lame "I am an actress" song from Chorus Line.

    And I dug right down in the bottom of my soul...and CRIIIIEED!!

    Ghah.

    I agree about Sewell. Sexiest Petruchio Ever. But Liza is no Shirley Henderson.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I have missed you so much, SO MUCH!

  • $27019454

    ::jazzhandzz::

  • ZombieMrsSmith

    I totally vote Tom Hardy, he can do cruel and mean, emotional and funny. Perfect for Petruchio. Also, even though Ms Hathaway is not my favorite, I think she and Hardy could really make a modern Shrew work

  • tmoney

    The one-two punch of Hardy and Fassbender made my lady-parts tingle. And Hemsworth arms put me in a tizzy. Can we re-cast Hathaway? Her british accent is just bad news.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    can we recast you for thinking Shakespeare requires a British accent?

  • tmoney

    I was going along with most of the gents in the piece (as far as I know) are somewhat known for their accents. I'm fully aware that Shakespeare does not require any accent at all and can be done anywhere in any setting.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    I have nothing on-topic to add but I just wanted to say how beautiful Hathaway looks with short hair. That's a hard look to pull off. I've seen all the accolades for Hermione going short but it doesn't look nearly as good as this.

  • Patrick Carr

    Chris Hemsworth is 6'4". He might be the most towering.

  • JoannaRobinson

    Only one way to find out. Gents, please report to my bunk.

  • e jerry powell

    Hmmm. Petruchio and his penis.

    Sounds fun!

  • Holy crap! They should have cast Benjamin Walker and Liam Neeson in Looper!

  • Samantha Klein

    Walker actually does play younger Liam Neeson in Kinsey. First place I saw him. It was uncanny.

  • KatSings

    I'd be a fan of Hardy in the role. There's something almost too dark about Fassbender for me, as Petruchio goes. And Elba's age would bother me a bit, I think. I don't know a lot of the other people on this list, but most are a good look. I adore Hemsworth, so very very much, but his nearness in being to Heath's and what I know thus far of his abilities make me not want to see him tackle that role. Even though he's so, so pretty. God, those arms...

  • F'mal DeHyde

    I'm missing the 'nearness' Hemsworth has to Ledger except that they're both Australian. There's no physical similarities at all.

  • mzbitca

    I see the comparison the most in just how differently their smiles change their face. They go from these brooding guys to looking like the silliest person in the world. In some of his more charming moments in Thor Helmsworth reminded me of Ledger in 10 Things

  • foolsage

    Hemsworth and Ledger both seem to have a certain rough earthiness about them; they're edgy and intense but they're also cuddly pretty boys. I can see the comparison.

  • damnitjanet

    Atomic Shakespeare. Look it up.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I love the way Meryl Streep's son-in-law leans.

  • sean

    Idris would make Anne cry. He would go all Stringer during rehearsals she would leave the projects crying. Then they would replace her with someone non-annoying.

  • $27019454

    Your mouth to God's ear.

  • MissAmynae

    I was all prepared to wax poetic on how she doesn't deserve to share a screen with Idris, but I like your idea better.

  • ceebee_eebee

    I love David Oyelowo to a ridiculous degree. If only he would get cast in more things I actually WANT TO WATCH. ::sigh:: I suppose I'll just have to keep rewatching Spooks...

  • I was going to protest this ridiculous (but expected) backlash on Anne Hathaway, but then I got to Hemsworth and THOSE ARMS and I lost my brain of thought.

    I know your ways, Joanna. I know them.

    And I like them.

  • Zzzzz

    Ridiculous? You actually think the backlash is unwarranted? Christ you got to be kidding. After " I will use this blunt object as a weapon against self doubt " and " Thank you for the best string of yesterday's " ( or whatever the fuck she said, I'm trying hard to forget it ). I don't think the backlash has gone far enough not to mention she also interrupted the producer to finish her ridiculous speech. At this point I'm hoping she'll go out wearing fur so someone will throw something at her.

  • Oh, wait. It's ridiculous *and* stupid.

  • Zzzzz

    Never said stupid but now that you mention it. YES!
    Stupid, dumb, inept, shallow, pretentious etc.
    If you took your head out of Anne's ass you would clearly see its all those things and more

  • ERM

    I think you should try meditation. The fact that you are angry that someone doesn't hate Anne Hathaway is stupid and ridiculous. I think you should try meditation. Maybe some yoga or deep breathing.

  • I just slapped myself a bit and now I HATE HER. YOU ARE SO RIGHT. OH GOD I HAVE SEEN THE ERROR OF MY WAYS AND THE LIGHT, IT IS BLINDING.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Can Hemsworth actually act? I've never paid enough attention to know. I just watched an old Magnum P.I. on Netflix and it was the first time I ever able to notice that he's really not much of an actor. I also sighed, "Jesus Christ" a lot.

  • kushiro -

    This comment confuses me.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I'm all hopped up on Selleck and not thinking clearly.
    Can Hemsworth act was my point, but the hormones befuddled me.

  • Az

    'Tis 'mones, 'tis 'mones!

  • $27019454

    Happens to the best of us (ie, you and me).

  • Mrs. Julien

    He's so beautiful. And hairy. And muscley. And short-shorted.

  • Mary

    Oyelowo was in Spooks, no?

  • JoannaRobinson

    Shore was.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    Aha! Knew he looked familiar.

  • Samantha Klein

    Fassebender doing Shax? No less, Petruchio? Sign me up.

    I would also settle for Elba, Oyelowo, or Benjamin Walker.

  • FrayedMachine

    Oh my. The top three options make my lady parts squeal with excitement. Fassbender, Hardy AND Elba? I think I need someone to stand by to catch me for my fainting.

  • Pants_are_a_must

    I was going to wax poetic about my ginormous womancrush on Bel Rowley and Lix Storm, but then you called Tom Hardy the British Channing Tatum so I'm just going to tell you to go fuck yourself, lady.

  • Zzzzz

    Thank you, Tom Hardy in "Stuart a life backwards" alone means he should never be in the same sentence as that other one. BTW that movie is incredible, it destroyed my soul which has never fully recovered but still I highly recommend it

  • JoannaRobinson

    The RICH man's, British Channing Tatum.

  • michaelceratops

    It's okay J-Ro, I feel it.

  • Pants_are_a_must

    THE COMPARISON IS STILL THERE. My god, what did Tom Hardy ever do to you to merit that.

  • JoannaRobinson
  • sars

    how do those two even look alike.. one is hot the other is dough.

  • Natallica

    Oh, heeeell no!. Are you trying to say Dumbo McStoneface LOOKS like delicious, charmingly devilish Tom Hardy?. People like you are the reason why Bane was trying to make a revolution!

  • Pants_are_a_must

    For someone who has obviously been watching Tom Hardy in many movies by now, I'm actually astonished you're even trying to prove your claim.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    It's the accent. All British accents sound posh to Americans.

  • e jerry powell

    Channing Tatum certainly isn't as up-market...

  • Hell, there are THREE great modern version of Taming of the Shrew, since you have to include the Cole Porter musical "Kiss Me Kate."

  • JoannaRobinson

    Well I *did* mention Howard Keel. Does that count?

  • Works for me!

  • kirivinokur

    Does this include the Moonlighting version?

  • MellieOleson

    What I thought of too, especially the horse in the Ray-Bans.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I'd upvote you twice, if I could.

  • $27019454

    I did another one for you, Mrs J.

  • randomhookup

    That sounds so dirty.

  • kirivinokur

    I like how we old folks support each other.

  • Frankly

    Moonlighting was the first version that came to mind for me.

  • Samantha Klein

    Four. The Taylor/Burton adaptation is damned fun.

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