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Dream Casting: Ten Television Actors I Wouldn't Mind Seeing Swapped In or Out

By Cindy Davis | Lists | February 21, 2013 |

By Cindy Davis | Lists | February 21, 2013 |

Wherein, I dreamed a dream…

1. Kristin Bauer van Straten in for Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings, “The Americans”


I tried to like this show, I really did. The reviews heard round the webworld rang out in unanimous raves, and yet, I know there are others who laugh alongside me. There are minor problems (silly, terribly choreographed fights, bad disguises) that can be tweaked or done better, but the biggest problem can hardly be overcome: Keri Russell is simply not believable as a kick-ass Russian spy. Bauer van Straten (“True Blood’s” Pam) has both charisma and chutzpah; she’d be the perfect Natasha to Rhy’s Boris.

2. Michael Rooker in for Ron Eldard as Colt Rhodes, “Justified”


I admit to never having been an Eldard fan, so when I read he’d be joining the cast this season I had myself a good little groan—turns out my misgivings were…justified. His Colt lumbers; he gasps out his every line, and other than being adept at the required violence, he’s a waste of the character. Boyd deserves better and so do we. Much as we love our Merle Dixon, he’s likely not long for the “Walking Dead” world, so I’d love to see Rooker make his way to Harlan County where he can play with guns and words.

3. Rutina Wesley in for Danai Gurira as Michonne, “The Walking Dead”


And speaking of wasted characters, how about our girl, Michonne? Is it all the fault of the actress? Certainly not. But lordy, this girl has no life in her. Rutina, on the other hand, has the capacity to glare with feeling, and I’m willing to bet she wouldn’t put up with her character doing nothing more than hacking up zombies with nary a word.

4. Michelle Dockery in for Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, “Game of Thrones”


From the first season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” people took note of Headey’s wooden Cersei—and granted, she has improved over time. But while she’s managed to capture the character’s sardonic side, Headey’s take has never fulfilled my vision of Cersei; she’s just slightly too old (commence your screaming, dear commenters), I don’t find her compelling in any way, nor so stunning that men would fall at her feet. Dockery’s acting style is much more natural. She has a way of drawing in the viewer with a grace and beauty befitting the Lannister queen, and she’s also wonderfully adept at that regal condescending-speak of which Cersei is so fond.

5. Aaron Paul in as a Guy Who Gets to Live, “The Walking Dead”


This is just a completely frivolous dream-casting wish. With the main group of survivors dwindling by the week, sooner or later some newbies will have to be brought into the fold. Please, dear television gods, let Paul be one of those people. I have visions of “Die, zombie bitches!” dancing in my head.

6. Elisabeth Moss in as Lady Cora’s Heretofore Secret Step-sister, “Downton Abbey”


Likewise, with “Downton” characters dropping like flies, the Crawleys could use an upstairs injection of beauty and talent like the lovely Miss Moss. I don’t know what the Season Six plans for Peggy Olsen are, but since *spoiler ahead,* swipe to see: Peggy took a job at another firm, there’d be no big issue with letting Moss leave the show. Moss would be perfect as Martha Levinson’s love child.

7. Katey Sagal in as a Feminist Secretary Who Shakes Things Up, “Mad Men”


And if we send Peggy packing, who better to shake up Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce than a thoroughly modern Katey? Come on now, we’d all die happy if we got to see Sagal leave Gemma’s bleached streaks and biker clothes for a pencil skirt and a button-down blouse. Joan would cry at the competition and Roger Sterling just wouldn’t know what to do.

8. Denis O’Hare in for Michael McElhatton as Roose Bolton, “Game of Thrones”


This is a case of there’s nothing really wrong with MacElhatton—I’d just love to see O’Hare in the role. He brings an inherent wicked deliciousness to his every performance, and I’d love to see that intensity raging through some of the upcoming *NO SPOILERS in the comments, please* seasons.

9. Keri Russell in for Emily Kinney as Beth Greene, “The Walking Dead”


I’m not cruel, people—I won’t leave Keri jobless. She’s a perfect fit to play Beth Greene. The role needs expanding, especially since regulars have been dropping like flies, and Emily Kinney has zero presence. Keri could kick up the demure sister thing a notch (she’s great with characters who have a balance of innocence and inner strength), and become the dependable sister Maggie deserves.

10. Ron Perlman in as …, “Game of Thrones”


After reading Katsing’s City of Thieves review, I felt to compelled to try it as my first audiobook outing. Penned by “Game of Thrones” showrunner, David Benioff, the book is read by Ron Perlman; as I listened, the first thing that popped into my head was that Ron Perlman would be right at home on “Game of Thrones.” Turns out, he agrees. But what character should he play? In a Facebook discussion, I posed the question and our own Genevieve Burgess suggested Doran Martell’s Captain of the Guard, Areo Hotah—which is a great idea. I’d just love to see him with a bigger part. Any suggestions?

Cindy Davis, (Twitter) can be replaced, but (sorry!) not recast.