I almost titled this “10 Actors I’d Rather See Playing a Greek God Than The Rock,” but then I had to remind myself “No, Rebecca. The Rock is the perfect choice to play any character, particularly Hercules.” And then I subjected myself to a glass shard bath, which is what one deserves when one speaks ill of Lord Rock.
These people would be pretty cool too, though.
Some of these I am dead, balls to the wall serious about. Others, not so much. Which is which? You decide.
Retta as Aphrodite
Except I’ll come out and tell you on this one: I am absolutely serious about Parks and Recreation’s Retta playing Aphrodite, goddess of love, who helps all those puny humans get it. Greek mythology movies tend to be two things: Sprawling epics (or wannabe epics) like Clash of the Titans or family flicks like the Percy Jackson movies. One thing we haven’t gotten is an indie Greek mythology comedy, which is bullcrap, as Greek mythology is ridiculous. A lady got turned into a cow one time. Apollo and Artemis killed a whole slew of people because their mom claimed to be better than Apollo and Artemis’ mom. Comedy gold! (Just take out the part where Zeus rapes everything that moves. He can arouse Hera’s ire by using uncomfortable pick-up lines on college co-eds, instead.) We already know who Aziz Ansari and Amy Poehler would be.
Bill Murray as Hermes
Try and tell me Bill Murray isn’t a great choice to go zooming around the world on winged sandals as Greek mythology’s resident messenger/trickster god. You’re on a quest, facing instant death at the hands of a cyclops or the Nemean Lion or whatever, and Bill Murray shows up wearing his Steven Zissou hat to tell you how to get out of it.
Steve Buscemi as Dionysus
God of drunkenness and debauchery. You might make faces, but you’d totally see this movie.
Miley Cyrus as Persephone
It’s the ultimate Hanna Montana. During the spring, when mythology says the kidnapped daughter of Demeter gets to frolic above-ground, she’ll be all sweet and flower-loving. During the winter, when she goes to fulfill her role as Goddess of Death, she makes it all edgy, spiking her hair and holding masked twerking balls for all the dear departed souls she and her husband Hades rule over. As for Hades himself…
Jeff Goldblum as Hades
Hades, unlike death gods from other cultures, isn’t evil. He’s not like the popular image of Satan, for example, sending demons to lure innocent souls down to eternal torture. When he and his brothers Zeus and Poseidon were splitting up who got what realm, Hades just drew the short straw. He’s maybe got some weirdness to him because of the whole “Death” thing, but he’s not a bad guy. I say just let Goldblum do whatever he wants to do. “So, uh, Persephone, might I inquire, uh, uh, uh, gee, if you would see fit to rest your weary feet a while in my oh-so-humble abode, hawhwahwarrrrr.”
Lena Headey as Echidna
Forgive the coarse language, but I have an eternal ladyboner for Lena Headey playing villains. She was amazing in Dredd, ditto in Game of Thrones, and while she wasn’t a villain in 300: Rise of an Empire, I’m sure she haunted those Persians’ nightmares after she whomped ‘em to hell and back. You can suggest other people to play Echidna, a half-woman half-snake known as the “Mother of All Monsters” for the way she gave birth to Greek mythology’s scariest beasties. But you’d be wrong.
Lucy Liu as Athena
The actress who plays Athena, goddess of war and wisdom, needs to be powerful. She needs gravitas. She needs to be level-headed but ready to start raining down holy hell when someone dares fight against her favorite in the Trojan War or brags that they’re a better weaver than her. (Hey, Greek gods were petty.) She needs to strike fear into the hearts of men. Lucy Liu is my personal choice, but I’ll also accept Gina Torres as a viable option.
James Franco as Apollo and Artemis
I’m surprised that James Franco hasn’t already done an indie experimental film where he plays both Apollo—god of the sun, medicine, learning, fancy stuff like that—and his twin sister Artemis, the virgin goddess of the hunt. Oh well. There’s always Sundance 2015.
Rebecca is a once and future mythology nerd, associate editor at The Mary Sue.