Fifty Shades of Grey - Thoughts on Casting
One Man's Perspective
I thought it would be a fun thing to do – this casting of Fifty Shades of Grey. Many of you are probably thinking “Did he even read the books?” or “Why did he read the books?”.
The answer is simple – perspective.
We all know this series has become a phenomenon and I have many female friends who’ve read the books, and constantly make reference to things in the books ("vanilla" being the top term taken from the books). I’m not one for feeling like I don’t know what’s going on so I figured I’d better learn what they were talking about. To my surprise, I found myself enjoying these books immensely – and not for the sex. To be perfectly honest about it, the sex in the books, which is pretty constant and rendered in full detail by the author, is pretty tame. Women feel connected to Anastasia because they can identify with the feelings she has, or they want the feelings she has. Men simply don’t feel sex in the same way as women so that part of the book is very lost on any man reading this series. We don’t ever get a play-by-play of how Christian feels during sex so the backdrop for men reading the series is a bit different.
That being said, the humor and wit is fantastic. The back and forth messages between them and the relationship they build is fun to read about. How much they care for each other is sweet and the effect Ana has on Christian and how his family views that was the high point of the story for me. The psychology behind Christian and everything he does is also what draws me into the story, the sex was very secondary.
So onto casting:
Cillian Murphy has been seen in some big time movies (Batman, Inception). I’m no expert on what makes a guy “hot” but Cillian has a very distinguished look to him and as I read the books, this is what I thought Christian would look like.
I have two choices here. I think Emmanuelle Chriqui would be an excellent choice here (while she is older than Ana – she can easily play characters in their twenties). She’s beautiful without being over-the-top slutty but could pull it off if she had to. I also think Alexandra Daddario would fit in well here except for the fact that she’s currently doing the Percy Jackson movies (amongst other things). This effectively cuts her off from this “older” role even though she is age appropriate (she’s 26 but playing much younger in the Percy Jackson series).
Ellen Pompeo should be able to play Ana’s super-hot and tenacious friend. I admit to not being a Grey’s Anatomy fan (though I originally came up with Katherine Heigl for this part) but I like Ellen’s look better.
Owen Wilson. Well no, not really but it would probably work. This picture of a blonde Michael Fassbender caught my attention. Ethan isn’t a huge part in the story either but necessary for Mia.
It’s not a large, involved role but I think Matthew McConaughey would fill this role pretty easily. Elliot is a playful character and I’ve always thought McConaughey could play that type of character well.
Ellen Page is age appropriate but may need a bit of a style makeover to play the over-the-top sister of Christian Grey. Still, she’s definitely a beautiful lady who could play any role.
Sir Ian Holm
Sir Ian Holm could play Christian’s father well. Ian Holm has played just about every kind of character well for a long time. He dotes on his wife and children and I think Holm can play the doting father well.
Dr. Grace Treyvalyen-Grey
I decided to go a little outside of the box here. My reading and viewing interests generally lie in medieval fantasy so I went back to a classic movie, 1981’s Excalibur and plucked the actress that played Guinevere, Cherie Lunghi who has been acting ever since and is well known outside of the US. She still has a strikingly beautiful face and I think she would work well, especially since I chose another Brit to play her husband (that wasn’t planned!).
Glenn Morshower is best known as Aaron Pierce from 24 but has had roles in the Transformers movies and X-Men First Class (and everything else – look him up in Wikipedia – his filmography is a long list of successful shows and movies). I think he’s a great actor and would absolutely fill the do-it-all role Taylor plays in Christian and Ana’s life.
Michael Chiklis plays gruff better than most and I think he could easily play this part in his sleep.
Ana's mother could be no other than Andie McDowell. I couldn't really picture Carla in my mind while reading the books. She doesn't come across as classicly "matronly" but the actress playing her has to be fairly young looking which Adnie certainly does and beautiful enough to have attracted four husbands...
Jay Hernandez comes across well on screen and I think he could play the lovestruck Jose very well.
Peter Saarsgard had an evil turn in the Green Lantern movie and I think this character development would work well for the evil Jack Hyde. An alternate here is Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
Elena Lincoln/Mrs. Robinson
I don't know why but I just think Ellen Barkin was made for this role.
Well since it’s a small but necessary role, Alexandra Daddario can take this one since she won’t have the time to put into Ana.
Dr. John Flynn
Piers Morgan may not do lots of acting but I can’t think of anyone else in this role (maybe Colin Firth). I think Piers would love this role as the expensive charlatan.
By any standards, the Kardashians are an overexposed mess, however, Rhiann is described as a striking brunette and whether you like her or not, Kim fits this description perfectly. It’s a small part that I think she could play well.
What Do You Think??
These are my choices at the moment. They could change as I think more about this. There are other characters I din't cast yet like Sawyer and Stephan and some of Ana's coworkers at SIP who could easily be here. The odd ones shown above are the Flynn's but I thought Dr. Flynn was a major character and I struggled with the choice. I originally had Colm Meaney, then landed on Piers Morgan and then thought of Colin Firth. I stayed with Piers because I think he would enjoy the role. His wife shows up for a split second at Chritian's birthday party but that choice was an easy one.
Let us know who you're choices are! I'm sure they are prepping this for a movie sooner or later so you might as well start thinking about it now...