Joseph Fiennes as MJ and other weird biographical casting choices
This week we learnt the bizarre news that Joseph Fiennes is set to play Michael Jackson in a made-for-TV special for Sky Arts.
In what is most likely the craziest storyline you’ll ever read, the half hour comedy tells the story of MJ, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando hiring a car together after 9/11 in order to get home as quickly as possible. WTF?! Apparently this is an urban legend that has always been vaguely believed in the years following the tragic event.
Grease‘s Stockard Channing will play Elizabeth Taylor whilst Brian Cox will take on the role of Marlon Brando. Whilst we all digest that news, we thought we’d have a rummage through some more completely inaccurate casting choices of the past.
Robert Pattinson as Salvador Dalí
We’re kicking off this list with a banger. The 2008 film Little Ashes told the story of the tumultuous love affair between surrealist painter, Dalí, and the poet, Federico García Lorca. Pattinson took the role of Dalí – though for what reason, we cannot figure out. Aesthetically the casting producers seemed to think shoving a thin ‘tache on his pale, British face would do. As far as the acting goes, Pattinson’s performance was panned and certainly didn’t improve his reputation for stiff acting. Stick to being a shiny vampire R-Patz.
Madonna as Eva Perón
Whilst this one might not be as aesthetically shocking, people were NOT happy when pop royalty Madonna was chosen to portray the First Lady of Argentina in the Hollywood musical film Evita. Firstly, there’s the obvious issue that she isn’t Argentinian (since when has that stopped Hollywood?), but secondly, she lacks the warmth and wide-eyed innocence that should have been essential to a portrayal of this rags to riches story. Sending in a fully-fledged pop star to do the job of a more experienced actress just seems odd. She does have moments of success, particularly in the “Don’t Cry for me Argentina” scene – perhaps she was cast specifically for this pinnacle moment. Don’t care…don’t like her.
Colin Farrell as Alexander the Great
So we don’t have much to go off when it comes to looks, although historian’s descriptions of him sound nowhere near as good looking as Farrell. Either way, the star of In Bruges, Minority Report and Daredevil, is definitely an odd choice. Critics were most upset by the incredible historical inaccuracies and the decision to portray Alexander as gay. A group of 25 Greek lawyers even threatened to file a lawsuit with the classic line “we’re not saying we’re against gays… but… “.
Angelina Jolie as Olympias
Sticking with Alexander – yes, Angelina is probably far too attractive to play anyone that existed ever, but playing Alexander’s mother when she was just ONE year older than Colin Farrell is just plain creepy.
Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor
Where do we begin? Everything about the 2012 TV movie Liz and Dick was just wrong. The film stars Grant Bowler (WHO?) as Richard Burton effectively doubling up the awful casting choices. Whilst Elizabeth Taylor herself garnered a lot of media attention, this does not justify choosing human train wreck LiLo to portray her on screen. Critics described her performance as “ranging from barely adequate to terrible”. Not the comeback she was hoping for.
Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs
Apart from this eerily accurate photo re-creation, Kutcher was just the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time. The 2013 film Jobs will forever be unfairly compared to 2015’s Oscar-nominated Steve Jobs. Nevertheless, there’s a reason Michael Fassbender has been nominated for the Best Actor Oscar and Ashton Kutcher was nominated for Worst Actor at the Razzies. At a press conference for Steve Jobs, Fassbender threw some definite shade when asked how he prepared for the role; he replied: “I studied Ashton Kutcher”.