This post is part of an ongoing series, OMG—It’s CELEBRITIES!, presenting well-known actors to play parts in (a fantasy) movie version of the novel Our Orbit. Click here for other items in the series.
Maybe I have mentioned that Our Orbit has a good-sized cast. In fact, I’ve been accused of featuring an ensemble at the expense of any one main character. That may be a discussion for a highbrow coffee klatch, but frankly, I fail to see the problem. There is no dead wood among the dramatis personae, by which I mean there are no characters who stand about like posts for the plot to race past, no so-called supporting figures who merely play straight man to the stars.
At least, that’s what I was aiming for. As to the outcome, you be the judge—please!
More to the point, the character I’d like to introduce today is one who plays a crucial role in several key scenes of the novel. She reveals a major secret, struggles to protect her loved ones, and stays true to herself as a nonconformist amid the staunch traditions of small-town Ohio. Her name is Claire Winslow, the only living first cousin of lead characters Miriam and Rachelle.
Our Orbit has a new cover, fully re-designed for the Booktrope edition!
My difficulty in casting the part of Claire for the imaginary film of Our Orbit lies in a notorious Hollywood tendency that one of our commenters noted a couple of weeks ago: Women are expected to please the eye and avoid expressing too much personality. This doesn’t suit Claire one bit! She tends to flaunt her inability to quite fit into social expectations: a fashion maven who wears a little too much gold jewelry but doesn’t boast a pretty face or sexy figure in the customary sense.
In short, women who might be a shoe-in for the part have largely been kept out of the American film industry, or have at least been kept off-screen! Even so, I considered the “available” talent, and here’s what I came up with—
Star of Orlando, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Grand Budapest Hotel, the amazing Tilda Swinton has an unconventional face, angular form, and spiritual quality that would fit Cousin Claire to a T. Ms Swinton (pictured above) manages to convey inner strength even in scenes of remarkable vulnerability. I would LOVE to see her bring Claire Winslow to life…except for the inconvenient fact that she is simply too gorgeous! And maybe not feisty enough.
No doubt a more obvious choice would be Taryn Manning who portrays the colorful meth addict Pennsatucky in Netflix’ hit series Orange is the New Black—
Taryn’s got the Appalachian chops, no question, and she has done dramatic work in Hustle & Flow and other films. I’m just not sure those big plusses are enough to outweigh the fact that, while she can certainly do feisty, she’s quite a tiny woman. Claire needs to be an imperious figure, certainly taller that her 14-year-old cousin Rachelle. So the creator of my favorite ONB player might not fit in the movie, after all.
Which brings me to that 2nd-youngest-ever Oscar winner (for The Piano, 1994), as well as most intrepid X-Woman and vampire, Anna Paquin. Talk about range of acting ability! I think Ms Paquin has surprised us all by her skill in appearing lovely and graceful while sporting such unconventional features (in Hollywood, at any rate) as gap teeth. These are promising qualities for the woman to portray Claire. Definitely my best candidate!
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I must add a brief tribute to one of the world’s most beautiful actresses, who hid her own dazzling eye-candy for the sake of a challenging role. Kudos to Charlize Theron for revealing the frightening humanity of Aileen Wuornos in the film Monster. I’m sure it was a tough job, but she had the courage to do it. (Sorry, I can’t seem to find a “non-proprietary” photo of the actress as herself. Better google it!)
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What do you think? Share your thoughts, impressions, complaints, and candidates for these movie roles in the Comments section below. Thanks for visiting my blog today! Feel free to nose about the website and let me know if you like what you see, or if you have suggestions. You can reach me by clicking the Contact link at upper right (or just click here). And please consider subscribing to my blog or newsletter. Stop by again soon!
When I first glanced at your post I thought, WOW! A movie! That’s’ increible’, as they say in Spain.
However, if it is a fantasy it’s as good as fantasies come. I hope I’ve got it right and not made a big boo boo.
Listen! If energy, enthusiasm, confidence and positive intent were the only guiding factors in bringing Our Orbit to the screen you would surely succeed.
You may well yet It’s good enough. It only needs somebody to spot it !
Fred, so far, the movie idea is completely made-up, but I’m enjoying it nonetheless. I’m open to any suggestions you may have on who should play which role. Our casting director could not be more open-minded (and salary level is, of course, no object)!
What fun reading this. I cannot wait to see who you cast as the other characters! For not having watched TV for so long you sure know your actors!