Griselda: The TV Series
Oliver has been pondering what a TV series about Griselda would be like. At Convulsion C2K in July 2000 he included in The Griselda Experience spot a discussion of how one might go about casting the wide range of characters from the stories.
Some updates below date from the time of Convulsion CO2 in July 2002, where this matter was discussed again during The Griselda Experience, following reading of the latest story, "Meet the Parents", to which there are references below. Further updatings have been made, up to May 2006. Any comments and suggestions will always be welcome.
Ideal Casting for a Griselda Series
This all started when, having become quite suddenly (in April 2000) hopelessly addicted to FRIENDS, I wondered one day whether Jennifer Aniston might not make a good Griselda. It is fun to imagine one's characters in the guise of familiar actors, and so I began to develop a list of castings based on who might look and/or play the parts well, in a series on the lines of the Hercules and Xena series, but set in and around Pavis. The Hercules\Xena actors are obvious choices (though I have only used some below), since they are used to playing in fantasy already, but there are any number of actors (e.g. several in Lord of the Rings) who can play tough male adventurer types, government and military high-ups, and lowlifes who are just around, nor are tough female adventurer types that hard to find.
I have relied mainly on the rather random sample of films, videos, and TV series that I have seen or encountered, and I am sure that I have missed some whose names would be familiar in the States. Comments below reflect some responses when I read the original version at Convulsion C2K and correspondence on the matter with interested parties, including my good friend and best Griselda-critic Philip Kemp, an aficionado of film.
One basic problem with casting, which applies particularly in Griselda's case but has knock-on effects with Ferdie and Red Hot in particular, since neither should be much taller than Griselda, is that modern actors are often quite tall. Colouring of hair etc. is not such a problem, but the basic looks of major characters like Griselda, Wolfhead and Red Hot as described in the stories ought to be adhered to.
Obviously this is is the big one. Griselda has to look very short, red-haired and blue-eyed. She must combine an appearance that is harmless at a casual glance with the capacity to turn extremely ferocious, not to say terrifying, when she is angry, or even just displeased. It is also important that she is in her mid-twenties when the stories take place, and there is a limit to how far any actress, however good, can look young. Jennifer Aniston was universally rejected at Convulsion C2K, and I am forced to concede that she is a bit too tall and probably could not come on fierce enough; I have suggested a 'guest star' role for her below. I also thought of Soleil Moon Frye (once star, I have learned, of an American series called Punky Brewster), who plays Katie, Joey's girlfriend who keeps hitting him in F·R·I·E·N·D·S Series 5 Episode 15; she has the right size and hair colour, but doubt if she could come on fierce enough either. Jodie Foster was the most generally acceptable suggestion at Convulsion C2K, but she is not as young as she was, and was not approved at Convulsion CO2, where, of other possibilities mentioned then or since, Alyson Hannigan got some voices.
My most recent view, after seeing The Opposite of Sex and the Ally McBeal episodes in which she played the part of a vamp attorney with immense enthusiasm, is that Christina Ricci has far the best potential. Though naturally a brunette, she is blond in The Opposite of Sex, so changing her hair colour shouldn't be a problem, and close inspection of some pictures on the web shows that she has blue eyes, if not as bright as Griselda's might be. She is also closest to Griselda in height, at a reported 5'1". But a problem noticed recently (2005) is that she has become rather thin! She had some support at Convulsion CO2, where Natalie Portman (5'3"), who would have to change hair and eye colour, was also mentioned.
Possibles: Reese Witherspoon (5' 2") and Keira Knightley (5' 7"); but I feel neither could look ferocious enough
Bob Hoskins? (maybe better as Rowdy Djoh Lo)
Jodie Foster or Gillian Anderson?
Bruce Campbell (Autolycus in Hercules\Xena)? Drawback is that he is rather tall.
Belladonna (first cousin)
Lucilla (Different Shades of Red; first cousin)
Jennifer Aniston (with hair dyed red, as during one part of F·R·I·E·N·D·S series) looks just about young enough still, but better might be Alyson Hannigan (5' 6")
Uncle Brand (All in the Family; uncle, Belladonna's father)
Wolfhead (distant cousin)
Having seen his performance in The Whole Nine Yards, I think Bruce Willis looks the definitive Wolfhead, with a splendid air of controlled menace and equally terrifying geniality. Other possibilities suggested have been Sean Bean (see also below), and Russell Crowe.
Major Personalities in Pavis
Sor-Eel the Governor
Danny DeVito (this casting got the best laugh at both Cons where this item was presented, so agreed by acclamation)
Jaxarte Whyded (his nephew)
Leonardo di Caprio met general approval at both Cons, but he is now getting more mature, and maybe someone appearing more ingenuous is needed
Sean Connery? Possibly too old now; Fleeter Nemm should be no more than middle-aged.
Broosta ('that smart priestess', Fleeter Nemm's wife)
Courteney Cox Arquette?
(Anjelica Huston, my original choice, has aged too much)
Maggie Wheeler (Janice in F·R·I·E·N·D·S) or Ellen DeGeneres
Rowdy Djoh Lo
Criminals and Adventurers
(who are generally around)
Olaf the Storyteller
(I think I look too old and not disreputable enough, although I suppose makeup could change that!)
Christopher Lloyd of Back to the Future and a lot more was suggested at Convulsion CO2, but he is now closing on 68. (Olaf is no more than young middleaged, a contemporary of Treasure Trove Hurbi)
Billy Connolly (in his
Vinnie Jones was suggested at Convulsion C2K (might also do for Big Nygg)
Mira Sorvino or Lisa Kudrow
(first appears as Viridia's companion in Bad Example; now a fixture)
Amanda Peet (as in The Whole Nine Yards) or Lucy Liu
(first in Red Hot, now an important character)
Hudson Leick (Callisto in Hercules\Xena) got general approval at Convulsion 2K, but is now 37, and at 5' 7¾" is rather tall. Other possibilities: Fairuza Balk (played Nancy in The Craft; 5' 3"). Amanda Peet is also possible for this part
(Tom Selleck really is too old now, though most like my description physically, and Brad Pitt has the wrong colour of hair)
(first appears in A Tasty Morsel)
Samuel L. Jackson was suggested by Tom Zunder, but he is really too tough (Topknot is a blowhard type) and does not have much hair. Also, strictly, the Llama Riders are not a 'black' people, although others on the Plains of Prax are; but he is a fine actor, so I do not consider this an insuperable problem – the other points weigh more.
Steven Segal or Sean Bean were suggested at Convulsion CO2, and I have thought of John Travolta (again, ageing).
Elsa from Adari
Gina Gershon (looking as she did as Corky in Bound)
Characters who generally play major roles in one or two stories only (but one or two have become fixtures)
Treasure Trove Hurbi (not around after The Great Chart Caper)
Felissa (Hanufa's Little Sister, Meet the Parents)
? Renée O'Connor, but she might be better as Hubba in Holding the Baby; maybe someone younger like Kirsten Dunst
Carver Donan (Carving Up Carver; referred to in Shamus Gets a Case)
Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone (considered to be getting flabby by some). I have had adverse comment on Schwarzenegger's accent, but Carver is a foreigner, from the Pavic point of view.
Ragna the Wrestler (Down Among the Dead Men)
Chyna (well-known on the
Viridia Patroma (Bad Example)
Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel) , my original casting, is now getting too mature? A really young actress like Lindsay Lohan or Keira Knightley could do it, or Alicia Silverstone in her Clueless persona.
Litennor (This Love Business)
Antonio Banderas suggested at Convulsion CO2
Avidius Tiro (Serious Money)
Batulco the Great (The Hero Bit; The Matchmaker)
Kevin Sorbo, received general approval at Convulsion C2K
Redfox (Worlds Apart)
Drew Barrymore in a red wig
Rogar the Matchmaker (The Matchmaker)
Robert Trebor (Salmoneus in Hercules and Xena)
Hjorvis the Mankiller (Respect)
Another possible casting for Amanda Peet, who could alternatively do
Elassia in the same story
Jareen (owner of one of the best inns, had a crush on Hereward; only really 'on stage' in Meet the Parents)
Madeleine Stowe (Cody in Bad Girls)
(further suggestions for most of above always welcome)
(1) in more than one story, or generally in background
(2) Have significant roles in only one story
© 2002 Oliver
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