Holland casting

Posted by: Julia

Holland casting - 07/01/02 09:38 PM

That thread's getting long...

Given that a lot of Avon fans drool over methos, Peter Wingfield might be a good bet. I can't realy comment, since I've never knowingly seen him in anything, just heard him playing a rather nasty character in The Archers. He's the right sort of age (born 1962).
Posted by: Kay

Re: Holland casting - 07/01/02 11:35 PM

Andrew wrote in the original thread:
Also, there's the League of Obscure British Actors site, with all sorts of other possibilities: http://www.ar.com.au/~jriddler/ba/league.html
(Some of those actors are really not very obscure ... Sean Connery, for example).

Connery is on a list of "other" British actors, that also includes the Fiennes brothers, Robbie Coltrane, even Cary Grant!

The "obscure ones" include Sean Pertwee (son of a notable Dr. Who) who was in some of the Cadfael, and Jude Law that I just watched on DVD in "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." Neither is a Holland candidate, however.
Posted by: Scribbler

Re: Holland casting - 07/02/02 02:43 PM

I always preferred Sean Pertwee as Hugh in CADFAEL -- he had surprising presence in the role, which his replacement (replacements?) have not had.

But... no, can't see him as Holland.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Holland casting - 07/02/02 03:32 PM

I saw him in a low-grade horror flick on cable last week -- didn't catch the title. A squad of soldiers on maneuvers runs into a pack of werewolves. Very un-Holland-ish, and Pertwee has aged a lot since Cadfael.
Posted by: Kay

Re: Holland casting - 07/02/02 04:23 PM

Originally posted by Barbara:
and Pertwee has aged a lot since Cadfael.

Haven't we all?

I think he only did it for one or two seasons. And I agree with Scrib....nobody else quite filled the bill....but, no, he isn't Holland. I was just commenting on who gets on a list of "obscure" actors.
Posted by: Jon

Re: Holland casting - 07/02/02 08:11 PM

Catching up on some recent ideas....

Jack Davenport was also in The Talented Mr. Ripley, as the musician with whom it briefly looks as though Ripley will be happy. (You've seen the movie now, Barbara? I remember I was pushing it heavily a year or two ago, and you hadn't then.) Like Jude Law (who otherwise seems good to me for Holland), he's too young, and Davenport seems wrong in other ways too, too soft or gentle or something. Not that people can't act, but if we're armchair-casting....

Rufus Sewell is an actor I much admire (loved him in Cold Comfort Farm as the son who wanted to go to Hollywood, and he was in the original cast of Arcadia -- I also found myself walking more or less alongside him for several blocks of midtown Manhattan once). But he seems to me too broadly built for Holland, who needs to be lean and sharp-edged. But if the author feels otherwise, who am I to argue?

I like the idea of Mark Rylance (who's been the actor more or less in charge of the newly built Globe Theatre in London), but he would, as already mentioned, need to wear a hairpiece. Age and affect are right to my way of thinking though, and he was brought up in both the US and the UK (he has an American opera-singing sister), so has the right sort of indeterminate national background (and speech, if desired) too.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Holland casting - 07/04/02 06:13 PM

I looked up Peter Wingfield and drew a blank. I watched a number of the Highlander episodes, but I just don't remember a character named Methos. I also saw the Martin Chuzzlewitt and don't remember him from that either. And that's the problem: ideally, Holland would be someone you could see once and then remember forever.

Also, I checked the Stephen Macintosh URL that Andrew posted in the other thread, but Macintosh isn't as handsome there as he was in the one glamour shot I found. Well, maybe he can act handsome.

Originally posted by Jon:
Rufus Sewell is an actor I much admire (loved him in Cold Comfort Farm as the son who wanted to go to Hollywood... But he seems to me too broadly built for Holland, who needs to be lean and sharp-edged. But if the author feels otherwise, who am I to argue?
Well, maybe I'd better back down on that. I mentioned I'd like to see him in something else because I don't have a clear picture in my head. And I did see him in Cold Comfort Farm -- the second one, right? Within the last decade? Must be. But I don't think I particularly noticed his body type. I really do need to see him in something else.

And yes, I have indeed seen The Talented Mr. Ripley now. It showed up on cable not long after you were first talking about it.
Posted by: Julia

Re: Holland casting - 07/05/02 12:45 PM

Having been inspired to go and re-read the books...

Holland being British (or born in London, as he puts it) doesn't show up until Fare Play. This was the first of the books that I actually managed to get hold of, so for me Holland was British right from the start. But paying a bit more attention to this aspect on reading "You Have The Right To Reamin Silent", I presume he doesn't have an obvious British accent, or Marian would have been wondering what a Briton was doing in the FBI.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Holland casting - 07/05/02 12:59 PM

I must say that I completely missed the "born in London" when engaged in my Barbarathon last summer, and a friend has borrowed all my BP books so I can't check.

Even if I'd noticed this, I'd still have been surprised to hear of the FBI recruiting Englishmen, and would have assumed that Holland's mother happened to be in London when he was born - maybe she worked at the US Embassy.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Holland casting - 07/05/02 03:24 PM

Oh, I'm sure Holland had US citizenship papers by the time the FBI shanghaied him. They might even have been authentic. Or not.
Posted by: Kay

Re: Holland casting - 07/05/02 03:52 PM

This reminds me of something unrelated to Holland, so check out "Actors' National Origins" in "Show Biz"

[This message has been edited by Kay (edited 07-05-2002).]
Posted by: Julia

Re: Holland casting - 07/05/02 05:38 PM

No, he's not the offspring of someone at the US embassy:

"I don't know anything about you, I don't even know where you were born - I don't know what kind of life you lived before I met you."
"I was born in London."
That surprised her. "You're British."
"I'm an American citizen."
Hm. "Your parents are American?"
"I don't know who my parents were."
Oh, good heavens. "Have you tried to find them?"
The way he said it made it clear the matter held no interest for him, speaking of them in the past tense as if they were dead.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Holland casting - 07/05/02 10:25 PM

A naturalized citizen. I remember that part about his not knowing his parents, now that you quote it. Which book is that in?
Posted by: Julia

Re: Holland casting - 07/05/02 11:58 PM

That's from Fare Play - chapter 28, page 181-182 in the Worldwide Mystery paperback. Earlier in the book, Marian notices that Holland pronounces lieutenant "lefftenant", i.e. with the British pronunciation.
Posted by: Jon

Re: Holland casting - 07/06/02 11:19 AM

Yes, I meant the more recent Cold Comfort Farm, 5 or 6 years ago -- made for British TV but a US theatrical release. Eileen Atkins and Ian McKellen and Joanna Lumley were also in it, with Kate Beckinsale as the protagonist. Rufus Sewell is striking and handsome here as elsewhere but is physically substantial (which is perfect, because he looks at home working the farm, but when he utters his unlikely dream, you think "Yeah, he could be a movie star").

His big bid as American movie stardom was Dark City, a pre-Matrix everything-is-an-illusion sort of SF cult film. He had almost the only big role in that (Kiefer Sutherland and Jennifer Connelly were also in it).

He originated the role of Septimus in Stoppard's Arcadia in London; Billy Crudup (in his professional debut) created the same role in NY. Both actors were being touted as "the next big movie stars" for the next few years. Neither one has made it, but not I think through any personal lack -- they're just interested in other things as well.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Holland casting - 07/06/02 03:55 PM

Now we're cookin'. I taped Dark City when it showed on cable, so I'll take another look soon-ish. But this time I'll pay more attention to Sewell from the neck down. (Mostly what I remember from that flick is those moving buildings -- marvelous.)
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Holland casting - 07/09/02 02:17 PM

The very first scene of Dark City shows Rufus Sewell climbing out of a bathtub and walking away from the camera nekkid as a jaybird. Jon, I didn't see anything at all wrong with his body. He didn't look stocky or too broad. Looks are no problem, but I thought his voice was a little light, and I don't think it was the role. Not much resonance there.

I liked this movie better on second viewing. I think I must have been half-asleep the first time I watched; I didn't even remember that William Hurt and Ian Richardson were in the cast.
Posted by: Jon

Re: Holland casting - 07/09/02 04:25 PM

well, and I have to admit that Dark City certainly, erm, shows off Sewell's body to best advantage. Yes, objectively there's nothing stocky about his build, and I retract what I said as I recall this bit of evidence. There's still *something* about him for me (and I should reiterate that I like his acting very much -- great Fortinbras in Branagh's Hamlet for instance)... but clearly I'm on shaky personal-perception ground here, and I'll change the subject.

To another casting idea for Marian. You liked my idea of Lindsay Crouse, so here's another: Laurie Metcalf. She was one of the originals in the Steppenwolf Theater Company, and I often saw her onstage in Chicago, where she seemed like one of those actresses who so transformed herself in each role that she'd never make in movies or TV and probably wouldn't want to. Wrong again, Jon! She's built up quite a screen resume, and was even a TV favorite on a sitcom and won an Emmy for the role. My usual experience with her is to settle into my chair looking forward to seeing her again, and then get to the end and wonder "where was she?" and realize she had a big role all through and I missed her entirely. here are some of the things she's done:

"Roseanne" -- played the grumpy sister (won Emmy)
"Norm" -- played Norm McDonald's officemate
Desperately Seeking Susan -- the suburban sister-in-law ("Take a Valium like a normal person!")
Making Mr. Right -- the needy coworker who finds herself on a date where she buys John Malkovich clothes
Internal Affairs -- Andy Garcia's lesbian partner
Pacific Heights -- the couple's lawyer
Leaving Las Vegas -- landlady
Toy Story (both) -- voice of the mother

That's just for starters. I've belatedly realized that she's who I pictured as Marian when reading the books, even though I didn't put a name to her at the time.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Holland casting - 07/09/02 11:11 PM

Sewell has a light voice? Oh, that won't do. Holland must have a voice that commands attention, even when he's just saying "Pass the salt."
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Holland casting - 07/09/02 11:49 PM

Laurie Metcalf, umm. Jon, I'm still drawing a blank, just as I did when you've mentioned her before. I saw only a couple of episodes of Roseanne, and I've never watched Norm. But I did see all of the movies you listed...and I just plain don't remember her. IMDB didn't have her picture, but I found one elsewhere. It didn't help.

Of course, that isn't necessarily a drawback; Marian doesn't need to be high-profile as Holland does.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Holland casting - 07/10/02 08:12 AM

Has anyone suggested Ellen Barkin?
Posted by: Jon

Re: Holland casting - 07/10/02 09:26 AM

Erg, didn't remember that I'd brought Metcalf up before, sorry. Her ability to turn herself into all those characters you've seen so that you remember them, but not her as an actress, speaks well for her ability but is not so useful for discussions like this.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Holland casting - 07/10/02 05:53 PM

Jon, you've mentioned Laurie Metcalf elsewhere but not here before. She must be good, if what you remember is the character instead of the actress, something like Miranda Richardson. Duh...how about Miranda Richardson?

Ellen Barkin is a good suggestion. She's played a police detective before, in that strange and dark Mercy with Peta Wilson. Barkin was quite believable as an investigator.