Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ten Thousand Saints: First look at Eliza, Jude and Johnny


No sooner did we learn Emile Hirsch was on board the screen adaptation of Ten Thousand Saints - most likely as Johnny - when, WHAM, Day One of shooting in NYC brought us a still of Emile (far right) along with Hailee Steinfeld as Eliza and Asa Butterfield as Jude. 

First Impressions

Eliza: I can't get over the cheeky hat and little jacket Steinfeld rocks as Eliza but those jeans! Did everyone look like they were wearing 'mom' jeans back then? I was there but I've forgotten. 

Jude: So much for Jude's red hair and orthodontic headgear from the novel, eh!? Not to be overly literal but I was so struck by Henderson's description that when I learned Jude was going to be played by Asa Butterfield, the adorable dark-haired boy we first met in Hugo, I assumed the filmmakers were at least planning on dying his hair! 

Johnny: Here's how Henderson describes Eliza's first look at Johnny ...
"His hair was stubbled, all but bald, muscular as an apple, but the hair he did have, on scalp and cheek, was as yellow as a toddler's. His face was heart-shaped: broad forehead, severe cheekbones, chin like a spade. He wore a small gold hoop through each earlobe, a strand of wooden beads wound three times around his neck, and although it was nearly as cold inside the apartment as it was out, only a pair of camouflage shorts. From his waistband, the dark, serpentine shape of tattoos climbed up the downy path to his navel, across the ladder of his ribs, circling the pale sinew of his arms, feathers and scales and flames and gods, sea green and devil red."
So Ten Thousand Saints fans, how do you feel about the re-imagined boys from the book? Jude's hair color isn't important; blond, brunette, auburn, his hair color doesn't make a difference to his character. He was a redhead in the novel, now he's a brunette. Big deal. But isn't Johnny's relative baldness key to the clean, 'straight edge' lifestyle his character embodies? I'm finding that a bit confusing.

If you've not read Ten Thousand Saints - you have oodles of time as the film isn't set to come out until next year - here's the storyline:
"Adopted by a pair of diehard hippies, restless, marginal Jude Keffy-Horn spends much of his youth getting high with his best friend, Teddy, in their bucolic and deeply numbing Vermont town. But when Teddy dies of an overdose on the last day of 1987, Jude's relationship with drugs and with his parents devolves to new extremes. Sent to live with his pot-dealing father in New York City's East Village, Jude stumbles upon straight edge, an underground youth culture powered by the paradoxical aggression of hardcore punk and a righteous intolerance for drugs, meat, and sex. With Teddy's half brother, Johnny, and their new friend, Eliza, Jude tries to honor Teddy's memory through his militantly clean lifestyle. But his addiction to straight edge has its own dangerous consequences. While these teenagers battle to discover themselves, their parents struggle with this new generation's radical reinterpretation of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll and their grown-up awareness of nature and nurture, brotherhood and loss.

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