Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Me Before You: Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin Cast as Louisa and Will


I've been following news of the screen adaptation of JoJo Moyes Me Before You and I follow the author on twitter but you know how that is, unless you actually stalk their stream, it's easy to miss things. Well I missed things! I'm sure some of you already know what I find quite surprising news - according to JoJo Moyes, Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin have been cast as Louisa and Will in the adaptation of her best-selling novel. 



Surprising because when I think of Emilia Clarke, it's the sexy, often almost naked, Amazonian-like, power wielding Daenarys Targaryen she plays on Game of Thrones that comes to mind, a stark contrast to the unsophisticated and sheltered working class 26 year young Lou hired to look after the suicidal wheelchair-bound upper crusty Will from Moyes novel. But perhaps it takes a dragon tamer to handle the likes of prickly former master of the universe Will Traynor! And Clarke is certainly an extraordinary young actress so while I might have cast more conventionally, I'm almost as pleased with her casting as Moyes herself. The author announced the news on her twitter account last month - the tweet I missed. "Thrilled to confirm we (finally!) have a Will and Lou for the Me Before You movie. Sam Claflin and Emilia Clarke. Who are both Awesome."





I don't know how 'Awesome' Sam Claflin is as Will, I don't know too much about the actor except that he's Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games:Catching Fire and the upcoming Mockingjay duo. And he's currently starring opposite Lily Collin in Love, Rosie, the film based on Cecelia Ahern's Where Rainbows End so I suppose he's one of the up and coming hotties in the YA film world. Physically, he's about a half dozen years too young, a cross between my first choice to play Will, Michael Fassbender, and a young Hugh Grant. He strikes me as being a tad too Grant (fresh-faced) and not Fassbender (dark) enough in energy, and, dare I say it, almost too good-looking to be Will, but I don't suppose I'm the target audience for Me Before You, am I? Still, I hope they don't make it into another silly romantic comedy, surely the difficult subject matter Moyes tackles deserves better than that? 

To be honest, with the YA adaptation kings Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter doing the scripting - The Fault in Our Stars, The Spectacular Now, 500 Days of Summer with screenplays coming for John Green's Paper Towns and Maria Semple's Where'd You Go, Bernadette - I'm a teensy bit concerned because the more I think about it, the more I'd like to see British writers with an understanding of Brit sensibilities. Something a bit quirky in that wonderful understated British way. As much as I LOVED the film Love, Actually I'd lay money on it they've been told to watch the movie with an eye to the relationship between the prime minister played by Grant and his tea-serving Natalie, with its obvious class distinctions, which is almost but not quite the vibe the adaptation deserves. 

I'm assuming most of you have a good idea about Game of Thrones Emilia Clarke. Check out the trailer for Love, Rosie, see what you think of Claflin.



2 comments:

  1. Hi there! Sorry, clearly I'm late to the party. But, I do have a question for you. What are your thoughts/feelings on a nondisabled actor (Sam, who looks like he's doing a marvelous job in the trailer) performing as a character with a disability? Especially in light of the recent discussions regarding representation in the media.

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    1. That’s an interesting question which I’m going to put back on you. There have been instances where an actor with a disability —Marlee Matlin as a death character in Children of a Lesser God, Chris Burke who had Down Syndrome and who played a character w Down Syndrome in Life Goes On come to mind
      —but I have a hunch they played their parts better than an actor without those disabilities could have. When it comes to film & tv, I think the best actor for the part should be cast. In the instance of an actor playing a quadriplegic or wheelchair bound character—Tom Cruise in Born on the 4th of July or Gary Sinese in Forrest Gump, the part involved the character’s life BEFORE they were confined to a wheel chair. I’m assuming that’ll be the case with Will in Me Before You. In the book, we see him have his accident, I imagine the film will show that as well. Otherwise, IF a disabled character is the best actor to play the part, in theory they should be cast in the part. In practice, film & TV are businesses, so name recognition is often a big consideration. But yes, please, no more Caucasians playing Native Americans or people from the middle east — unless they look the part. Oscar Isaacs is from Guatemala and can probably play quite a few ethnic parts. Thanks for the great question, what do you think?

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