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An Actress to play Honor Harrington

Discussion concerning the TV, film, and comic adaptations.
Re: An Actress to play Honor Harrington
Post by Weird Harold   » Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:21 pm

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hvb wrote:Maya Thurman-Hawke: too Kris Longknife (which is a bad thing). :P


Thanks for the lead on something new to read. ;)

I didn't mean to imply that Maya would be a good choice, only that she'd be a better choice than her Mom. Sort of a "if they were the last two women on earth" choice. :shock:
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Re: An Actress to play Honor Harrington
Post by roseandheather   » Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:57 am

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mateau wrote:
Weird Harold wrote:She's also 44 years old, while Honor is a biological 25 or so.

Her daughter (aged 16) is closer to Honor's appearance, but I don't know if Maya Thurman-Hawke has her mother's acting talent, but she'd be a much better choice.



Hollywood magic = make-up.

An older actress is much more comfortable in her skin and moves differently. And 44 is easy to age down.

Maybe she is "pricey" why should that really matter. Pricey = box office draw. Age is huge issue in Hollywood. Why shouldn't an actress get a part based on merit rather than just because she's the current "soup d'jour"? Thurman comes with an edge thanks to Kill Bill, that would make her believable as a 40th century warrior.

But if David Weber can't find an actress then the film never gets made. And he seems to be hung up on the height and build.

Besides I am sick and tired of seeing beautiful people on tv and in the movies. The world is not populated with beautiful people. That is one the the things that makes British film and television so good: real people. Not Barbie and Ken dolls.

Reading through some of these posts I get a sense that folks want this to be "Bay Watch in Space". This doesn't need to devolve into Annika Hansen running around in a skin-suit playing a debugged borg. That was one of the most rediculous characters ever developed, but she was fun to watch. And she kept the show on the air.

And maybe that is the solution. Go the to UK and Europe for actors. British actors would be especially dialed in to a Monarchy and would be believable in playing roles requireing natural deference. I think a British accent would do well in selling a nobility.

Of course there is always Gabrielle Reece who is 6'3". Or is she too California surfer? Somehow I don't see her playing in a space opera.


I would just like to point out that I've been championing the lovely, talented, and oh-so-very-British Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Queen Elizabeth III for months, if not years. :D

....and I still want Elizabeth Mitchell as Sonja Hemphill.
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Javier & Eloise
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Re: An Actress to play Honor Harrington
Post by SWM   » Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:25 am

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mateau wrote:Hollywood magic = make-up.

An older actress is much more comfortable in her skin and moves differently. And 44 is easy to age down.

Maybe she is "pricey" why should that really matter. Pricey = box office draw. Age is huge issue in Hollywood. Why shouldn't an actress get a part based on merit rather than just because she's the current "soup d'jour"? Thurman comes with an edge thanks to Kill Bill, that would make her believable as a 40th century warrior.

But if David Weber can't find an actress then the film never gets made. And he seems to be hung up on the height and build.

Besides I am sick and tired of seeing beautiful people on tv and in the movies. The world is not populated with beautiful people. That is one the the things that makes British film and television so good: real people. Not Barbie and Ken dolls.

Reading through some of these posts I get a sense that folks want this to be "Bay Watch in Space". This doesn't need to devolve into Annika Hansen running around in a skin-suit playing a debugged borg. That was one of the most rediculous characters ever developed, but she was fun to watch. And she kept the show on the air.

And maybe that is the solution. Go the to UK and Europe for actors. British actors would be especially dialed in to a Monarchy and would be believable in playing roles requireing natural deference. I think a British accent would do well in selling a nobility.

Of course there is always Gabrielle Reece who is 6'3". Or is she too California surfer? Somehow I don't see her playing in a space opera.

The big problem is that the producers and David Weber are hoping that this movie is only the first of a series of Honor Harrington movies. So you don't want Honor Harrington to be played by an actor who will be 60 by the time the series ends.

No one is worried that David won't find an actor for Honor, so suggesting that the movie won't be made if he can't is ridiculous. This thread is not intended to produce the real list of actors that Evergreen will choose from. It is just fun speculation.
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Re: An Actress to play Honor Harrington
Post by hvb   » Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:21 am

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I didn’t write she was “Asian enough” for Honor either, just that she was a better choice than Thurman, and not by US definitions* 100% Caucasian (*: over here Hispanic is a subset of Caucasian). So more in line with Weird Harold’s comment on not being a good choice, but at least a better one than the one mateau mentioned for Honor.

I didn’t have a ‘shrug emoticon’, else I would have used it for my previous comment below.

hvb wrote: Parilla would make a better Honor than Thurman: less Caucasian, less old, less pricy (albeit maybe not by enough) ... height would have to be waved, but other than that.
She doesn't strike me as a Matsuko though, insufficiently Asian.


Honor is (to me) rather a bit less defined by her “Asian” admix than Estelle is. One looks “nor pure Caucasian, and with some Asian features”, the other looks “Asian to an unusually pure degree for a racial melting-pot society”.

Parilla for Pritchart (just add hair dye and contacts) I can get fully behind … just don’t ask what I would be doing back there. (It might just get me banned. :oops: )

roseandheather wrote:
...Lana's not Asian enough for Dame Estelle, but she is for Honor? I'm sorry, have you taken leave of your senses? :D
Besides, Lana is too... mature to play Honor. (I will not say old, because that woman could put supermodels to shame, but Honor looks like she's in her mid-twenties, and Lana's 37.)
But it doesn't matter, because the more I see of Lana, the more I'm desperate to see her play Eloise. Yeah, yeah, coloring, whatever, who gives a shit? That's why wigs were invented. She has exactly the right combination of chilly authority, appealing vulnerability, warmth, nuance, and that goddamn blinding smile to pull off my President.
My... physical inclinations toward Ms Parrilla and her supernova-quality smile and body and... everything else are entirely beside the point. :mrgreen:


Three points here mateau:

1) David won’t be making the casting choices, he may be included in the casting process, but he won’t have final say.

2) David is on record that ability to portray the role is more important than physical appearance, so height and build are not “hang ups” for him.

3) Haven’t seen her act, but if Reece wasn’t too Caucasian for me, she would do fine as far as physique goes.

Looking “abroad” (in my case that would be “over here”) would be a good thing, especially given that the cast should have far less of a Central Casting race mix than is usual for Hollywood to reflect the in-verse amalgam; and has been discussed before (European film, Bollywood second/third string actors, etc.).

mateau wrote:[snip]
But if David Weber can't find an actress then the film never gets made. And he seems to be hung up on the height and build.
Besides I am sick and tired of seeing beautiful people on tv and in the movies. The world is not populated with beautiful people. That is one the the things that makes British film and television so good: real people. Not Barbie and Ken dolls.
[snip]
And maybe that is the solution. Go the to UK and Europe for actors. British actors would be especially dialed in to a Monarchy and would be believable in playing roles requireing natural deference. I think a British accent would do well in selling a nobility.
Of course there is always Gabrielle Reece who is 6'3". Or is she too California surfer? Somehow I don't see her playing in a space opera.


&

roseandheather wrote:I would just like to point out that I've been championing the lovely, talented, and oh-so-very-British Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Queen Elizabeth III for months, if not years. :D
....and I still want Elizabeth Mitchell as Sonja Hemphill.


Definitely concur on the first pick; no problem with the second one, although I personally envision both her and Theodosia Kuzak more as having a wide-shouldered and broad-beamed figure (which is a good thing ;) ).

(Oh no! I am going to get sooo banned if this keeps up. :P )
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Re: An Actress to play Honor Harrington
Post by roseandheather   » Fri Oct 24, 2014 12:09 pm

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hvb wrote:I didn’t write she was “Asian enough” for Honor either, just that she was a better choice than Thurman, and not by US definitions* 100% Caucasian (*: over here Hispanic is a subset of Caucasian). So more in line with Weird Harold’s comment on not being a good choice, but at least a better one than the one mateau mentioned for Honor.

I didn’t have a ‘shrug emoticon’, else I would have used it for my previous comment below.

hvb wrote: Parilla would make a better Honor than Thurman: less Caucasian, less old, less pricy (albeit maybe not by enough) ... height would have to be waved, but other than that.
She doesn't strike me as a Matsuko though, insufficiently Asian.


Honor is (to me) rather a bit less defined by her “Asian” admix than Estelle is. One looks “nor pure Caucasian, and with some Asian features”, the other looks “Asian to an unusually pure degree for a racial melting-pot society”.

Parilla for Pritchart (just add hair dye and contacts) I can get fully behind … just don’t ask what I would be doing back there. (It might just get me banned. :oops: )


Considering Lana's looks, I'd probably be doing it with you. :mrgreen: :oops:

But yeah, honestly, Estelle was a first-instinct casting choice because of the way Lana can pull Dame Estelle's "make the crowds part for me without effort" thing, but looks-wise she really doesn't fit, and Dame Estelle is a much less - complicated character than Eloise Pritchart. It is a rare, rare actress who can do what Lana can, and portray Pritchart's outer icy shell well enough that we can believe it - and believe that the characters within the story will believe it - while also making her warm, human, loving side utterly believable. I love Eloise to absolute pieces, really I do, but the fact is that to be able to play the game she did, she had to find something inside her to tap into to play that icy hatred - and I suspect what she tapped into is her grief and need for revenge against those who killed her sister. She can be cold, focused and absolutely ruthless when she has to, and portraying that takes a special touch - a touch Lana's got.

Never mind Lana fits the looks bill for Eloise far better than she ever would for Essie. :D


hvb wrote:SNIP

roseandheather wrote:I would just like to point out that I've been championing the lovely, talented, and oh-so-very-British Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Queen Elizabeth III for months, if not years. :D
....and I still want Elizabeth Mitchell as Sonja Hemphill.


Definitely concur on the first pick; no problem with the second one, although I personally envision both her and Theodosia Kuzak more as having a wide-shouldered and broad-beamed figure (which is a good thing ;) ).

(Oh no! I am going to get sooo banned if this keeps up. :P )


Ha! Ironically, I never saw Sonja as being as willowy as Mitchell is either - but there is just something about her that screams 'Sonja Hemphill' to me. I think she'd nail it.

And I have to confess that it took me about five minutes of watching Gugu act before I saw her face every time I read a scene involving Queen Elizabeth. She's perfect. (And still not very well-known, meaning less expensive!)
~*~


I serve at the pleasure of President Pritchart.

Javier & Eloise
"You'll remember me when the west wind moves upon the fields of barley..."
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Re: An Actress to play Honor Harrington
Post by SWM   » Fri Oct 24, 2014 12:18 pm

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For me, I don't think Honor has to be portrayed in the movie as of Asian descent. With only a few exceptions, I don't think that phenotype is critical to the roles of any of the major characters. As long the main characters show sufficient variety of both phenotype and mismatching of names to phenotypes to demonstrate the broad racial mixing of the Honorverse era, I will be satisfied.

Now, to do that effectively, it would probably be best if Honor in particular is not a typical non-Hispanic Caucasian. But I don't think it would affect the story at all if she were portrayed as Polynesian, Native American, Middle Eastern, south Indian, African, or whatever, or whether she is blonde, brunette, or redhead, with straight hair or curly or frizzy. I would prefer that she be tall, but even that is not really critical to the story. IMHO, Honor does not have to look exactly as she is described in the books--or even anything like she is described in the books.

But I don't want to spoil things for those who want to cast an actor who looks like their mental image of Honor or other characters. There's nothing wrong with that, either. So keep on going! :D
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Re: An Actress to play Honor Harrington
Post by roseandheather   » Fri Oct 24, 2014 12:43 pm

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SWM wrote:For me, I don't think Honor has to be portrayed in the movie as of Asian descent. With only a few exceptions, I don't think that phenotype is critical to the roles of any of the major characters. As long the main characters show sufficient variety of both phenotype and mismatching of names to phenotypes to demonstrate the broad racial mixing of the Honorverse era, I will be satisfied.

Now, to do that effectively, it would probably be best if Honor in particular is not a typical non-Hispanic Caucasian. But I don't think it would affect the story at all if she were portrayed as Polynesian, Native American, Middle Eastern, south Indian, African, or whatever, or whether she is blonde, brunette, or redhead, with straight hair or curly or frizzy. I would prefer that she be tall, but even that is not really critical to the story. IMHO, Honor does not have to look exactly as she is described in the books--or even anything like she is described in the books.

But I don't want to spoil things for those who want to cast an actor who looks like their mental image of Honor or other characters. There's nothing wrong with that, either. So keep on going! :D


...except that casting Honor as white (or, really, any character as white when they're specified not to be) has all sorts of terrible racist implications so there's that.
~*~


I serve at the pleasure of President Pritchart.

Javier & Eloise
"You'll remember me when the west wind moves upon the fields of barley..."
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Re: An Actress to play Honor Harrington
Post by SWM   » Fri Oct 24, 2014 1:27 pm

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roseandheather wrote:
SWM wrote:For me, I don't think Honor has to be portrayed in the movie as of Asian descent. With only a few exceptions, I don't think that phenotype is critical to the roles of any of the major characters. As long the main characters show sufficient variety of both phenotype and mismatching of names to phenotypes to demonstrate the broad racial mixing of the Honorverse era, I will be satisfied.

Now, to do that effectively, it would probably be best if Honor in particular is not a typical non-Hispanic Caucasian. But I don't think it would affect the story at all if she were portrayed as Polynesian, Native American, Middle Eastern, south Indian, African, or whatever, or whether she is blonde, brunette, or redhead, with straight hair or curly or frizzy. I would prefer that she be tall, but even that is not really critical to the story. IMHO, Honor does not have to look exactly as she is described in the books--or even anything like she is described in the books.

But I don't want to spoil things for those who want to cast an actor who looks like their mental image of Honor or other characters. There's nothing wrong with that, either. So keep on going! :D


...except that casting Honor as white (or, really, any character as white when they're specified not to be) has all sorts of terrible racist implications so there's that.

I respectfully disagree. I still say that the main characters do not have to have the same phenotype they are given in the books as long as overall they display the same scale of variety in phenotype. How does that have racist implications? If the books describe Character A is as white, Character B as black, Character C as Asian, but in the movie Character A is portrayed by an American Indian, Character B is portrayed by a Polynesian, and Character C is portrayed by a white, how is that racist?

And you will note that I specifically stated that Honor should not be white, not because it would be racist, but to go out of the way to avoid any accusations of racism.
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Re: An Actress to play Honor Harrington
Post by roseandheather   » Fri Oct 24, 2014 1:43 pm

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SWM wrote:
roseandheather wrote:
...except that casting Honor as white (or, really, any character as white when they're specified not to be) has all sorts of terrible racist implications so there's that.

I respectfully disagree. I still say that the main characters do not have to have the same phenotype they are given in the books as long as overall they display the same scale of variety in phenotype. How does that have racist implications? If the books describe Character A is as white, Character B as black, Character C as Asian, but in the movie Character A is portrayed by an American Indian, Character B is portrayed by a Polynesian, and Character C is portrayed by a white, how is that racist?

And you will note that I specifically stated that Honor should not be white, not because it would be racist, but to go out of the way to avoid any accusations of racism.


If we were discussing minor characters here, I'd agree with you. But the fact is that very, very few leading roles in fiction are written as non-white. Casting Honor as white would be taking away the opportunity to play her from another actor whose choice of roles is much more limited due to the fact that they aren't white. Honor is one of an extremely few non-white characters in science fiction, and most literary SF heroes don't make it to the big screen, making her doubly important.

If minor character A is black, minor character B is Asian, and minor character C is American Indian, but in the film A is Asian, B is Filipina, and C is black, I'm not going to pitch a fit - your point about racial diversity being more important than which character is specifically which is perfectly good there. But when you have a character like Honor - or Queen Elizabeth, or Michelle Henke, or Dame Estelle, or any truly major character when major characters are so rarely written as non-white - then I would say that the race of the actor is important.
~*~


I serve at the pleasure of President Pritchart.

Javier & Eloise
"You'll remember me when the west wind moves upon the fields of barley..."
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Re: An Actress to play Honor Harrington
Post by SWM   » Fri Oct 24, 2014 1:56 pm

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roseandheather wrote:
SWM wrote:I respectfully disagree. I still say that the main characters do not have to have the same phenotype they are given in the books as long as overall they display the same scale of variety in phenotype. How does that have racist implications? If the books describe Character A is as white, Character B as black, Character C as Asian, but in the movie Character A is portrayed by an American Indian, Character B is portrayed by a Polynesian, and Character C is portrayed by a white, how is that racist?

And you will note that I specifically stated that Honor should not be white, not because it would be racist, but to go out of the way to avoid any accusations of racism.


If we were discussing minor characters here, I'd agree with you. But the fact is that very, very few leading roles in fiction are written as non-white. Casting Honor as white would be taking away the opportunity to play her from another actor whose choice of roles is much more limited due to the fact that they aren't white. Honor is one of an extremely few non-white characters in science fiction, and most literary SF heroes don't make it to the big screen, making her doubly important.

If minor character A is black, minor character B is Asian, and minor character C is American Indian, but in the film A is Asian, B is Filipina, and C is black, I'm not going to pitch a fit - your point about racial diversity being more important than which character is specifically which is perfectly good there. But when you have a character like Honor - or Queen Elizabeth, or Michelle Henke, or Dame Estelle, or any truly major character when major characters are so rarely written as non-white - then I would say that the race of the actor is important.

I agree that the leading role is a special role. Which is why I specifically stated that Honor should not be white. I disagree that casting Honor with a white actor would inherently be racist, but agree that casting Honor with a non-white actor is an opportunity that should not be missed.

I agree that the Wintons should specifically be black, primarily because the opportunity to highlight the changed environment with a line like Du Havel's is too good to miss.

I disagree that phenotype is particularly important for Estelle's role, and do not consider her to be quite as important a character in the overall series as you do. Sorry.

But you said that casting a white actor for any character who is described as non-white would have terrible racist implications. I strongly disagree with that statement.
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