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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 dreamrider   » Sun Oct 26, 2014 7:32 pm

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mateau wrote:Hmmm...

If I was casting Honor Harrington I would look pretty hard at Uma Thurman.

She's tall, put her her in a black wig and she could pull it off.

And she's not too shabby with a Hattori Hanzo Katana either.


Uma Thurman is also 44 years old, 46 before filming likely on this project, 50+ for subsequent films if any. She would also be a very expensive choice.

I'm not an ageist (I'm significantly older than she is), but 46 is too old a starting point for this character for series casting of a project that is likely to run across 10+ years if successful.

~35 is about the upper limit, I would think. And it really pains me to say that, because there are about 3-4 candidates that I would arrange accidents to the competition for, if only they were 3-4 years younger. (Yes, Charlize Theron is one of them.)

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Re: An Actress to play Honor Harrington
Post by dreamrider   » Sun Oct 26, 2014 7:44 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.


...Ah, but rose, as we have exchanged about before, Honor is NOT specified as 'not white'. She is specified has having a very classically Asian looking mother, a near Nordic father, and a somewhat 'almond cast' to her eyes.

I say again, look at all the cover illustrations over the years to get an idea of David's vision of her phenotype. I'm not saying he thinks any of them are perfect, especially among the oiginal covers of the first 4 books, but he has now worked with David Mattingly for ~14 years, and he has said he generally approves of those images of the character.

Look also at the versions of Honor on the covers of and inside the comics. tMWW had some input for those, also.
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Re: An Actress to play Honor Harrington
Post by dreamrider   » Sun Oct 26, 2014 7:49 pm

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SWM wrote:
roseandheather wrote: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.


I wouldn't worry too much about Dame Estelle casting. After all, we are unlikely to see her on screen for about 10 movies. Let's get past the first -umm- three or so before we argue it. ;)
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Re: An Actress to play Honor Harrington
Post by dreamrider   » Sun Oct 26, 2014 8:08 pm

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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.


What makes you think DAVID is hung up about height and build? In general his publicly expressed opinions on visual qualities of any eventual actress have been wa-a-ay more flexible than we vocal fans (whichever position we take individually.)

David's most definitive statement on casting parameters merely stated that the most important quality was that the actress needed to be able to portray the "command presence" of Honor. (I believe he also said that if the producers/director were about to cast a 5'2" bubbly blonde woman he would probably ask rather firmly for them to explain their choice - but he was at least half facetious when he said it.)

Also, David has pointed out that he has very little say in any casting decisions. He has no veto. He can make suggestions just like the rest of us, but in his public statements he says he has not done so, simply because he does not have the personal knowledge or resources to do so. His contract requires that he must be "consulted" before any final contracts are signed, and he can require a written explanation of certain production choices. Now, he an Mike Devlin are close, and I am sure his opinion will have weight if he expresses one, but he SAYS he is trying to avoid that in any area of the production where he is not an expert.

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Re: An Actress to play Honor Harrington
Post by roseandheather   » Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:59 am

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dreamrider wrote:
I wouldn't worry too much about Dame Estelle casting. After all, we are unlikely to see her on screen for about 10 movies. Let's get past the first -umm- three or so before we argue it. ;)


Not if they have flashbacks to OBS!! :mrgreen:

(And I still want Julia Nickson. Who, ironically, would have been perfect for Honor twenty years ago...)
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Re: An Actress to play Honor Harrington
Post by dreamrider   » Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:24 pm

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roseandheather wrote:
dreamrider wrote:
I wouldn't worry too much about Dame Estelle casting. After all, we are unlikely to see her on screen for about 10 movies. Let's get past the first -umm- three or so before we argue it. ;)


Not if they have flashbacks to OBS!! :mrgreen:

(And I still want Julia Nickson. Who, ironically, would have been perfect for Honor twenty years ago...)


So far the strongest indication has been David talking about his suggestion for A flashback...a dream sequence right at the beginning, showing Honor having nightmares about the battle with Sirius. The idea is to get an action scene and some background right up front, for the uninitiated. Not much scope or need there for details like (the lovely, beloved, wise, etc, etc...I like her, too, OK?) Dame Estelle.

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Re: An Actress to play Honor Harrington
Post by roseandheather   » Sun Nov 09, 2014 7:05 am

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dreamrider wrote:So far the strongest indication has been David talking about his suggestion for A flashback...a dream sequence right at the beginning, showing Honor having nightmares about the battle with Sirius. The idea is to get an action scene and some background right up front, for the uninitiated. Not much scope or need there for details like (the lovely, beloved, wise, etc, etc...I like her, too, OK?) Dame Estelle.

dreamrider


Oh, shut your mouth and quit squashing my fantasy with reality!!

(I'm still holding out hope. It's growing fainter, but it's still there!)
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Re: An Actress to play Honor Harrington
Post by dreamrider   » Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:03 pm

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roseandheather wrote:
dreamrider wrote:So far the strongest indication has been David talking about his suggestion for A flashback...a dream sequence right at the beginning, showing Honor having nightmares about the battle with Sirius. The idea is to get an action scene and some background right up front, for the uninitiated. Not much scope or need there for details like (the lovely, beloved, wise, etc, etc...I like her, too, OK?) Dame Estelle.

dreamrider


Oh, shut your mouth and quit squashing my fantasy with reality!!

(I'm still holding out hope. It's growing fainter, but it's still there!)


OK, so here is hope for you.

If Evergreen decides to re-set the form of presentation to TV long-arc series/mini-series, which IS under consideration according to Honorcon presentation, there is a possibility that they could roll the start point back to OBS, or at least include more in the way of OBS flashback.

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Re: An Actress to play Honor Harrington
Post by Montrose Toast   » Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:30 pm

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It does make more sense as a series than movies...
"Who Dares Wins"
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Re: An Actress to play Honor Harrington
Post by SharkHunter   » Sun Nov 16, 2014 3:30 am

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Late to the party, and have thought about this one a lot.

Tall, not the right ethnic combination but still exotic looking and the right age-ish to play honor, Adrienne Palicki.

Ethnicity wise, Kelly Hu but she's getting to be a bit old for someone whose age is supposed to have stopped at around 30. If I remember right she's 5'7ish.

Thoughts?
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