Cate Blanchett, Joaquin Phoenix, Ben Kingsley. What do these actors have in common? Their amazing portrayals of historical figures (as Elizabeth, Commodus, and Gandhi respectively), portrayals that were captured viewers and brought history to life. What do the following actors have in common apart from their crazy eyes? Ladies and Gentlemen, these are the 5 Most WTF Castings in Historical Movies.
1. Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Henry VIII in The Tudors
A Venetian ambassador once described Henry VIII as “the handsomest potentate I ever set eyes on; above the usual height, with an extremely fine calf to his leg, his complexion very fair and bright, with auburn hair.” Historically speaking, Henry VIII was a ginger,around 6’2 (a giant in his day!), and as most importantly, English. So how on earth did the part of Henry VIII go to Jonathan Rhys Meyers, a small, dark, Irishman with crazy eyes?! As far as I’m concerned picking JRM to play Henry would be like picking Kevin Costner to play Robin Hood…oh wait. I don’t Henry would have approved of this!
2. Daniel Defoe as Jesus Christ in The Last Temptation of Christ.
This performance has really taught me a lot about Jesus and his society. I mean, who knew Jesus was born in Brooklyn? Also, who knew that Jesus’ peers wold be so accepting of his randomly Nordic appearance. (Sidenote: I also didn’t know that 1st century AD Judea was the first to discover the perm treatment!) I know this movie is not the high of realism, but Really, Martin Scorsese?! You’re gonna cast a scrawny blonde dude with crazy frog eyes and a Neeew Yorkah to play a Middle Eastern carpenter? I just don’t see it! But then again Martin Scorsese is the one with Oscar so who’s to say who is right in this situation. Oh wait, I am. Ask wikipedia. To be honest, if Jesus was anything like the way Daniel Defoe played him, I highly doubt he would have gotten any followers. Daniel Defoe lacks any kind of spiritual charisma or air of goodness in his performance of Jesus and would perhaps have played Judas better. He’s certainly got the crazy frog eyes for the role.
3. The entire cast of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (sans Alan Rickman,who kicked serious ass)
I don’t even know where to begin with this movie. Okay, I’ll get the elephant out of the room: WTF KEVIN COSTNER? Who to pick for to play an English national icon? Oh I know, lets pick the most All-American guy out there! Kevin Costner’s ridiculous accent and his general outlook on life are that of a cowboy in the Wild West not an English lord in the Middle Ages. Did they really run out of English people to play Robin Hood? The townsfolk in this film are no better. They are either unapologetically American or a laughable parodies of Englishmen. I am genuinely surprised that the United Kingdom did not sue Hollywood for what Kevin Costner did to Robin Hood; surely it must be defamation of character?
4. Milla Jovovich as Joan of Arc in The Messenger
You know, I really can’t decide what made this director think Milla Jovovich was the best actress to play Joan of Arc: the crack he was on or the fact he was married to her. Milla Jovovich (sarcastic) interestingly (/sarcastic) chooses to TAAAALK LLIIIIIIIIIKE THISSSSSSSS!!!!!!!! throughout the whole film and her emotions fly from possessed to RAGE in a second. Not to mention, she makes Joan look like a crazy Eastern European hooker after doing too much coke. Milla, you may be hot and all but I think you need to tone down the crazy by at least 5 notches and then we might be able to talk.
5. Eddie Redmayne as anyone in anything.
Poor Eddie Redmayne. The only look in his arsenal is the constipated mouth breather look and when I first laid eyes on him, I doubted his career would reach far. But it did reach far- or at least far enough to murder some good characters in the world of historical fiction perhaps. Take for instance William Stafford from the Other Boleyn Girl: described a burley dude, very much a manly man. Naturally to piss me off, the studio cast Eddie Redmayne and his reedy body and weirdo face to play him. Eddie was also cast in Tess of the D’Urbervilles (2008) where he played Angel Clare. This annoyed me a little less because as a reader I have always found Angel to be most annoying, a habit both him and Eddie share. However, I did not imagine Angel to be so…hapless and stupid looking! At last, Eddie is currently playing Jack Jackson in the Starz adaption of Pillars of the Earth which infuriated me to no end. Jack is supposed to be a hot ginger (oxymoron, I know) and full of confidence yet Eddie Consistently makes him into a crazy-eyed mouth breathing freak. Thanks a lot Eddie. Now every time I see your stupid face in a poster, I shall avoid that movie like the plague.