So. I finished the new Harry Potter book the other day. And may I say . . . excellent.
But rather than go into book review mode quite yet, I got on something of a kick the other day, trying to fantasy cast all the as-yet unfilled roles for the upcoming Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince. Incidentally, Entertainment Weekly tried their hand at this in last week’s issue, but they focused more on the Gaunt family, which I really don’t care too much about. I’m more interested in casting:
Narcissa Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange
Sisters in evil. The first is blonde and the weaker of the two, the second raven-haired and murderous. The rumour mill has Elizabeth Hurley circling the latter role, which is wrong on many, many levels. My preferences for Bellatrix are Emily Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, or Tilda Swinton. Swinton could pull off the fierce nature of the role, but Watson is, I think, the better actress.
As for Narcissa, there are two and only two choices: Kristin Scott-Thomas and Natasha Richardson. Either would work as the imperious, yet secretly frightened, Narcissa.
This is the most delicious role that remains uncast in the Potter universe. Umbridge will be a centerpiece of the Order of the Phoenix flick, and the right casting is crucial. Judi Dench has the right look for the part, I think, but I wonder if she’d be able to do the high-pitched sickly-sweet voice that was so crucial to the character’s description. Brenda Blethyn, on the other hand, can rock high-pitched sickly-sweet with the best of them. Other possibilities: Imelda Staunton, Helen Mirren, or Finoula Flannagan.
EW suggested Bob Hoskins for the role, and I have to say, even if I didn’t think of it, it’s a pretty good suggestion. My first thought was Brian Cox, but I tend to fantasy-cast Brian Cox into almost any role he could conceivably fit (the dude’s a good actor, what can I say?). I also would be interested to see what Ian Holm might do with the role.
Rainbow-haired and feisty in book 5, mousier and distracted in book 6, Tonks is going to need some range. She’s also a well-liked role, but not exactly a prominent one. Therefore, my best case scenario of Kate Winslet will probably not come to pass. In Winslet’s stead, I hope they consider casting Kelly MacDonald, who I think would rock the hell out of the part.
Oh, and also? If Tony Blair knows what’s good for him, he will totally lobby J.K. Rowling to let him play the Prime Minister of Muggles. That’s got to be one coveted cameo.