I Have a New Toy

It’s called Storycasting, and it lets you pick actors and actresses to play the characters in your favorite books, and then compare and share your picks with your friends.

As we’ve discussed on this site before, I’m very bad at this sort of thing. My characters, in my head, are just my characters. I always have a very hard time finding actors and actresses to match them, and when I do, they’re usually the more obscure sort of British thespian who no-one else knows about and whose names I cant remember anyway. Except for Sean Bean. One always remembers Sean Bean.

[On that note, I found the perfect Penelope– heroine of Book VI– this past summer while watching Masterpiece Mystery, and, of course, I haven’t the foggiest recollection who it was. All I can tell you was that she played the anti-heroine in one of the Inspector Lewis mysteries– and she looked like Penelope].

At any rate, all four of the current Pink books are up on the site, so now there’s a concrete venue for playing the casting game. And even though I’m awful at it myself, I love seeing who everyone else picks!


  1. Amy N on September 12, 2008 at 11:28 pm


    I’ve always imagined Jason Issacs as Lord Vaughn and a younger Malcolm McDowell as Colin Selwick. What to you other ladies think?

    I’ve never considered a woman as one of the heroines — except myself, of course. Silly me!

  2. Elizabeth on September 13, 2008 at 3:25 am

    Was it Honeysuckle Weeks, also Sam on Foyle’s War?

  3. Lois on September 13, 2008 at 8:30 am

    That’s a fun idea, that site. . . went looking there now, but even more realized that I’m pretty much clueless on hollywood casts, so I have no idea who I’d put to who, even in something like Pride and Prejudice, which has been done already, many times. 🙂


  4. Jessica on September 14, 2008 at 12:01 am

    Alexis Bledel as Eloise? Really? Uhh…

    (just checked the Pink I page).

    No offense to whoever cast her, but I just don’t see it. Alicia Witt might do very well, I think…a natural redhead, and she can do the awkwardness of falling into a guy’s lap on the subway and meeting her date when she hasn’t showered! Bryce Dallas Howard?

  5. Lauren on September 14, 2008 at 12:05 am

    Hi, Elizabeth! I don’t think it was Honeysuckle Weeks, although she is a good pick. I wish I could remember… the title of the episode was “Whom the Gods Would Destroy”, or something like that.

  6. Lauren on September 14, 2008 at 12:39 am

    I just tried my hand at casting Black Tulip: http://www.storycasting.com/work.aspx?id=9cdf5434-c07d-437a-8291-5d44b43938f2. The problem is, no one looks the way they do inside my head. Hmph.

  7. Lauren on September 14, 2008 at 12:41 am

    Jessica, someone suggested Bryce Dallas Howard to me as Amy not long ago– at least, I think it was Amy. It would be funny if it was for Eloise. Then that would be two votes in that direction.

  8. Jen on September 14, 2008 at 10:48 am

    I like Anne Hathaway as Mary.

    I, too, have had trouble casting Vaughn in my mind. I love any of the following: Richard Armitage, Toby Stephens, Hugh Laurie, and, I am compelled by the idea of Robert Downey, Jr., as well! The wit, the presence. He’s got it. Loved him in IRON MAN.

  9. Jessica on September 14, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Lauren, I love Dame Judi Dench as Lady Uppington!!!! I love her as anyone, though…

    I could also see her pulling off the Dowager Duchess of Dovedale, but maybe Maggie Smith could play that role…she would also be fantastic!

    I agree with Rachel Weisz and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Brendan Fraser is definitely big enough to be Miles!!!

  10. Lauren on September 14, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    And he’s got that floppy lock of hair! The floppy hair is absolutely key to Miles….

    There’s a moment in “The Mummy” that’s just classic Miles. I remember watching it when I was halfway through writing “Black Tulip” and thinking, yup, such a Miles comment. It’s that bit on the boat where he tells her he kissed because it seemed like a good idea at the time, and then, when she flounces off, does that, “What? What did I say?” Hee hee.

    My other Miles pick is pretty esoteric. If anyone’s seen the A&E “Tom Jones” mini-series, the guy who played Tom looks just as I imagined Miles.

    I couldn’t agree more about Maggie Smith as the Dowager.

    I love Judi Dench in just about any role, too.

    Now the next big question– who for Miss Gwen????

  11. Jessica on September 14, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    Well, if Dame Maggie weren’t taken…

    Actually, if you’ve seen “As Time Goes By,” how about the actress who played Mrs. Bale, the housekeeper? Mrs. Bale is quite Miss Gwen-like, with the strict personal standards and slightly off-kilter logic. And she could so brandish that parasol!!!

  12. Jessica on September 14, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    Janet Henfrey is her name, the actress who played Mrs. Bale.

    I’ve been thinking about Amy, too…Reese Witherspoon is tiny enough, and so is Christina Ricci, with blue contacts.

    This is way more fun than grading papers or doing lesson plans!

  13. Lauren on September 14, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    Mrs. Bale would be perfect!!

  14. Rebecca on September 14, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    This is by far the coolest site I’ve seen in a while. I’m constantly casting books in my head!

    I’ve always thought that Henry Cavill (Charles Brandon on The Tudors), Jude Law, or J.J. Feild (from the recent Northanger Abbey) could do well as Richard — but that’s just me.

    I’ve also always thought that Simon Woods (from Rome, Bingley in the newest Pride and Prejudice) would make an awesome Miles.

    Yay! I’m going to go play on this site!

  15. Megan on September 15, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    Maybe it’s just me, but none of these people do it for me. I’ve been looking up actors and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d rather construct my own face and actor, than pick a preexisting one. If I were an artist, I would draw them as I imagine them. The characters are so wholly themselves, so unique that I can’t imagine someone who is not them playing them.
    If I had to pick…I like Rachel Weisz for Hen, and Richard Armitage would make a pretty good Vaughn. J.J. Field, maybe even John Krasinski for Richard. And you can’t go wrong with Judi Dench. I was skeptical about the choice of Brendan Fraser for Miles but have decided the face (and size of course!) is pretty close. The rest..??????

  16. Jess on September 16, 2008 at 7:42 am

    This thread of comments is so entertaining! But you have to read them with imdb open in the next window for all of the “You know that guy from that movie?”, which I think is hilarious and awesome.

    Too bad Cristina Ricca doesn’t have blue eyes. I heart her. And she definitely has the “meltdown” acting going on…which for Amy is sort of a must.

  17. AmyMc on September 16, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    How about Collin Ferguson (Sheriff Carter on Eureka) or Mark Valley (Eddie on Keen Eddie) for Colin Selwick?

  18. Mimi on September 17, 2008 at 7:43 am

    Hello! I think that I might know which actress that you are thinking about for your character Penelope. Her name is Anna Madeley, she starred in Masterpiece’s Sense and Sensibility and she was also a character in the Lewis Series “Whom the Gods will Destroy” I have attached the link for you to view her. Hope this helps!

  19. Jessica on September 17, 2008 at 10:39 am

    I was thinking of Christina Ricci as she was in “Penelope,” that fanciful, determined, stubborn persona. They made her blonde for a film, why can’t she have blue contacts to play Amy?

  20. Amy Mc on September 18, 2008 at 12:28 am

    How about Miriam Margolyes as the Dowager Duchess of Dovedale? I’m remembering her portrayal of Mrs. Mingott in “The Age of Innocence”…

  21. Megan on September 18, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    What do you think of Daniela Denby-Ashe (from BBC’s North and South) for Letty?? I don’t think anybody’s cast her yet…

  22. Jeff Reid on September 19, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    Another REAL discussion of actor range and capability – how refreshing! BTW, I see that Anna Madeley has been added to the site, so she’s available for casting. And Amy N’s first post describes something we’ve long suspected: women who “cast” themselves in the female lead – and then pick movie hotties to play across from them. The site works for that, too! Hope you all have fun – that’s why we made it!

  23. Elizabeth on September 20, 2008 at 12:48 am

    Mimi, I just love Anna Madeley, she was so good in the Secret Life of Mrs Beeton. And who put Aaron Eckhart as Colin…just soo soo wrong, and I don’t think he can act, did anyone see Possession?

  24. Elizabeth on September 20, 2008 at 12:55 am

    Back to Honeysuckle Weeks I think she would make a good Henrietta. And I personally think that Bryce Dallas Howard would make a kick ass Letty, but really should could be anyone in the books and I would be happy, she was so amazing in As You Like It.

  25. Pamela on September 20, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    Casting isn’t really my thing, but Gabriel Byrne is Lord Vaughn!

  26. Mimi on September 21, 2008 at 9:28 am

    Elizabeth…Bryce Dallas Howard would make a great Letty! I never even thought about her! Great Suggestion!

  27. Megan on September 22, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    This discussion has gotten out of my league – my knowledgable range of actors is miniscule. Even if I happen to recall a face, the name completely escapes me. But I so enjoy it! Thanks y’all :O)

  28. Jennifer on September 26, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    You have to have Imelda Staunton for something…maybe Mrs. Alsworthy or Pinchingdale’s mama. I like Emma Thompson for Lady Uppington (though Lady U is supposed to be “petite”). And how about Emily Blunt for Jane??

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