Cast That Turnip!: A Very Turnip Contest

I tend not to base my characters off actors. They pop to life in my head just as they are. Every now and again, I’m lucky enough to stumble across someone on the big or little screen who looks just as I imagined one of my characters– but it doesn’t happen with everyone.

Case in point: Turnip.

I have to confess, all these years later, I still haven’t found the perfect Turnip.

Who do you think should play Turnip in a hypothetical Mistletoe mini-series? (Can’t you just see it? “Mistletoe: the Hallmark Channel/BBC collaboration”.) Is there any actor who strikes you as having that essential Turnip-ness?

To help you out, here’s the first appearance of Turnip on the scene in The Masque of the Black Tulip, Turnip’s very first Pink Carnation appearance.

“Oh, look!” Henrietta leaned confidentially towards him, the embroidered hem of her dress lapping at the toes of his boots, “I do believe you’ve been saved. Mrs. Ponsonby has latched onto Reggie Fitzhugh.”

Miles followed the path of Henrietta’s fan and noted with some relief that the crazy woman had indeed honed in on Turnip Fitzhugh. Turnip wasn’t in the direct line for a title, but his uncle was an earl, and he did have an income of ten thousand pounds a year, enough to make Turnip a very attractive marital prospect for anyone who didn’t mind a complete absence of mental capacity. That, from what Miles had viewed of this year’s crop of debutantes, didn’t look to be a problem. Besides, Turnip was a good chap. Not the sort of man Miles would want to see marrying his sister (there was little danger of that, as Miles’ three half-sisters were all considerably older, and long since leg-shackled), but he had a good hand with his horses, a generous way with his port, and a winning habit of actually paying his gambling debts.

He also had a positive talent for sartorial disaster. He was, Miles noted with mingled amusement and disbelief, dressed entirely a la Carnation, with a huge pink flower in his buttonhole, wreaths of carnations embroidered on his silk stockings, and even—Miles winced—dozens of little carnations twining on vines along the sides of his knee breeches.

Miles groaned. “Someone needs to kidnap his tailor.”

Moving along to Mistletoe, I give you the scene where our heroine, Arabella, first meets Turnip– in all his Turnip-y glory.

It was highly unlikely that any gentlemen of large fortune and undiscriminating taste would rush forward to bowl her over.

And that was when a large form careened into her, sending her stumbling into the doorframe, while something small, round, and compact managed to land heavily on her left foot before rolling along its way.

“Oooof!” Arabella said cleverly, flailing her arms for balance.

This was not an auspicious beginning to her career as a dignified instructress of young ladies.
A pair of sturdy hands caught her by the shoulders before she could go over, hauling her back up to her feet. He overshot by a bit. Arabella found herself dangling in mid-air for a moment before her feet landed once again on the wooden floor.

“I say, frightfully sorry!” her unseen assailant and rescuer was babbling. “Deuced ungentlemanly of me—ought to have been watching where I was going.”

Arabella’s bonnet had been knocked askew in the fracas. She was above the average height, but this man was even taller. With her bonnet brim in the way, all she could see was a stretch of brightly patterned waistcoat, a masterpiece of fine fabric and poor taste.

Arabella didn’t know whether to laugh or bang her head against the elaborate carnations on her assailant’s waistcoat. Everyone knew about Turnip Fitzhugh’s waistcoats.

And to think, only a moment ago, she had complaining about not being bowled over by men of large fortune and undiscriminating taste.

She had just never meant it quite that literally.

And that’s our Turnip.

Name your top Turnip picks– and I’ll pick one person who comments to receive a copy of the UK edition of The Mischief of the Mistletoe.

Happy casting!


  1. Melissa L on December 15, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    I recommend Matthew Lewis who played Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter movies. He’s a Brit, tall and cute in a goofy way.

    • Carrie Morrell on December 15, 2016 at 12:52 pm

      I could see that!

    • Emilia on December 15, 2016 at 4:09 pm

      That’s who I was going to suggest too!

    • Ami on December 16, 2016 at 12:05 am

      Age appropriate AND could be a great fit!

    • Cara on December 16, 2016 at 12:39 am

      I definitely agree with y’all who say Matthew Lewis! It never occurred to me before but it makes perfect sense.

  2. Joey B. on December 15, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    Sam Heughan (Jamie in Outlander). Tall, (natural) blonde and has the acting chops to do any character justice. Can also be very goofy!

  3. Sheila on December 15, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    I guess Hugh Grant is too old, how about Jude Law?

  4. Jessica S. on December 15, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Maybe it’s because I’ve just fallen head-first into watching The Crown…but I say Matt Smith (also a former Doctor). A younger Martin Freeman would also do nicely.

  5. Bridget Erin on December 15, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    I would have to agree with Sam Heughan or maybe Jamie Dornan.

  6. Sharon D. on December 15, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Dan Stevens (from Downton Abbey)

  7. Whitney J on December 15, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Nicholas Hoult…not naturally blond but great actor and could definitely be a Turnip Fitzhugh!

  8. LCLassman on December 15, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    A young Hugh Laurie is the obvious choice (who can ever forget him as the Prince of Wales?), but since he’s “outgrown” the part, how about Ryan McPartlin (the perfect brother-in-law on Chuck)?

    • Ami on December 16, 2016 at 12:11 am

      Captain Awesome IS SO RIGHT for Turnip. Too bad he’s getting a little too old for the part!

      I was cracking up thinking of Captain Awesome in Turnip-y situations. So perfect.

    • Sheila on December 16, 2016 at 3:42 pm

      Yes, he would be perfect.

  9. Karlene on December 15, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    Kyle Soller, the actor who played Poldark’s cousin Francis Poldark on Masterpiece Theater.

  10. Freya on December 15, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    I thought about it all morning, and I can’t think of anyone. He’d have to be a tall, blond, Adonis-y actor who radiates integrity and has not the slightest whiff of arrogance/caddishness/calculated seductiveness about him. If I ever see such a one, I shall fall for him immediately.

  11. Kristy on December 15, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    I always sort of pictured Tom Mison after seeing his adorable Bingley in Lost in Austen.

  12. Christine on December 15, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    This guy

    He’s already played a spy so he should be really good at getting mistaken for one.

  13. Jennifer Weinhardt on December 15, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Richard Ayoade would be brilliant!

    • Miss Eliza on December 16, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      LOL! Moss for EVERYTHING!

  14. Linda Mollno on December 15, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    I never really thought of Turnip as tall and blonde. His character and actions make me see him played by Paul Giamatti.

  15. Kimberly on December 15, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    Tom Hiddleston or Dan Stevens.

  16. Alena on December 16, 2016 at 1:32 am

    Armie Hammer! Tall, blonde, built, but could play goofy, sweet and approachable.

  17. Tara on December 16, 2016 at 7:57 am

    Chris Pratt with a British accent 🙂 Think his character in Parks and Rec mashed with his action hero roles in Jurassic Park or Guardians of the Galaxy.

    • Jennie Barnes on December 16, 2016 at 7:56 pm


  18. Mieko on December 16, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Eddie Redmayne!

    • Miss Eliza on December 16, 2016 at 6:43 pm


    • Lauren H on December 17, 2016 at 4:15 am

      I second this! Redmayne would be perfect!

  19. Cassandra on December 17, 2016 at 3:38 am

    Ryan Gosling

  20. Rachel Adrianna on December 17, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    I had no idea who I would choose, but these suggestions are all wonderful!

  21. Lauren on December 18, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    I love all of these! Stay tuned for winner announcement– and a round-up of all the candidates avec pictures– on Tuesday.

  22. LynnS on December 18, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    I couldn’t picture anyone as Turnip, but these are great suggestions. I’m partial to Matthew Lewis or Eddie Redmayne of those previously suggested, but what about Tom Felton? It’d be interesting to see him in a comedic role, playing one of the good guys.

  23. Renee on December 19, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    Super late to the game…but what about James Norton? Most recently of Grantchester, but he’s also in Death Comes to Pemberley and Belle. Love him 🙂

  24. Heather on December 22, 2016 at 11:53 am

    Rereading that scene, Ryan Lochte popped into my head for some reason. But I don’t think he is really Romance-hero fodder :(. I liked some of the other suggestions of: Matthew Lewis, Captain Awesome and Richard Ayoade.
    While reading the Pink Carnation books I always imagined Russell Tovey as Turnip. He’s a British actor and he is very good at playing sweet, endearing but a little bit goofy characters (I think it might be the ears, lol).

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