Friday, August 31, 2012

Why Hollywood's "Carrie" will never be as good as it could

Don't be misled by the headline. I think Sissy Spacek did an amazing job as Stephen King's first protagonist Carrie White. I also think Chloe Moretz (pictured above in bloody splendor) will bring a new energy to the role that will be fun to watch. (I'll take a pass on the 2002 TV version.) There is, however, an inherent problem in this casting.

My wife, who likes to point out plot holes as much as she can (she's not mean about it; she's a problem solver and that's how her brain works), pointed out that any film version of "Carrie" will never be accurate until the day Hollywood learns to look beyond looks. In this case, they need to look beyond the starlet and find someone who actually looks like Carrie does in the novel. To be blunt, they need a fat girl.

Now, we're not talking about casting a 300-pound 16 year old. That is unhealthy. What we are discussing is searching for someone that is normal/average enough that she stands out. And don't tell me size 12-16 girls can't act. That is a lie that I know from personal experience. There are thousands of actresses playing bit parts because the men people in charge won't give them a chance to be the stars they are capable of being.

OK, yes, Spacek was awesome and in 1976 she looked goofy enough to be believable as the the bullied Carrie. The released photos of Moretz, well, she still looks like herself. At my age, I probably shouldn't say this, but she's a very attractive young woman. I love that she is rocking in this genre fare and I hope she continues to be someone horror writers and directors can turn to for years. Bonus: she's still a teenager. So I'm sure her Carrie will be intense: a sensitive soul spurned into becoming a monster. She's going to rock.

But somewhere, out there, is a high school junior forced to play the nurse in "Romeo and Juliet" even though she's a better actress than the little blonde in the starring role.

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