Sign in to follow this  
clearskies

Hugh Grant

30 posts in this topic

The AARP magazine has said that Hugh Grant may star in a "My Fair Lady" remake as Professsor Higgins. What do you all think about that, if it happens?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think he would be miscast. Emma Thompson as Eliza is one thing, but I think the professor should be played by Michael Caine.

 

Thompson and Grant have worked together on several films, one example being SENSE AND SENSIBILITY. But I don't know if they can pull of a MY FAIR LADY remake. We'll see...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Caine is way to old to be playing the professor. The professor should be someone in his early 40s that still might get married someday even if he acts like he would never get married (this is a key part of the plot). Thus that key part of the plot just wouldn't work with a man in his 70s.

 

Hugh Grant is the right age but Emma is too old for her part. I just saw here on The Daily Show and she did look great so I'm not saying she cannot pull it off but to me the story works better with Eliza being about 10 years or more younger than the professor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Thompson will fare better than Hepburn...but I don't think Grant is considered a serious enough actor and he will fall short of comparisons to Rex Harrison.

 

Incidentaly, Harrison was 56 when MY FAIR LADY came out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Grant would be great as Higgins, especially if they got James Wilby to play Pickering. Grant's best roles, I think, were in *Lair of the White Worm* and *Maurice*, In Maurice, Grant and Wilby have a sort of Edwardian platonic gay love affair, which is never really consummated because of the times and Grant's fears. So, it would be great to reunite Grant with Wilby, since it's often suspected that Higgins and Pickering were lovers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was hoping Hugh Laurie (he and Thompson have been good buddies since the beginning of their careers) would get the part but I suspect his shooting schedule for *House* may have been the fly in the ointment there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps this was mentioned on that seemingly endless thread from a little while ago ("Emma Thompson disses Audrey" or whatever), but it seems to me that Emma Thompson, much as I respect her, is far too old for the role of Eliza Doolittle. Although I don't believe Shaw ever specifies her age, I've always thought she's supposed to be in her early to mid 20's. Emma just wouldn't be convincing.

Same thing for Michael Caine - far too old for Professor Higgins. You say Rex Harrison was in his 50s when he did *My Fair Lady*, but I see quite a difference between someone in their 50s and someone in their 70s ( no offence to anyone on these boards over 69.)

 

Hugh Grant would actually make a very good Higgins. I kind of like Hugh. Just because he's usually in light rom coms doesn't mean he couldn't handle *My Fair Lady*, which isn't exactly Eugene O'Neal material.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always felt Harrison was too old for the part but 56 is still much different than 76 (whatever the age of Caine is). To me Leslie Howard was the right look and age for the part (but of course the original wasn't a musical). Note I wasn't saying Grant would be good for the part but only commenting that he would be around the right age.

 

But hey since 50 is the new 40, so they can have 40 something gal and a 50 something professor! I still don't like it; a gal in her late 40s still selling flowers on the street and unmarried? Again, the plot just doesn't work for me if everyone is that old.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hugh Grant turns 50 this coming week...

 

Emma is 51.

 

I don't think we should practice ageism and say an actor or actress cannot do a part because of how old they are...Isabelle Adjani was in her late thirties (she was 39) when she did those scenes as a teenager in QUEEN MARGOT (and she was very convincing, probably with the help of lighting and cinematography...but she proved that it can be done and not in a MAME/Lucille Ball sort of way).

 

Queen_Margot_DVD_.jpg

Reine_margot1.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't view 'it' as ageism but as just good casting. The women's role is one of a younger women that is unmarried (and back 'then' most women got married before 30), and someone that hasn't made anything of their life trying to make something out of it. That role just doesn't work for someone over 40. Of course there have been many movies where women in their 40's have an awakening (Eat, Love Pray being the latest), but typically these women have already been married, had kids and or a career and are now coming to terms with their 'second' life. That doesn't apply to MFL.

 

Of course a great actress can play a younger role and very often they do, but most of the time it impacts the quality of the movie or play. Hey there is still a role for Caine. He can play her dad!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's fair to say that we all have differing views about age, the marrying age in particular. First, just because Emma's in her 50s in real life doesn't mean her character on screen is the same age...she won't pass for 28, but with the right director, she might be able to pass for 38, and that's not too much of a stretch from the original material. But let's say that it is totally unacceptable and she's too old and this will ruin the story, then I guess we have the earlier version to watch instead. I think we have to allow filmmakers some liberty to make changes, such as a character's age, if it still remains true to the spirit of the material.

 

But I do think there are plenty of women in many cultures that have not been married yet by the age of 40...they are not necessarily spinsters or lesbians, and they are not divorcees... Why not let this new version represent that type of woman? For years, people have been complaining about how there is a lack of parts for older women in Hollywood...now Emma Thompson comes along with this project, and we're back to saying older women need to behave like roped-in sexless older women again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What you recommend is a major plot change in my view. Major. To that I say why not find some other material and do that instead.

 

Again the basis of the Shaw play is a younger simple, backwards, unaware women working with a stuffy, knowledgeable, inflexable professor. Granted, the story of a older wiser man with a not to bright younger women doesn't fit the 21st century where more women go to college, start business, and no longer need to get married or depend on a man for things. Bravo!

 

Note at the end of the Shaw play the women does grow up and realizes she doesn't need a man (either her father or a husband boyfriend), to help her make it. She how has what it takes to make it in a man's world. But the basis of the plot until that scene is that a women needs a man to become something (she cannot even go to a party without being trained). NOW I do NOT agree with this, but that is the basis of the plot.

 

Ok, I'll play ball and pitch something that might work: The women is in her forties and has been very successful in business but doesn't have any style or class and has never really been in love. She decides to get lessons in style and class by a man and the man makes a bet with a friend that he can take her to a oscars and pull her off as a Hollywood type! Oh wait, didn't Bullock already make that movie! (and the professor was Caine!)

 

I really don't know where you get this "need to behave like roped-in sexless older women again" line. MFL has a plot and all I'm saying is that the casting should fit this plot or as you say the plot should be changed to fit the casting.

 

Edited by: jamesjazzguitar on Sep 4, 2010 3:09 PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds to me, from what you've posted, that you have already decided you will not like this new version of LADY, come heck or highwater. And I hate to think that there are a lot of people who probably will be against it. But if Emma's new film makes $150 million, it will be a big hit, and it will play on classic channels into infinity right alongside the other earlier versions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a very big fan of Emma so I'll check it out. To me she is one of the top 5 actresses of the last 10 - 15 years or so. So I'll check it out just to see if they can pull it off.

 

But really thinking more about this they should just do a gender switch. Really! Have Emma play the professer and have a man play the role of someone who needs to get help with English and fitting in. In fact they could have the male be latin. That would reflect the current times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like you would rather cast Antonio Banderas in place of Hugh Grant!

 

Having Thompson play the mentor role and a younger male actor the pupil is actually a very interesting idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Emma Thompson is writing the screenplay for the remake of My Fair Lady. She is NOT playing Eliza Doolittle.

 

One of the names being thrown around for the Eliza role is Carey Mulligan, who was very good in the recent film *An Education* .

 

Sandy K

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a TV movie version called PYGMALION that was produced by Fox...it is airing on FMC this month. Peter O'Toole was the professor and was 50 at the time. Margot Kidder played Eliza, make what you will of that.

 

There was also a 1963 Hallmark Hall of Fame production, starring Julie Harris as Eliza and James Donald as Higgins.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, finally! After reading all those posting about ET being too old to play the part of Elizabeth Bennet, no one seemed to know that she was doing the screen play. She never had any intention of playing the role. I only mentiond Hugh Grant as doing Prof. Higgins as it looks as if the wheels are turning and many names are being bandied about. Some of your suggestions are quite interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

clearskies, I had read somewhere that Hugh Laurie was being considered for Professor Higgins. I could definitely see Laurie in the role. But maybe Hugh Grant would be interesting--he certainly has great comic timing, although I have no idea if he can sing.

 

I'm intrigued by the remake, no matter who ends up playing the lead roles. I do like the George Cukor version, but a fresh spin on it would be welcome.

 

Sandy K

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*Hey, Sandy!*

 

I'm doing a little thievery here, but what would anyone think of adorable Colin Firth, and the lovely lady who played Emmaline in the first *Nanny Mc Phee*, Kelly MacDonald? Colin can do it all . . . comedy, drama, stern, and slaphappy, while Miss MacDonald (who I really know nothing about, but loved her as Emmaline), seems like the perfect choice for Eliza. She looks to be the right age, and she just strikes me as being capable of several different roles. Colin would be the perfect age for the professor, and I know he could be the snobby, uptight mule that HIggins is, and in conjunction, I believe Hugh Grant would fit like a glove as Colonel Pickering, because of his naughty little boy attitude, and he's good lookin enough for Eliza to find him attractive during Higgins tirades.

____________________________

*Anne*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey there, Anne! I have to say, Hugh Laurie would still be my #1 choice for Higgins, but I do like the Colin Firth/Kelly McDonald idea. I've seen her in quite a few films, and she has a lot of versatility as an actor. I've no idea if she can sing, though. I just REALLY want them to cast people that can sing the roles.

 

Hugh Grant as Pickering? Interesting...I always think of Pickering as a much older man, but then again, Jude Law was interesting as Dr. Watson in the new Sherlock Holmes film, so maybe a younger man would work. It would be nice to have 2 forty-ish men as Higgins and Pickering, more contemporaries.

 

Or what about Emma Thompson's ex, Kenneth Branagh? GREAT actor.

 

Sandy K

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brannaugh is truly a great actor, but I've never seen him in comedy, and both men have to have that ability to lighten the mood now and then. The other reason for my choices is that Emma wants to give the show a whole new look, so I think making the players a little younger might help in that respect.

 

I forgot before, but since Emma doesn't mind looking like McPhee, perhaps she would be good as HIggins mother. My problem is I like to know my actors, and having MFL filled with a lot of strange English actors would spoil it for me somewhat. I'm funny that way.

_______________________________

*Anne*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the future don't withhold the facts, stop us from making fools of ourselves sooner! (ha ha).

 

Anyhow I still feel the entire play as written by Shaw is very dated and thus sexist and I feel my idea of a gender switch is a really good one. We all know that today the worry is that boys are the ones getting the short end of the stick with regards to education and on the ball women have a hard time finding what they define as an equal. e.g. does a college educated working gal want a non college educated laborer for a mate? Can that type of man be her 'equal'?

 

So switch the genders and have a really good looking man play the role of an uneducated immigrant (i.e. one that doesn't speak good english) and have the professor be a on the ball women that appears to have it all but is lacking heart and love. This would be a great love story as well as show that this type of pairing can benefit both parties because each has something of value to offer to each other. (i.e. they don't have to be each other's minor 'equal').

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us