When I heard that Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe had been cast in the film version of Les Misérables, I was excited before I ever heard which role each would be playing. It didn’t matter: either would be great in either role, and they had an interesting physical contrast that would have worked either way. And now, having seen (and loved) the film, I’d love to see another version with their roles reversed, with Crowe playing Jean Valjean and Jackman as Inspector Javert.
Something similar actually did happen with Danny Boyle’s staging of Frankenstein in London in 2011, in which Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch alternated playing Doctor Frankenstein and the Monster… and seeing both castings deepened my appreciation for both actors, both characters, and the impact of the overall story.
Which iconic (or imaginary) actor pairings would be fun to reverse?
Switching actors doesn’t always work. You could not, for instance, have Mark Hamill play Han Solo and Harrison Ford play Luke Skywalker and have anything like a movie that works. But could you swap Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill? Or perhaps there’s a pair of actors you’d like to cast in a movie based on a book, TV show, or older film who could play opposite each other in swopped roles?
(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)