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I've had enough of these ridiculous casting ideas for this movie, which, if you didn't know, WILL be made in the near future. Not only do I demand it, but there is a lot of hard evidence pointing to the very real possibility of Hasbro preparing for this. As a die hard fan of this amazing television series, I am just DYING for this to happen.
While I offer no real casting experience or expertise, I do know a good thing when I see it. And I have predicted castings of several roles in the past few years that all came true. What? No, I don't have time to list the specifics, just go with me alright?
The BIGGEST problem right now with all the others who are making guesses at who would play what, is that they are thinking solely about looks, or solely about singing talent, and that will never work. You can't have the ensemble cast be a popularity contest - there will be struggle as it is with 9 young women fighting to get their face in the camera.
What - does this mean LADY GAGA can't be Jem?
Yes. That is exactly what it means.
It also means that ANY female recording artist with a career that is very well established CANNOT be the lead in this movie/musical. No Katy Perry, no Natasha Bedingfield, no Britney Spears, and NO Beyonce can't play Shana*.
But there is ONE pop star who is capable of slipping through the cracks...
Pizzazz - Kesha Sebert
"Mirror, mirror, on the wall? Who is the baddest bitch of all?"
Ke$ha is the ONLY pop superstar that could really find a place in this film, and it is solely for one reason - she is a villain. People LOVE to villainize Ke$ha for her crazy antics, her "just don't give a f*#&" fashion sense, and her love of all things hurly and burly. But underneath all of that aggression is a real appreciation for her genuine stank. She would not be where she is if she wasn't a great write and singer(?) of pop music, an honest, down-to-earth gal, and an infectious virus of a celebrity.
Why Ke$ha?She may not be the most trained actor, but she could pull of Pizzazz as the whiney, aggressive, one trick pony that she is. I believe Ke$ha would have a lot of fun with the role, and bring some genuine bitch-rockstar-maybe-there-is-something-more- underneath-all-that-makeup attitude to the film.
Moving along to the other female lead in this thing, I present...
Jem/Jerrica Benton - Leven Rambin
"It's GLIMMER and gold!"
Okay. You may all may know her from some soap opera work she has done, or from the Terminator show on Fox, but most recently Rambin played lethal beauty Glimmer in the first (omg I'm gonna slap myself it was so good) Hunger Games film. Leven is not new to the block, but she has not yet had a high profile role as a lead character (despite her acting chops.) In addition to this, she was signed on to a record deal several years ago - one that I imagine was a casualty of the legendary Pop Star Wars of the mid 2000s. I've heard a glimpse of what she can do vocally, and I think it is spot on for what is demanded of Jem.
Why Leven Rambin?Rambin is in her early twenties, but exudes a but of wisdom and class, as from someone a bit older than she is. This will work in Jerrica Benton's favor. She is also a statuesque beauty! Jem/Jerrica will need to we well liked and well rounded, but not so naive that it is not believable when she gets crunk (like THIS.) Jem should be portrayed by someone who is talented but not so well known that she is typecast or expected.
Eric Raymond - Kyle Maclachlan
What? You thought I was gonna say Peter Gallagher!?
Why Kyle Maclachlan?He has all the necessary stuff to play this ruthless, diabolical-to-the-point-that-it's-silly fella Eric Raymond. I mean, I think that Raymond is the kind of guy who smiles through EVERYTHING... every single lie he tells, every command he gives to his goons, and every exchange of dollars he is involved with after sex in his ugly car. Yes, I think Eric Raymond prostitutes himself on the side. Maclachlan is a wonderful actor who doesn't take himself too seriously, and I think he would totally KILL the creep factor of this role.
Let's talk about a different guy...
Rio Pacheco - Darren Criss
"I hate liars, and I hate deception!"
I hate to break anyone's balls about this, but Rio is a bitch. He is is snotty, whiney, jumps to conclusions ALL THE DAMN TIME, and he is generally an emotional asshole. He has NO PROBLEM dating two women at the same time (not to mention he can't tell that it's the SAME woman...WTF!?) but get all fussy when Jem kisses another guy, or runs away to a deserted island with him for several months. Gawd. #rantover
Why Darren?The thing Rio needs the most in this film is to be sexy, desirable, solid as a rock (emotionally, for the most part) and just a GOOD GUY. Everyone wants him, and that's kind of his thing - being so altruistic that the only woman he could ever fall for is the woman he's already fallen for. But he also needs to have a backbone. He is surrounded by estrogen for the better part of each day, and just the right amount of balance is necessary to keep people from asking "Wait a minute... Jerrica is DATING him? He isn't her...you know...fashion consultant?" Not to mention, if they throw a song Rio's way, Darren will KNOCK THE S%$# OUT OF THE PARK.
Aja Leith - Jamie Chung
'I am an Asian American of indeterminate origin!"
Actually I think they imply that she is Japanese at some point (and she can speak a little Chinese.) Regardless, Aja is sort of the glue that holds this group together. No? Okay, well, she is very important anyway. She IS their unofficial roadmaster (no racist jokes please!) and lead guitarist. Aja is a cold tomboy of a bitch who knows her way around a wrench, but she is also extremely loyal and trustworthy.
Why Jamie?Chung is no stranger to ensemble casts (Real World, Sucker Punch, Once Upon A Time) and though she may be revamping her badass Asian girl thing AGAIN by playing this role, I simply cannot think of anyone better. I think she has the right balance of sisterly concern and "imma beat dat ass" to play Aja.
Shana Elmsford - Solange Knowles
The ever matriarchal, concerned, realist fashion DIVA Shana. Now SHE is the glue. She is bossy and ALWAYS concerned about money, like a true sista. Lol. I'm just kidding. But my favorite line from her comes from the first episode - "What we NEED is some money..." Maybe that's why they gave her the Claire Huxtable hair cut.
Why Solange?They cannot seriously expect to get away with painting Shana as the old fart of the group. Solange is young, effervescent, and totally fashionable, which makes it so much easier to believe she would be a designer. And of course she is musically talented. I could see her actually learning to play the drums for this film (I mean Tara Reid did it!) let's face it - there aren't a wealth of young black female actors to choose from for this, and she fits the bill best. I must mention that Keke Palmer would be PERFECT for this if she was a few years older. :-/
Kimber Benton - Hayley Williams
I actually hate that she is so perfect for this part.
Spunky, spicy, and a little slutty, kid sister Kimber Benton is a character with a lot of heart and, in some ways, really anchors the Jerrica character. She writes a majority of the music the Holograms perform, and is creative in ways that some of the other girls (and the Misfits) just aren't.
Why Hayley?You show me someone better and I will consider that - but Hayley, even without the hair (which people don't seem to understand makes NO DIFFERENCE in cinema) would be great for this role. She is a singer/songwriter with a playful attitude. She actually makes me think of Punky Brewster for some reason. It's a difficult thing to judge someone's acting from music video performances, but she really knows to to work with the camera and show all the right emotion. I feel she could pull of the role without a hitch, and bring a great kind of energy to Kimber.
Raya Alonzo - Naya Rivera
"Sweet and sensitive? Sure!"
Raya joins the cast later on in the series (although I feel it could be moved up a bit for the sake of the film - she adds a lot to the group.) She is sweet and sensitive, but she is also a badass warrior woman. She grew up with like, 8 brothers or something. Where Aja is cold and loyal in her way, Raya is similar, but opposite. She is a warm ray of sunshine, but she will reluctantly knock you out with a Mayan death chant if necessary.
Aja on the other hand probably carries a knife.
Why Naya Rivera?Naya is full of Latina awesomeness. But I do believe she could play sweet and caring as well. And other than Glee (and awesome Superbowl commercials) what else does she have to do? Not to mention her AMAZING voice.
Why the f#$%@ not!?
I'm not joking. This film is going to be set in the 80s and have a bit of tongue-in-cheek "we-realize-that-this-is-a-little-ridiculous" quality about it. Camp, I guess is what I am looking for. I mean, just enough. So why not?!
Why RuPaul?I shouldn't even have to answer this. She is all-powerful, all-knowing, and mother of the cosmos come to town. I'd entrust Ru with MY future...
Visit this site RIGHT NOW.
That's right. Check this out. Scooter Braun is making the film, and you can see the film's site here. How do I feel about this? Well...
It's set in present day, with all the interconnectivity of social media and whatnot. From the plot description given, it sounds like "Rebecca Black: A Profile In Courage" which makes me NO HAPPY. That's right, no happy here. I dunno. I am uncertain that the crowdsourced casting is right, either. I really had (have?) high hopes that this film will be an all-star cast that is thoughtfully chosen for its talent and ability, and - not to discount the beauty of undiscovered talent - a cast that has some real trained strength at its core. I think this movie should be a cross between the highly underrated "Josie and the Pussycats" and "Rent". Seriously.
I'm not very happy, but I am certainly curious, and understand that filmmakers have every right to interpret whatever like like however they want to. I just had my hopes set for something else, and if that isn't what I'm going to get, perhaps it will still be entertaining and special. Here's hoping.