Thursday, June 2, 2011

Richard Burton/Elizabeth Taylor Bio Optioned - Who Would You Cast?

An option on a bio of Taylor/Burton is good news indeed. I mean, what took them so long? Think of all the behind the scenes CLEOPATRA action! Melodrama! Secret trysts! Scandal! Heartbreak! It's all there waiting to be exploited. Read all about the proposed movie here at The film would be based on the book, FURIOUS LOVE, by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger. According to's piece, Martin Scorsese is interested in directing.

Who would I cast?

On, only one name springs to mind to play Burton: Daniel Craig.

To play Liz Taylor, it's a little more dicey. She was a diva of the first water and you can't just play a diva, you HAVE to be a diva down to the tippy tips of your nails plus, more importantly, you have to wear million dollar jewels with careless aplomb. No bimbo Hollywood starlets need apply, puh-leeze.

A younger Helena Bonham Carter would have been, I think, perfect.

But since Helena's years for playing Liz have passed her by and both Keira Knightly and Rachel Weisz are too tall, I'd nominate Scarlett Johansson who is about the right height and can be quite startlingly beautiful if photographed properly. Though she usually plays introverts I think she can play Liz. I'd love to see her try. At the very least, I'd love to have her read for the part.

Yeah, she's not a carbon copy, but she'd be able to pull it off - she's a pretty good actress. And wouldn't she look a treat in that Cleo headgear? Yup.

The casting of Liz is so difficult because today's actresses just don't look like 'real' women anymore. They all, more or less, look like runway models now and weigh about a hundred pounds soaking wet, if that. Scarlett Johansson is the rare exception.

At the height of her fame, Liz Taylor - always a tiny little thing (though larger than life onscreen) - and before she packed on the weight in later years - still had a 'womanly' figure. You know - curves?

So - who would you cast?


  1. I think I'd have to concur with your casting.

  2. Then they ought to put us in charge of casting the film. :)

  3. I think Daniel Craig for any role. He was amazing in Defiance.

    And Scarlett Johanssen is a good idea. She is a terrific actress, and is stunning.

    But I wouldn't rule out Rachel Weisz, height or not. There are ways around that in filming. It's been done with short actors.

    Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig are reportedly quite a romantic duo these days (not that I follow celebrith news), so they may have great on-screen chemistry.

  4. Hmmm, I didn't know Daniel and Rachel were a couple. I hope she knows what she's doing....Wait. Did I just actually say that? Ha!

  5. No one has mentioned Russell Crowe, but I think he would be a great Burton--he's certainly got the hung-over, ravaged look down pat. Sadly, it's too late for Sherilyn Fenn to be Liz, although she did a pretty good job in a TV-movie biopic of Taylor in the mid-1990s.

    BTW, I'm assuming that part of the interest in making this movie (aside from Liz's recent passing) is the book FURIOUS LOVE, about the psychodrama that was the Taylor-Burton romance. I read it a few months ago and it's a great read. I recommend it if you haven't read it yet.

  6. I really do think that Russell Crowe is now too old to play Burton at the age he was when he played in CLEOPATRA, but I could be wrong.

    Also, Burton, despite his shaggy dog good looks, always had an elegance to him that Crowe, in my opinion, lacks.

    Craig has that same sort of elegance.

    The film is based on the book you mention, Deb. I meant to include the title in the post but then just added the link.

    Maybe I'd better add the title to the actual post. :)


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