This is a movie that by necessity takes place somewhat Out Of Time, because some of these actors, okay, maybe couldn’t play teenagers anymore. But this is also a movie that Isn’t Actually Happening, so I get to take some artistic/temporal license.
There is only one character for whom I had an actor in mind from the very beginning. I had to search out most of the others–I only saw my Nicolette last week!
Nicolette/”Nick” Lampton (Cinderella): Paloma Baeza
Horseman and I watched the 1998 miniseries adaptation of “Far from the Madding Crowd” last week, and I saw Nicolette in Paloma Baeza right away. My husband actually used a line from the book on me when we had just started dating, and it worked extremely well. We’ve watched several film versions since then–although we haven’t seen the newest one yet!–and Baeza’s is my favorite interpretation of Bathsheba by far. Her full-hearted expressions and determined edge would be perfect for Nicolette.
Margot Lampton (Nick’s mother): Caitriona Balfe
Outlander much? God, I love that show. Caitriona Balfe is sharply intelligent and hot-and-cold enough to be so very Margot Lampton.
William Lampton (Nick’s father): Dan Stevens
He was kind of the ultimate good guy in Downton Abbey, but I could definitely see Dan Stevens as Nick’s slick and increasingly bigoted father, William.
Mr. Candery: Gok Wan
Stepmother: Angelica Huston
Yes, she’s already played Cinderella’s stepmother, but LITERALLY NO ONE DOES IT BETTER. Besides, I probably wouldn’t have written a Cinderella retelling if I hadn’t had my period of Ever After obsession. (And by ‘period,’ I mean from when I first watched it at age ten up until now.)
Piety & Chastity: Ashley Greene & Rebel Wilson
It was actually a toss-up between casting Rebel Wilson as Chastity or Caro, but I think she’d have more fun playing an evil stepsister.
Fin: Corbin Bleu . . . or Avan Jogia
Do I lose cool points for casting a HSM alum? Corbin Bleu’s got the hair and the bright smile. Avan Jogia has the eyes and the smolder. Can they just have a baby? (Also, Hollywood: you need more teenage non-white actors for me to cast in my imaginary YA novel movie adaptations. Seriously.)
What, like no singer has ever crossed into acting before? Adele could be great, and Caro makes music boxes, so there’s an obvious connection. (Hollywood, you also need to provide me with a bigger roster of actresses who aren’t stick-thin.)
Fitz: Hans from Frozen
The clear choice.
Lord Alming: Denzel Washington
I’d love to hear your own casting ideas in the comments, pretty please with a cherry on top. It’s always so interesting to see how characters look in other people’s heads, and some of my choices I still don’t feel are quite right.