Let’s <a href=” http://www.sarahweinman.com/confessions/2007/09/tess-on-tv.html”_blank”>play.</a>.
I’m out the door, but will add my thoughts later this morning.
Updated: I’ve usually been reluctant to play this game, in part because so few books end up being adapted, but also because I know that unexpected casting choices can work out extraordinarily well.
Take the case of, oh, The Wire. Jimmy McNulty was written for a lumpy, more odinary guy. John C. Reilly was approached, among others. But the part ended up going to Domnick West — not lumpy or ordinary-looking.
Granted, there hadn’t been a million words, give or take, written about McNulty. (That figure includes the Tess novel to be published next year, the Tess short stories and the Tess profile published by Otto Penzler and I still might be a little short, given that the Tess books average 90,000 words.) Still, as someone who thinks that film/television MUST rethink the books they adapt, I’m very open-minded and flexible.
In the comments section, there’s an excellent question about which Tess. As I understand it, one of the later books would be the most likely to be adapted, so we are looking at a Tess in her early 30s, mellowed by her minor successses, although still struggling with some personal issues at times.
I would like her to be tall and big-boned. That said, most actors that come to mind — and actor is the politically correct term, I’ve been told — are simply too good-looking.
Yes, I have mentioned Minnie Driver. It’s not that she embodies my ideal Tess, but largely that she has the height and an extremely expressive face. And that may be the most important thing to me — a Tess whose emotions show on her face.