Nathan Fillion and Jennifer Lawrence as Benedick and Beatrice? Nick Frost & Simon Pegg as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern? Be still my heart!
Casting directors have a big job, especially when it comes to casting Shakespeare. Their casts are chosen, based not only on who is living, available, and affordable, but many other factors as well. One of the reasons I love Shakespeare is because he attracts some of the best talent, such as Orson Welles as Falstaff, Stephen Fry as Malvolio, and both Nathan Fillion and Michael Keaton as Dogberry.
I, however, am not constrained by who is affordable or available. So I thought I’d try my hand at casting director and compile a list of the top roles I would like to cast, constrained only by who is living and who hasn’t played the role before (otherwise I might cast Bill Murray in each role) and using an actor only once (otherwise I might cast Bill Murray in every role). So here is my list, in alphabetical order, of the actors I’d love to see in some of Shakespeare’s lighter roles:
As You Like It’s Touchstone: Billy Crystal
Hamlet’s gravedigger: Michael Keaton
Hamlet’s Polonius: John Lithgow
Hamlet’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern: Nick Frost & Simon Pegg
Love’s Labour’s Lost’s Costard: Giovanni Ribisi
Love’s Labour’s Lost’s Don Armado: Johnny Depp
Macbeth’s porter: Bill Murray
Much Ado’s Beatrice: Jennifer Lawrence
Much Ado’s Benedick: Nathan Fillion
Much Ado’s Dogberry: Patrick Warburton
Midsummer’s Bottom: Paul Rudd
The Comedy of Errors’s Dromio twins: Liam and Chris Hemsworth
Twelfth Night’s Feste: Nick Offerman
Twelfth Night’s Malvolio: John Cleese
Oh, somebody hire me now, and let me get started!
How about you? Who would you like to see in the above roles? Or others? Who would you switch?