As Dreams Are Made On: My Top 13 Casting Choices

Keira Knightley as Ophelia? Kevin Spacey as Richard III? Yes, please.

knightleyI recently (here) listed actors I would love to see cast in various Shakespearean roles, but confined my list to the lighter roles (clowns, fools, etc.). But I have a similar list of more serious roles, chosen not according to who is affordable or available but only according to who is living (and also using each actor only once).

My list also assumes (with one exception*) that each role would be set in the traditional period (that is, no adaptations). A totally different list could be compiled for various adaptations (I tend to be a stickler for historical accuracy, even though the Bard wasn’t).

So here is my list, in alphabetical order, of the actors I’d love to see in some of Shakespeare’s leading (or more serious) roles:

Falstaff: Johnny Depp
Hamlet: Ezra Miller
Iago: Benedict Cumberbatch
Juliet: Maisie Williams
King Lear: Judi Dench*
Lady Macbeth: Charlize Theron
Macbeth: Daniel Day Lewis
Mercutio: Chris Pratt
Richard III: Kevin Spacey
Romeo: Asa Butterfield
Ophelia: Keira Knightley
Othello: Denzel Washington
Viola: Emma Watson

Sure, sure, I don’t know who I would choose to play Emma Watson’s twin brother, but give me the gig and I’ll get to it. Also, my choices for Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet are based on the fact that, contrary to most stage and film portrayals, they were kinda young (although I’m willing to bet Judi Dench could play any of them).

So, what do you think? In what Shakespearean roles would you cast today’s actors?

About writerhoss

I am a writer from southwestern Ohio, and a frequent speaker at churches, conferences, and retreats. My books include The Bard and the Bible (A Shakespeare Devotional).
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