All actors fantasise about their dream role. They even wax lyrical about it in interviews.
Les Miserables star Samantha Barks recently stated, “I’ve always wanted to be a Bond girl”, while the dashing Dominic Cooper, who played Bond creator Ian Fleming, admitted that he would have preferred the coveted role of 007, “I’ve heard Daniel [Craig] talking about how it now affects his chances of playing more independent roles, but the reality is that your inner child would just do anything to play Bond.”
Personally, I can’t say I have ever dreamed of playing a Bond girl (or a Bond boy) – while undoubtedly glamorous, the female parts aren’t particularly meaty – although of course if the Bond team came calling, I wouldn’t say no.
I have always loved period dramas, although having had the displeasure of wearing a corset on set for hours on end I am now re-thinking my wishes to star in any Jane Austen/ Charlotte Bronte/ Jane Eyre epics.
I often find myself being drawn more to the characters played by the supporting actors rather than the lead roles, and often it is these parts that are more interesting.
For example, in any film it is usually the villain who provides the audience with the most emotion-inducing entertainment. Forget the role of Bond, Sir Ian McKellen would rather play his nemesis, “I’ve wondered once or twice what it might be like to play a villain in a Bond movie.”
I find that supporting parts usually have more dimensions to them and the characters are far more complex with more background to explore. Many times supporting actors have outshone their leading co-stars, not necessarily because they are a better thespian, but perhaps because the role requires more depth than the leading character.
Having said that, there are plenty of leading roles that I have often lusted after – mostly non-romantic ones, and mostly they are characters originally from books. I also don’t usually put myself in a role that has already been claimed – while I would have liked to swish my Samurai sword around like a pro, no-one Kills Bill as well as Uma Thurman.
So Mr Spielberg, if you get a moment, please look through my list and give my agent a call.
- Irena Sendler: already played by Anna Paquin in a small TV adaptation, Irena Sendler was a Polish nurse who served in the Polish Underground during WWII. She helped to smuggle some 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto and provided them with false identity documents and housing outside the Ghetto, thus saving them from the Holocaust. She was eventually discovered by the Nazis who tortured her and sentenced to death but she managed to escape and survive the war. A truly heroic tale.
- Grimalkin: one of the lead characters from the popular children’s book series The Wardstone Chronicles/The Spook’s Apprentice (I say ‘children’s book’, but the subject matter is quite gruesome!), Grimalkin is the Malkin Witch Clan’s formidable assassin and is best known for her use of long blades and scissors, which she uses to snip away her enemies flesh and to steal their thumb bones (see what I mean!). Passionate, highly skilled, flawed, complex, ruthless, she embodies both light and dark, good and evil, but is ultimately honourable and lives by a strict moral code. A very feisty role – my scissors are ready.
- Irene Papas: a Greek actress and occasional singer, Irene has starred in over seventy films, including The Guns of Navarone and Zorba the Greek, in a career spanning more than fifty years. It’s about time someone filmed a biopic about her, and we have very similar eyebrows.
- Maria Callas: one of the most renowned and influential opera singers of the 20th century, Maria Callas endured struggles and scandals throughout her career, including a highly publicised affair with Onassis. Of course I wouldn’t be able to do her singing justice, but I was once considered for a modelling job where they needed someone who looked like a young Maria – the production company showed an interest yet again in my eyebrows, but sadly the job folded.
- Medea: In Greek mythology Medea was the daughter of King Aeetes, the owner of the famous Golden Fleece, which is eventually taken by Jason and his Argonauts. Medea helps Jason to win the Fleece and uses her magical powers to aid him escape from Colchis. The two get married, but a few years and three children later, Jason leaves his wife for the much younger daughter of King Creon of Corinth, Glauce. In revenge, Medea sends Glauce a gold dress dipped in poison. She goes one step further and also slays her two eldest children, taking the youngest away with her. An epic in the making I’m sure. Everyone knows that characters who turn villainous are the most interesting.
So which dream role would you like to play?