Amanda Doughty ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Editor
Last week, Shailene Woodley was offered the role of Hazel Grace Lancaster in John Green’s instant classic The Fault in Our Stars. This was the first real development in the film since the project was announced at the premiere of the final Twilight movie. To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure how to react. Woodley certainly proved herself a decent actress in The Descendants, but I will forever associate her with the horror that is The Secret Life of the American Teenager. And, for whatever reason, I loved the idea of someone whose not already famous playing Hazel. But, if John Green approves of her, I guess I should too.
Nonetheless, I thought I would pose my dream cast for the rest of the movie. This is my favorite book of all time, so I obviously have some pretty strong opinions.
Augustus Waters: Blake Jenner
I know what you’re thinking: not Logan Lerman? As much as I loved him in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, I just don’t see him as Augustus. Lerman normally plays awkward, unconfident characters, and Augustus is the dead opposite of that. Plus, Lerman’s already Charlie from Perks and Percy Jackson. He can’t have it all. That’s partially why I picked Blake Jenner. Jenner is most known for his portrayal of Rider on FOX’s Glee. However, the writers on that show have not given Jenner the chance to show his true strengths as an actor. On The Glee Project (the reality show in which he won his role on Glee), viewers got to really see just how talented Jenner is as an actor. He has such an emotional depth that no cast member on Glee has ever had before. Because of his work on The Glee Project, I know he has the emotional depth to play Augustus in his demise, while also having the charm to play him in the beginning parts. Plus, he’s absolutely gorgeous. And he’s not overly famous, which I like. Overall, I honestly think he’s the perfect choice for the role.
Isaac: Ezra Miller
Instead of Logan Lerman, I would choose this Perks alum for my dream cast. His performance in The Perks of Being a Wallflower was absolutely captivating, and proved to me that he’s worthy of tackling this role. Isaac, much like his Perks character, Patrick, is the comedic relief of the story. He lightens up the dark mood with funny lines. His original eulogy for Augustus was absolutely hysterical. But, also like Patrick, he has to have several more serious moments as well. He has to grapple with losing his second eye, getting dumped right before the surgery, and later losing his best friend. At one point, he even has a complete mental breakdown. Miller mastered the mental breakdown like few others can in Perks, and I’m sure he could do it again here. I’d hate to see Miller become a one-trick pony: always playing the best friend of the protagonist who usually ends up being the best character. But this role deserves a phenomenal young actor, and Miller happens to fit the bill.
Peter Van Houten: Jack Nicholson
I don’t know why, but whenever there’s a bitter, washed-up drunk character, I always feel like it should be played by Jack Nicholson. He was my dream Haymitch, and I was actually quite sad when he wasn’t even considered for the part. Maybe I’m a little biased because Nicholson is one of my favorite actors of all time, but I love the idea of him as Van Houten. He has that exact sarcastic, demeaning humor that Van Houten requires, but is also a strong enough actor to display the subtle deep torment with grace. Plus, he’s won multiple Oscars. With the exception of Nicholas Cage, I pretty much always trust Oscar winning actors. I don’t know if he’d ever take the role, the cynic in me seems to think he wouldn’t, but it would be fantastic if he did.
Mrs. Landcaster: Debra Messing
Debra Messing is another one of those “she’s just perfect” type of people. You see her name on a project; you know it’s going to be good. Well, at least it will be for a while (yeah, I’m looking at you, Smash). Hazel’s mother probably has some of the most interesting internal conflict in the novel: she knows her daughter is going to die, but has to stay optimistic for her while she’s still alive. Such an internal conflict, in my opinion, can only be done by a truly poised actress. Debra Messing fits that bill perfectly. Plus, her and Shailene Woodlee have similar, magnificent hair, so it works.
Mr. Landcaster: Bob Saget
Whenever I think “stereotypical good-guy Dad,” I think of Bob Saget. Yes, that is because I grew up watching Full House, and I’m not remotely ashamed to admit that. Hazel’s father is an extremely emotional man, seen openly crying at several points in the book. Danny Tanner was also a relatively emotional man, and that’s why I think Saget is just the right man for the job. He mastered the balance of supportive father and emotional wreck while on Full House, especially in the earlier seasons when he was still dealing with his wife’s death. Plus, I just love Bob Saget and wish he did more. So I think this could be a great opportunity for him to make a comeback and be more than just the voiceover in How I Met Your Mother.
Monica: Taylor Swift
This is an extremely minor character, only appearing briefly to dump Isaac right before he goes blind. So basically, this casting has nothing to do with Taylor Swift’s acting skills or the character very much at all. I just think it would be hilariously ironic for Swift to play this role. Don’t get me wrong, I love Taylor Swift, but we all know she’s notorious for her serial dating and man-bashing break-up anthems. I think the audience could get a decent chuckle out of seeing her play the dumper for once. Plus, she can sort of act, so why not?
Book to film adaptations are always risky. And, when it’s your favorite book of all time, it feels even more risky. Being perfectly honest, I’m terrified of what this adaptation is going to do to this book. But I trust John Green, and if he approves of his cast, then I guess I will too- even if it’s not the people I listed here.