Author Topic: If You Were Casting a Romanov Movie - Which Actor Would You Choose?  (Read 147665 times)

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Offline Martyn

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Re: If You Were Casting a Romanov Movie - Which Actor Would You Choose?
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2004, 06:42:14 AM »
I think that Michael Jayston did a wonderful job as Nicholas; Janet Suzman to my way of thinking was just too hard around the edges.  We know that Alix could be very sweet and beguiling and I just don't get that from JS.  Plus I have met her (many years later it must be said) and she is a little temperamental shall we say....
It probably was a good idea to have relative unknowns in the roles; they create the characters as opposed to high profile performers whose personalities often flavour their portrayals.
BTW, Michael Jayston was an exceptionally good Mr Rochester in a very old, but very good, BBC adaptation of 'Jane Eyre' in the 70's
I really can't imagine Rex Harrison as Nicky - so mannered and affected....Vanessa Redgrave, perhaps at the time.....
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

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Offline anna

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Re: If You Were Casting a Romanov Movie - Which Actor Would You Choose?
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2004, 02:55:35 PM »
Yes, there were some scenes J. Suzman could come over as being too hard around the edges. Maybe that's the way she interpreted Alexandra's feeling of guilt and helplessness towards Alexei, feeling everyone was against her- It was you, you who gave it to him- as Nicholas said.

I don't know in what circumstances you've met her. I know JS is a woman with temperament-some of her co-actors mentioned that before- but I think she's a perfectionist and such people are not always easy to work with. We've corresponded  for some time ( long time ago) and her letters were always very nice and full of interest.

Anna
Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

Offline Silja

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Re: If You Were Casting a Romanov Movie - Which Actor Would You Choose?
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2004, 03:22:23 PM »
Quote
I think that Michael Jayston did a wonderful job as Nicholas; Janet Suzman to my way of thinking was just too hard around the edges.  We know that Alix could be very sweet and beguiling and I just don't get that from JS.  


I know what you mean, and I quite agree. Unfortunately the ideal "Alix" has yet to be portrayed. None of the film empresses conveys all of Alix's character traits. All fall short in one way or the other as every film has its own special agenda.

Offline Elizabeth

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Re: If You Were Casting a Romanov Movie - Which Actor Would You Choose?
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2004, 03:38:07 PM »
Had to "hop in" and vote for JS -- although I agree that she was a little "harsh" in parts of N&A (but that was the dialogue she was given).  I NEVER really thought that Alix could have called Nicky a "murderer" (when they were discussing Alexis -- or anything else for that matter).

Also, I would love to find out when Ethel Barrymore said she "saw" (or "met") Empress Alexandra.  Someone posted earlier that they thought they had read that EB had said she saw Alexandra at Queen Victoria's funeral, BUT I didn't think Alix attended her grandmother's funeral because she was pregnant with Anastasia at the time and couldn't travel (see Massie's N&A -- Alix is quoted -- and I'm paraphrasing -- that she was unable to attend the funeral and was  "so upset I won't see dear Grannie's face again")

Offline Janet_W.

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Re: If You Were Casting a Romanov Movie - Which Actor Would You Choose?
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2004, 04:55:06 PM »
Okay, first of all  ;), Janet Suzman receives my vote, tho' I've enjoyed seeing Ethel Barrymore, Greta Scacchi and Gayle Hunnicut in the role as well, with an honorable mention to the young actress who played "Alix" in the Edward the King series for very gently reminding her dear Grandmama Queen that she'd already been told about an anniversary . . . several times before!

We see only briefly the folks playing NAOTMAA in Russian Ark, but they all seemed fine.  And I regret that I have yet to see Lynda Bellingham's performance in the Russian-produced film.

I like Janet Suzman's performance because to me she captures the shy, earnest but mercurial person that I think Alexandra could be, given all the stresses in her life. I like her Britishness--appropriate for a granddaughter of Queen Victoria who spent much of her growing up years in England--but sometimes all Janet Suzman needs to do is cast a silent glance at another character . . . she is every inch the fierce lioness protecting her son and her husband!

As for Ethel Barrymore and her possible connection to the real Empress . . . I mentioned in another thread that I had read somewhere about Barrymore having met Alexandra, and that it might be possible, since Barrymore was already the toast of Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. However, I think it must have been someone else who suggested that Barrymore and the Tsarina met at Queen Victoria's funeral . . . which is not correct, for--as many of us know--Alexandra sent correspondence in which she stated her regrets at being unable to see her grandmama one more time or even attend her funeral.

Ethel Barrymore was a very self-possessed woman who was, in her youth, a style-setter, and in her older years was considered one of the great ladies of the theater. Consider that she had to deal her father's alcholism plus two overweening brothers and I think you'll agree that anyone in that position had to be a scrapper!

I've admired Janet Suzman in other roles since Alexandra and find her a mesmerizing and gifted actress. It may well be that she has some "temperment"--I think it would be highly unusual if anyone who has made a career of acting did not have some temperment. Also, unlike the rest of us, most of these folks are observed on an almost 24/7 basis, so just one wrong move and the word gets around!  ::)  (Come to think of it, I have some definite temperment and am soooo glad that reporters and so forth aren't standing by to see me exhibit it!)

Finally  :P  I do agree with Martyn that Michael Jayston not only portrayed Nicholas in admirable fashion, but also was a terrific Mr. Rochester. Wish I had that particular production on video or DVD, in fact . . . Jane Eyre is one of my favorite novels, and I'm always intrigued (as I am with the story of Nicholas and Alexadra) to see it dramatized!


Offline Martyn

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Re: If You Were Casting a Romanov Movie - Which Actor Would You Choose?
« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2004, 11:38:23 AM »
Janet, what does the tongue thing mean?  Are you unhappy about agreeing with me?
When I said that Janet Suzman could be temperamental, I was attempting to be polite.  However imagine the scenario, a play in which all the lead roles are female and the protagonists are Lynda Bellingham (lovely, charming, very witty lady), Maureen Lipman (my lips are sealed) and Janet Suzman.  Need I go on, can you imagine the backstage tensions?  I have met her and perhaps she wasn't too happy at that time, I don't know - I wasn't taken with her (and she probably wasn't taken with me!)  I am sure that others would and will find her utterly charming.  C'est la vie..
Anyway, I am not denying that her performance was a very good one; she just isn't to my taste in that film.
And Janet, I think that version of Jane Eyre is the best that I have ever seen and I wish that you could get it again.  I thought that Sorcha Cusack was the perfect Jane, in every way...........
And I still think that Meryl has all the qualifications to play Alix (perhaps ten years ago though...)
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline Janet_W.

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Re: If You Were Casting a Romanov Movie - Which Actor Would You Choose?
« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2004, 12:37:03 PM »
The tongue thing?  ???  Ahhhhhh, the tongue thing!  :P

I was just indicating my exhaustion--and no doubt the exhaustion of any readers--in coming to the end of my lengthy discourse!  :D

I don't know anything about the other two ladies you've mentioned; I realize they are prominent in the U.K., but that's all I know!  With regards to Janet Suzman, I only know her through her films, plus an interview she did ages ago with Dick Cavett when Nicholas and Alexandra was about to premire in the United States. I remember her being quite polite and very mesmerizing (perhaps it's that wonderful voice of hers), and also that Cavett focused on the matter of Rasputin.

Of course, how one behaves on camera and how one behaves off camera can be two different things entirely!  ::)

As for the actress who played Jane to Michael Jayston's Rochester . . . yes, she was wonderful! And now, while it's on my mind, I need to check Amazon and see if that version is available . . .

Offline Elizabeth

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Re: If You Were Casting a Romanov Movie - Which Actor Would You Choose?
« Reply #22 on: December 29, 2004, 03:43:22 PM »
I KNOW I'm on the wrong thread for this (and can't really figure out how to open a new one -- sorry), but why not get a topic started on the best actor who played Nicholas?  (Of course, my vote overwhelmingly goes for Michael Jayston, but was wondering about opinions on others). ???

BTW, is Jayston still alive and did he do anything of note after N&A?  It took my breath away when I saw a picture of the REAL Nicholas and the striking resemblance between the two (that is, as compared to others that have played the part since then).

Offline Janet_W.

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Re: If You Were Casting a Romanov Movie - Which Actor Would You Choose?
« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2004, 04:51:54 PM »
After a bit of brief checking around on the Internet, my findings are that in recent years Michael Jayston has focused on stage, television, and currently is much in demand these days doing voice-over work.  I understand this last one can be quite lucrative, so more power to him! But, I wonder if he knows how many of us admire his work as Nicholas and as Mr. Rochester?

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Re: If You Were Casting a Romanov Movie - Which Actor Would You Choose?
« Reply #24 on: December 29, 2004, 06:35:35 PM »
Michael Jayston made a guest appearance on East Enders about two years ago (did anyone see it?). He is still lovely to look at, and that voice...well...thud  ;)

Sunny

Offline anna

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Re: If You Were Casting a Romanov Movie - Which Actor Would You Choose?
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2004, 06:08:22 PM »
Quote
I KNOW I'm on the wrong thread for this (and can't really figure out how to open a new one -- sorry), but why not get a topic started on the best actor who played Nicholas?  (Of course, my vote overwhelmingly goes for Michael Jayston, but was wondering about opinions on others). ???

BTW, is Jayston still alive and did he do anything of note after N&A?  It took my breath away when I saw a picture of the REAL Nicholas and the striking resemblance between the two (that is, as compared to others that have played the part since then).


Michael Jayston is very much alive. Did a bit of browsing on the net, he did a lot of TV-series- Tinker, tailor, soldier, spy -with Alec Guinness. Cluedo-as Col.Mustard, maybe you know the game.
I don't think he made guite a lot of movies, in 1994 Highlander III; The Sorcerer aka Highlander: The Final Dimension (USA) as Jack Donovan

This is what I could find on the IMDb;
Once considered for the role of James Bond during renegotiations for Roger Moore's services.

Played the role of Doctor Who in "Trial of the Time Lord", but was the amalgamation between the 12th and 13th Regeneration, thus making him an evil Doctor.

A particulary sought-after actor for sophisticated voiceovers. Now a familiar face on British TV.

Anna


Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

Offline Martyn

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Re: If You Were Casting a Romanov Movie - Which Actor Would You Choose?
« Reply #26 on: January 01, 2005, 10:42:38 AM »
Michael Jayston has a very resonant and rich voice, hence it is not surprising that he is constantly in demand for voice-over work.
As Janet rightly says, he was an exceptional Mr Rochester.
Just out of interest, another actor who does a considerable amount of excellent voice-over work is Samuel West, son of Timothy West and Prunella Scales.  He is a wonderful actor, extremely attractive and his voice is a delight to listen to...
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline anna

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Re: If You Were Casting a Romanov Movie - Which Actor Would You Choose?
« Reply #27 on: January 01, 2005, 11:39:42 AM »
Martyn,

Speaking of voices, I'm very fond of listening to the sound of British actors. What do you think of the voices of the late Sir Jonh Gielgud, Sir Laurence Olivier and Richard Burton?

Anna
Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: If You Were Casting a Romanov Movie - Which Actor Would You Choose?
« Reply #28 on: January 01, 2005, 12:31:41 PM »
What did you guys think of Gayle Hunnicutt as Alexandra in Fall of Eagles?


Offline Martyn

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Re: If You Were Casting a Romanov Movie - Which Actor Would You Choose?
« Reply #29 on: January 01, 2005, 01:11:44 PM »
Quote
Martyn,

Speaking of voices, I'm very fond of listening to the sound of British actors. What do you think of the voices of the late Sir Jonh Gielgud, Sir Laurence Olivier and Richard Burton?

Anna


Oh I really rate all of them!  Have you ever watched that amazing series 'the World at War'?  Olivier narrated that and his voice is so emotive.  The series is very factual and quite hard to digest, as it really is heavy going, but his narration makes it simply superb.
Burton and Gielgud have wonderful voices, but Olivier is the best.  Mind you I reckon that Sam West is nearly as good.....
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV