There’s nothing that makes me feel like I’m wielding the power of the earth in my hands like creating a dream cast for a just-announced movie, so imagine my happiness when Entertainment Weekly told us yesterday that FOX will be doing a live version of Grease.
I sadly missed the boat on offering my opinions on the train wreck that was The Sound Of Music Live!, so I figured I should get on this one early so we don’t end up with the Grease version of Carrie Underwood in the lead. (Can you imagine Taylor Swift as Sandy Dumbrowski? Because I think that’s what we’d be up against.) So I put together a list of actors who can sing and singers who can act, and altogether they comprise my dream cast for the show.
I’m sure many of you will have your own opinions, but there are only so many people in this world — not to mention in the right age range — who can make sounds come out of their mouth and emotions come out of their face at the same time, so let’s all go easy on each other, okay? Okay. Here we go.
SANDY DUMBROWSKI – Dianna Agron
Dianna already has a bunch of experience singing and acting at the same time on Glee, not to mention playing a high school student. Sure, she’s twenty-seven, but as long as everyone in the film looks vaguely the same age, I’m betting (hoping?) they could make it work.
If I’m being honest, the person that I really wanted for this role was Kristen Bell, but at thirty-three, I think the window on playing a seventeen year old has officially closed. And that whole ‘vanilla’ thing Dianna has going on is probably better for a character like Sandy anyway, so there can be a big transformation at the end of the film.
DANNY ZUKO – Drake
Okay but hear me out! We know he can sing it, because that’s his job, and he has the perfect combination of bravado and…shall we say ‘melancholy’? that’s necessary to play Danny. He brags in all his songs about the money, the women, the liquor, and then in his very next track, broods over the fact that none of it really means anything and nobody understands him. Sounds perfect to me, and he’s the same age as Dianna, so it wouldn’t be weird.
BETTY RIZZO – Kat Dennings
Okay, I feel like I’m a total genius for this one. There’s absolutely no way to come anywhere close to replacing the genius that was Stockard Channing, but I feel like Kat could completely nail the brash, moody vulnerability that the part requires.
Rizzo lashes out at other people in public, but only because she feels incredibly insecure and alone in private. I feel like Kat could nail that juxtaposition, she has the unconventional but extremely appealing beauty thing going on, and she sang in Charlie Bartlett with exactly the kind of expressiveness that I have in mind for this part, so LET’S MAKE IT HAPPEN. Plus she’s also twenty-seven, so I’m killing it so far.
KENICKIE – Zac Efron
Basically, I just refuse to let another Hollywood musical get made without Zac Efron in it. And he’s twenty-six, so he’d fit right in. Zac isn’t quite the actor that Jeff Conaway was, so he might struggle with pulling off the ‘tough and rude’ persona that Kenickie requires…but as long as he’s shirtless in most scenes, people won’t be able to tell through all that smolder.
DOODY – Josh Hutcherson
Doody is supposed to be the youngest and ‘most gullible’ of the guy’s crew, and I feel like that’d be perfect for Josh, since he’s only twenty-one. He’s such a tiny little pocket person, but super expressive, and I feel like we can count on him to pull off the able to pull off the charismatic idiot thing, right? There are rumors that he actually has a great singing voice, but even if he doesn’t, he can charm his way out of it.
SONNY – Michael B. Jordan
Sonny is described as ‘obnoxious yet tricky’, which is a role I’d be really interested to see Michael fill. We’ve seen him do really serious in Fruitvale Station and totally absurd in That Awkward Moment, so I’d be down to see whether he has the commitment to pull off a larger-than-life musical theater character without it getting jokey. Plus we know he can work well with Zac, because the two of them have been costars before! Oh and he’s twenty-seven, because duh. I’m a professional.
ROGER - Harry Styles
Roger also goes by ‘Putzie’ and is really into pranks, so it would’ve honestly been irresponsible for me to cast anyone other than Harry in the role. He can obviously sing the part, and in kind of the opposite situation to Josh Hutcherson, he can probably charm his way out of any situation where his acting isn’t quite up to par.
Basically it’s supposed to be a big noisy group of guys, with their chemistry really being more important than anything else, which is how I cast it. (P.S. At twenty years old, Harry would be the youngest person in the cast. Sorry high school!)
FRENCHY – Amanda Seyfried
Frenchy is supposed to be pretty ditzy and concerned with her looks, which is a character that Amanda already has down to a science from Mean Girls. But she’s also very friendly and has to have a great singing voice, which is Amanda to a tee. She’s twenty-eight, but like everyone else in the cast, she has a very young face, and I feel like she could pull it off.
JAN – America Ferrera
Jan is traditionally played by someone overweight, but I think we’re at a point where we can kind of abandon that part and focus on her other traits, which are loud and obnoxious. America has proven in Ugly Betty that she has no issue with getting ridiculous for a role, and I’d love to see her as one of Pink Ladies. I found out just now when I looked her up that she’s actually thirty, but she has such an open, earnest quality to her face that she seems much younger.
MARTY – Anna Kendrick
More singing from Anna Kendrick please, today and forever and always. Ever since we found out in Pitch Perfect that girl can sang, I’ve been mentally scheming about parts she’d be good to play. And I think Marty is dead-on. She’s supposed to be this super self-involved girl who takes herself way too seriously trying to act sophisticated and hitting on older guys, and I feel like Anna would have a really great time with that. And even if she wouldn’t, I’m demanding it. The audience is always right!
So what do you think? Right on or way off? I know you guys have opinions about this, so let’s hear them!