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Weigh In: If Hollywood came knocking...
05/06/2008 - By Beth Burke
When Colts Neck residents were asked to imagine casting an actor to portray themselves, here is what they offered...Cleopatra had Elizabeth Taylor, Jake LaMotta had Robert De Niro, Howard Hughes and Katharine Hepburn had Leonardo DiCaprio and Cate Blanchett, and, most recently, Bob Dylan even scored six different actors in one movie. Time and again Hollywood has cashed in on the lives of some of the most fascinating people by casting its brightest stars to portray them on the big screen. In the most successful movies, the stars capture the essence of the “real characters” through dead-on portrayals of actual (or sometimes exaggerated) mannerisms and idiosyncrasies combined with great makeup, costumes, and sometimes even singing ability. Who could forget Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon as Johnny and June Carter Cash, or Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles? Can you picture anyone other than George C. Scott playing General George S. Patton? Imagine Carol Burnett cast to play the Queen of England instead of Helen Mirren. Carol’s great, but I don’t think an Oscar would have found its way into her hands if she played that role. However, it’s not just the obviously famous figures that can headline a great movie; “regular” people like Erin Brockovich and Chris Gardner (the homeless father turned Wall Street wiz in The Pursuit of Happyness) became celebrities, having been portrayed by none other than Julia Roberts and Will Smith, respectively. It just goes to show why casting directors are so important in that intricate dance called filmmaking.
So…now imagine that it has suddenly happened to you and it’s your time to shine. Some famous Hollywood producer has decided that your life is so interesting that he or she wants to make a major motion picture of it. And to top that, they’ve also decided to let you cast the lead role! Who would you pick? Living In Colts Neck took to the streets to find out what locals would do if Hollywood came knocking on the door with that once-in-a-lifetime offer. Some folks chose actors they thought shared similar looks or traits as their own, and some chose them because they admire their work or what they stand for; some didn’t choose an actor at all. Just like the lottery, you never know…it could happen to you.
I’d pick Tom Cruise because he is cool and self-confident. I also liked his performance in Top Gun, and I’m working on being a pilot myself.
I would choose Carol Burnett to be cast as me because she has a great sense of humor about herself and doesn’t take herself too seriously.
I would want Ashley Tisdale to play me because I liked how she played Sharpay in High School Musical, and I think she’s come a long way in her career.
I look up to Raven-Symoné because she doesn’t get into trouble like some of the other young stars, so I’d pick her to play me in a movie.
Justin Timberlake is a very good singer and dancer. I like to sing and dance the Coffee Grinder and the Worm, so I’d pick him to play me.
The person I would want to play my life would be Al Pacino because he would be able to fill the role of my lifestyle. My friends think I’m more the Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) type though, except for the “whacking” people part!
I really liked how James Franco played Harry Osborn [the new Green Goblin in Spider-Man 2], and I think he is a good actor, so I’d want him to play me.
I’d pick E.T. the alien because he’s unique, cool, he can outsmart grown-ups, and his finger lights up! Put a wig on him and have him talk real fast, and he could be me!
Miley Cyrus comes from a big family like I do, and I like to sing and act like she does. That’s why I would pick her to play me.
Ben Stiller would be my choice. I love all his movies and think he’s a funny goofball who is very versatile. I can also see things that happened to him in Meet the Parents happening to me – trying to do the right thing but always screwing up!
I would want Mariah Carey to play me. We both had similar childhoods as inter-racial kids and had to deal with the same struggles growing up. She is a beautiful person who’s had a lot of ups and downs, but has also succeeded. I’d love for someone as strong, independent, and successful as Mariah to tell my life story!
I would have Tyra Banks play me because she is very pretty and tall, and that’s how I’d want people to remember me!
I’d cast Tom Hanks in my role, because he is a good actor and seems like a light-hearted, straightforward person with a sarcastic, dry sense of humor.
I’d pick one of the Olsen twins [when they were 7 years old] because “Full House” is one of my favorite shows and I like it when Michelle says, “You got it, dude!”
I’d pick George Clooney because he was in a movie I liked [Batman and Robin], and I think he is a good actor.
I love Miley Cyrus. She is funny and I think she’s got a personality similar to mine, so I would want her to play my part.
I’d want Cameron Diaz cast as me because she is real down to earth and has that whole blonde thing going for her (laughs)!
I’d want Will Farrell to play me because he’s really funny and he does the unexpected.
Lucille Ball was always funny, wanting to make people laugh, and could get away with doing all kinds of goofy things!
John Malkovich, no John Cusack. Yeah, definitely Cusack!
I think Jim Carey is hysterical — so I want him to play me.
I’d feel honored to have Grace Kelly cast as me – if she were alive to do it, that is! She was the picture of beauty and grace.
I’d have Denzel Washington play me because he is one of the most famous black actors, is strong, and is truthful.
I would love to have Catherine Zeta-Jones portray me. She is so glamorous, seems to have it all together, and definitely stands out in the crowd.
I’d pick John Travolta because I think I am a lot like him, except for the dancing ability! He seems like just a plain, ordinary guy.
I’d want Tony Romo to play me because he is a famous football player and I want to play football for the Cowboys when I grow up, too!
Robert De Niro. He’s got a good state of mind as an actor; he always knows what’s going on.-Joe Pipitone
Mandy Moore because all the roles she plays have been similar to me…young, flirty, and she can sing. I can sing, too.
John Stamos. Every-one tells me I look like him, and he’s Greek, too, like me.
Susan Hayward. I al-ways enjoy her movies. I watched them as a little girl. She just always seemed real and honest.
Ryan Reynolds from Just Friends because of the characters he plays in his movies – they are just like me.
Sophia Loren because she is a classy lady. You never hear gossip about her; you never hear all that stuff you hear about the others. She’s very private.
Michael Madsen from Reservoir Dogs. It’s a great movie and he’s a great actor. Lots of action and, besides, I’ve been told I look like him a lot.
Ann Margaret. I loved Viva Las Vegas with Elvis Presley. The way she danced on that stage in those black tights!
Antonio Banderas be-cause he is from Spain and I am from Spain, too. He’s a Latin lover like I am!
Diane Lane. I think she is normal and versatile. She can play anything…she could play an over-involved, stressed-out suburban mom like me!
Angelina Jolie. Why not? She is so versatile as an actress, and she is the most gorgeous woman in Hollywood. Look at all the good she has done around the world with her charities!
Too late now because she just passed away, but Suzanne Pleshette. She was gutsy and feisty and I loved her and her old television shows. Old TV was the best.
James Gandolfini. My favorite show is “The Sopranos,” and he’s really a good actor.
Lauren Bacall be-cause to me she was elegant and an excellent actress. She could play me because she was a class act!
Bette Midler. She’s bouncy, she’s happy all the time, she tells it like it is, and then bites her tongue. She loves people and I love her!
James Caan because he’s intimidating, he’s good looking, and he’s cool!
Sally Field because she takes care of everyone…I take care of everybody. I’ve turned into my mother!
Audrey Hepburn, yes, definitely. She was a timeless beauty and a diverse, amazingly talented actress. She also was a prolific philanthropist. Someone to be honored, imitated, and admired.
Denzel Washington. I think he’s an amazing actor and it would take one to play me!
Winona Ryder, because she captures my personality and lifestyle the best.
That girl from “Jag,” Catherine Bell. I like the character she played.
-Officer Jill Borowsky
Well, one would be Halle Berry and the other would be Angela Bassett. I admire both of their acting and they can capture any character that they choose to play.
Julia Roberts. I loved her in Pretty Woman. I wanted to be her in that movie. Well, not the hooker part!
Marilyn Monroe. Her command over an au-dience was amazing, and she was beautiful.
Demi Moore. I think she is beautiful and a good mother. And she knows how to live!
Gregory Peck. He was quiet. That’s it.
Rodney Dangerfield be-cause I don’t get any respect!
Kiefer Sutherland. Have you seen “24”? Exactly!
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