We all know that I’m iffy when it comes to film adaptations of books, but there are certain actors who emulate a book’s character perfectly in an adaptation. Sometimes people have pictured their own interpretation of a character when reading the book, but if the film’s portrayal causes someone to alter their vision entirely, that’s how you know the actor has done his or her job well.
So, despite my feelings about books turning into movies, I tried compiling a list of my favorite actor portrayals of fictional characters. Let’s see how this goes!
1. Megan Follows and Jonathan Crombie (Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe)
To be fair, my history with the 1985 mini-series Anne of Green Gables goes back so far that my character visions when reading the book never varied from the film. However, this is why I initially had such trouble getting into Green Gables Fables – Megan and Jonathan are Anne and Gilbert to me. I’m still crushed that a proper adaptation of Anne of the Island never happened with these two. How else do you explain the broken hearts of Anne fans when Jonathan Crombie died last year? It’s because, to lifelong fans, he was as much of Book Gilbert as he was Movie Gilbert. I think the success of a actor’s portrayal is tied to how long the character sticks with you after you see the film. Thus, these two are my favorite when it comes to film portrayals.
2. Julie Walters and Mark Williams (Molly and Arthur Weasley)
It’s no secret that the Weasleys are my favorite fictional family and that I would totally marry a Weasley boy if I could. Julie Walters and Mark Williams are extraordinary as the heads of the family and Harry’s surrogate parents. I think they understood the capacity of love their characters have so perfectly, and they gel together as a couple believably. Julie Walters still pops up in a lot of films and, regardless of the attitude of her new characters, I always feel warm and fuzzy when I see her onscreen.
3. Heather Matarazzo (Lilly Moscovitz)
The Princess Diaries is far from a faithful adaptation of the book, from difference in location, name changes, and even a complete flip of personality for Mia’s grandmother. After thinking about it carefully, I feel that Heather Matarazzo’s character remains the closest to her book equivalent and fits the original presentation of Lilly the best. She completely suits the activist persona , and I find that her acting really fits how extreme Lilly gets in the later books.
Honestly, that’s all I can think of when it comes to this topic. Does that speak more about my personal taste or the faithfulness of movie adaptations? Hmm, who knows.
What about you? Do you have any favorite actor portrayals of book characters?