What 10 Literary Characters Would Look Like If Filmmakers Made Movies 100% by the Book

3 years ago

The screen version of a favorite book can disappoint a person greatly if the filmmakers decide to make significant changes to the plot. The impression from the movie can also be ruined by changing the appearance of characters: for example, when casting managers give the role to actors who don’t look like the book character they are playing and also don’t match them when it comes to age or appearance.

Bright Side believes that an actor’s talent sometimes overshadows the absence of the resemblance between the actor and the literary character. But we decided to fantasize about what 10 characters of famous books would look like if their screen versions 100% matched the idea of the author.

Jo, Little Women

In the last screen version of Louisa May Alcott’s novel Little Women, the role of Jo was played by Saoirse Ronan. The actress has pale skin, while the author of the book presented the girl as dark-skinned, “Jo was very tall, thin, and brown, and reminded one of a colt.” Though the rest of the description matches the actress’s appearance well, “She had a decided mouth, a comical nose, and sharp, gray eyes, which appeared to see everything, and were by turns fierce, funny, or thoughtful.”

Becky Sharp, Vanity Fair

Becky Sharp, the character of William Thackeray’s novel Vanity Fair, has reddish hair and green eyes. It feels as if this appearance opposes the bold and brave Becky to the shy blue-eyed Amelia Sedley. In the mini-series based on the book and released in 2018, the role of the cunning and hard-tempered character was given to the brown-eyed and dark-haired actress, Olivia Cooke.

Petunia Dursley, Harry Potter

Harry Potter’s aunt Petunia Dursley also went through a serious metamorphosis as well. She turned from a slim blonde woman with a long neck and an “almost horse-like” face, into a dark-haired woman with a fit body and a normal neck in the screen adaptation.

Alice, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

The first illustrations in the books about Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland created by John Tenniel showed the main character as a little girl with long blonde hair. Viewers saw the same Alice, whose role was played by Mia Wasikowska in the screen version from the year 2010. However, Alice Liddell who was supposedly the prototype of the main character has a short dark-brown bob with bangs.

Natasha Rostova, War and Peace

In the mini-series War and Peace, Natasha Rostova was played by Lily James who has few things in common with her character. Leo Tolstoy described Natasha as “the black-eyed girl with a large mouth, not pretty, but vivacious with her childlike open shoulders that slipped out of her corset from running, with black curls that had blown back, thin bared arms, and little feet in lace pantalettes and open shoes, was in that charming stage when a girl is already not a child, but a child is not yet a maiden.”

Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games

In Suzanne Collins’s trilogy The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen has dark curly hair, olive skin, and dark-gray eyes. She also has a remarkable hairstyle — a long braid falling onto her back. At the same time, Jennifer Lawrence who played the role of Katniss has a nice body shape and she’s tall. However, the character in the book is described as thin and short, but physically strong because she had to provide food for her entire family by hunting in the woods.

Emma Bovary, Madame Bovary

Gustave Flaubert depicted Madame Bovary as a woman who made men go crazy with the combination of her incredibly white skin and dark eyes and hair. Isabelle Huppert who embodied the image of this femme fatale in the movie Madame Bovary (1991), is the owner of a completely different color type, but she undoubtedly played this role perfectly.

Hermione, Harry Potter

We can hardly imagine the 3 friends from Harry Potter with a different appearance today. But they did look different in the books. For example, Hermione from the book is a girl with bushy brown hair and rather large front teeth. Initially, JK Rowling depicted Hermione as an “ugly duckling” but eventually the role was played by the attractive Emma Watson.

George Duroy, Bel Ami

It was Robert Pattinson, the star of The Twilight series, who got the main role in the screen version of Guy de Maupassant’s novel Bel Ami. However, the famous French novelist depicted George Duroy as a blonde man with a twirled mustache.

Bella, Twilight

Generally, Kristen Stewart looks a lot like Bella from the book. But there are still some differences: the heroine of the book is someone whoselips are a little out of proportion, a bit too full for her jawline.” Moreover, she has prominent cheekbones, long, straight, dark brown hair, and a narrow jaw with a pointed chin. Her eyebrows are darker than her hair and more straight than they are arched. Also, the author of the novel, Stephenie Meyer, has outlined several times that Bella never uses cosmetics and that her hair has a reddish shade that is only noticeable in the sun.

Is it important for you that the on-screen character matches the book prototype? Or is the actor’s talent the priority?


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I think Hermione looked 99,9% identical to the book heroine


What about dudley from Harry potter?they said that he had blonde hair in the book


If you've read the book it can be disappointing if a character is far from the image you've created in your head. But if the actor is mesmerising they replace the mental image. The scriptwriter is another factor. If he/she thinks they know better than the author that can ruin the whole thing.


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