Another article! And yes! It wasn’t written by me or John! It’s another one from Will Burns, entitled The Cast That Might Have Been. It takes a look at the possibilities… oh, just read it. I’ve got a headache.

Incidentally, Will sent me this over a week ago, and I promised him it’d be online post-haste. Ahem.

14 comments on “He say he like it…

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  • Yeah, a good read but I’m slightly confused by the “Laurie wasn?t better off without Red Dwarf” remark, though. This is the same Laurie who’s been in several well-recieved (if not particularly well-made) films and is currently making it big in the States on the back of House. Meanwhile, Chris Barrie, the undisputed legend that he is, had a blink and you’ll miss it role in two Action movies and is currently presenting documentaries on engines.

    As for what happened with Ben Elton. He got shit. A well-known process for many, many comedians and comedy writers.

  • Dwarf’s casting was spot on. A lot of actors only seem to know how to play characatures, and it would have been terribly bad if this had happened in Dwarf. If Lister had been cast as this ‘zany’ guy, I shudder at the thought. And sure, Rimmer is sort of stuck-up and snobby in a way, but because of the way Rob and Doug wrote him and the way Chris played him he has never been a stereotypical character.

    I think that Craig’s lack of sitcom experience really helped because he obviously didn’t go into it thinking ‘right, it’s a sitcom so I’ve got to play it this way’, he just played it naturally which is why it’s so easy to buy the character. He acts like himself, even if the dialogue is things that he might not say in real life (but you can tell that Rob and Doug later wrote the dialogue to suit Craig better, and threw in phrases like ‘get outta town’ which Craig might say)

    You can tell when someone’s being too false in a role and it’s not something that should be sustained over the length of a whole sitcom ’cause the character can’t develop and you can’t relate to them. If you look at Rimmer initially you’d probably think you couldn’t relate to him, but Rob and Doug wrote him as a much more real character than you might think from first impressions. Chris helped this a lot because he could play every side to Rimmer well.

    As for other actors (sorry, this has gotten long, and I don’t think I’ve said ‘fuck’ yet) Alan Rickman as Lister? I just can’t imagine it. He’s better known for playing Severus Snape these days, but back then was just before his movie career kicked off. I can imagine him playing Lister in a very bitter ‘oh look at me I’ve got a shit life I’m the lowest rank on this ship fuck off’ way which is crap compared to Lister’s optimism. And David Baddiel? Again, it would have just been a comedy character, because he couldn’t exactly have been natural, being a fucking Cambridge graduate and all.

  • Sorry, I don’t mean to sound bitter and twisted over my own failure by putting ‘fucking Cambridge graduate’ if it seemed that way…

  • “He is now a belligerent doctor in the American show House. Most have mixed feelings about this one”

    ‘Mixed feelings’? It’s one of the highest rated shows in the US. And it’s Laurie’s performance that makes the show.

  • ok – point taken about Laurie – I was too cruel. I guess I just hated ‘Maybe Baby’ so much that it blinded me to his other successes.

  • >ok – point taken about Laurie – I was too cruel. I guess I just hated ‘Maybe Baby’ so much that it blinded me to his other successes.

    It’s easy to slag him off because he’s one of those people that are talented but have been in loads of shit over the years.

  • Just found time to read this now…Will Burns is definitely a good writer. It’s nice to see more intelligently written articles making their way to this site. Stick around, Will.

  • That was “more” quantifying “intelligently written articles,” not “more intelligently written” qualifying articles.

    Ahem. Sorry. Next time I promise to hyphenate where appropriate.

  • Just a comment regarding the whole the dialogue had to be real to Craig / other actors would have just been “comedy characters” comment earlier.

    If you’re righting for the cast not the character it’s because the acting is shit. Likewise the implication that David Baddiel couldn’t have played Lister as well because he was from Cambridge is a bit off. If he couldn’t play Lister authentically it would be because he wasn’t a good enough actor. Once you get past that it then it comes down to his background.

    I agree totally that the casting was spot on and that Craig was able to potray the working class guy more convincingly because he was effectively just being himself. So I do understand where the Baddiel comment comes from. A PROPER actor though should be able to carry that “realness” into any character. That’s the whole point of being an actor.

  • Did I imply Baddiel couldn’t play Lister because of being from Cambridge? I didn’t mean to if I did. I did say that Cambridge might have helped Laurie.

    I think Baddiel would have played the ‘Wright-Lloyd’ Lister – and probably well. But that character doesn’t seem to me like a good idea.

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