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Author Topic: Isn't it time for a really good actor to play Wilkes Booth?  (Read 4328 times)
Steven G. Miller
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« on: December 18, 2011, 07:56:35 AM »

I've heard it said that some actors prefer to play villains more than they like to play Leading Men, because bad guys are more fun and that they can explore the depths of the human condition by exploring the dark side of humanity. I sort of touched on this subject in the the talk I gave on "The Lincoln Assassination in the Popular Culture" and the Surratt Conference a few years ago. I made the comment that I have mixed feelings about the potential casting of Johnny Depp as "Our Wilkes". He is too old, course, but has the charisma and stage presence -- and besides I'd love to have a Johnny Depp/Wilkes Booth action figure.

Robin Wright did a good job as Mrs. Surratt, but I have been sadly disappointed by the actors who have been cast as Booth. Isn't it time for a good character actor to play the man who shot Lincoln?

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Randal
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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2011, 08:18:38 AM »

I think with the jiggery pokery Hollywood could do, they could make Depp look like a 26 year old, no problem.
I would love to see a silver screen adaptation of "American Brutus" esp. With Kauffman on the set everyday keeping it true to his account.
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Steven G. Miller
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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2011, 08:23:33 AM »

I know that I'm such a stickler, but who ever plays him has to have Poodle Curls and a damn good and full mustache.
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Rob Wick
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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2011, 10:56:40 AM »

No mustache, but he does have the poodle curls and he knows Washington. Cheesy

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Randal
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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2011, 11:04:12 AM »

Omg! Call out the internet cops!
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Steven G. Miller
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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2011, 11:35:24 AM »

Bo as Booth! Whatta delightful idea. Rob, you'll recall that it was said that Booth "died like a dog."

"Sic Semper Ruff, Ruff." "Another stain on the glorious Ol' Carpet!"
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Rob Wick
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« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2011, 01:27:24 PM »

Quote
Bo as Booth! Whatta delightful idea. Rob, you'll recall that it was said that Booth "died like a dog."

"Sic Semper Ruff, Ruff." "Another stain on the glorious Ol' Carpet!"

 Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

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Tranquil Mayhem
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« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2012, 11:17:12 AM »

I've been a fan of the movies Thor (which is way better than you'd think, in my humble opinion... It's directed by Kenneth Branagh, who did a movie production of Hamlet in the '90s!). Midnight in Paris, and War Horse recently, and I think one of the actors, Tom Hiddleston, could totally play a Booth.





(I even posted on his Twitter that I wish he could portray Edwin someday. *Blush.*)

« Last Edit: January 05, 2012, 12:15:30 PM by Tranquil Mayhem » Logged

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Tranquil Mayhem
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« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2012, 12:21:59 PM »

I'm glad it's not just my wishful thinking!

I really wish there could be a film entirely centered around the Booth family someday. Well, I'd actually want a TV show to fit in all the details. But I'm not picky!
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But Nature cast me for the part she found me best fitted for, and I have had to play it, and must play it till the curtain falls.
Tranquil Mayhem
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« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2012, 12:52:00 PM »

This is the only thing I can find:

http://www.imdb.com/news/ni12020796/

Still, June 2011 wasn't too far back. And I'd like if it is on HBO... Boardwalk Empire's a fascinating period drama, and I've heard they generally do a lot of researching to make sure it's accurate. The only thing I'd worry about is a dirty scene every few minutes, which is also prevalent in their shows. Don't let me down, Kevin Bacon! You already have an great last name!
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Barry Doohan
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« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2012, 08:02:58 AM »

For Christmas I received the Director's Cut of Ron Maxwell's Gods and Generals. This version adds about 5 theatre scenes with John Wilkes Booth that were cut from the original release. An actor by the name of Chris Connor plays Booth.The Booth scenes might total about 20 minutes of the movie and cover the period 1861-1863.

The first scene portrays Booth as giving a speech to the Richmond Grays. The rest portray JWB in the theater portraying Richard III, the 'My Thoughts Be Bloody' speech from Hamlet, having lunch with a lady while discussing the Emancipation Proclamation, as Macbeth at Grovers, and, killing Caesar as Brutus. The Macbeth scene includes Pres and Mrs. Lincoln in a box (with a Washington portrait below) with occasions where JWB looks to Lincoln while reading threatening lines. Lincoln asks to meet Booth afterwards but Booth refuses. Mary comes off as a big JWB fan. The Julius Caesar scene is set in early 1863 and following the play Booth meets with Col Lawrence Chamberlain (Jeff Daniels) and his wife (Mira Sorvino). This might be the longest Booth scene with JWB discussing Shakespeare heroes and villains with Sorvino.

Generally the scenes are good although Booth's hairstyle alternates. He looks the matinee idol part in the 'lunch' and Sorvino scenes and has his curly hair.  Connor played him well but for whatever reason is uncredited in the movie - perhaps he was upset that his role and storyline were cut from the original. Booth has an excellent wardrobe both onstage and off and his dressing table includes CDVs of several ladies. I have not had a chance to research but I'm thinking they might be the same as those found in his 'diary'.

The Director's Cut runs around 5 hours but is broken up in chapters. I thought Maxwell did a very good job with Gettyburg but the original Gods and Generals suffered from poor editing and (I think) pandering to the reenactor community and Jackson biographer James Robertson. Robert Duvall is terrific as Lee and seems a bit more prominent in the Director's version. Duvall was originally to play Lee in The Killer Angels (which became Gettysburg) but that was at least 5 years before the movie was made in 1992. When TNT finally made the picture which was originally to be a TV mini-series, they couldn't afford Duvall. By the time G&G was made, Duvall's asking price had come down. I also recall that Russell Crowe was in discussion to play Stonewall Jackson in the early stages of development but obviously that didn't happen.
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Barry Doohan
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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2012, 08:24:27 AM »

I was able to check the prop CDVs and none match the photos found in JWBs diary.
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Tranquil Mayhem
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« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2012, 10:49:56 AM »

He does look like a rather dashing JWB! Such a shame his part was cut... When I have a lot of time one day, I'll try to watch the Director's Cut.

http://gcaggiano.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/interview-with-film-and-television-actor-chris-conner/

(If you can't tell, I go to Google for everything.)
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But Nature cast me for the part she found me best fitted for, and I have had to play it, and must play it till the curtain falls.
Dawn E Foster
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« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2012, 10:22:41 PM »

Kevin Bacon was supposed to be doing a TV series on the Booths.  It's been a few years since that was announced; wonder what the status is?  I need to check Imdb.

The newest episode of Henry Louis Gates' Finding Your Roots on PBS was on Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon.  They found a great-grandmother of his who had gone to Washington, at the end of the Civil War, to help teach the freed slaves, and had him read a passage from her journal from April 14, 1865, about the assassination.  He said what was so crazy about it was that he was so fascinated about the Booths, that that's what he had been reading about constantly, and that he was making a television show about them!  And Henry Louis Gates told him, Amazing! You've gotta do it! (!)
« Last Edit: April 10, 2012, 07:00:30 AM by Dawn E Foster » Logged
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