Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Westeros

Westeros Blog: Catelyn Recast: Ehle Out, Fairley In

Recommended Posts

I posted this on the Winter is Coming site too but here's my take:

Catelyn has had 5 children. I hate to say it, but typically women don't look 25 and perky after having and raising 5 kids. It takes A LOT out of your body folks.

Also - how many Hollywood actresses look stunning without their makeup? Almost none of them, some are quite plain and aged looking in fact. For all we know, once her makeup artists get a hold of her, she could look very much "Catelyn"... a mother of 5 who is middle-aged, yes, but still handsome and attractive in her own regard. Wait and see before you make the judgement call on her looks and her acting. She might really be a -very- good choice (then again maybe not...we'll have to see).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's impossible to know if at the time Catelyn was first cast, Fairley was the #2 choice, or the #3 or #4 or whatever - might be others who might have the role aren't currently available. She might have even been 1st choice acting-wise, but Ehle won out for name recognition reasons. We also don't know how long this could have been brewing. Might be she didn't even read for the part until last week. Point is, we have no real information here to go on yet as to what happened, and we may never get it.

Maybe it was already mentioned, I might have missed/forgot it in the thread above, but before people get too worried, let us all not forget that originally Stuart Townsend was cast as Aragorn and even shot for a couple of weeks before they decided it wasn't working and went with Viggo...and look how that worked out!

This sort of thing happens all the time in filmmaking/TV production. Sometimes it's a damn shame, but the show must go on and this is what you do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you mean Sean Bean or Ned though? If it's the former that's not really relevant, is it?

Well, it is to the extent that he'll be playing Ned, that's all. I do think she seems like a pretty good actress from the clips that are dug up, but I wish we could find some more recent ones.

I don't think attractiveness is the most important thing here, but really guys, what's with the mom reasoning? Cersei's a mom of three, it's not like two more suddenly puts you over some kind of threshhold ;) Hell, Ellaria Sand and Allerie Tyrell had four. Make that kind of argument for all the moms and we'll call it fair.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Am I the only one who prefers Fairley?

*raises hand* Nope. Me too.

I was always a bit "meh" on Jennifer Ehle. I mean, I approved, I thought it was fine, I thought she could do flinty-eyed quite well....but I wasn't OMG EXCITED! the way I was for Dinklage's casting.

But after watching those two clips I think I may actually be getting a bit excited for Catelyn.

Think about it. Catelyn does pretty unpopular things. And questionable things. She kidnaps Tyrion, she releases Jaime...and then there's all the stuff that comes later on!

There are threads and threads here with the general gist of "Why is Catelyn such a raging self-entitled beeyotch???"

After watching those clips posted (thanks Ran), I'm not really worried about Catelyn coming across as a bitch.

Not with those enormous grief-stricken blue eyes. I think she's going to break our hearts, actually.

It could end up a Catelyn that we're all rooting for, that we ache for, that has the most wrenching performance in the whole thing.

Yeah, I think this is good news....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems to me that refilming the feast scene is a pretty big deal. And if they don't, cutting Cat out of it is a pretty big deal as well.

I find it hard to believe they would make the effort to reshoot those particular scenes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems to me that refilming the feast scene is a pretty big deal. And if they don't, cutting Cat out of it is a pretty big deal as well.

I find it hard to believe they would make the effort to reshoot those particular scenes.

They won't reshoot the entire thing. They'll keep all shots that she's not in. They'll edit around Cat and then reshoot simple cutaways and reaction shots of her next to some of the other actors. But the wide shots probably don't have to be reshot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I keep wondering if they'll reshoot close-ups and if they will, basically, use a bit of digital magic to stick Fairley's face on Ehle in long shots during the two costliest-to-reshoot scenes (the arrival at Winterfell shot at Castle Ward, and the feast shot at Doune)... These days, that may well be cheaper and pretty unnoticeable in the right circumstance.

They've been doing it for a decade or more at this point, so you've got to think, it could be within the capabilities of a TV show...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They won't reshoot the entire thing. They'll keep all shots that she's not in. They'll edit around Cat and then reshoot simple cutaways and reaction shots of her next to some of the other actors. But the wide shots probably don't have to be reshot.

It is impressive how shooting scenes can work. A famous example is in Return of the King, with the scene where Frodo and Sam have their argument and Frodo sends Sam home, all of Frodo's close-ups were filmed in November 1999 and all of Sam's close-ups, reaction and dialogue was shot in December 2000, yet the two are intercut perfectly.

It'll be interesting to see how they handle this. IIRC there's a sequence where Jaime 'charms' Catelyn at the feast, to her obvious distaste and Tyrion laughs at the exchange.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, you know, Catelyn is never called a beauty. Except I guess by Littlefinger saying that she was his "Queen of Love and Beauty", which doesn't really mean anything. When she was younger, it sure seems like "pretty" Lysa was considered the better looking of the two, although on the other hand, Catelyn was generally considered the more "interesting" (Lysa was a giggly little fool).

Obviously, everyone has their mental image. Mine was Kristin Scott Thomas, but I'm very flexible.

Here is another clip of Fairley from the film Hideous Kinky, starting at the 3:30 mark:

Thanks Ran, I have been watching this clip over and over again all day, and Michelle Fairley has won me over as Catelyn. She exhibits many of Cat's personality traits w/o a flaw just in this one clip. I know this clip is 10 years old, but after seeing that replacement shot over on WiC, I can tell she hasn't changed appearance wise and is still very slender. Makeup will make her look the same age she was in this clip, her face is also narrow and sort of hawkish which is normally associated with nobility and her eyes are wonderful, perfect for potraying icy, warm, hurt etc. I also like how tall, slender and noble she appeared, her actions and facial expressions were kept very regal in a way at times, and she also expressed strong motherly reactions along with a few stern cold looks. Ran, again kudos for this clip and I recommend fans just watch this clip many times over when she is present and notice her behavior and reaction to Kate.

I still wish HBO or Ms. Fairley's agent would post some glamour shots of her all decked out in her best for some event, the more recent the better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I still wish HBO or Ms. Fairley's agent would post some glamour shots of her all decked out in her best for some event, the more recent the better.

That's not likely to happen. Sounds silly to think they have to prove she measures up to some level of attractiveness that a bunch of people on the internet demand.

We'll just have to see the show in a year. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's not likely to happen. Sounds silly to think they have to prove she measures up to some level of attractiveness that a bunch of people on the internet demand.

We'll just have to see the show in a year. :)

I just want the glamour pics so the fans will stop bickering and we can move on to something else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was never really sold on Ehle as Catelyn because she looks so very much younger than Sean Bean, and because she has a certain softness about her appearance that conflicted with the stiff-upper-lip quality I always viewed as intrinsic to Catelyn's character. And Catelyn's ordeal starts very early, with the crippling of her favourite son by the end of the pilot, so I think the ability to project inner torment is far more of an asset than youthful prettiness for this role. All in all, I'm very happy with this casting choice. This woman does look like a convincing Catelyn to me, especially compared with the aged-up Ned.

When Sean Bean was cast, did that choice get much criticism on the boards for being 15 years older than the character in the books?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nope. It is, I'm afraid, a very well-known double-standard that men are held to much less account due to their age than women are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Question: Have the actors/actresses signed on for the whole season or not?

I guess maybe Ehle had signed the contract but was just unable to do shoot in summer for whatever reason, but this got me thinking anyway. Are we in much risk for other castmembers beeing recast simply because they might have changed their mind?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nope. It is, I'm afraid, a very well-known double-standard that men are held to much less account due to their age than women are.

So true Ran, there were none really concerning Bean, back to Ms. Fairley though, after more researching I discovered she has been nominated numerous times for her stage and British tele roles, so we know she is an excellent actress. I think she might have won one or more if she were more in the public eye, since she shy's away from the media and is a private person that hinders her a little from winning since they like to give the awards to the more noticably public actors. Ms. Fairley being nominated for the roles she perform's against more high profile media friendly actor's say's alot about the quality of her acting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I had looked forward to seeing Ehle as Catelyn, but on the other hand I know nothing at all about Fairley and since she was probably casted as number two behind Ehle she must have been impressive indeed. I don't doubt that she'll pull the role off brilliantly.

I'm just hoping they'll reshoot or edit her scenes in the pilot so that we won't see two actresses for the same role. I hate recasting with a passion because it so completely breaks the suspension of disbelief. How the hell are we supposed to pretend that this new character is the same as the old one when they don't look the same? It doesn't even matter if the new actor is much better (e.g. Maggie Gyllenhal in The Dark Knight). Hate it, hate it, hate it.

Okay, rant over. I wish the best of luck to Fairley and the rest of the team and I'm sure they'll do a great job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was never really sold on Ehle as Catelyn because she looks so very much younger than Sean Bean, and because she has a certain softness about her appearance that conflicted with the stiff-upper-lip quality I always viewed as intrinsic to Catelyn's character. And Catelyn's ordeal starts very early, with the crippling of her favourite son by the end of the pilot, so I think the ability to project inner torment is far more of an asset than youthful prettiness for this role. All in all, I'm very happy with this casting choice. This woman does look like a convincing Catelyn to me, especially compared with the aged-up Ned.

When Sean Bean was cast, did that choice get much criticism on the boards for being 15 years older than the character in the books?

Bran isn't her 'favorite' son. At least, I've never seen that written...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bran isn't her 'favorite' son. At least, I've never seen that written...

She describes him as her "special boy".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bran isn't her 'favorite' son. At least, I've never seen that written...

Bran is her favorite son. She thinks in the chapter when she and Ned are discussing who stays and who goes that she said goodbye to Sansa and Arya in her heart but never Bran. She also says at one point that she prayed for Bran to be able to stay with her, and as Treblaski says, she calls him her "special boy."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nope. It is, I'm afraid, a very well-known double-standard that men are held to much less account due to their age than women are.

Oh, my goodness. I was thinking the same thing! It seems the fans are always nitpicking about the looks and age of the female cast members, but with the male cast such does not seem to go on! I mean, fans discuss who is best suited to play a role, but when it comes to female cast, the discussions can get kinda nasty. Not a compliment to basic human nature, IMO! :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×