What the Characters of Screen Adaptations Would Look Like if Movie Creators Actually Cared About Their Descriptions in the Books
Sometimes when you look at the screen adaption of a book, you want to know whether the movie creators actually read the book. Why do characters look so different from the source material? And even though good acting helps us forget about these differences, we would still like to know what the characters would look like, if the exact book descriptions were used.
Dorian Gray — Sibyl Vane
Oscar Wilde described the young actress through the perspective of one of the other characters, who adores the 17-year-old girl and says that she is the loveliest thing he’s ever seen in his life. He describes her as having a “small Greek head with plaited coils of dark-brown hair, eyes that were violet wells of passion, lips that were like the petals of a rose.”
Fire & Blood — Rhaenyra Targaryen
George R R Martin doesn’t give very detailed descriptions of his characters, which makes any mentions of the appearance even more valuable. Rhaenyra is described as having the typical Valyrian looks: silver-gold hair in a long braid and purple eyes. When she was young, she was one of the most beautiful girls in the Seven Kingdoms. But after multiple pregnancies, she gains more weight, and is quite big by the time she has her third child.
Rhaenyra loves luxurious clothes, maroon velvets, golden lace, and she also wears a crown — a yellow band, set with seven gemstones of different colors.
Les Misérables — Éponine
For Victor Hugo, it was very important to show the unfairness of the world he described in the novel, the poverty and sufferings of the poor. Poverty turns Éponine from a good-looking kid into a pale, skinny teenager with entangled hair, dressed in rags, and missing several teeth. Hugo wrote, “the form of an unripe young girl and the look of a corrupted old woman; fifty years joined with fifteen; one of those beings who are both feeble and horrible at once.”
Bridge to Terabithia — Leslie Burke
Many book fans think that AnnaSophia Robb nailed the role of Leslie. She is the perfect candidate for the role of this fun, brave, and open girl. But in the film, she’s a charming blonde, while in the book, she’s a brunette and has an androgynous appearance.
Carrie — Carrie White
According to Stephen King, Carrie is a “frog among swans.” She is a slightly chunky girl with pimples on her neck, back, and buttocks. She has short, splitting hair, and she’s always showing sweat stains under the arms of her blouses.
The Fault in Our Stars — Hazel Grace Lancaster
In the book, Hazel is described as having a pageboy haircut with dark brown hair and green eyes. She has “chipmunk cheeks” from steroidal treatment.
The Addams Family — Pugsley Addams
This is how cartoonist Charles Addams described the youngest family member: “An energetic monster of a boy...blond red hair, popped blue eyes and a dedicated troublemaker, in other words, the kid next door.”
The Three Musketeers — Constance Bonacieux
D’Artagnan’s love who tragically dies is a little older than the musketeer himself. She’s 25-26. She has blue eyes, dark hair, and a nose slightly turned up. The author accentuates her amazing teeth and skin, describing her “complexion marbled with rose and opal.”
The Three Musketeers — Milady de Winter
Athos describes his love as a woman of 26-28. He says, “Blue and clear eyes, of a strange brilliancy, with black eyelids and eyebrows.” Milady also has light hair.
From Hell — Inspector Frederick Abberline
Frederick Abberline is an actual historical figure. He played one of the key roles in the investigation of Jack the Ripper. In the graphic novel by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell, he is described as overweight.
Death on the Nile — Linnet
Agatha Christie used just a few phrases to tell us what Linnet looks like. She described her as a blonde with straight autocratic facial features. Of all the actresses that have portrayed her, only Emily Blunt had light hair. But, as many people think, she wasn’t powerful enough to play Linnet.
James Bond series — James Bond
Ian Fleming had a very good idea of what the character of his novels looked like. He mentioned many times that he looked like a popular musician and actor of the 1930s, Hoagy Carmichael. Also, the books describe Bond as a man with dark hair, which is why many viewers weren’t ready to see Daniel Craig in this role.
Bel Ami — Georges Duroy
Maupassant described his character in the first lines of the novel. Georges’s appearance is his biggest capital that will help him advance in life. He has blue eyes, a curled mustache, and blonde hair.
The Lesser Evil — Renfri
In the book, the character has blue-green eyes and light hair. Renfri told Geralt she once had long hair past her hips, but when she got lice she had to cut it all off and it never grew back right.
Dune — Lady Jessica
The appearance of Lady Jessica was very important for the author of Dune, because he used his wife as a prototype. The character was described as having hair like shaded bronze and green eyes like the morning skies of Caladan. She had a small, slightly upturned nose, and a wide, generous mouth.
Jane Eyre — Edward Rochester
The master of Thornfield Hall is a grim and sardonic person. He’s not handsome, but rather “harsh featured and melancholy looking.” He is described as having black hair, a “decisive nose”, a “colourless, olive face, square, massive brow, broad and jetty eyebrows, deep eyes, strong features.” Jane often compares him to a wild bird.
The Shining — Wendy Torrance
In the book, Stephen King described Wendy Torrance as a bright and charismatic blonde with the temper of a cheerleader. The way she looked and behaved in Kubrick’s interpretation didn’t sit well with King.
Do you think it’s important for the actors to fit the book descriptions of their characters, or is it okay when they look different?