Sunday, February 8, 2009

Cast of "Desperate Romantics" announced by the BBC

The BBC Press Office has finally released the casting information for their upcoming series, Desperate Romantics. Most of the actors historically inspired TV dramas are much better looking than their historical counterparts and I'm not complaining. However, the BBC definitely took some rather extreme artistic liberties with this one.

First up: Dante Gabriel Rossetti will be played by Aiden Turner. We all know that Rossetti was a bit of a lady killer, but he wasn't exactly top model material. The producers have chosen to gloss over this a bit and have chosen an impossibly attractive young man to play Rossetti. While I fail to see much of a resemblance between him and Rossetti (other than the fact that both of them have brown hair!), I'm pretty sure Rossetti would approve. After looking at his photograph, take a look at his self-portrait. Rossetti doesn't seem to have had a problem with portraying himself as more attractive than he actually was (though, in his defence I'm sure years of drug abuse had taken a toll on his boyish good looks in this photo).

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, in the flesh
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Rossetti's self portrait:


And finally, his cinematic alter ego :
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Correction: it's not that Aidan Turner, it's this one:
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(And thank you to whoever pointed out which Aidan Turner will actually be starring in Desperate Romantics! A little less soap-opera-ish and a lot more believable.)

And now for the rest of the cast.

Tom Hollander (who bears little resemblance to John Ruskin--for one thing, he's a bit chubby and Ruskin was practically anorexic) will be playing Ruskin, the famous art critic and patron of the Pre Raphaelites. This casting decision still makes sense to me,though, as Hollander often plays snobby, self-absorbed types. At the same time, I hope he doesn't overdo it. Ruskin was certainly interesting, even if he was obsessed with his work and had a rather odd way of relating to women.

In more casting news, Samuel Barnett will be playing John Millais, and Zoe Tapper will be playing Effie Ruskin (who later leaves Ruskin to be Mrs. Millais).

Amy Manson has been cast as Pre-Raphaelite "stunner" Lizzie Siddal, Sam Crane as Fred Walters and Jennie Jacques will play Annie Miller. Rafe Spall will also take a turn as PRB founding member William Hunt.

All in all, I predict that the script will be frothy melodrama and the cast will be easy on the eyes. Not a problem, as far as I'm concerned. There's no denying that the Pre-Raphaelites are ripe for soap opera-esque treatment. I just hope that the series will revive public interest in the Pre-Raphaelite and Arts and Crafts movements.

20 comments:

willow said...

Oh, this is exciting! I can't wait to see it!! Well cast, indeed.

Hermes said...

Really looking forward to this. Good casting.

Margaret said...

I know--I'm sure it will be silly, but everyone needs a little entertainment now and then!

wanderlustnpixiedust said...

I had no idea and now I can't wait. I'm a bit partial to frothy melodrama's.

Rosetti's self portrait IS quite dashing!

Cory Gross said...

For me, ultimate in "oh yeah?!" casting was Joseph Fiennes as Martin Luther. If they could somehow pull that off (not well mind you), then anything is possible...

acornmoon said...

Tom Hollander is rather handsome isn't he? I must look out for this.

Anonymous said...

Just to point out you've got the wrong pic up for the guy who's playing Rossetti. You want this one http://www.cam.co.uk/actors/aidan-turner/
:)

Lawrence of Arabia said...

i have always said they are a soap-opera worthy crew. i can't wait to see it.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Ooh, I shall look forward to this! After playing a bit fast and loose with some of the classics recently, I though the BBC did an excellent job with Wuthering Heights a couple of weeks ago. Mostly.

lotusgreen said...

sounds wonderful--i'll look forward to it.

will this be a victorian version of desparate housewives?

Margaret said...

Haha, probably, lotusgreen!

Hels said...

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Melanie said...

I am looking forward to seeing this. Like you I hope it revives interest in the PRB.

Rebecca said...

Wow! This is the first I've heard about such a project. Will Christina Rossetti be represented at all, do you know?

Margaret said...

Hi Rebecca,

I'm not sure whether Christina will be featured in the story or not--it probably depends on how much melodrama they can stir up for her character! I do hope she is in it, though.

Caz said...

My dad has a long-standing interest in the Pre-Raphaelites and has just read the book, but doesn't live in the UK and is keen to access the series. After lots of searches, can't see dates of transmission! Please let me know if anyone knows. Many thanks

Margaret said...

Hi Caz,

I will definitely posting the dates of transmission once they are available. I know that filming for the series has already taken place, but that's about it. I know that it will be showing on BBC Two in the UK, but I have no idea when! I'll definitley do an update as soon as I have more details.

Helen said...

Trailer for the series due to air 25th June 2009 http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2009/06_june/25/romantics.shtml

Enjoy!

Laura said...

Wasn't the guy playing Rosetti also in being human?

Anonymous said...

Saw the first episode last night. Not very accurate historically, but with Aidan Turner as Rossetti, who cares about accuracy! Loved it!