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Who should play Jadis, the White Witch?

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Eustace
(@eustace)
NarniaWeb Junkie

I know we would obviously need a younger actress for MN but I like Catherine Zeta-Jones for Jadis in LWW. I think she has a good look for Jadis.

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Posted : July 28, 2023 1:42 am
The Rose-Tree Dryad
(@rose)
Secret Garden Agent Moderator

I ran across this clip from an interview with Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie on Twitter, and the interviewer made a comment about them working well together and Robbie joked about them being the next Scorsese and De Niro (director/actor duo that have made a bunch of films together). I thought they seemed a little coy in their response, and given Gerwig's tendency to work with the same actors across multiple projects, it made me wonder if there's a possibility we might see Margot Robbie as Jadis. I think with black hair and pale skin, she'd have a very different vibe from her Barbie counterpart!

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Topic starter Posted : November 28, 2023 4:47 pm
icarus
(@icarus)
NarniaWeb Guru
Posted by: @rose

given Gerwig's tendency to work with the same actors across multiple projects, it made me wonder if there's a possibility we might see Margot Robbie as Jadis.

It's certainly a thought that had crossed my mind, and even though Robbie's most recent roles have tended to be playing naively exuberant types like Harley Quinn and Barbie, she has proven she can play more straight-up serious roles in things like Mary Queen of Scots, where she plays Queen Elizabeth I.

However, as good as she is in that, I would defy anyone to watch that movie and not conclude that Saiorse Ronan (another Gerwig regular) is the icier of the two rival Queens in that movie, hence my earlier suggestion for her (pre the Gerwig announcement I might add!) 🙂

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Posted : November 28, 2023 5:31 pm
Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Junkie

I actually heard somewhere that Greta Gerwig was a tad reluctant to have Saoirse Ronan as her lead twice, so she might not want to cast either or her or Margo Robie. 

For better or worse-for who knows what may unfold from a chrysalis?-hope was left behind.
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Posted : November 28, 2023 6:19 pm
OldManofArchenland
(@oldmanofarchenland)
NarniaWeb Newbie
Posted by: @the-mad-poet-himself

I'm not sure if racial origin was ever an issue in casting, but I was just thinking that even though one might imagine Jadis being white (in a double sense :p ) it might actually add something to cast someone of, say, Asian origin. (If the actress had straight black hair she would better resemble the Paulinr Baynes illuatrations). We don't have to assume that Jadis is white; after all, she is of a different race than the Narnian humans.

It is true that Jadis isn't human, but I don't think that means that the actress who is chosen to play her should be of any race, that it is irrelevant. Lewis has described her appearance, her face as very pale, and then there are Baynes's illustrations. I for one, rightly I think, envision her with a rather kingly nose, long and strong. And though she is not human, and therefore not European in the same way the Pevensies are, we must remember that the Narnia books were written by an Englishman in the 1950s, and are set in Narnia which is a very English land. Casting anyone other than a European or perhaps Middle-eastern actress as Jadis would seem strange and forced. 

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Posted : November 29, 2023 10:56 am
icarus
(@icarus)
NarniaWeb Guru
Posted by: @oldmanofarchenland
Casting anyone other than a European or perhaps Middle-eastern actress as Jadis would seem strange and forced. 

I'm intrigued as why you would be ok with Middle-Eastern, but not say East Asian as @the-mad-poet-himself suggested?

After all, if the only real visual description from the book that a casting director is likely to be beholden to is that she be pale, then surely that makes most of East Asia ideally more suited to the role than anyone Middle Eastern, or indeed many Europeans.

For example, here is a photo of Chinese actress Liu Yifei (Mulan, 2020) who looks more than suitably Jadis-like to me...

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted : November 29, 2023 12:08 pm
Jasmine
(@jasmine_tarkheena)
NarniaWeb Guru

While Narnia is primarily English (English school children travel to Narnia), I actually kind of like the idea of casting a variety of actors: that is actors from different countries.

East Asian for Jadis sounds like an interesting choice. Though I don't know if they would go for it. Whoever they get, they should at least make it clear that she's not human (a daughter of Eve) and can't be the rightful ruler of Narnia.

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Posted : November 29, 2023 2:29 pm
OldManofArchenland
(@oldmanofarchenland)
NarniaWeb Newbie

@icarus Hmm, for me she doesn't look like Jadis. Her nose and eyes are too soft, her features overall are too soft, and she is rather petite. Jadis is also described as very tall, taller than Uncle Andrew even, I believe, and also terribly strong. Remember when she jumped atop the carriage in London in MN? I think whoever plays her should also have a certain bulk, almost mannish. If I remember correctly, was she not described as being part giantess? Now, East Asian people are usually less tall, and have softer features, and are more petite, as Liu Yifei seems. Even if an East Asian actress could be found who was not any of these things, it would still be strange to cast her as Jadis. Lewis's imagined world, Narnia, Archenland, Calormen, resembles very much Europe and the Middle-east. While it is true that Jadis is not from this particular world, coming from Charn, it seems somewhat outside the "Narnian" frame of reference to have someone who is not European or Middle-eastern portraying a humanoid character there. Also, another reason to think that Jadis must look at least somewhat European/ME is because no one in the Magician's Nephew seems to think she looks otherwise. In late Victorian England, most English people had never seen a non-Euro person in person, and if they did it would have been a rarity. But neither Digory nor Polly nor Uncle Andrew nor his sister nor any of the people of London seem to have thought Jadis's features very much out of the ordinary (of course she is beautiful and striking, but her features are still "normal"). In fact, Uncle Andrew's sister and the people of London, not knowing about the Magic Rings, assume that she must be some crazed English woman. Therefore, Jadis must look at least vaguely Euro/ME, or they would have been clued in that something even stranger was going on. 

Lastly, Euro/ME people share many features, and ME people, especially women, can be rather pale of face.

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Posted : November 29, 2023 3:14 pm
Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Junkie
Posted by: @oldmanofarchenland

Lewis's imagined world, Narnia, Archenland, Calormen, resembles very much Europe and the Middle-east. While it is true that Jadis is not from this particular world, coming from Charn, it seems somewhat outside the "Narnian" frame of reference to have someone who is not European or Middle-eastern portraying a humanoid character there.

To me, that sounds like a reason to cast someone who's more Asian since it would help establish Charn as its own world, not just another version of Narnia.

For better or worse-for who knows what may unfold from a chrysalis?-hope was left behind.
-The God Beneath the Sea by Leon Garfield & Edward Blishen check out my new blog!

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Posted : November 29, 2023 5:20 pm
PrinceRillianIX
(@rilianix)
NarniaWeb Regular

I think, given she's already worked with Netflix on The Crown and that series has now finished, I think Elizabeth Debicki would be the ultimate choice. I also think she's talented enough to give us something different than what the wonderful and amazing Tilda Swinton did. I also just want the excuse for her to work with Greta Gerwig because I think they'd be amazing together. I think she's also 6'3" so what better for a character whose meant to be part-giant. I've also shared a clip of her playing a villain in The Man From Uncle below.

This post was modified 3 months ago 4 times by PrinceRillianIX
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Posted : November 29, 2023 8:49 pm
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GiigiPevensie
(@giigipevensie)
NarniaWeb Newbie

The origin of CN is English and making a leading character not English is taking away part of his originality. However, Jadis is not a European woman as such but from another world so i would like to see Charlize Theron in that role. Since i saw her performance in Fast and Furious, i was enchanted by her. Her role as the villain made me think many times about how she is the perfect actress to play Jadis.

This post was modified 3 months ago by GiigiPevensie
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Posted : December 1, 2023 6:58 pm
Anfinwen
(@anfinwen)
NarniaWeb Nut

Skimming through this thread once again. I didn't notice, but could have missed it, has anyone mentioned Gwendoline Christie? Wow she's tall. Definitely a good look. For whatever reason I keep getting adds for alcohol featuring her when I'm scrolling Pinterest. I keep thinking it's a cool movie or costume and almost clicking. She looks so great in medieval/ fantasy costumes. 

IMDB photos

Seriously, look at her!

The height compared to others

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Posted : December 13, 2023 3:16 pm
Col Klink liked
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