A lot of our favorite movie characters have literary origins, but just how much have the casting agents mirrored the original creative vision of the authors while choosing the actors to fill the roles?
Brian J Davis was fascinated by this conundrum and by using a commercially available police composite sketch software, he has fleshed out the book-based descriptions into something more visual.
Below are examples from the more popular works that prove a picture can really paint a thousand words, but will you be impressed with the casting after seeing them?
Tyrion Lanaster - 'A Song of Fire and Ice' by George R.R. Martin
Tyrion Lanaster's nose is much more severely injured in George R.R Martin's book, not mention the differences in eye and hair color.
"A brute’s squashed-in face beneath a swollen shelf of brow. One green eye and one black one peered out from under a lank fall of hair so blond it seemed white. Jon watched him with fascination…Tyrion’s fingers went to the great gash that ran from above one eye down to his jaw, across what remained of his nose. The proud flesh was still raw and warm to the touch…Tyrion rubbed at the raw stub of his nose. The scar tissue itched abominably sometimes…The swollen brutish brow, the green eye and the black one, the raw stump of his nose and crooked pink scar, the coarse tangle of black and gold hair that passed for his beard."
Carrie White - 'Carrie' by Stephen King
Chloe Grace Moretz was a perfect choice for the modern remake of Carrie...If only they'd given her hair a bit of a trim.
"She was so pretty, with pink cheeks and bright brown eyes, and her hair the shade of blonde you know will darken and get mousy…But he saw for the first time (because it was the first time he had really looked) that she was far from repulsive. Her face was round rather than oval, and the eyes were so dark that they seemed to cast shadows beneath them, like bruises. Her hair was darkish blonde, slightly wiry. The lips were full, almost lush. Her body, for the most part, was indeterminate…Her hair stuck to her cheeks in a curving helmet shape. At sixteen, the elusive stamp of hurt was already marked clearly in her eyes."
Sherlock Holmes - 'A Study in Scarlet' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Doyle's vision of Holmes has the essence of Cumberbatch with his distinguished features.
"His very person and appearance were such as to strike the attention of the most casual observer. In height he was rather over six feet, and so excessively lean that he seemed to be considerably taller. His eyes were sharp and piercing, save during those intervals of torpor to which I have alluded; and his thin, hawk-like nose gave his whole expression an air of alertness and decision. His chin, too, had the prominence and squareness which mark the man of determination."
Hannibal Lecter - 'Silence of the Lambs' by Thomas Harris
Dr. Lecter was described with more delicate features than Anthony Hopkins, but the hair and intense facial expressions are on point.
"Dr. Lecter pursed his red lips…His strange maroon eyes half-closed…She came a little closer to the bars, and he looked up. For Starling every shadow in the cell flew into his eyes and widow’s peak."
Jane Eyre-' Jane Eyre' by Charlotte Brontë
Mia Wasikowska fit the text book description of Jane Eyre almost perfectly in the 2011 film.
“Jane, you look blooming, and smiling, and pretty,” said he: “truly pretty this morning. Is this my pale, little elf? Is this my mustard-seed? This little sunny-faced girl with the dimpled cheek and rosy lips; the satin-smooth hazel hair, and the radiant hazel eyes?” (I had green eyes, reader; but you must excuse the mistake: for him they were new-dyed, I suppose)"
Kevin - We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
Ezra Miller's depiction of Kevin seems to be a lot more attractive than the author intended for the murderous son.
"His face had that ferret-like sharpness from his earliest years…The narrow olive face is instantly familiar: recessed eyes, sheer straight nose with a wide bridge and slight hook, thin lips set in an obscure determination…But I wanted him to look like you. His whole geometry was based on the triangle and yours on the square, and there is something cunning and insinuating about acute angles, stable and trustworthy about the perpendicular…. I wanted to glance at my son’s profile and apprehend with a flash of lambent joy that he had your strong tall forehead—rather than one that shelved sharply over eyes that might begin as strikingly deep-set but were destined with age to look sunken."
Holly Golightly - Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
Hepburn's elfin features are perfect for the impossibly chic Holly Golighty.
"She was still on the stairs, now she reached the landing, and the ragbag colors of her boy’s hair, tawny streaks, strands of albino-blond and yellow, caught the hall light…For all her chic thinness, she had an almost breakfast cereal air of health, a soap and lemon cleanness, a rough pink darkening in the cheeks…Her mouth was large, her nose upturned…I thought her anywhere between sixteen and thirty; as it turned out, she was shy two months of her nineteenth birthday…Her varicolored hair was somewhat self-induced…They were large eyes, a little blue, a little green."
The Monster - Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Is it wrong that I find him kind of hot?!
"As the minuteness of the parts formed a great hindrance to my speed, I resolved, contrary to my first intention, to make the being of a gigantic stature, that is to say, about eight feet in height, and proportionably large. After having formed this determination and having spent some months in successfully collecting and arranging my materials, I began…How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form? His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing… but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun-white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and straight black lips."
(Source: The Composites)