The internet has been awash with rumours about the upcoming re-make of My Fair Lady (music by Lerner and Lowe, based on Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw), which was originally made in 1964 with Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison.
The speculation has mainly centred around the casting of Eliza Doolittle, and until recently it was assumed that Keira Knightley was in the frame for this role. In fact she was rumoured to have been taking singing lessons. Recent reports rule her out of the running. Knightley says she was actually never offered the role although she did audition around two years ago.
In the meantime, after a number of directors have been linked to the film, Stephen Daldry (The Reader) has now been confirmed at the helm, and Emma Thompson is penning the screenplay. So far so good…
And so to Henry Higgins… Can you think of an excellent English actor with authority, charisma, intellect and a beautiful singing voice? Do you know, I can! There have been some, frankly, daft internet polls with all sorts of names bandied around, including the inevitable Colin Firth (anyone who has seen Mamma Mia can confirm he CAN’T sing), Hugh Laurie (“because Emma knows him”), Daniel Craig (because it is now evidently written in law that he must be considered for every acting role), oh, and Jeremy Northam. After a fiercely fought battle by diehard fans of all of the above, sanity prevailed and Jeremy Northam was declared the winner. Of course he was!
Not that this will make one jot of difference to who is actually cast, but Northam IS the best man for the job! I think and I think and I cannot imagine anyone else being better! I am assuming there will be no ridiculous dubbing of singing voices this time (Marnie Nixon famously dubbed Audrey Hepburn and Jeremy Brett was also not allowed to use his own singing voice) so a quick look at Gosford Park http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YaXx6TnaKE will tick Northam’s vocal ability off on the list of requirements: he has a lovely, well trained, baritone. An extremely versatile actor, he can cope effortlessly with both comedy and serious drama with equal ease (see Happy, Texas, An Ideal Husband and The Winslow Boy), he is an extremely powerful and charismatic actor (oh goodness, see ANY of his movies!), and has the good looks required to make the ending all that could be hoped for (something that was fudged in the 1964 original).
Stephen Daldry was quoted as saying that he would begin auditions in 2010, so has Northam made it onto the list…who knows? If you know Stephen Daldry, perhaps you could put a word in his ear?
Jeremy Northam is about to be seen on US tv screens every week in Miami Medical, as Dr Matt Proctor, to air on CBS from April 2, 2010. The promos can be seen at http://www.cbs.com/primetime/miami_medical/
To meet other fans, get the latest news and chat about Jeremy’s work (a warm welcome is assured), please visit: http://www.jeremynorthaminfo.com