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BATTLE: Who Would You Cast In a Live-Action Strangers In Paradise Film?

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BRANDY: Happy Pride month, everyone! As a queer girl, Terry Moore's saga Strangers In Paradise was one of the first comic mediums that really made me feel represented.  But beyond the representation, SiP is an engaging, sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking, consistently gripping story of two women, and the worlds between them—drugs, prostitution, the Yakuza, elaborate conspiracies, unrequited love, vengeance, forgiveness, and heartache. It's genre-spanning and appeals to many different types of people, and I know Steve likes it too. I'd love to see a film based on the series...but who should be cast? Steve and I battle it out. First, let's tackle Katchoo.

Katchoo

BRANDY: Amy Schumer 

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BRANDY: Let me start this off by saying that I am not the biggest Amy Schumer fan. I find her particular brand of white feminism problematic, and she tends to change her views on issues when it suits her (i.e. calling herself plus-sized and then getting upset when Glamour called her the same thing). However, there's no denying she's a comedic talent with a serious edge, and I think that's what's needed to play Katchoo.  Katrina Choovanski is a messed-up train wreck—really a more violent and troubled version of Amy Schumer's character in Trainwreck. Schumer has the acting chops to pull off the heavier moments in the story, and the comedic chops to effortlessly carry the more hilarious moments. What do you think, Steve? Is Amy badass enough to play Katchoo? 

STEVE: Meh, I don't know. I feel just about the same way you do about Amy, but when I think of Katchoo, I think of someone with edge, something Amy Schumer doesn't really have, but you know who does?

 

STEVE: Chloë Sevigny

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STEVE: I want my Katchoo to look like she's seen some shit, and one of the things I love most about Chloë Sevigny is that she has one of the most expressive faces, one that looks like it's seen its fair share of shit. This is the kind of role I feel she could shine in, and if there's one thing she hasn't really had in her career, it's been a chance to shine in a big budget movie. She can do the hardened woman who's a softy at her core thing better than most, and she's bring a ton of needed depth to the character. How about it, Brandy? You still going with Amy?

BRANDY: Having seen Sevigny in Kids, I think she's a solid choice, but I still love Amy for the role.  As for Francine, I'm going with...

 

Francine

BRANDY: America Ferrera

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BRANDY: Francine needs to be a curvy girl. It's essential to who she is as a character. And there are so many curvy girls in Hollywood that casting a skinny girl and making her curvier would be a disservice. I considered Melissa McCarthy and Demi Lovato for this role, but Demi is too glamorous and Melissa has too much of a loud, boisterous personality for a delicate flower like Francine. Given how great she was as a quiet, understated role in Ugly Betty, I think Ferrerra would absolutely kill it as Francine.  She has the heart and the quiet strength in her delivery to knock this one out of the park. Am I on the mark with this one, Steve?

STEVE: Man, that's tough to beat. Even I have to admit that this is perfect casting, but in the interest of making this a battle, I give you...

 

STEVE: Lydia Rose Bewley

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STEVE: If you haven't heard of this buxom British beauty, it's because she hasn't done much high profile work. I first laid eyes on her in The Inbetweeners Movie, and was instantly smitten with her, though she's also on the E! series The Royals, if you watch that. This full figured beauty has comedy chops but can also play shy and wilting, making her a formidable choice for the role—provided America Ferrera isn't available. Alright Brandy, you've clearly given this list more thought than I have... School me again, I dare you!

 

David

BRANDY: Boo Boo Stewart

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BRANDY: This fantasy casting is pure fantasy on my part, because I think Boo Boo Stewart is probably one of the most beautiful creatures to walk this earth.  He was also great as Warpath in Days of Future Past, and he has this sweet vulnerability to his demeanor that would be perfect for David. I know a lot of people will give me shit on this one, because Stewart is a Twilight/Disney kid, but if you want to see the dude act, check out Hope Bridge with Stewart and Kevin Sorbo. Whoever plays David has to be able to play sweet, strong, and adorable, and I *really* don't want to see David whitewashed—he's an Asian character. I think Boo Boo is the perfect choice for this one. Steve?

STEVE: I agree that I don't want someone like JGL—who could play a role like this in his sleep—playing an Asian, but another name jumped out at me for this role...

 

David: Ki Hong Lee

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STEVE: If you've seen Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix, than you're familiar with this brilliant young actor who plays Dong Nguyen. If not, he's one of the hottest Korean-American actors around right now, thanks to his high profile role in The Maze Runner franchise. He's got the range to do action, comedy, and drama, so he's a perfect fit for a role that requires him to do all three, and most importantly, his name doesn't make you giggle when you say it—sorry Brandy, but I'll never take Boo Boo Stewart seriously. 

 

Freddie Femur

BRANDY: Jason Sudeikis

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BRANDY: Freddie Femurs is a sleazy creep, and I've always seen Sudeikis as kind of a sleaze. He has the comedic chops to pull off Freddie's more awful moments with aplomb while not making him likable. When I did a recent re-read of SiP, I saw Sudeikis every time I looked at Freddie. I briefly considered Will Arnett, but I think Sudeikis is a little more Francine's style. This is the one I'm really interested to see you cast, Steve. Thoughts?

STEVE: Man, you know who would be perfect for this role is Dazed & Confused-era Ben Affleck. Man, he would just kill it, but since we don't have a time machine, I'd love to see...

 

STEVE: Adam Scott

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STEVE: Having just re-watched Step Brothers this weekend, I forgot how could Adam Scott was at playing unrepentant assholes, which puts Freddie firmly in his wheelhouse. He's incredibly adept at comedy, and knows how to sleaze it up on screen. I briefly contemplated Jon Hamm, but he seems a bit old for the role, though he's another great actor who loves playing dicks. I think you really can't go wrong with him or Sudeikis for this role, honestly, as they're both attractive dudes that can play assholes like nobody's business!

BRANDY: Ugh, good call. Looking at the picture above, I really want to punch his face. 

Casey Bullocks-Femur

BRANDY: Anna Camp

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BRANDY: Anna is a woman who plays a lot of characters I love to hate. She was excellent as a bible-thumping anti-vamp nut in True Blood, and she was amazing in Pitch Perfect as the control freak Aubrey. She's got the physical requirements for gorgeous aerobics instructor Casey down, and I think she could have a lot of fun in the role—especially as her character develops. Casey is one of those characters that I initially hated immediately and then grew to love as her character developed, and I think Anna is a strong enough actress to pull that off without coming off as too pathetic. Steve?

STEVE: Really good choice, she would nail it. Wish I had thought of her...

 

STEVE: Amanda Seyfried

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STEVE: There's something about Amanda Seyfried that makes me instantly think, "stuck up." I'm sure she's a wonderful person, and she's definitely a solid actress, but I just look at her and feel like she wouldn't give me the time of day. That's what I want from Casey, someone that's simultaneously unattainable yet probably very sweet and damaged at her core. This is what made her such a great Linda Lovelace, and was the first person that popped into my mind for Casey.

 

Darcy Parker

BRANDY: Tia Carrere

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BRANDY: I admit, I had a lot of trouble trying to cast Darcy for this role. Darcy Parker is regal, ruthless, the head of an international crime syndicate staffed with women. Anyone playing Darcy would have to be equal parts graceful and brutal. I wanted a more mature actress for this role, not someone in their twenties. As much as I love Bingbing Fan, she's a little too young and too sweet looking for the role. I wanted my Darcy to look hardened but glamorous, with an impenetrable icy wall and a temper. Then I realized: Tia Carrere. Physically, she looks the part—haughty, regal, glamorous- and every time I've seen her lose her temper in anything she's been in, she's sold it—Carrere turns to formidable fire onscreen, which is perfect for Darcy.

STEVE: Nice pull! I'd love to see Tia Carrere back on the big screen!

 

STEVE: Rose Byrne

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STEVE: I really love how you're diversifying the cast, Brandy, but the first and only person that popped into my head for Darcy is Rose Byrne. After seeing her in last year's Spy, I immediately thought she'd be perfect to play Darcy should they ever make an SiP film. She's both beautiful and has a lethal edge that most actresses shy away from—or flat out aren't given the chance to explore. It's a potent mix and one that would make Darcy every bit as unforgettable on the big screen as she is on the page.

BRANDY: Ooh, good call. 

 

Tambi/Bambi Baker

BRANDY: Gwendoline Christie

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BRANDY: I feel like I'm casting Gwendoline in everything these days (I cast her as Big Barda in our JLA battle), but anyone who plays the Baker twins has to be tall, imposing, and badass. These women are giant assassins, as well as skilled businesswomen and strategists, with a no-nonsense demeanor. And who better for this role than the tall, imposing Brienne of Tarth? Steve?

STEVE: Man, I thought I had a thing for Gwendoline. Looks like you've put me to shame once again. 

 

STEVE: Kristen Johnston

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STEVE: One of my favorite shows of the 90s was Third Rock from the Sun, and while JGL was clearly the breakout star in retrospect, Kristen Johnston did a damn fine job holding her own on that male dominated show. She's also one of the only actresses over six feet tall, so she's kind of a natural fit. Honestly, it would just be nice to see her in a movie again, and I think that given the right role, like Tambi and Bambi, she could kill it!

 

Brad Silver

BRANDY: Colin Firth

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BRANDY: Brad Silver is Francine's rich, handsome, kind of boring gynecologist fiance who cheats on her. If I had to point to someone who looks like a rich, kind of boring, philandering ladyparts doctor, I'd point to Colin Firth. Plus, he has this ability to be completely likeable and completely repugnant at the same time, and he's not enough of a charming character to overshadow Francine's relationship with Katchoo, which is important. Hello, Mr. Darcy. Steve?

 

STEVE: Bradley Cooper

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STEVE: Bradley Cooper's got a corner on the handsome douchebag market, and it certainly doesn't hurt that he's already got the same name. The dude is talented, no doubt, but every time I see him, I just see that total asshole he played in Wedding Crashers, and no matter how charming he is in Silver Linings or Wet Hot American Summer, the dude just oozes sleaze to me. Again, I'm sure he's a lovely person in real life, but if you need someone that just breeds contempt for himself with an audience, Cooper's your guy.

 BRANDY:  Choice casting. I'd love to see that happen.

 

Griffin Silver

BRANDY: Glen Hansard

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BRANDY: I'm going to preface this by saying I wish Tom Waits was a bit younger, because a younger Tom Waits would be PERFECT for this role. I'd really love to cast a musician/actor as Griffin, because I'd love to hear Griffin actually sing. So with that in mind, I'm giving the role of Katchoo's favorite musician to Irish folk singer/actor Glen Hansard—his turn as The Guy in Once was beautiful, and he's got the voice of an angel. Plus, his song "Falling Slowly" won an Academy Award for best song, and throwing an Oscar contender into the ring is never a bad idea. Steve?

STEVE: I'm a big fan of his, so I think that's a genius piece of casting. 

 

STEVE: Iwan Rheon

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STEVE: I know that most people know him as the loathsome Ramsay Bolton, but I first became aware of Iwan when he played the dimwitted Ash on Vicious—which is fantastic, you should be watching it. Little did any of us know that he's actually a hell of a singer and guitar player, and he could totally pull off Griffin's less-insufferable Noel Gallagher thing. Either way, I'd love for Iwan to get a role soon that proves to people he's not an unconscionable monster like he played on GoT.

So there you have it, folks. That's our fantasy cast for a Strangers in Paradise movie. Who'd we miss! Who would you like to see playing Katchoo and friends? Let us know in the comments section below!


Brandy dawley

Brandy Dawley

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