It's not always that the character we picture while reading a book is who winds up getting cast, but some of these actors were absolutely perfect for their roles...while others were wayyy off base... Recently, Reddit users shared which book adaptation castings in both movies and TV were absolutely perfect vs. some that didn't really work. Here are some of the best responses: 1. GOOD: Riley Keough as Daisy Jones in Daisy Jones & the Six
"Call me crazy, but I like show Daisy more than book Daisy, and Riley is stealing the show for me. Everyone has different taste for sure, but Riley’s Daisy is perfection for me, and I’m connecting with her wayyyyy more in the show than I ever did reading the book."
u/itskatenoel Lacey Terrell / Prime Video 2. NOT GREAT: Geraldine Somerville and Adrian Rawlins as Lily and James Potter in the Harry Potter movies
"In the books, they died when they were 21, and yet, in the movies they look oddly old. Even if they did have him later, they look like they are at least 35-40 years old, and that would imply that they had Harry when they were in their mid-30s, which is bizarre. I always thought it was nice picturing them as youths."
u/Crossfox17 Warner Bros / Via youtube.com 3. GOOD: Freddy Carter as Kaz Brekker in Shadow and Bone Freddy Carter as Kaz Brekker in Shadow & Bone Netflix / Via giphy.com
"Freddy killed it in Season 2 — especially in the first four episodes. He really was book Kaz! And all the 'Kanej' scenes. OMG."
u/cheetoisgreat 4. NOT GREAT: Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy
"Eh, he's cute. But he's not smoldering/rip my clothes off/crazy sexual like Christian was written."
u/espresso_audrey Focus Features / Everett Collection 5. GOOD: Liam Neeson as Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia movies Liam Neeson attends The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader Royal Film Performance 2010 at Odeon Leicester Square Jon Furniss / WireImage, Buena Vista / Via giphy.com
"Aslan is arguably the best character in the
Narnia series. However, a CGI character required great voice acting to be as effective as was needed in the movies. I feel Neeson nailed the warmth of Aslan, as well as toughness and leadership qualities as much as could be exhibited through voice work alone. His performance considerably raises the quality of the first movie."
u/Boss452 Below is a clip of Aslan speaking to the children in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in case you need a refresher: 6. NOT GREAT: Vince Vaughn as Norman Bates in the Psycho remake
"The whole thing about Norman is that he's supposed to look and act like the nice, harmless boy next door. Anthony Perkins was perfect for that; he really looked like he wouldn't hurt a fly. The second the hulking Vaughn comes on screen, you think 'Killer.'"
u/Mst3Kgf Universal / Via youtube.com 7. GOOD: Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter Warner Bros / Via giphy.com
"The moment she did her first 'hem-hem' you hated her character already. That's good acting."
u/Ravenclaw_14 8. NOT GREAT: Russell Crowe as Javert in Les Misérables
"Yes, he sounds unpolished and often super grating, but for me, the worst part of his performance is that I don't think he has the ability to act and sing at the same time. He looks so preoccupied and uncomfortable with the singing portion that he can't fully commit himself to the character. And that's a huge problem when he's playing the film's antagonist and a huge amount of the plot's tension rests on his shoulders."
u/UrNotAMachine Universal / Everett Collection 9. GOOD: Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Flowers in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
"I love her portrayal, even if she did come across as super-cold. Mary Elizabeth Winstead was a perfect choice. I only don't like film-Ramona during her green-haired scenes when she goes back to Gideon. Otherwise, great portrayal. The movie had less time to develop and explore her character, so I understand why she is the way she is."
u/[deleted] Universal / Everett Collection 10. NOT GREAT: Alexandra Daddario as Annabeth in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
"The most annoying thing about this is that being blonde is a big part of her character, because she's treated like a 'dumb blonde' despite the fact she's the smartest character in the series."
u/Broadbeard25 Fox / Via youtube.com 11. GOOD: Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings trilogy Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings New Line Cinema / Via giphy.com Story continues
"Sir Ian McKellen's portrayal of Gandalf is incredible, and they couldn't have chosen a better person for the role. There can be discussion, arguments, even heavy criticism of the films...but this man at times MADE the movies."
A_Jewish_Banker 12. NOT GREAT: Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher in Jack Reacher
"I have read the
Jack Reacher novels and really enjoyed them, but when I watch the Jack Reacher movie, I am just so disappointed that they cast Tom Cruise in the role. It just does not work."
u/[deleted] Paramount / Everett Collection 13. GOOD: Andy Serkis as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy Andy Serkis as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings Warner Bros / Via giphy.com
"I think there’s a lot of actors who could replace some characters [in
The Lord of the Rings movies] and done a great job, although not to the extent of the ones who were actually cast, but I can’t think of anyone who would have done close to as good of a job as Andy Serkis did with Gollum."
u/Bro_Wheyton 14. NOT GREAT: Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon in The Da Vinci Code
"The man is a great actor, and everyone loves him, but when I was reading
Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code, Tom Hanks was the last dude I would've picked as Robert Langdon."
u/Fitzy2225 Columbia Pictures / Everett Collection 15. GOOD: Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby
"IMO, [Edgerton is] outstanding as Tom. Absolutely chews every scene and outshines most of the cast (who all, for their part, do very well). I know the film is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I adore it and think Edgerton was pitch perfect. Sometimes, a really good performance will elevate a whole film in my estimation." —
u/Scarcecrows Warner Bros / Everett Collection 16. NOT GREAT: Dane DeHaan in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
"Literally was just thinking of this movie last night. I didn't hate it, but damn, the casting was so bad."
u/andromeda880 STX Entertainment / Everett Collection 17. GOOD: Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket in The Hunger Games trilogy Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket in The Hunger Games Lionsgate / Via giphy.com
"Elizabeth Banks was just THE BEST at doing Effie. I don't think anyone could override her act ever."
u/mendesjuniorm 18. NOT GREAT: Tony Hale as Mr. Benedict in The Mysterious Benedict Society
"There were countless things wrong with that TV show, but that casting pissed me off."
u/deleted Disney+ / Everett Collection 19. GOOD: Ralph Fiennes as Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter films
"I actually just watched
Goblet of Fire again last night. Every time I watch it, I'm personally amazed at how spot-on I feel like Fiennes is in portraying Voldemort. He looks, talks, and moves exactly how I had always pictured him. At that point in Voldemort's life, he's supposed to look and act inhuman. I think Dumbledore actually says at some point that there's very little left of what made him Tom Riddle. He's not charming anymore, because there's really no charm left in him after splitting his soul so many ways, and his desperation for immortality causes him to misstep and make enormous mistakes."
u/iamthehyrax Warner Bros. / Via youtu.be 20. NOT GREAT: Kevin Costner as Robin Hood in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
"Bad casting? I try to avoid movies with bad casting, but I did see Kevin Costner as Robin Hood in
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. He really seemed uninspired and out of place."
u/wjbc Warner Bros / Everett Collection 21. And finally, GOOD: Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle/The Punisher in The Punisher and Daredevil
"Jon Bernthal was basically plucked out of the
Punisher comics and put onto the screen. His voice, his mannerisms, and his look were all nearly perfect."
u/difficultMinute Jessica Miglio / Netflix / Everett Collection What are some of your favorite (and least favorite) casting choices in book adaptations? Let me know in the comments! Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.