Casting call


An anonymous commenter recently asked:

This is sort of a random question, because I had no idea where to ask it, but…if the Steerswoman series were ever made into a movie, who would you want playing the characters?

This is an interesting question.   Mainly because I am largely clueless on this.

There’s only one role and only one actor that immediately springs to mind: Emma Watson

Click here for an image of her that really makes me think “Rowan”.

(I’m not posting the image directly, because I’m not all that sure about the copyright issues. But when I see this photo, I just go: Wow.)

I know she can deliver a good performance of an intelligent woman… but Hermione was quite a different character than Rowan.   Could she project the degree of self-confidence and authority that Rowan has?  I don’t know, having only seen her in all the Harry Potters, and (of all things) the Bling Ring.   But I think this would be a great role for her, if she’s up to it!  A good, rich, deep role.  And she’d be the central character, the focus, and the hero of the tale.  And it’s right in line with her beliefs about promoting women’s rights.

Seems like a good fit to me…  But I’m sure you know of other actors who could carry the role… tell me in the comments, and I’ll turn all the pertinent info from the comment stream into its own post!

As for Bel, well…

One of my thoughts about casting Bel is that it would be great to use someone who really can do all the fighting, and won’t need a stunt double.   Ideally, I’d love someone who, perhaps, wanted to be an actor, but whose appearance didn’t fit the Hollywood narrowly-acceptable range, and turned to stunt work out of sheer love of film.  Someone who really has all the acting chops, but was never allowed a major role.   Because Bel can be short, muscular, and not perfect-pretty.

But the key thing would be that the actress have really good “buddy” chemistry with whoever ends up playing Rowan.  That trumps all of the above.   The two need to come across on the screen well together.

Casting Willam would be tricky indeed.   I’d love to have the same actor play Willam at 14 and at 20!   If we do a miniseries (please, please) instead of movies (oh, but perfectly happy with movies, thanks!), this might be more possible.   Given that Will at 14 was big for his age, we could use an actor somewhat older, and by the time we get back to him, he would be able to carry off 20.

I have very few ideas at all about the rest of the cast… because, really, there’s lots of leeway.  I’d rather have a really brilliant actor who perhaps doesn’t quite look the role, rather than one who looks perfect but can’t act his or her way out of a paper bag!

How about some suggestions?









24 Responses to “Casting call”

  • Aster Says:

    For Bel, the name that immediately comes to mind is Gwendoline Christie (who plays Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones: Just a thought!

    • Rosemary Says:

      Alas, Christie is just too tall — Bel is always described as shorter than Rowan, and that’s sort of a trademark thing.. I would LOVE for Gwendoline Christie to get lots of really great roles, though! She’s so good, and it’s so great to see someone with a non-standard appearance up on the screen doing so well. But you know what else? Aside from height, would it be a good thing for Christie to do another warrior woman right after Brienne?

      Hmmm. Now I’m thinking of the books yet to come, and wondering: is there any character in there who would be good for Christie to play? And if not, could I make one?

  • Anonymous Says:

    The tricky thing with Gwendoline Christie is that she’s fairly tall, isn’t she? 6′ 3″ last time I checked.

  • Lindig Says:

    Very tricky, indeed. Rowan herself needs to be very fit. Watson looks okay, though perhaps too slim, and maybe not up to some of the fighting Rowan herself has to do. Hmmm.

    Bel is very hard: short, muscular, tough, etc. Double hmmm.

    One problem is that I’m not up on the younger actors so there may be some out there who’d be perfect and I just don’t know them. I’ll think on it.

    A series would be wonderful.

    • Rosemary Says:

      Hey, Emma Watson would have a bit of time to toughen up before filming actually started! Bulk up, train some, you know. Male actors do that all the time.

      Or, heck use a stunt double. Because with Rowan the critical thing is that she be able to carry off the intelligence and self-confidence. The magic of movie-making can create the rest, if needed.

  • Merriman Hunter Says:

    I was really hoping, actually, that if there was a Steerswoman movie it would break the mould, and the actors would not have to be ‘beautiful’ in that way. Rather, Rowan (and Bel!) would look more like most regular people do, but she would be animated by her exceptional character and intelligence in a way that would be every bit as compelling as the top 0.5%-beautiful face.

    Anyway, as an experiment I google-image’d ‘biologist at work’ and scrolled down (avoiding the ridiculous stock photos) until I hit on one that made me think ‘Rowan’ (sorry to whoever I am picking on here):

    • Rosemary Says:

      I absolutely would love to have non-Hollywood-standard faces in any Steerswoman movie or miniseries. But I don’t know enough about the current actors these days. Off the top of my head, the actresses with a non-Hollywood-standard appearance that spring to mind are Gwendoline Christie, as mentioned above, and Maisie Williams, also from Game of Thrones… (

      But you know what? Now that I’ve thought of her, Williams could DEFINITELY be Bel. She’s a bit young at the moment (17, I believe) but in just a few short years…

      I agree that your anonymous working biologist exudes all the right sorts of intelligence! But if we’re casting for a movie, I’m thinking we’re going to have to go with the professionals. And I KNOW that there are more NHP (non-Hollwood-perfect) actors out there — I just can’t come up with them yet!

  • Merriman Hunter Says:

    “But if we’re casting for a movie, I’m thinking we’re going to have to go with the professionals..”

    Most definitely! I don’t really know much about about movies, but I wonder if there are any out there that have been very successful after deliberately casting actors who were NHP unknowns, but who WERE very good actors? It would be so great to take the gamble and have it pay off.

    P.S. I am meant to be studying but this Steerswoman movie suggestion is way too fun. Daydreaming fodder for at least the next few days ,’ )

  • David Says:

    How about Anna Torv as Rowan?

  • Anonymous Says:

    Soo I was surfing around and…how about Gina Carano for Bel? She was a mixed martial artist before she was ‘discovered’ and became an actress who does her own stunts. She’s 5’8″ thought…:/

  • Lindig Says:

    I thought about Gina Carano but, yeah, she’s not only too tall but she can’t act. Other than that, she’d be perfect. We need somebody about 5’4″ (that’s short to me) or less. And casting Fletcher! That’d be hard, too. Hey, Jasika might be good as the Steerswoman who comes to Alemeth (forgot her name, runs-with-a-crutch)

  • Anonymous Says:

    Idris Elba for Corvus? Or Anthony Mackie?

  • Brian Says:

    I’m not au courant on the current crop of actors, but it seems to me that the previous recommendations were mostly American actors.

    Here’s a sweeping over-generalization: American actors have to be pretty (both sexes). Acting talent is a secondary consideration. English actors have to be great actors. It doesn’t matter what they look like.

    Based on that, here are some recommendations:

    The Prime: Helen Mirren. Sure, it’s only a small part, but Mirren would be totally believable.

    Mira: Brenda Blethyn. Mira will only be seen in flashbacks, but Blethyn would make her memorable. Blethyn is versatile. E.g., compare her roles as “Vera” and as Mrs. Bennet in “Pride and Prejudice”.

    Fletcher: David Tennant (who else?). Fletcher is an extrovert and Tennant could depict him well.

    As an alternative for Fletcher is the wonderful American actor, Walton Goggins. Goggins plays Boyd Crowder on “Justified”. He sure could do justice to Fletcher’s Christer act.

    Here’s a question. How do you phrase the casting call for Face People? Would “short, skinny, actors needed.” do it?

    P.S. Happy birthday Rosemary!

  • Merriman Hunter Says:

    Hey, happy birthday Rosemary! It was my birthday, too, when I posted those last comments. Since it’s (approximately) your birthday, may I just say thank you so much for putting those excellent books into the world. I look forward, for many reasons, to the day our daughter is old enough to pull our old copy of ‘The Steerswoman’ off the shelf and spend time with Bel & Rowan (she is already such a steerswoman x). And it has been lovely to discover your blog on the web.

    A question: if you wanted to sneak yourself into the Steerswoman film, which character would you choose to play?

    • Rosemary Says:

      And happy birthday to you, too!

      Let’s see… I don’t think I’d want any major role. I’d just do the Stan Lee/Alfred Hitchcock/Peter Jackson/ Steven King thing. Well, less obvious than Stan Lee, of course.

      Assuming a movie per book:

      In The Steerswoman, I might want to be one of those unnamed steerswomen who Arian was working with, when Rowan shows up at the Archives, or a guardswoman at Shammer and Dhree’s fortress.
      In The Outskirter’s Secret, I could be some anonymous Outskirter, moving around in the background… or with a little extra aging from makeup, I could be the seyoh of the first tribe Rowan and Bel meet with, the one who refused them.
      In The Lost Steersman — that’s harder. Maybe the crew-woman off Beria, the one to whom Rowan gives the letter and package to send to the Archives, in Chapter 2. Or, hey, Karin the silk-farmer!
      In The Language of Power… I could be the under-cook, that might be fun! I don’t think I could carry off Irina – that’s too big a role. Maybe Marel’s messenger? Or any of the anonymous patrons of the Dolphin.

  • KG Says:

    When I saw the TV show Bones a few years ago, I imagined Emily Deschanel could be a good Rowan.

    What about Rooney Mara for Bel? …or in the comedy version, how about Wanda Sykes?

  • Anonymous Says:

    There’s a fantastic woman in America named Samantha Wright and she’s known on the internet as “The World’s Cutest Weightlifter”, I’m don’t know how tall she is but I can see her as a good Bel.

  • Rehj Cantrell Says:

    What about Tatiana Maslany for Bel? And then Gwendoline Christie could be interesting as Rowan.

  • Anonymous Says:

    Maybe Oliver or James Phelps for Fletcher? I was also thinking Tom Hiddleston or Lee Pace for him, but I don’t know about their ages…

    And Meryl Streep for the Prime?

  • Steven Says:

    I also thought Gina Carano for Bel. Of course she is taller than Emma Watson by 3 inches. The only solution is for Rowan to be recast or for EW to wear lifts! 😉