I’ll never understand why people flip out when characters in a movie don’t look exactly like they pictured in the book. Even though multiple people may read the same book, there is absolutely no way each of those readers had the same vision.
There has been a continuing trend of books being made into movies. Finally, my favorite YA series is hitting the big screen. Vampire Academy is the story of two friends, one a Moroi (aka ‘living’ vampire) princess and the other her soon-to-be dhampir guardian. I heard a lot of complain about the dhampir, from whose perspective the story is told. Rose Hathaway is a fighter. She is toned, full bodied and not afraid to show off what she’s got. One of the things I really admired about her character is how she owns her sexuality. She does this with pure attitude.
When Zoey Deutch was first cast as Rose, there was an uproar of negativity. To this day, I hear people complain that she’s too small, she doesn’t have the muscles, she doesn’t have the boobs and her skin isn’t dark enough. Were people imagining a body builder when they read Vampire Academy, because women don’t magically get huge muscles like that. Depending on her body type, she could be plenty small and still kick ass. She also eats a typical 17-year-old diet, which would lessen her toned look. If you look at this chart of body fat percentages, you’ll see you have to have an extremely low amount of body fat to look ripped. It takes more than fitness. You have to eat to perfection if you want to look like the woman showing off 10-12% body fat.
The complaints about how Zoey looks are what really get to me. The book is written from the perspective of Rose. I don’t recall her ever saying her cup size, but, again depending on her body type, she could have A or B cups and still consider herself well endowed. She’s the one telling use she has curves that drive men crazy. It’s fabulous that she has that kind of confidence in herself, but that doesn’t mean she looks like Beyoncé.
This touches on another issue I have when people complain about actors in movies based off books. Not only does each reader have a unique vision of the story they read, the characters in the book also have unique views. When we read Vampire Academy, we are reading Rose’s view of the world. Just because she says Dimitri Belikov is the hottest thing this side of the Pacific does not mean he would appear that way to everyone else. This is one of the reasons why I don’t give a damn about how attractive actors appear to me. The book is not about TK running around, protecting Moroi and staking Strigoi. It’s about Rose and Lissa as they struggle to find out who has been terrorizing Lissa, who can be emotionally unstable at times. Just because they think certain character look hot, child like or frightening does not mean I would think the same thing looking at the same person. This fact is just one more reason why I don’t care if actors look exactly like what I imagined reading the book.
At the end of the day, I could care less about how Zoey looks, how tall she is or how toned she is. Rose is supposed to have long brown hair – which can be done with dye or a wig if she doesn’t have it naturally. Her actor should look like she’s fit, which can look very different depending on her body type. More important than anything else, she needs to be able to act the part. When Zoey Deutch opens her mouth, I expect to hear Rose Hathaway snark. When she runs into danger, I expect her to whip out her stake and kick ass. When someone accuses her of being a slut, I expect to see some exceptional snark and possibly bloody noses. From what I can tell of the previews, she’s got this all covered.
If I were to complain about any of the characters, I’d target the actors for Mia and Christian. Those two are the farthest from what I imagined. Yet, I’m not complaining. From what I can tell in the previews, Sami Gayle and Dominic Sherwood have their characters down. That’s all it takes to make me happy.
I will make my way to Vampire Academy the movie with an open mind this evening. More than likely, it won’t be exactly like the book. That’s okay. I am rooting for this movie to be a huge hit because I want the darker, more mature books that come after this one to be made into movies as well.
If you love me, you’ll go see the movie. So, please, everyone, go see Vampire Academy this weekend!
How important is it for an actor to look like the character you pictured when reading the book? Have there been any actors that really disappointed you in their portray of a character? Why? What’s your favorite book-based movie to date? Will you be seeing Vampire Academy?