Good lord, y’all! Carrie Underwood is going to star in a live version of The Sound of Music on NBC next year.
I don’t know what to make of this. I love Carrie Underwood’s voice, but haven’t we known since American Idol that she doesn’t exactly emote when she performs? That she doesn’t necessarily project a lot of character in her facial expressions or vocal choices? My girl can destroy you with her exceptional belting, but her technical skill doesn’t really translate as a personality. Isn’t it possible that she will make Maria Von Trapp into bland vanilla ice cream, reminding us that Julie Andrews turned her into feisty and refreshing raspberry sherbet?
I mean… I don’t know. NBC surely screen tested her, since her role in Soul Surfer was probably not enough evidence of her acting chops. So maybe she just sparkles on screen and isn’t being cast solely because of her name, her voice, and her healthy record sales. (I own all of her albums, btw.)
Still, I feel like it’s very important to cast the rest of this movie very well.
Here are a few suggestions for the people that can surround Carrie Von Trapperwood, each one hand-picked to guarantee pizzazz.
Hugh Jackman as Captain Von Trapp — Obviously! He can sing, he’s sexy, and I can believe him as the stern-yet-loving master of a small army of children.
Elle Fanning as Liesl — Can she sing? If not, just dub her voice with Lady Gaga or something. The point is that Elle Fanning is a really good actress, and she could sell the sweetness-becoming-wisdom of Liesl’s journey.
Chris Colfer as Rolfe — This might be a controversial choice, since Colfer will never seem straight. But implied gayness would bring a fascinating extra layer to Rolfe, who falls in sweet puppy love with Liesl before deciding to join the Nazi Party. The subtext would be that Rolfe flees his sexuality by joining the Nazis, because he’s too young and impulsive to consider the implications for his sense of self. And then some scholar will write a book about the casting and win an academic prize.
Bette Midler as Mother Abbess — Let’s not forget that Bette has been nominated for two Oscars in music-focused movies. She’s brassy, but she can also be serious, and I’d love to see her bring both colors to the role as Maria’s long-suffering Mother at the convent.
Adam Lambert as Max Detweiler — Max is a talent scout who helps the Von Trapp Family Singers become famous, and in the name of promoting his clients, he’s willing to tolerate the Third Reich. He’s also clearly gay, in a “dapper gent of the 1930s” kind of way. Adam Lambert could nail Max’s moral ambiguity, and it would be great to see him channel old-school gay. Obviously, someone will have to write a hot new song for Max that lets Lambert shine, since the character doesn’t have any huge numbers. Or maybe they can just adapt “Whataya Want from Me” into be a talent scout’s frustrated cry to his fussy clients.
Jennifer Nettles as The Baroness — How perfect would it be to cast a fellow country diva as Maria’s rival for the Captain’s affections? As with Max, The Baroness would need a hot new hit to showcase Nettles’ pipes, or she could just sing one of her Sugarland songs and call it a day. “Stay” is about a woman torn apart by infidelity, so that should make for an easy adaptation.
If any of these people are cast, Mark Blankenship will waive his agent’s fee and just accept free tickets to the premiere. He tweets as @IAmBlankenship.