Nicola here with this month's Ask A Wench. For our question this month we’re trying to decide which movie character we would like to be. When we discussed this amongst ourselves this raised some interesting questions. Would we go all out in pursuit of adventure or would we prefer something more reflective of our own lives? What makes a super-hero(ine)? What qualities do we admire and would like to possess, on screen or in real life or both? The Wench thoughts on this are below. But what would your dream movie role be?
For me this is a difficult choice. My first inclination would be to take the part of a historical character such as Elizabeth I or Eleanor of Aquitaine in The Lion In Winter. However since I’d be playing the role and not the actual historical character this would probably be frustrating because I’d want to depict them as I see them, not as the part was written. I’m going for Yoda for two reasons. Firstly I love the way he constructs his sentences. He always gets his point across yet sounds poetic at the same time. Also, he is measured and wise and as I get older I value wisdom very highly and I would like to be more measured in my response to things sometimes. Yoda combines all this with agility, courage and skill with a lightsaber, plus he is keen on encouraging the younger generation to achieve their full potential – quite a role model.
Mary Jo: What movie character would I be? Well, since Nicola has dibs on Yoda, I think I'll go for Wonder Woman. Not just any of the decades-long evolving version of the character, but specifically the current manifestation as played by Gad Godot.
I admit that I'm blending both role and actor together. Israeli Gal Godot was not only Miss Israel 2004, but during her tenure in the Israeli Defense Forces, she was a combat instructor. She said the military was learning about discipline and respect–and aren't they great traits to have? Her Wonder Woman is powerful as well as beautiful, both idealistic and wise. Gad Godot has also studied law and international relations. What a role model!
But give me half a chance and I might choose go for Princess Leia. In the original Star Wars
movie, she shows up as a gravel-voiced rebel leader, kicking ass and taking names and far more competent than her male acolytes, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. She was not a female character we'd seen before, and while Carrie Fisher, who played her, is now sadly gone, Princess Leia has become a cultural icon.
Anne: I always find this kind of question — one with lots of enticing choices — difficult to answer. Will I choose to be some fabulous heroine, living an extraordinary life, having adventures with a handsome and charming hero? No. So exhausting, having adventures. And besides, Cary Grant is dead.
So I'm choosing to be Maggie Smith's character in MY HOUSE IN UMBRIA. It's similar enough to my life, in that she is a romance novelist, but she lives in a beautiful and luxurious house, in a stunningly lovely part of the world, and her clothes in this movie are gorrrrgeous. Chin chin.
Pat: I am a wimp. Give me a good comedy or maybe a nice character study, but I never watch action movies with bigger than life heroes. Give me Marian the Librarian or a singing nun, please (not just Maria in Sound of Music but how about Whoopie Goldberg in Sister Act?). My idea of a super heroine is a good librarian handing out culture, creativity, history, and education every day. Or a teacher trying to make kids THINK when all they want to do is arm wrestle. But I'd make a lousy librarian or nun. So maybe I should aim for the romance writer in Romancing the Stone? At least she got out of the house.
Jo: I wanted to say Xena, because I can really get into that Warrior Princess stuff and I’d like living in a Greek Mythos world. Kinda.
Then I noticed Xena isn’t a movie person. She’s a TV series. Rats.
My mind kept tossing up good choices and I kept batting them away. “That’s a Book!” I’d yell. “Book. Book. Book. Book. Book! Give me movies!” You see my problem.
Then it came to me. What would I like doing? I am not a woman given to bounding over the countryside, jumping on a horse, and setting off to battle demons whose halitosis alone would fell a Roman legion. I am not, in short, Buffy. Or even Willow. Confronted with Evil — note the upper case to say it’s a bad evil — my immediate impulse is to murmur “You do you, okay?” and back away to seek expert help. That aforementioned Legion, perhaps. I’m more an “I’ll track ‘em down. You stomp on them.” kinda gal.
So. Jane Marple.
That’s me. Going through life, knitting and murmuring, “Well, you know, Inspector, this poisoning reminds me of little Bobby Fisher in St Mary Mead.”
Andrea/Cara: I love the theme of strong women developing here! Okay, I’m not really sure I’d have the courage and determination to be this movie character, but I’d choose to be Katherine Johnson in the movie Hidden Figures, which is based on her true-life story. Johnson was a a brilliant African-American mathematician who went to work as a “computer” for NASA during the 1950s. With grace, wisdom, composure and quiet self-confidence, she overcame the dual prejudices against her race and her gender (NASA was a very high-testosterene place) to win the acceptance and ultimately the admiration and respect of all her colleagues. In those early days, the complex calculations for orbit trajectories and re-entry angles were done by individuals, using only an adding machine. The lives of the astronauts were literally in the hands of the “computers.” Johnson was so impressive in meetings that’s said that John Glenn refused to get in the capsule for the first U.S. space flight to orbit the earth until she okayed the numbers. She's a real-life super hero, an inspiration and role model for believing it’s possible to reach up and touch the stars.
Susan: So many great choices! Which movie character would I want to be? Wonder Woman and Princess Leia would be among my picks … though I would also love to inhabit the characters of Lady Isabeau in Ladyhawke, or Merida in Brave. Both are strong female leads with courage, cleverness, integrity, compassion and heart–and both must find their own strength of character to face up to supernatural power.
Isabeau's inner beauty glows even more than her outer beauty–her compassion and love for Navarre surpass everything for her, even her own life. What she endures, under the magic spell that makes her a hawk by day and a woman on her own at night, helps her discover true courage and independence, so that she is finally able to stand up to the evil and hatred that would have destroyed her and her love, and she steps forward as Navarre's true equal as well as true love. Movie or not, I think I could live as Isabeau, finding happiness at last … and it would be amazing to fly as a hawk!
Princess Merida in Brave is all that I love in a medieval Scottish heroine–strong-willed, independent, spirited, yet aware of the needs of others and capable of facing her fears, admitting mistakes and changing for the better. She's a fun, feisty, and adorable heroine, fearless and a bit reckless, handy with a bow … and that great mane of curly red hair is gorgeous. An added bonus, if I could be Merida, would be the chance to live in the wild Highlands — and someday (because Merida is a young heroine) find the perfect kilted, brawny, wonderful hero to share romantic Highland adventures….
So there you have it; a whole host of different takes on movie characters and what would make us want to step into their shoes. Now it’s over to you! Which movie character would you like to be and why?