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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Young Goodman Brown: The Movie


Alex Foley
Option #1 B

If a movie were to be made based on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, "Young Goodman Brown", actors would need to be cast that would accurately represent the complex characters in the story. The short story focuses on Goodman Brown, a young man living in a Puritan society who comes to realize that not everyone is who they appear to be. This revelation causes lasting trauma on the young man. When casting this movie, I would primarily focus on the characters of Goodman Brown, The Devil, Faith and Goody Cloyse.

Goodman Brown would be played by Suits actor Patrick J. Adams. One of the most important things about the Goodman Brown character is how he looks. Since little description is given is given on this character, the reader is left to interpret his appearance. I interpret Goodman Brown as a mid-20s man with brown hair and an unassuming face. Adams fulfills these requirements and his previous roles would allow him the range needed to play this character.

The role of the Devil would be filled by Mads Mikkelson. Mikkelson is a Danish actor who typically plays the villain role, largely in part due to his acting style and facial features. He currently plays the titular character in NBC’s Hannibal; a show known for its dark content and complex themes. This background would make Mikkelson perfect for the role of the Devil, as he is portrayed as someone who is evil yet relatable. 
Faith would be played by Anna Camp. Faith is described as being a “young wife” and having a “pretty head” (Hawthorne). While this is not much of a description to go on, I feel that Camp fills this role visually. She has a varied acting repertoire, including roles in Pitch Perfect and HBO’s True Blood. In True Blood, Camp plays Sarah Newin, wife of radical minister Steve Newlin. Throughout the show, Camp’s character turns from a pure, Christian woman to a radical and sadistic 
revolutionary. This role is similar to that of Faith, who is not the pure woman she appears to be.

While Goody Cloyse is not a main character in "Young Goodman Brown", she impacts the main character quite significantly. She is described as being an older woman with a very pious aura about her. Lois Smith, an 83 year old actress from Kansas, would bring the sympathy needed for the character and would interact well with the other cast members. 

This choice in cast members would help bring "Young Goodman Brown" to life on the big screen. All the actors chosen have extensive backgrounds and have performed in a variety of roles. Their skills would help present the message that Nathaniel Hawthorne wanted to make in his short story; no one is who they appear to be, and everyone has a little evil inside them. 

 Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “Young Goodman Brown.” American Gothic Tales. Ed. Joyce Carol Oates. New York: The Penguin Group. 52-64. Print.

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