Monday, October 27, 2014

Pink Carnation Spotlight: James Norton (Miles Dorrington *RECAST*)

As I have said before, from my first reading of The Secret History of the Pink Carnation I got a clear image in my mind of Miles. I admit it was an impression that was the wrong end of the stick once I got to know him better in The Masque of the Black Tulip. He was tall and gangly and a little bookish in my mind, a non-threatening beta to Richard's alpha male. At least I got the tall right. So for awhile my mind has been throwing up possible actors, I know, I hate to recast, but I think the time has come. Originally I was thinking of Tom Hopper, because of his connection with the actor I have cast for The Purple Gentian, Bradley James, but then I had a brainwave. I'll be interested to hear what you think...

Name: James Norton (which is also oddly the name of someone I went to high school with)

"Dream" Character Casting for the Lauren Willig Miniseries: Miles Dorrington

First Impression: So, he was in one of the lamest Doctor Who episodes ever. I've basically blocked all of "Cold War" out, so I have to take this screencap's proof he was in it. I mean seriously, you bring back the Ice Warriors and make it into The Hunt for Red October but lamer but at least mercifully shorter. Oh, and they refer to the TARDIS as male, when the TARDIS has and always will be a she!

Why they'd be the perfect actor for the Lauren Willig Miniseries: He has that stoic British charm that just won't quit. But more importantly, look at that floppy lock of hair! If we could just get his opinion on ginger biscuits...

Lasting Impression: Oliver Ashford in Belle. Seriously, if you have not seen this movie do so now. James plays the young man interested in Dido's hand. While he is overshadowed by Tom Felton as his creepy and racist brother, there is a sweetness to him that makes you think, well, he's not that bad a guy. Plus those tight trousers and knee breeches stretching and straining as he sits in a chair, hold me back. So yes, the knee breeches made him memorable.

What else you've seen them in: James Norton is an actor who has been popping up all over the place for the past five years. I was shocked by how much I'd actually seen him in without realizing it. He has a great way of being understated but lovable, which will do him well with his new starring role in Grantchester, based on the books by James Runcie. He's made appearances in everything from period comedic pieces like Blandings to the gritty Happy Valley. But it's his sweet, quiet roles that I'm a sucker for, most importantly Henry Alveston who won the heart of Georgiana Darcy in Death Comes to Pemberley. How they made that horrid book into an awesome miniseries still boggles the mind!

Can't believe it's them: Again, I state for the record, Doctor Who, but that's because of my own doing.

Wish they hadn't: Cheerful Weather for the Wedding because it is the dullest most boring movie I have ever watched in my entire life. In fairness I think House of Mirth might have been worse but I walked out on that movie when the flying death squad monkeys failed to appear and kill everyone with lasers (yes, this was an event I created and prayed for). But Cheerful Weather for the Wedding made me want to smack my head into my television. How could so many great actors make such a dull movie? One will never know. Oh, and that is Miles hanging out with Amy in this picture.

Bio: He grew up in Yorkshire which makes me wonder, with those cheekbones, how he never ended up as a sexy servant at Downton. Anyway, he was interested in acting at a young age but went to Cambridge to study theology which lead to him going to Nepal and studying Buddhism (at least I'm assuming that's why he went there, one does seem to lead to the other). On his return to England he enrolled in RADA and got his break in a very small role at the end of An Education... which would actually be where I probably saw him first but have totally forgotten, almost like Doctor Who, though not on purpose because I liked that movie. He started to pick up small parts in period pieces, but his breakthrough roles in the aforementioned Death Comes to Pemberley and Happy Valley led to him getting the starring role in Grantchester, which made him an insta-star after the premiere. What I'm really looking forward to though is his turn as Duncan Grant in the new drama about the Bloomsbury set, Life in Squares. Oh, and lots more Grantchester! 


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