Emma Watson is reportedly the frontrunner among actresses who might play Natalie Wood in a biopic of the Hollywood legend. The reopening of the investigation of Wood's death replete with Dennis Davern's testimony about Robert Wagner's possible culpability in it has made Natalie Wood's and Robert Wagner's names go viral online. And the Harry Potter star's name may soon join them.
According to a new poll, there are 4 actresses who might play Natalie WoodÂ—Michelle Williams, Carey Mulligan, Emma Stone, and Emma Watson. Lindsay Lohan was briefly mentioned, but almost immediately dismissed as being unemployable. Which is a pity. Lohan certainly has the onscreen charisma and the physical beautyÂ—if she hasn't already destroyed it with her suicidal lifestyle. At one time, she had the "acting chops" as well, but alas, her talent may have gone the way of her sobriety. Thus, the field is narrowed to 4.
Emma Stone comes most immediately to mind. She's extremely attractive (just ask Jim Carrey), and she'd do well as Natalie Wood the ingÃ©nue, but would she be able to pull off a portrayal of the complex adult star? Probably not. Carey Mulligan is a "very talented young actress who can transform herself with ease," but please, is anyone going to buy the plain-JaneÂ—erÂ—Carey Mulligan as one of the legendary beauties of 1950s-60s? Probably not. Michelle Williams who recently gave a tour de force performance as the preternaturally beautiful yet insecure and extremely disturbed Marilyn Monroe seems the logical choice. Williams has already created gallery of charactersÂ—all of them unique. From Heath Ledger's betrayed wife in Brokeback Mountain to the homeless girl living in a car with her loyal dog in Wendy and Lucy, surely, Williams is the only logical choice. Or not.
According to a recent poll, Emma Watson is the people's favorite with a whopping 36.48% of the votes. Emma Stone came in second with 21.68%. Mulligan was third with 19.07%, and the talented Williams limped into fourth place with 13.78%.
Yikes. The only worse choices would be Anne Hathaway or Chelsea Handler. Seriously, while La Watson might do OK as the adolescent Wood of the 1950s, there's no way she has either the physical beauty or the on-screen sexual chemistry to portray the Natalie Wood who smoldered in films like Gypsy and Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice. Even as the very young Wood making the transition from child star to newly sexualized adult in the William Inge classic Splendor in the Grass, she would be laughable. Or worse, imagine the flat-chested, gamine-faced Emma Watson trying to mug her way through scenes as the Natalie Wood who portrayed the doomed, rebellious young woman forced by her mother to become a high-priced call girl in This Property is Condemned.
La Watson will need more than wizardry to pull it all off. What do you think?
Â© Hope Carson 2011
Hope Carson is the author of 2 books: A Roaring Girl: An Interview with the Thinking Man's Hooker and A Thousand and One Night Stands: The Life of Jon Vincent. You can follow her on Twitter