Neil Patrick Harris, Helen Mirren or Lindsay Lohan: Who Should Play Julian Assange?
By Jo Piazza Posted Jan 24th 2011 03:00PM
Not since David Fincher began sniffing for his American Lisbeth Salander has speculation over which actor would portray a creepy foreigner on-screen been as interesting as this week when Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's life story was optioned for a biopic.
While the project remains in its prenatal stages, now is the time to speculate on who could possibly portray Assange, including Neil Patrick Harris and surprise picks Helen Mirren or Lindsay Lohan.
The Gloss Editor-in-Chief Lilit Marcus votes for a combination of Neil Patrick Harris in the 'Harold and Kumar' franchise and Matt Damon in 'The Talented Mr. Ripley.' It could possible be portioned out into a duel role to accommodate both actors, like Hayley Mills in 'The Parent Trap,' but in reverse.
"It needs to be someone who can dance the fine line of charming and total skeeze," Marcus says.
Mediaite Editor-at-Large Rachel Sklar also champions Harris.
"If the movie is written in the 'Social Network' style, i.e. huge liberties taken with plot and character, then Harris could imbue the screen Assange [pictured at right] with passion and fire but also with the earnestness and vulnerability necessary to sympathize with a rogue freedom fighter, although Assange himself rather lacks that quality," Sklar says.
Our own Naughty But Nice Rob Shuter thinks that after getting the boot from the Linda Lovelace biopic this role would be the perfect vehicle for Lindsay Lohan's comeback.
"When it comes to leaks no one is better than la Lohan. Plus, she needs a break, and often cross-dressing celebrities get nominated for an Oscar; for example, Dustin Hoffman, Hillary Swank, Liza Minnelli -- no wait, I think that one was really her and not a drag queen," Shuter said, with a hint of confusion.
The cross-dressing thing seems to be on everyone's minds. Radio host and 'Cult of Celebrity' author Cooper Lawrence suggested Helen Mirren, who, as photographic evidence proves, is a fantastic choice for Assange in his shoulder-length hair phase.
"Helen Mirren for sure! The gender-bender thing is always attention-getting, just the way Cate Blanchett did it in 'I'm Not There' ... which reminds me, she should play the younger Julian Assange. It's always a good idea to have likable actors play unlikable people. Otherwise, nobody will go to the movie," Lawrence says.
Of course, because of Assange's pale skin tone, the name Paul Bettany has already been bandied about, probably to his dismay. Word to the wise: Don't ask Bettany at a party why he always seems to play creepy albinos unless you want to talk to his hand.
The tough thing about casting Assange is that in reality he seems to have been plucked right out of central casting.
"Julian Assange already looks like the kind of person who would play Julian Assange in the movie. Alas, there is a shortage of mysterious oily-yet-dashing albinos on the scene," Sklar says.
We couldn't agree more. But that doesn't mean we will stop guessing.
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