Hamlet- Shia Labeouf
“Frailty thy name is woman!” Act 1 sc. 2 Line 150
“Thus conscience does make cowards of us all.” Act 3 sc. 1 line 91
Hamlet is a complicated character, and for an actor to do this role justice they would need to portray complexity and conflict. Shia Labeouf would be able to play up the dark sides of Hamlet, and give a convincing depiction of Hamlet at his most manic and crazed.
King Claudius- Paul Giamatti
“I am still possessed of those effects for which I did the murder: My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen.” Act 3 Sc. 3 Line 57-59
Claudius is a less than savory character. As the audience, we know this almost from the beginning, but this quote confirms that he is nothing more than a selfish and greedy weasel. Because Claudius killed his brother while he was sleeping, we also know he is cowardly.
Paul Giamatti is very skilled at portraying the characters we seem to hate the most—he would effectively portray King Claudius as cunning and sinister as well as a scoundrel.
Queen Gertrude- Natalie Portman
“Thou turnst my eyes into my very soul, and there I see such black and grained spots as will not leave there tinct. Act 3 sc. 4 line 100-102
I perceive Queen Gertrude as a woman who is conflict avoidant and who often cedes to the will of others, most often her husband Claudius. While the majority of Natalie Portman’s roles are of a headstrong female protagonist, I believe she would be able to bring through the more wan and weak aspects of Queen Gertrude. I can imagine Natalie giving the above line, and making the audience truly believe that as Queen she sees inside herself an evil she has let fester there, because of her inability to take control of her own life.
Ophelia- Keke Palmer
“Do not, as some ungracious pastors do, show me the steep and thorny way to heaven, whiles, like a puffed and reckless libertine, himself the primrose path of dalliance treads and recks not his own rede. Act 1 sc. 3 line 51-55
This quote shows Ophelia’s spunk; she is a headstrong woman that understands some ways in which the world works, and won’t be pushed around by her older brother. Keke Palmer would bring confidence, spirit, and guts to this role.
Polonius- Morgan Freeman
“This must be known, which, being kept close, might move, more grief to hide than hate to utter love.” Act 2 Sc. 2 Line 130-133
Morgan Freeman would perfectly balance the roles of Polonius as caring father and pragmatic counselor to the king. He has an inherent air of wisdom that would show through when he is aiding the king, as well warmhearted and familial vibes that would be evident through interactions with his children.
Laertes – Ian Somerhalder
“The chariest maid is prodigal enough if she unmask her beauty to the moon.” Act1 Sc. 3 Line 40-41
Ian Somerhalder could capture both sides of Laertes: the concerned older brother and the immature and irresponsible adolescent.