Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Is January Jones Miscast as Emma Frost?
So the news came out today that January Jones (of "Mad Men" fame) has been cast as Emma Frost/The White Queen in the new X-Men prequel, "X-Men: First Class".
First, let's address the obvious physical, umm, "deficiencies", I guess, of Jones-as-Frost. Just look at the picture above. That's Emma Frost (as sculpted by Sideshow, based on art from Adam Hughes) on the right, and Jones on the left (as if you couldn't tell the human from the fictional character). Sure, Jones has the right skin tone and hair for Frost, but her shape is severely lacking.
Reportedly the much more curvaceous Alice Eve was in the running for the role. At first, I thought that possibly the producers of the movie chose to go with Jones because of her height, but Jones is listed at 5-foot-6, while Eve is 5'5 ½", so that couldn't be the reason (though honestly before looking it up, I would have pegged Jones at about 5'8" and Eve at 5'4", so their listed heights may not be accurate).
Look at a side-by-side comparison of Alice Eve with Emma Frost, this time in drawn form, rather than sculpture (though I've got more Emma Frost statue photos I could post):
Visually, that seems much more compatible. It helps that the outfit Eve is wearing in that shot from "She's Out of My League" could easily translate to a classroom setting, but I think if there is an actress in Hollywood that could pull off the body of Emma Frost, it's her. The acting required for the character, well, that's a different story?
However, I'm still not sold that Jones is the right choice either. Yes, Betty Francis (neé Draper) is pretty much an ice queen bitch, but Frost actually has an aloof, sardonic quality to her as well, which I don't get from Jones on "Mad Men" at all. She generally just comes off as wooden, at least for the past couple of seasons, which may not be entirely Jones's fault, but she can't be blameless either. I don't doubt that at times Jones has been a very good actress, but I just have this feeling that she's the wrong choice for this role -- much in the way that Halle Berry, while a good actress at times, was the wrong choice for both Storm and Catwoman.
I will say that the casting of Jones is the first time in awhile I've even cared about this movie, so that has to count for something. But for now, count me among the skeptical.