Good evening, everyone! It’s time for Top 5 Wednesday again! All throughout the month of May, we get to pick any previous topic from the T5W archives. This week I chose the top five actor portrayals of book characters. I know, I know. The book is always (usually) better than the movie. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some great actor portrayals of our favorite book characters. A few of these might make you side-eye me, but I don’t care. I said what I said. Anyway, let’s get on with the show:
- Lily Collins as Clary Fray in the City of Bones film
I have a confession to make: the only time I’ve ever really liked Clary is in the City of Bones movie. And that’s entirely thanks to Ms. Lily Collins. Her Clary is earnest and clever, down-to-earth and passionate. All she wants is to save the people she loves. And, while that’s also true for Book and Show Clary, Lily’s Clary just has something that they don’t. As much casting as this film got wrong, this is the one they got emphatically right.
- Logan Lerman as Percy Jackson in the Percy Jackson films
Yes, I know the films are bad. I’m not disputing that. But Logan… was Percy. He’s got the sassiness down to a T and he looks the part. Imagine if they’d started making these films when Logan was younger (and stuck closer to the books)! Then we’d all agree that Logan Lerman is Percy Jackson.
- Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross in the True Grit (2010) film
I read the book and watched the film in a class I took about analyzing text-to-screen adaptations. This one was one of my favorites and it’s not hard to see why. This is easily Hailee’s best performance to date. Her Mattie is brassy and determined, even when she’s frightened. Hailee breathes life into this character in a way her predecessor Kim Darby couldn’t in the 1969 version. A true class act filled with true grit indeed.
- Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter in the Harry Potter films
Like anyone else, I have my share of problems with these movies. But Daniel’s portrayal of Harry was never one of them. Not only is he the spitting image of The Boy Who Lived, but he embodies everything that make Harry so wonderful. He shows Harry’s kindness, sassiness, and ballsy-ness. He portrays Harry’s pain and joy so well, sometimes I forget that he’s not actually Harry! That’s not only the mark of a great portrayal, but of a great actor.
- Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in the Suicide Squad film
As flawed as this movie is, I love Margot’s portrayal of Harley Quinn. She’s just on this side of crazy, a kooky Jersey girl with a penchant for villainy. But it’s not just her villainous lunacy that Margot captures so well— she gets to the root of Harley’s humanity. I am so glad we’ll get to see more movies with this scene-stealing bombshell and hope they’re better than this one was.
What are some of your favorite actor portrayals of book characters? Let me know in the comments!