Sweeney Todd Question #20 ~ Mrs. Lovett - In Film

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Sweeney Todd Question #20 ~ Mrs. Lovett - In Film

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sat Oct 28, 2006 9:21 am

We were going to ask who you would cast in the role of Mrs. Lovett but since Helena Bonham Carter has been announced for the role, we are changing it up a bit. We have compared Mrs. Lovett's character in the different versions we hav read or seen. How would you like to see her character portrayed in the film?
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Unread postby nebraska » Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:53 am

I think that depends on the direction Tim and Johnny go with Sweeney's character and the tone of the movie.

I have seen her portrayed as a spinsterly type barely visible in the 1930s movie, as a bright bouncey slightly silly woman in the musical, and as a mean witch with too much makeup and a grotesque mouth in the Kingsley version. None of these could be put in another version without causing serious continuity problems....

So, I guess it depends on Tim and Johnny and the movie they decide to make.......maybe a bit like the step mother in SH? :-?

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Unread postby Betty Sue » Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:20 am

Good answer, nebraska! I really enjoyed Angela Lansbury's portrayal, but, as you mentioned, it really depends on Johnny and Tim's concept of the rest of the film. One thing I'm pretty sure of is that their Mrs. Lovett will be unlike any others!! :-O
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sat Oct 28, 2006 12:15 pm

That is why I think this film has such great potential. Unlike Charlie & the Chocolate Factory where there only one previous version, Sweeney Todd has been told over and over again with different interpretations and characters. Tim can take it in whatever direction his vision steers him and it can still be brand new. I'm sure there will be inevitable comparisons to the original Sondheim version, but there have been different versions of that too as the recent Broadway play showed us. I would like to see Mrs. Lovett as a somewhat sympathetic but still dastardly villian equal to Sweeney. Perhaps a little love interest as well. Since we don't have much back story on her, the book is wide open and blank there and I hope Tim will give her an interesting story.
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Unread postby Liz » Sat Oct 28, 2006 2:08 pm

Nebraska, I can see Mrs. Lovett as a little like the step mother in SH.

I agree, DITHOT, that with the varied interpretations of Mrs. Lovett over the years, it really gives Tim the freedom to do what he wants with her part. But Helena, I’m sure, will bring something of her own to it, also.

Of the interpretations I’ve seen, I’ve liked Patti LuPone’s from the concert version. But I also like what I saw from the link that Db provided of her in the most recent Broadway version. I think Angela is too over the top for me.

But I know whatever Tim decides to do with it, I’ll like it.
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Unread postby gemini » Sat Oct 28, 2006 3:13 pm

How would you like to see her character portrayed in the film?

Nebraska has a point; it depends on the version they go with. They could portray her as an older woman or as similar in age and Sweeney's lover. Being a romantic, I will always prefer her as his lover. Also, I can't get that image of her poisoning herself in prison in Hainings version out of my head. Tim could make use of this for a really dramatic ending. She did reveal Sweeney's part in the murders at her arrest, I took it that she thought she was going to be blamed and he may not get caught, which makes her a little ruthless. (Also Hainings version which I like better than Sweeney killing her.) I think she could play a lover and accomplice but add in a bit of fear of him at the end when Sweeney learns of his wife. Just please don't make her silly or "over the top" as Liz so politely puts it. DITHOT pretty well covers my preferences with sympathetic, villain, and love interest. Somehow, I associate Sweeney killing her at the end with the crazy over the top version of Mrs Lovett and it would not be so logical if she were a more sympathic love interest.
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Unread postby Liz » Sat Oct 28, 2006 4:52 pm

gemini wrote: Just please don't make her silly or "over the top" as Liz so politely puts it. DITHOT pretty well covers my preferences with sympathetic, villain, and love interest. Somehow, I associate Sweeney killing her at the end with the crazy over the top version of Mrs Lovett and it would not be so logical if she were a more sympathic love interest.


I don’t know if I was all that polite. :lol: And I realize now I didn’t really explain why I liked LuPone’s portrayal. It’s hard for me to explain. She has a talent for comedy and musicals that pulls you in but doesn’t overdue. In other words, she’s flamboyant, but not to the extreme.
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Unread postby Depputante » Sat Oct 28, 2006 6:33 pm

I would like Mrs. Lovett to become the modern independant business woman, and not really depend on Sweeny for love, but just for her store's supplies.
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Unread postby MommaDeppLover » Sat Oct 28, 2006 7:16 pm

Depputante wrote:I would like Mrs. Lovett to become the modern independant business woman, and not really depend on Sweeny for love, but just for her store's supplies.


I must say, Depputante, when I read your suggestion, I was
very surprised. I mean I just hadn't thought of taken the character in that direction...very interesting.
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Unread postby Liz » Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:17 pm

MommaDeppLover wrote:
Depputante wrote:I would like Mrs. Lovett to become the modern independant business woman, and not really depend on Sweeny for love, but just for her store's supplies.


I must say, Depputante, when I read your suggestion, I was
very surprised. I mean I just hadn't thought of taken the character in that direction...very interesting.


I like that idea, Depputante. :thumbsup:
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Unread postby Depputante » Sun Oct 29, 2006 2:35 am

Liz wrote:
MommaDeppLover wrote:
Depputante wrote:I would like Mrs. Lovett to become the modern independant business woman, and not really depend on Sweeny for love, but just for her store's supplies.


I must say, Depputante, when I read your suggestion, I was
very surprised. I mean I just hadn't thought of taken the character in that direction...very interesting.


I like that idea, Depputante. :thumbsup:


:heart2: Well, thanks! I never really thought much about it. Thought it has been quite obvious all along. HOWEVER, I have not read the older versions of ST, when they had the tunnel, and were said lovers (so to speak).

I think Angela Lansbury did a great job at the beginning of ST , being the busy independant business woman. (It's her humor and uplifting spirit that I don't agree with). And I think, perhaps, she even began to 'love' out of 'need' for her supplies. Now that's the Mrs. Lovett I want to see. Shrewd and out for herself, getting the oven in the end for using Sweeny that way! :freaked:

With Helena in the role, (I haven't seen any of her other roles), :ohyes: I would expect she look like a 'female Tim' in the role. Crazy hair, geniously independant business woman, then be out to get what she needs to survive.

Ha ha ha... Lovett... I love it! It's a great role. I wish it was me getting hired for it!
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Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Sun Oct 29, 2006 3:41 am

I think since Helena is not afraid to do anything with her looks etc it could be an interesting inturpretation.Also she usually plays quite strong characters so I would imagine she will be no different she has quite a deep voice so she wouldn't play it as a simpering type.

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Unread postby Liz » Sun Oct 29, 2006 10:23 am

I agree, GG.
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Unread postby Endora » Sun Oct 29, 2006 11:29 am

You're right about Mrs L needing to be a force to be reckoned with instead of a used woman. Maybe she should be the one influencing ST for the worse, not the other way round.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Oct 29, 2006 1:38 pm

Great ideas, everyone! It will be fun to go back and revisit this thread after the movie comes out!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!


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