The 10 Biggest Gender Swaps in TV and Film
Does a character’s gender define them? The sheer number of characters that have been gender swapped in television and film suggest that it’s certainly not the most important thing. Some characters will go through changes in the development stage, others are a new take on a pre-existing character as part of a new story.
All of these castings are important. Read on to see the 10 gender swaps dubbed the biggest and why.
10. Freddie Lounds in Hannibal
Bryan Fuller’s prequel series based on everyone’s favorite psycho, Hannibal Lecter, introduces us to some very influential characters before The Silence of the Lambs begins. Fuller was tasked with the fun job of casting characters that fans knew and loved. One of those characters was tabloid journalist Freddie Lounds, played by Stephen Lang in Michael Mann’s Manhunter, and Philip Seymour Hoffman in Brett Ratner’s Red Dragon.
Feeling that the cast was a bit of a sausage fest, Fuller swapped Lounds’ gender, casting the brilliant Lara Jean Chorostecki in a role that portrayed Lounds as a cunning opportunist and less of a desperate creep (at least outwardly) than the previous incarnations.
9. Murph in Interstellar
Interstellar isn’t exactly everyone’s favorite Christopher Nolan film, but it is built on a touching relationship between Matthew McConaughey’s space traveller and his daughter, Murph.
Jessica Chastain plays the older version of Murph, although Nolan originally wrote the character as a boy. He felt that the father and daughter relationship was better for the film, which may explain why Casey Affleck, who plays Matthew McConaughey’s son, feels so side-lined.
8. Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday
It’s hard to imagine that His Girl Friday would be such a classic without director Howard Hawks pivotal change to the source material. Hawks’ comedy, which followed those most despicable of cinema characters – yes, journalists – was adapted from the play The Front Page, by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur.
The play was written for two men, but when Hawks had his secretary read the part of Hilde, he realized that the central pairing would have more spark if it was a man and a woman. What followed is one of the funniest films of all time, with Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant burning up the screen with their rapid-fire dialogue.