Seriously, Aren't they just too old?

tom2000a
Chorus Member
joined:11/10/12
Seriously, Aren't they just too old?
Posted: 1/28/14 at 06:58pm
How, and why, is Denzel Washington playing Walter Lee Younger in Raisin in The Sun? He is three years older than me and I am 56! I might as well start auditioning for Matt in The Fantasticks! It's 30 years too old. 30 years!

And while we are on the subject... Orlando Bloom... he is 37 years old. Why is he playing Romeo who is supposed to be 17?

Anyone have any other insane bad casting because of age? I guess it could work for Denzel, I just don't see it.
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Seriously, Aren't they just too old?
Posted: 1/28/14 at 07:02pm
You're never too old to make some serious bank.
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Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
Seriously, Aren't they just too old?
Posted: 1/28/14 at 07:55pm
I attended one of the well known acting schools in NYC. I did a scene from "Biloxi Blues" playing Eugene. The teacher said I was a bit too old to be playing that role. I was 25 at the time.
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FishermanBob
Broadway Star
joined:7/9/12
Seriously, Aren't they just too old?
Posted: 1/28/14 at 08:01pm
Why is Denzel Washington playing Walter Lee Younger in Raisin in The Sun?

It's the same answer to the question "why is that 50 year old guy dating that hot 24 year old?"

Because he can.
Sutton Ross
Broadway Star
joined:7/20/13
Seriously, Aren't they just too old?
Posted: 1/28/14 at 08:05pm
I really don’t understand people complaining about Denzel’s age or the importance of Poitier’s age in the original Broadway production. There is no evidence to establish that Lorraine Hansberry wrote the play as a vehicle for Sidney Poitier, or that he was cast because his age matched the age of Walter. Also, there is nothing implausible or strange about a 60 year old man being trapped in a low wage job, and clinging to dreams of a better life while living with his 78 year old mother.

As for Orlando Bloom.....they just f*cked up.
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Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
Seriously, Aren't they just too old?
Posted: 1/28/14 at 08:06pm
I was 29 years old when I played George Gibbs in OUR TOWN. It didn't stop me from getting glowing reviews.
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lovebwy
Broadway Star
joined:4/22/12
Seriously, Aren't they just too old?
Posted: 1/28/14 at 08:11pm
Denzel as the son in Raisin? Who are they gonna get for the mother, Methuselah?
Smaxie
Broadway Legend
joined:9/26/05
Seriously, Aren't they just too old?
Posted: 1/28/14 at 08:29pm
There's I think one reference to Walter's age in the script. It's not necessarily the driving force of what makes the play work or not, or the only element as to what Raisin in the Sun is about. I don't know if they are attempting to have Denzel play the role as 35, but he certainly doesn't look like a 60 year old man either, and the stage is always more forgiving than TV or film. When the casting was announced, producer Scott Rudin intriguingly told Newsday that he sees the play as being about a grown man being infantilized by his mother. If that's the approach, it's a valid and interesting one, and I think no further justification for the casting is required.
Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.
lovebwy
Broadway Star
joined:4/22/12
Seriously, Aren't they just too old?
Posted: 1/28/14 at 08:30pm
I think that once a man reaches a certain age he is simply unable to go back. This casting is a terrible idea.
Updated On: 1/29/14 at 08:30 PM
tom2000a
Chorus Member
joined:11/10/12
Seriously, Aren't they just too old?
Posted: 1/28/14 at 08:50pm
It makes no sense period. Walter Lee is not about to retire. What 60 year old man uses his sisters college money to invest in a liquor store? The whole point of the show is that Walter Lee is stuck in his life as a 30 year old man, who's wife is about to have a baby. He is desperate to leave his life as a chauffeur and buy a business.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I have read this play many times, I have seen several productions, and my opinion is it's insane, illogical, and does a great disservice to the play to let Denzel Washington play this role at this point in his life. I would think he would be embarrassed.
Smaxie
Broadway Legend
joined:9/26/05
Seriously, Aren't they just too old?
Posted: 1/28/14 at 09:27pm
Travis is Walter's 10-year-old son, not his brother, lovebwy.

You can be stuck in your life at any age - and again, I'm not sure that Denzel's actual age means he'll read as 60 years old on stage. Sometimes, if you go to a show to have your understanding of a play challenged, it can be rewarding. And if you choose to sit it out, that's a fair choice as well. Embarrassing? Well, it's more embarrassing when a non-actor takes on the role.
Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.
amoni
Broadway Star
joined:5/17/04
Seriously, Aren't they just too old?
Posted: 1/28/14 at 09:30pm
Denzel Washington is an actor. He'll act younger.
Sutton Ross
Broadway Star
joined:7/20/13
Seriously, Aren't they just too old?
Posted: 1/28/14 at 09:40pm
Exactly. Why are people complaining? Just don't see it. There are tons of people who will pay top premium prices just to be in the same room with him, he's a phenomenal talent. It's a play, it's pretend, he can act younger.
“Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be, or to be indistinguishable from, self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time.” Neal Stephenson
Jay Lerner-Z
Broadway Legend
joined:4/4/11
Seriously, Aren't they just too old?
Posted: 1/29/14 at 12:08am
I'll still take Denzel over Sean John PDiddy Diddy Puff Daddy Puffy Combs.
AKA McDreamy
OperaBwayLover
Broadway Star
joined:5/17/07
Seriously, Aren't they just too old?
Posted: 1/29/14 at 12:33am
If we're gonna play that game, why do middle-aged sopranos play the roles of Butterfly (who is supposed to be 15 or 16) and Turandot (also supposed to be a teenager)? :-p
RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
Seriously, Aren't they just too old?
Posted: 1/29/14 at 01:04am
I'm almost 30, and was told by an agency that I'm not old enough to play the lead in Kinky Boots, yet they just added a cover who is actually 5 years younger than me. So, there ya go. It's all about how it looks on stage, not your actual age. I don't look my age, so therefore, no one is going to cast me as someone who is 30, even though I almost am.

I was actually surprised to find that Denzel was almost 60. I didn't realize that. And, I know it's terrible, but I don't know anything about the play, so I'm excited to see it with a blind eye.
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Seriously, Aren't they just too old?
Posted: 1/29/14 at 05:27am
On stage, he'll look 40...not a huge step. Do you thing that at some magic age, people suddenly do the "right" thing? They don't.

In this day and age of people returning to live at their parents....and moochers that never left, I think this may very well have a different tone.

He's a wonderful actor: if there is any "too old" actor for role, Denzel is about as good as it could get.
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doodlenyc
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/04
Seriously, Aren't they just too old?
Posted: 1/29/14 at 09:39am
I'm more surprised they cast a 41 year old Benethea!
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jayinchelsea
Broadway Star
joined:4/9/09
Seriously, Aren't they just too old?
Posted: 1/29/14 at 10:05am
It's all about the money and greedy producers. Denzel has proved that he is a fine stage actor, but yes, it is embarrassing to see him taking on a role of a man who is half his age. No, Diddy was not good in the role (better in the TV version, where the cameras could cut away to the remarkable actresses and fill in the dramatic voids), and yes, Denzel will be much better (he was great in FENCES), but how do they explain Walter Lee having a very young son after, what, 30+ years of marriage? Why stretch a great play out of shape? Oh right, to make a buck.
jnb9872
Broadway Legend
joined:11/24/08
Seriously, Aren't they just too old?
Posted: 1/29/14 at 10:13am
To me, the biggest hitch in a 59-year-old Walter is that his younger sister, Beneatha, needs money for her education.

So... that'd be a 40-something year gap between siblings? Even if Denzel, as dramamama rightly points out, plays younger than he is (and he usually does), a 40-something Walter still has about 20 years on Beneatha if she's at the end of her school-age-appropriate casting.

They'll still very likely do a good job with the material outside of that age objection, and the production will roll in the dough, and really that's the bottom line. Does it bother me? Sight unseen, yes. Will it bother me during the show? Hopefully not, though if the production is flat and dead than it will be difficult to ignore. Has it happened before and will it happen again? As safe a bet as there is while there are still bankable stars and roles they want to play, age recommendation be damned.
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newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
Seriously, Aren't they just too old?
Posted: 1/29/14 at 10:14am
There's a rumor - just a rumor, mind you - that Denzel wants to take over the role of Gavroche when Raisin closes. He will be brilliant.

Updated On: 1/29/14 at 10:14 AM
lovebwy
Broadway Star
joined:4/22/12
Seriously, Aren't they just too old?
Posted: 1/29/14 at 11:40am
LOL newintown, that's a good one!
pittsburghgal89
Swing
joined:1/15/14
Seriously, Aren't they just too old?
Posted: 1/29/14 at 02:22pm
He can play Oliver in the next Broadway revival after playing Gavroche!
madbrian
Broadway Legend
joined:6/1/06
Seriously, Aren't they just too old?
Posted: 1/29/14 at 02:37pm
I believe Denzel will play Baby June to Streisand's Rose in Gypsy.
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ErinDillyFan
Broadway Star
joined:7/14/06
Seriously, Aren't they just too old?
Posted: 1/29/14 at 03:19pm
Some people have shown great restraint (not me). Whenever age issues come up on this board, Barbra Streisand's Dolly is always mentioned. Followed by, Angela Lansbury (at 37) playing the mother of Laurence Harvey (at 34) in The Manchurian Candidate.
Wilmingtom
Broadway Star
joined:7/18/11
Seriously, Aren't they just too old?
Posted: 1/29/14 at 04:03pm
Yes, Denzel is too old for the role. He is also a major movie star and a good actor. I do think a Walter in his 30's is more compelling and has more at stake, but that's not to say that this excellent play rises and falls on Walter's age. The material is sturdy enough to support Denzel's age, and he may shed new light on a moment or two. Let's see.

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