Danelle’s Fantasy Cast:
Let me preface this with the statement that no one has any idea what time frame Starz is going to start this series in, or pretty much anything else at this point, so we really have no idea if they will transition from younger actors into older ones for the principal characters or not.
That being said, here are my top choices for the main roles in The Spanish Princess!
Catherine of Aragon– being the titular character is going to be so important in casting. I am not sure about anyone else, but Maria Doyle-Kennedy was not my top pick for her on The Tudors, and I never actually felt that she embodied the role. I think a great choice to play the young Infanta would be Ashleigh Craig. She was in the movie Crush, and she had some great character depth – if you watched this movie, you know that the opening scene gives you major chills because she’s crazy creepy. As far as an “older” Catherine, I think the Spanish actress Clara Lago would be a fantastic choice. I don’t know as much about her, besides the fact that she is gorgeous and was in Extinction, and I think that she has the perfect look to play the Queen as an adult, and it is a bonus that she is from Spain. I have a “thing” about people’s accents…
Of course, Henry VIII is a pivotal character, and I, being a mother to only daughters, have seen a lot of Max Charles. He’s been in a ton of stuff my kids watch, and I think he’d be a great option for young Henry. As far as grown-up Henry, I love actor Josh Bowman. He’s not been in a lot of things, but he played the Jack the Ripper character in the (short-lived) Time After Time on ABC last year. Some of you may recognize him from Revenge. Great things about Josh: he is HOT, and also has a lot of energy…and he’s a Brit, so his accent will be perfect.
Lina is not a character in the books, so I am assuming she’s similar to Dona Elvira but younger and more of a friend to the Infanta. I think Gugu Mbatha-Raw is a fantastic choice to play her – Gugu is one of those actors that you may not realize you know; she was recently in A Wrinkle in Time, she was Plumette in Beauty and the Beast last year, and has been in The Cloverfield Paradox, Free State of Jones, Concussion and a lot of other films. She’s a beautiful Brit (check her out in the April 2018 edition of British Vogue!), who at 35 may be considered “too old” to play Lina, but like I stated above, we have no idea what timeline we are working with, and I think she’d be a great addition to the cast.
I may be an outlier for these last two, but I think that Michelle Fairley as Lady Margaret (Henry’s grandmother) and Jacob Collins-Levy as Henry VII should reprise their roles from The White Princess. I don’t see a need to recast – we aren’t far from the timeline of that show, and they were perfect in the roles.
Photo source: Starz Media LLC
Janna’s Fantasy Cast:
Historically a lot of this story took place when the main characters were in their mid-teens. I decided to fantasy cast a little older, because I’m in my 30’s now and teenage boys are yesterday’s eye candy. I’d rather leave my inner cougar in that dark mind cave where she belongs. Down, kitty.
Catherine of Aragon– Despite being technically Spanish, Catherine was actually fair skinned with reddish hair. Previous TV and movie productions have cast more traditional Spanish-looking actresses, but I decided to cast closer to her physical appearance. My choice is Isolda Dychauk, a German actress best known for playing Lucrezia Borgia in the Netflix series Borgia. Catherine of Aragon was a paragon of pious virtue while displaying a steely determination to cling to her self-perceived destiny as Queen of England. Isolda has that perfect combination of wide-eyed innocence and iron-willed tenacity to turn in a formidable performance.
Prince Arthur- Historians sing the praises of the ill-fated Prince of Wales. He was handsome and refined, with reddish blond hair. Tall, well educated, with an amiable and gentle personality. My mind immediately went to William Moseley, who made his debut in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe as eldest brother/High King Peter Pevensie. While he’s not still that golden-haired cherub, I bet he can still convincingly play the kind prince who wrote his betrothed love letters in Latin and memorized poems by Homer and Ovid. And then died of the sweating sickness. *wanh waaaanh*
Henry VIII– Mercurial, brilliant, narcissistic madman. Charming and romantic one minute, executing peeps who pissed him off the next. I recently saw the movie Snatched (it’s terrible, don’t bother) in which the only bright spot was Tom Bateman as a smooth talking ladies man who lures female tourists into the clutches of human traffickers. Dark, right? He could easily manage the appealing-but-tyrannical king who has a deep preoccupation with male heirs. Plus that beard hotness is just off the charts.
Lady Margaret Pole– Starz has confirmed that the show will also be partially based on Gregory’s novel The King’s Curse. Told from the perspective of Lady Margaret Pole, it is a different angle to the same story. Lady Margaret was a Plantagenet, the fierce but defeated rivals of the Tudors. Though born of royal blood, she was married off to a poor knight as to not pose a threat to the Tudor throne. Gregory writes her as a proud, refined, and determined woman. And no one does ‘refined English determination’ better than Emily Blunt.
Lina- All we really know about this fictional character is that she’s one of Catherine’s Ladies-in-waiting, and is a Moor. Moors could be either of black African or Arab descent, and I went with a Middle Eastern actress. Aiysha Hart is best known for her role in BBC’s Atlantis, BUT she’s also also been cast in A Discovery of Witches so we’ll probably be hearing a lot more about her.
Henry VII-In The Constant Princess, Henry is an old miser, way more interested (sexually, ew) in his new daughter-in-law Catherine than in his wife Queen Elizabeth. Catherine, like the sheltered little Infanta she is, can’t pick up on the horny undertones and enjoys his “fatherly” attention. After the death of Arthur and the Queen, he actually considers marrying Catherine himself, because that’s not weird at all, right? In my mind I saw someone gruff and unrefined, but with enough
delusion allure, machismo and attractiveness to fancy himself as a suitable partner for a widowed 16 year old girl. Gerard Butler may be getting on in years but he’s still damn good-looking, and can totally pull off “douchey old lecher”. No offense, man.