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Natalie Portman Takes the Lead in Wuthering Heights Film

Paging Heathcliff! Natalie Portman has signed on to play Catherine in a new adaptation of Emily Bronte's classic novel, Wuthering Heights.

This new film comes complete with a lot of period-piece cachet: The production company also worked on Becoming Jane and Mrs. Brown, and the writer, Olivia Hetreed, also adapted The Girl with the Pearl Earring for film. And, of course, Portman just appeared in The Other Boleyn Girl.

What do you think of Portman as Catherine? She doesn't really have the look or the voice I pictured when reading the book, but on the other hand, I'm not sure what actress I'd rather have playing the part. I just seem to enjoy her so much more in modern roles rather than period pieces.

And, I'm serious: Who would pair well with her as Heathcliff?


Join The Conversation
c4thy c4thy 9 years
You're wrong... Both characters are called Catherine and Cathy in the novel. Some movies (like de 1992 version with Fiennes/Binoche) tried to make a distinction between the two names, not to confuse the public (especially if you think that both characters were played by Binoche!!... an aberation...) But Bronte didn't make any distinction: she put in scene Catherine-mother and Catherine-daughter, both called Cathy by those who were intimate with them. For example, Heathcliff calls the mother Cathy, and Nelly does the same with the daughter. Hey... did you hear about the news?? Natalie Portman broke her alliance with the production team of the new Wuthering Heights movie! She won't assume the role anymore. According to the Daily Mail article, the Heathcliff role would be played by the Irish/German actor Michael Fassbender (a very good choice!)... We can now speculate... who will play Catherine-"Cathy"-Earnshaw-the-first? Sienna Miller, Keira Knightley, Emily Blunt? Personnally, I vote for the latter... Emily Blunt/Michael Fassbender aren't two surexposed, like Knightley and Portman are, and I think it would be a very, very intersting match.
Bon-Bon280255 Bon-Bon280255 9 years
I love Wuthering Heights for its depth of raw emotion, and the wonderful vivid characters. I think this version should be great, but I just want to clarify. CATHERINE IS NOT CATHY. Natalie Portman, as far as I can glean, is going to play Cathy's daughter, Catherine Earnshaw. That means NO LOVE SCENES WITH HEATHCLIFF. Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie are going to play the romantic leads. Portman doesnt need to be mad or die. Love the book. I just hope they dont mess with the story too much.
sugarysweet sugarysweet 9 years
Since Catherine was stick-thin(remember how she would lock herself in her room and refuse to eat?), petulant and immature in the book I think Keira Knightly would play this role very well.
girlfriday girlfriday 9 years
Am I mis-remembering or was Cathy blonde? In any case, I think Portman can pull it off. She's not who I would have chosen - Cathy to me is slightly insane, and Portman always seems so grounded. I would've chosen something with a little bit of crazy behind them. Like a younger Helena Bonham Carter. God forbid this role should have gone to Keira Knightly. We've already had a stick-thin, petulant, immature Elizabeth Bennett (Pride and Prejudice). I couldn't imagine her ruining this classic too! (Sorry, but I am on the Keira hater train). Whoever said Joaquin Phoenix - I agree. Someone who'd also be great is Toby Stephens (the son of Dame Maggie Smith, actually). However I doubt they'd choose him as he played Mr. Rochester (stunningly, I may add) in the most recent BBC/PBS version of Jane Eyre. Check it out if you haven't seen it. It's the only movie version of that book I've enjoyed. Just as a side note, since people have been mentioning Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre in tandem, FYI, they were written by different Bronte sisters, not the same person.
c4thy c4thy 9 years
But I think you're right, sleekeasy, when you say that Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp were going to star in an adaptation of the novel (it's a 2006 rumour). I agree, Angelina doesn't fit at all!!
robinesque robinesque 9 years
Noooo, Angelina is too sensual for the fragile Cathy. I like Phoenix and Winslet much better.
sleekeasy sleekeasy 9 years
i thought johnny depp and angelina jolie were going to star in a wuthering heights adaptation? i'd rather see them, though i like natalie.
c4thy c4thy 9 years
But I'll applause if Johnny Depp is chosen, really!...
c4thy c4thy 9 years
So, you agree with me that Phoenix would play a terrific Heathcliff, do you? The character needs to be embodied by a violent actor, a physical one, with someting "rough", yet vulnerable, as you said, and Phoenix excells playing the taciturn guys. And personnally, he could have greasy hair... ;) that doesn't matter! (... Heathcliff isn't at all clean and perfect and nice all along the book! In the case of Fiennes greasy hairs, it contributes to show the mental degeneration of Heathcliff.) For sure, the role of Heathcliff is that kind of character to be played by a first quality actor, a multi-dimensionnal one. Just imagine a duet Winslett/Phoenix!
rivrchild rivrchild 9 years
Joaquin Phoenix as Heathcliff! I think someone else suggested this before. He can have such a dark, but yet vulnerable side, oh I'm getting chills just thinking of the possibilities!
ncstategirl ncstategirl 9 years
I HATE this book with a passion, but I might see it because of Natalie Portman, just to see how she does. Juliette Binoche was great as Catherine and Ralph Fiennes was a good Heathcliff, even though all I wanted to do was grab a hold of him and wash his hair. So greasy! When I thought about who should play Heathcliff in the new version I immediately thought of Gerard Butler. The man is fine and I wouldn't think twice about seeing this movie if he were in it!
sugarysweet sugarysweet 9 years
Heath Ledger was named after Heathcliff. Wuthering Heights was his mother's favorite book.
aleeex aleeex 9 years
i've always thought of heath ledger as heathcliff. maybe its just the name?
mia804c mia804c 9 years
I think from her performance in Closer and The Other Boleyn Girl that she can be intense and dark enough for the role, but I have no idea who I'd imagine playing opposite her. Honestly though, I wouldn't have imagined her or Keira Knightley in the role to begin with. I have to agree that I'd like to see her in more modern roles. Same for Keira Knightley. I'm getting tired of the period pieces.
Stacey-Cakes Stacey-Cakes 9 years
i love this book...i hope the rest of the casting and direction is good
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 9 years
I am not happy with this. I find Natalie Portman's performances to be quite wooden. I adore this book, and I am really disappointed that she has been tapped to play Catherine.
msmoney23 msmoney23 9 years
Personally, I didn't like the novel. Someone else mentioned Jane Eyre...and I think that one hurts even worse. I know some people are in love with late 1700'ish early 1800s novels, but I'm not one of them. To be honest I probably won't even watch the film, but I have seen the old Wuthering Heights and I think Natalie is a bit odd for the part.
Nyrina-Windu Nyrina-Windu 9 years
I don't like it when they remake classic movies. I think they should be left alone to be what they are, which is wonderful one of a kind classic movies. But I think Natalie will do a fine job. I usually enjoy her work.
elizabelle elizabelle 9 years
I remember not being a fan of this (or any other Bronte sisters') work. But I've been meaning to return to it and give it another try...
redscorpio redscorpio 9 years
Clive Owen would have been perfect but he is too old I think...
Jessamae22 Jessamae22 9 years
ah yes, Rachel Weiss--I could definitely see her as Catherine! Good call too about Natalie's bad British accent...hmm, I'm still wishing Johnny Depp would get the part of Heathcliff!
Bubblegum2000 Bubblegum2000 9 years
I wonder if Natalie is not a bit overrated as an actress, just like Keira BTW. I mean, compare any of them to Kate Winslet or Rachel Weiss (not sure about the spelling) and you'll really see the difference between a goood actress and a terrific actress. So uh... wrong casting, definitely. Portman doesn't have an ounce of passion inside of her, at least none that shows up on her face. That and the fact she can't pull a British accent...
fashionplate525 fashionplate525 9 years
I think she will do an amazing job portraying the character we all are so familiar with but bring her sense of innocence and sophistication to the role. She is an amazingly talented actress and I will no doubt be a great Catherine!
oohsexypenguin oohsexypenguin 9 years
I love this book, and for me the best movie version was the one with Juliette Binoche as Cathy and Ralph Fiennes as Heathcliff. I thought they were perfect. I do think, though, that Keira Knightley would be a far better choice than Natalie Portman. As for Heathcliff... maybe Stuart Townsend?
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