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When Looks Matter


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When a character is recasted on a soap, it's either successful or not for a variety of reasons, like the actor's talent, the storyline, etc. But one factor that undoubtedly plays a subtle role is the appearance of the replacement. I'm NOT talking attractiveness here, so please no derogatory comments about a particular actor/actress looks. I'm talking about when a change is so striking from the original player that it interferes with our acceptance of a replacement.

For me, two examples come to mind. When Kelley Hensley replaced Melanie Smith s Emily Stewart, the contrast could not have been more striking. MS was a short, dark, long-haired sultry siren. KMH could not have been more opposite ... a tall, statuesque short-haired blond. I grew to see KMH as Emily, but it took me YEARS to do it. I just couldn't get past the physical differences between these two attractive, but totally opposite women.

When people think about the various Craig Montgomerys, it usually boils down to a Scott Bryce vs. Hunt Block argument (I'm Scott all the way!). Rarely does the name of Jeffrey Meek come up, because of his short time in the role. However, I thought Jeff was a great actor (not up to Bryce, but still very good). The reason I think he never gelled with audiences was because of his appearance. Whether it was SB or HB, Craig was always fair haired, while JM was about as darkly handsome as you could get. Ive always maintained that if he was cast as a member of the Stenbeck family, he would have been a great succes.

What about you guys? Has the appearance of a recast prevented you from accepting them in an established role?

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I think the transition between Heather Tom and Sarah Aldrich on Y&R was baffling and was one of many reasons the recast didn't work.

The transition from Sherry Stringfield to Liz Keifer also jarred me, as Liz's appearance was much more wholesome than Sherry's, who in her last months on GL had been a much more sexual character. I could not believe Liz's Blake could seduce or have a torrid affair with Ross.

As for Emily, my biggest issue was KMH's voice, which for a long time I found to be very grating.

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It depends. I loved Jamie Luner as Liza even though she looked NOTHING like Marcy Walker but then again I hated MW in the role. On a flipside, I could never get into Alex Mendoza as Joe on PC bc they went from a caucasion to a hispanic and I could not buy him playing an Irish Catholic. He was a better Joe than David Gail, whom preceeded him, but his looks made him less acceptable in the role

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The two Mike Roys AMC. Mike #1 was the rugged Indiana Jonish type. Mike #2 was just all wrong for the part. That;s the first one that comes to mind because I can think of a lot of dramatic recasts but I usually went with the flow despite being drastically different. Dixie #1 and Dixie #2 from AMC look like they aren't even the same species, and same for Will #1 and #2. AJ on GH had three actors in the role, all looking completely different from the other two. None of them botherd me.

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I have heard that some had a problem with Eden Riegel being cast on Y&R because she looked nothing like the rest of her soap family.

To me, Jamie Lunar was good, but she wasn't Liza Colby. I pretended she was just a different character who also happened to be named Liza. She just looked too different.

Christopher Lawford didn't work as Charlie Brent for me either on AMC because he was too old. There was no realistic way that anyone would look at his Charlie and SMG's Kendall and think that Kendall was the older of the two - which she was.

I had an issue with all of the Joey/Jake Martin recasts too because it completely changed the age of the character around. This is someone who thought he was Colby Chandler's father, and then a decade later, he's having a baby with someone born only a few years before Colby was! Ew.

The two Mike Roys AMC. Mike #1 was the rugged Indiana Jonish type. Mike #2 was just all wrong for the part. That;s the first one that comes to mind because I can think of a lot of dramatic recasts but I usually went with the flow despite being drastically different.

Oh God, yes. Hugo Napier was just all wrong, and he came across as very indignant and obnoxious, to the point where I almost wanted Erica to choose Adam!

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I had an issue with all of the Joey/Jake Martin recasts too because it completely changed the age of the character around. This is someone who thought he was Colby Chandler's father, and then a decade later, he's having a baby with someone born only a few years before Colby was! Ew.

surprisingly RPG is older than Michael Lowry who played Jake during that Colby story

I didnt like Mackenize Mauzy as Phoebe on B&B bc she was blonde and looked NOTHING like any of her family. She really stuck out and I wish they had keep consistent with her recasting bc the character was previously played by a brunette

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When Amy Carlson left AW they cast a doppleganger. This woman also had little acting ability. It was like some weird, unintentional taunt for fans of Carlson.

Going too far in the other direction isn't any better, like AMC recasting Nina with a woman who looked like she'd been playing Hooker #4 on Hill Street Blues.

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When Amy Carlson left AW they cast a doppleganger. This woman also had little acting ability. It was like some weird, unintentional taunt for fans of Carlson.

My goodness, I always thought in terms of recasting with looks, this was the BEST Ive ever seen. They truly looked like the same person as someone that only watched casually, it was hard to tell the difference. You could notice something was off but it was hard to pinpoint bc I didnt realize they had changed actresses

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Speaking of AW, I didnt like how everytime they recast Amanda they went for a completly new look. The various women didnt resmeble each other in the slightest

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My goodness, I always thought in terms of recasting with looks, this was the BEST Ive ever seen. They truly looked like the same person as someone that only watched casually, it was hard to tell the difference. You could notice something was off but it was hard to pinpoint bc I didnt realize they had changed actresses

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Yes but she was a bad actress, and Josie was such a lousy character that the only thing which kept her afloat was a strong actress. Having someone who looked like Amy Carlson but was totally unable to bring the character to life just made it worse, IMO.

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Yes but she was a bad actress, and Josie was such a lousy character that the only thing which kept her afloat was a strong actress. Having someone who looked like Amy Carlson but was totally unable to bring the character to life just made it worse, IMO.

The ironic thing here is that Alexandra Wilson, the original Josie, looked like neither one of them (was her hair ever blonde during her run, or was it brunette or red? It was hard to tell in some of her pictures on the AW fan page).

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blair cramer owns this thread! loved both actresses but how do you go from an exotic asian to a caucasion female with a southern accent?

I thought she would be the opposite of this thread because she is a great example of a dramatically different recast that was accepted regardless and seemingly the acceptance was almost universal.

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