Often when we go to see a play or a filmic adaptation of a novel, we are pleased when a character so accurately represents what we had in our own minds when reading the play/novel. In this case the director, producer and casting director if there is one will have chosen someone who best resembles the clear-cut, stereotypical, view of the character in question. Obviously a character on stage or screen will never closely resemble how every single audience member viewed them, but you can come close to a majority.
What I often find interesting, though, is when a representation of a character totally defies my expectations whilst remaining totally true to that character. What I don’t mean is someone offering a different or quirky take on a well known character just for the sake of it but when, through performer choices or casting decisions, a new facet of the character is brought out or emphasised.
I love seeing a character from my reading experience seemingly translated directly from my mind to the stage, but I think I like being surprised and challenged in my view even more. I wonder, though, what the majority of people enjoy the most? Is it comforting familiarity, or possibly slightly uncomfortable unfamiliarity that shifts our own perceptions?