When NBC formally announced that month that its four-hour miniseries version of “Rosemary’s Baby” would begin production in Paris in January, HitFix tossed together a gallery of candidates to play the lead role. Because of how iconic Mia Farrow’s performance was in the Roman Polanski movie, we’ll confess that our choices were a bit stuck in a pixie-waif box, with candidates including probably-too-British Carey Mulligan and probably-too-young Dakota Fanning.
NBC announced its “Rosemary’s Baby” casting on Wednesday (January 8) afternoon and while it wasn’t somebody we considered… I’ll allow it.
“Star Trek” and “Avatar” star Zoe Saldana will play mother-to-be Rosemary in the adaptation of Ira Levin’s 1967 suspense novel, which has now been transplanted to a Paris apartment with a dark past. Scott Abbott and James Wong wrote the script, which will be directed by Oscar and Emmy nominee Agnieszka Holland.
Shooting on “Rosemary’s Baby” will begin soon.
“Zoe has proven that she is one of our most gifted actresses and we think she has the perfect combination of spirit and gravitas to take on the title role from Ira Levin”s infamous novel,” blurbs Quinn Taylor, Executive Vice President, Movies, Miniseries and International Co-Productions, NBC Entertainment. “With Zoe leading the cast under the direction of Agnieszka Holland, this reimagined event miniseries is off to a great start.”
In addition to signing on to star, Saldana will also executive produce along with Cisely Saldana and Mariel Saldana.
Frankly, when we made our list of casting options, we were pretty short-sighted not to have thought beyond white girls with blonde hair. Good on NBC for not being similarly restrictive when it came to looking at actors of movie-recognizable status.
Several other things jump out, though, from the decision to cast Saldana.
Mostly, this will apparently be a slightly older Rosemary. Mia Farrow in the Polanski film was a naif, a wide-eyed girl, in over her head. Saldana, however, is 35. She also obviously brings a more assertive physicality, as anybody who has seen “Colombiana” or even “Center Stage” can vouch. You can look to “Out of the Furnace” or “The Words” if you need to see her acting chops.
Saldana was last seen on the small screen in a recurring role on ABC’s “Six Degrees.” Since nobody actually saw that, you might have spotted her on episodes of both “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Law & Order.”
NBC will drop by the Television Critics Association press tour on Sunday, July 19 and we’ll see if they have any more casting to announce. Who is the 21st Century’s John Cassavetes (as an actor)? Or Ruth Gordon?
Do you like the Zoe Saldana casting?