A couple of weekends ago while doing my hair, I popped in my DVD of the classic TV movie, “Women of Brewster Place,” starring my shero Oprah (no last name needed). If memory serves, “Women of Brewster Place” was a mini-series that morphed into a short-lived TV show.
In the event that you are unfamiliar, “Women of Brewster Place” is based on the novel of the same name by one, Gloria Naylor. New York City native, Naylor, also wrote “Linden Hills,” “Mama Day,” “Bailey’s Cafe” and “Men of Brewster Place.” While I could sit here and give you the entire story of “Women of Brewster Place,” imagine it to be similar to “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.” The book of course, not that almost dreadful movie Tyler Perry did.
It’s the story of eight women, really nine if you count Miss Eva, who leaned on each other in good times and bad. Brewster Place is the name of the dead-end street where their rundown apartment building was located. Oprah’s character, Mattie, was no doubt the matriarch. Though she worked her entire life, she lost it all trying to help her wayward son. Along the way, she ran into a cast of characters with their own problems but their own strengths.
Because Hollywood seems to be fresh out of ideas, I suspect someone will take a crack at a remake on this movie. If there is a God in Heaven, it will NOT be the aforementioned Perry. I almost died of shock, awe and disbelief when he shat upon “For Colored Girls…” I’m not sure I will be able to handle his take on this.
Anyway, WHEN they remake it there is no need for auditions to cast the principle roles for I have taken the liberty of doing that. In the same fashion as I cast “Obama: The Movie” and “The Wiz,” I am casting based on the look and acting ability of said actors. If necessary, go to Hulu and familiarize yourself with the movie and the series.
Viola Davis as Mattie Michael
You’ve more than likely seen Davis in the movie “Doubt,” as Fantasia’s mama in “Life Is Not a Fairytale” or several of your favorite series as a guest star. She is also set to star in “The Help” this summer.
To put it mildly, the woman has acting chops. Anyone who can get in a scene with Fantasia and hold it together without laughing gets an ‘A’ in my book. And, I am ready to see her in a matriarchal role. She just looks like the woman everyone goes to when they have a problem.
Taraji P. Henson as Etta Mae
In the movie, Etta Mae stole the show. Every scene she was in, she managed to upstage everyone in it. Much like Taraji P. Henson in every movie she has ever been in. I am not afraid to admit that she is one of my favorite actresses. Even though she drank a swig (or two) of that Sister Perry Kool-Aid, I’m willing to overlook that.
She carried “Baby Boy,” stole the show in Lifetime’s “The Division,” made “Hustle & Flow” watchable and gave an Oscar-worthy performance in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” I’m ready to see her as a “worldly” woman.
Jurnee Smollett as Ciel
OK, should I even speak about the acting chops on this child? Let’s go back to her days as Denise on “Full House” and “Hanging With Mr. Cooper.” Then let’s travel on down to “Eve’s Bayou” and how she wow’d everyone and her performance in “The Great Debaters” was awesome. And I, for one, am still upset that she didn’t get a damn Oscar nod.
I think she could bring something awesome to this role as an over-worked, emotionally abused wife and mother. While Lynn Whitfield did an awesome job as Ciel, Smollett could definitely take it to a brand new level. Plus, I think we can start seeing her in different kinds of roles. We’ve seen her play a scholar and see her an awkward girl and a young professional. I’d like to see her play a mom.
Keke Palmer as Cora Lee
OK, I know she is America’s chocolatey sweetheart. I know this, but I like her for the role of the young babymama. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we need to see her in a “negative” role by any stretch of the imagination. What I want to see from her is versatility.
Palmer has played sweet and smart. She, too, has swigged the Sister Perry Kool-Aid, but I want to see her in a gritty role. Well, maybe not gritty, but definitely something she’s not used to playing. Cora Lee was a little rough around the edges but has a lot of redeeming qualities. Add to that the fact that I think Palmer would benefit from being around the strong ladies I put in this cast.
SN: This was both Phyllis Yvonne Stickney and Larenz Tate’s first movie. She played his mama. They reunited later for “The Inkwell” where she played his therapist. #uselessfacts
Kyla Pratt as Kiswana
We haven’t seen Kyla Pratt in a long time. I suspect it’s because she’s been in college. Well, this is why this is a perfect fit for this role. In the movie, Kiswana, or as her mama calls her, Melanie, is a recent college drop out who thinks she knows everything and she knows nothing! LoL!
Seriously, tho. I think she’d be a good fit. Robin Givens breathed life into this clueless character who wanted to save the world with all her help to the poor. Pratt would be genius in this role.
Paula Patton as Lorraine
Paula Patton is red-hot. She seems to have the Midas touch as of late. From “Jumping the Broom” to “Precious” to lesser known roles in “Just Wright” and “Idlewild,” Patton has become Black Hollywood’s new “it” girl.
Though she’s had limited roles, she’s had a variety of them. She’s played a clueless pretty girl, a spoiled princess and a caring teacher. Stepping into this role of semi-closeted lesbian will certainly make folks see a different side of her.
Regina King as Tee
I’m just gonna say it. I love Regina King. She’s my girl crush. It was sort of my lil’ secret until Dr. Rachael outed me on The Twitter. From the time she was Brenda on “227” to her role as Margie in “Ray” to the ill-fated “This Christmas,” and of course as the voices of Huey and Riley Freeman, Regina King has been that chick.
This role of Tee is that of Lorraine’s partner. Tee is the less closeted of the two. She is Lorraine’s best friend and confidant and lover. Tee seems to be the more well-adjusted to being a lesbian than Lorraine. I am curious as to the chemistry between her and Patton. I think she’d make Patton step her game up a little bit.
LaTanya Richardson Jackson or Lynn Whitfield as Miss Sophia
Anyone who remembers Miss Sophie, with her nosy self, you know that she was perhaps the most unintentionally hilarious character of them all. Initially I thought CCH Pounder would be the ultimate Miss Sophie, but upon further review, I have decided LaTanya Richardson Jackson or Lynn Whitfield would be wonderful Miss Sophie.
Jackson has been seen in several popular TV shows but is probably remembered most for her role in “The Fighting Temptations” as the busy body church lady. She’s definitely got some acting chops on her. Honestly, she’s got a bit of her husband, Samuel L. Jackson, in her. I’d like to see her get all upset in an old lady kinda way. Same with Whitfield. We KNOW she’s proven herself as a helluvan actress. Annnnnnnnd, I would love to see an original cast member make a cameo of sorts.
So, there you have it. You have any suggestions of who should play who? Tell me about it!