Tuesday, April 08, 2008

We have our Cupid: Bobby Cannavale

Well, we now have one half of our "Cupid" remake equation: Bobby Cannavale has been cast in the title role.

Cannavale isn't one of the many names that got tossed around whenever we discussed it here on the blog (Alan Tudyk, Matthew Perry, Paul Rudd), no doubt because he hasn't had a very high profile of late. His last few pilots didn't get picked up, and other than "Snakes On a Plane," he's either worked on Broadway or in very small-scale movies recently.

But when I heard the name, I finally had my "eureka!" moment. They still need to find an actress who can play as well against him as Paula Marshall did with Jeremy Piven, but having seen a lot of Cannavale over the years -- everything from "Third Watch" to "Oz" to "Kingpin" to "The Station Agent" to his role as Funky Spunk on "Sex and the City" -- I have no doubt he can play all of the colors required for Trevor Hale.

He can be manic, annoying and yet charming (see the "Can I come?" scene from "Station Agent"), charismatic, vulnerable, funny, etc. He's a couple of years older than Piven was at the time, and more classically handsome -- which I know some people said would be a concern, since a hunky Trevor would create lots of "Why should I date your friend when I can date you?" problems with his potential targets -- but enough of a chameleon that he can downplay it when needed.

Still miles to go before we can sleep on the idea of the remake being on the air, but this is a very positive step, as far as I'm concerned.

What does everybody else think?

38 comments:

Dave said...

I can see him in the roll, and it works for me. I'd been giving this a lot of thought (I love the casting game) and had recently thought of Christopher Eccleston, but he might have been a bit too much.
How about Monica Potter in the Marshall roll?

mjryan said...

My first reaction was, "No" but the more I think about it I guess he'll work. I just haven't seen him in enough to speak on his versatility.

I still like Lauren Graham for the role of Claire. I also think Julie Bowen might be a good fit.

Anna said...

He can be manic, annoying and yet charming (see the "Can I come?" scene from "Station Agent"), charismatic, vulnerable, funny, etc.

I loved his performance in the Station Agent. He doesn't have the same fast-talking comic style that Piven does, but he is really appealing. I'd watch him.

His imdb resume lists a Spike Lee pilot too. Does this casting mean M.O.N.Y. is dead?

Siddhartha said...

The scuttlebutt is that Kristen Bell (who has recently said that she might be working with Rob Thomas again) will be playing the female lead.

Matt said...

While Kristen Bell can certainly pull off the smart fast-talking thing, she's 28 (and arguably reads younger than that), while Cannavale is 37. The age gap is substantial. And Julie Bowen would be a nice pick--better age parity.

(And wasn't Bell rumored to be doing Thomas' "Good Behavior" remake?)

Alan Sepinwall said...

I think at this point the main criteria for the female lead shouldn't be what she's done before or what she's brought to the table in other roles, but how she sparks with Cannavale. Based on her resume both before and after the original Cupid, you would never have thought of Paula Marshall for that part, but she and Piven were perfect together.

And, yeah, the rumor seems to be that Bell might work on Thomas' remake of the New Zealand show.

Alan Sepinwall said...

His imdb resume lists a Spike Lee pilot too. Does this casting mean M.O.N.Y. is dead?

As that was developed for last season and not picked up, it was dead long before Cannavale signed on for this.

LeeZy said...

It may be because she played a guidance counselor on her current show, but lately, I've been thinking that Judy Greer could be perfect for the female lead. She has this "what the f*** are you talking about" look that Paula Marshall had which is necessary for the role.

With that being said, Monica Potter would also work really well, in my opinion. And even though I love Kristen Bell, she's too whip smart to be the stick in the mud Claire Allen.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Monica Potter? Really?

Again, it's all about the chemistry with Cannavale, but nothing I've ever seen Potter in makes me think she can do comedy, or drama, or convincingly deliver dialogue, or convincingly walk, or... Have I missed some non-terrible performances of hers along the line?

anon said...

I think Cannavale is a good choice. He has done good comedic and dramatic work on the big and small screens -- sometimes in projects that were, as a whole, not so good. I also think he'll be good at blurring the line between charming and overbearing, just as Piven was. (Just consider his performances in "Kingpin" versus his guest stint on "Will and Grace".)

The female lead is now intriguing. Monica Potter and Julie Bowen are both bland (to put it generously). But it's a fun game to just throw out names of currently out-of-work actresses and see what sticks. Kari Matchett? Regina King?
Does Patricia Clarkson have a protege?

Maybe Undercover Black Man will have an opinion.

Anon

Taleena said...

The role of Claire? What about Julia Stiles? It's a tricky mixture of cool haughtiness and accessability and I think Stiles could pull it off. Perhaps Neve Campbell.

R.A. Porter said...

Wow. That's a great slam of Monica Potter, Alan! (Now, if I could just get you on board my anti-Ashley Williams train...)

I first really noticed Bobby Cannavale on 100 Centre Street and thought he was fantastic. Considering he was saddled with Paula Devicq on that show, that's saying something. I'm confident Rob Thomas can do a much better job finding a perfect match.

I really like anon's suggestion of Regina King. I could see that pairing being electric.

LeeZy said...

I take back my Monica Potter recommendation... though she didn't totally suck in "Along came a spider", she is pretty blah...

And I'm sorry, please not Julia Stiles... she's as uncharismatic as Mandy Moore.

BigTed said...

I'm not sure about Cannavale -- his specialty seems to be playing slow-and-beefy cops and traditional "hunks," straight or gay. It's hard to imagine him as the zany, fast-talking conniver of this role.

ChuckNotTheShow said...

I'm with BigTed. I didn't see Station Agent so defer to people with better knowledge, but I thought Cannavale was groin-grabbingly bad in his recent "Lipstick Jungle" role...so I don't see where he can play "light"--or the range of comedic turns Piven did.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I found a little snippet from "The Station Agent" here. Skip ahead to the one minute mark. It's a little quiet, and I don't know how well it works out of context, but it's the moment I immediately thought of when I heard Cannavale's name linked with Trevor.

BigTed, most of the beefy cop stuff has been his higher-profile work. He's done a lot of things on stage or indie film that's a lot closer in spirit to this part.

Eires32 said...

I have seen him on stage twice and he is absolutely terrific. Last year in Mauritius (on Broadway), he held his own with a great ensemble.
Even the best TV work doesn't really give some actors the exposure for their talent...see also: Raul Esparza in Pushing Daisies.

Bill C said...

Oh God, no, *anyone* but Monica Potter. Julie Bowen is a TERRIFIC suggestion, but I'd take Cookie Monster over Monica Potter.

BigTed said...

Alan, I've seen "The Station Agent" and "Happy Endings." I think he's a fine actor, just maybe not right for this part. I'd be happy to be proved wrong, though.

Special K said...

I dislike the idea of Julie Bowen almost as much as the idea of Monica Potter. Both, to me, are bland, mediocre actors with the screen presence on the level of Michael Michele (aka, NONE). I'd rather they just start with a newbie and discover the next Lauren Graham, if such a thing is possible.

As far as the lead guy, my first reaction is EW, because isn't he the guy who had to drink his own spunk on Sex in the City? He creeped me out then, he creeps me out now.

I did love The Station Agent in the theaters when it came out and loved it, but absolutely don't remember him in that film, so I guess he failed to make a strong impression on me.

Vance said...

As soon as Bobby Cannavale was even mentioned taking the role, I finally realised someone COULD replace Piven. I think it's a great move on Thomas' part. I would LOVE to see Bell in a Rob Thomas show again but the Julie Bowen suggestion totally sounds great too!

Anonymous said...

Like Special K, I remembered liking The Station Agent, but I didn't remember him until I watched that clip. And that clip, by the way, led me to a clip of him dancing in his underwear. That was interesting.

I have no idea how she'd work with Cannavale, but I still see Holly Marie Combs as a possibility, but perhaps it's just because she reminds me of Marshall.

What's this "Good Behavior"? Rob Thomas has so much going on.

Alan Sepinwall said...

"Good Behavior" is Thomas' remake of the New Zealand series "Outrageous Fortune."

Anonymous said...

I think Carly Pope (from the shortlived WB show Popular) might be a good fit. I saw some lifetime/abc family movie with the two of them as leads. I also really like her and always wonder why she isn't in anything more mainstream.

ThatFirst Andrew said...

I'm just going to toss this out there: Parker Posey

Anyone? Anyone? Beuller?

R.A. Porter said...

Much love for Parker Posey, but I think she's going to be too busy trying to wash off the stink of Jezebel James.

Andrew said...

I'm completely on board with the suggestion of Neve Campbell.

Dave said...

I'm willing to concede on Potter; she can do baffled, but maybe isnt quite as strong on sharp as some could be. Spagetti testing there, really.

Regina King, though. That's an interesting idea. Really interesting. She's got fire, though maybe too much (an anti-Potter, perhaps). And if Donald Faison is contemplable for the Cupid role, I dont know why she couldnt be for the Claire role.

mjryan said...

Let's not forget about the Brit actresses. Based on the success of recent British imports, male and female, it's a possibility. Here's hoping if so they let her keep the accent. :)

Unfortunately, I have no suggestions for British actresses but I'd love to hear other people's ideas.

As for other American actresses, I remember someone in another thread suggesting Maura Tierney, an idea I like.

Anna said...

I don't know this guy (and I'm still attached to Alan Tudyk, myself). But I do know it's going to be really freaking weird to watch this show without Jeremy Piven. I have a whole ten years of him in the role in my mind.

Joobie said...

Totally on board with Cannavale.

My suggestions for Cannavale's leading lady:
- Lauren Graham (seconding the earlier poster)
- Vera Farmiga
- Portia de Rossi
- Gina Torres
- Gillian Anderson

A bit from left field on a couple of them, but I think they have to have the right blend of humor and warmth vs. iciness and logic.

So curious to see who gets the role now!

daveawayfromhome said...

I'd like to point something out here: The shows been moved to LA, but I've yet to see a hispanic actress named, and that seems a natural fit for southern California. It's a shame Elizabeth Pena's not 10 years younger. What about Carla Gugino?

Karen said...

Blech. And, personally, I think Piven is vastly better-looking than Cannavale.

Sorry, Cupid does NOT have funky spunk.

Anonymous said...

Lauren Graham in a Rob Thomas show? I'm in.

jcpbmg said...

What about Maura Tierney? She's only signed on to do a few eps of ER next year and we all now she can do the comedy.

BF said...

Water under the bridge, but that photo of Piven makes me think Will Arnett would have killed in the role.

They've made a huge mistake...

erick said...

I think he will be good. He is a vesatle actor, for real..... "When are you going to stop playing house with this woman," was like a killer line that he delivered with authority, he is a good actor and damn good dancer for the most part. This being a romantic comedy, he will heat it those cold hearts next srping.

erick said...

for a femmale lead.....Hmmmm......kristian davis maybe? or i don't know rosario dawson.....oooooh Zoe Saldana, now talk about crossing the color line. if its not to late which it probably is definitely try zoe