TheCSO and I are lying on a futon in our TV room, vigorously discussing who should play Russell and Holmes in the movie version of Beekeeper's Apprentice.
We've settled on Patrick Stewart as Holmes. (A big enough name, smart, authoritative, and let's face it, a hottie for an old guy. Also, a good enough actor for the whole 60 year old man befriending a 15 year old girl to not come off as too freaky. If Stewart decided it wouldn't be freaky, it wouldn't be. Patrick Stewart is just that talented.)
But the question of Mary Russell has been much more difficult. Who in Hollywood has the acting chops to play Russell, but can look 15?
CC's would like Gweneyth Paltrow as she did a really good job as a lady professor in Possession, but Gwen just doesn't look 15 anymore. (Who does?)
A suggestion of the very talented and admittedly-young-looking Kirsten Dunst lead to a discussion of the many kinds of attractive and how Dunst is just too much the cheerleader to play Russell, though Dunst is very close to brilliant in Cat's Eye.
Then, half-kidding, TheCSO suggested Angelina Jolie. Angelina Jolie dressing up as a gypsy, climbing in through a window, etc, was easy enough to imagine, though we didn't think Angelina could do justice to Mary's scholarly side or convincingly disguise herself as a secretary.
It was there that the conversation took a twist. As far as CC and the CSO can recall, Angelina had stolen the show from the male lead in every movie we've ever seen her in.
Jolie is just so fierce and wonderful and powerful. I mean, come on, a lady who walks around with a vial of her boyfriend's blood around her neck doesn't fuck around. If you don't believe her acting can truly move you, rent "Original Sin." (Goodness, the title even SOUNDS like a good name for a Angelina Jolie movie. More seriously, she takes a role that a lesser actress would play as a standard issue femme fatale and makes it deeply complicated and full of a sort of divine mystery.)
At the same time, we can't think of a role she's really suited for, outside of action hero stuff. And even then, Wonder Woman seems lame and her Catwoman would eat any Batman alive.
It's amazing Brad Pitt can hold her attention.
Ps. PB wrote an essay with a very different take on Jolie, which shows a nastier side that I can see but chose not to focus on in this post. I don't disagree that the maternal stuff is an act. I wouldn't want to be in between Jolie and anything she wants. But men's careers aren't usually judged on their personal lives.