My awesome colleague Halle Kiefer reported this past Friday that Carrie Underwood has been picked to play Maria von Trapp in a new NBC revival of The Sound Of Music. Halle was excited by the news, but she did acknowledge that there are purists out there who “might find Carrie too pop/country/tan/not Julie Andrews to step into Julie Andrews’ shoes.” That’s me. I’ve seen the film at least 20 times, I own commemorative plates, books, and the newly released 45th Anniversary Edition of the film on Blu-Ray and DVD (complete with karaoke singalong tracks and a keepsake music box!), I DVR’d the crap out of the cast reunion on Oprah and I nearly turned my honeymoon into a whirlwind tour of Salzburg so I could “Do Re Mi” up the steps of the Mirabell Gardens. So yeah, I’m a fan. And I’m not feeling Carrie Underwood.
It pains me to see anyone try to do justice to the role that, to me, IS Julie Andrews, and while I think Carrie has a killer voice, there’s something about her “type” that’s not sitting well with me. Yes, Halle, it’s partly the country/tan aspect, but I wish someone with maybe a little more, you know, acting experience, had been chosen. Broadway vet/Bunheads star Sutton Foster maybe? Rachel Weisz, who has some kind of hold on me when I think of cool, young maternal types? (But can she sing? I have no idea — even if she can, I bet she’s not a soprano.) Or yes, even Anne Hathaway, who co-starred in The Princess Diaries with Andrews and seems like a natural fit (THIS WOULD NOT BE MY FIRST CHOICE, I’M JUST SAYIN’ SHE’D BE BETTER THAN CARRIE). But seeing that I can’t change the casting of Maria, I’m at least going to put in my two cents about who else should join the film and make it tolerable since this is happening and there’s nothing else I can do about it.