Thursday, July 27, 2006
The Hills Were Almost Alive with the Sound of Johansson
Today’s issue of The Times of London includes a fascinating, inside look by Adam Sherwin on how young movie starlet Scarlett Johansson was very close to taking on the role of Maria for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s upcoming West End revival of The Sound of Music.
Of course, now that plum leading role will be filled by an unknown to be chosen by the most gimmicky of casting calls: the dreaded reality show. Dubbed “Nun Idol,” the winner will be chosen by television viewers of the program, “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?” that will be hosted by the ever-amusing Graham Norton; Webber will actively participate in the show.
According to the story, Webber thought at one point that he had sealed the deal with Johansson. He is quoted as saying, “We had a hysterical lunch which ended in the early hours of the morning. We were at the top of the Peninsula Hotel and she sang in front of everyone, which was fantastic. She can really sing. I said to her, ‘Do you want to do Sound of Music?’ She said ‘yes’. We started planning things.”
But apparently that’s when Johansson’s keepers stepped in and decided that doing a London stage gig for a paltry £10,000 per week didn’t measure up to the $10 million she could earn for a movie. Webber lamented, “It was annoying because I think she really wanted to do it.”
Webber’s revival of the classic Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II musical opens this November at the storied London Palladium.
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).
Click here for tickets.
Music to London Palladium's Ears (May 17, 2006)