The Old 'The Stand' Mini-series casting and a couple of observations

Haven’t watched since it came out. I rewatched about the first 30 minutes. That part was pretty good. The gulf between TV actors and movie ones is pronounced.

The small part that Ed Harris plays is fantastic. And hilariously he looks and sounds a great deal like Bill Burr.

Sinise is very good, Ringwald is very good. They don’t appear in the first 30 minutes but Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee are inspired and Ray Walston is PERFECT casting. BUT…

not only do the TV actors have limitations, they have to fight their own miscasting

Parker Lewis as Harold Lauder??? Patrick Star spells M-O-O-N. Max Headroom? (he’s actually ok) and guys if you’re going to cast Joe Bob Briggs…give him some GD direction as obviously he got in Casino.

In the series coming up, I see that James Marsden is cast as Stu. I think thats great casting. He’s even cast opposite someone named Odessa Young who is Marsdens junior by some 25 years…which is good! There’s supposed to be a large number there, and it makes sense they might hook up when 99.5% of the world is gone.

The casting for the mini-series was almost uniformly awful I’m surprised you have issue with Bill Fagerbakke as Tom Cullen. He’s a perfect fit.

I can’t remember who played Randall Flagg, but I thought he did a fine job. It was also the first time I appreciated Rob Lowe as an actor.

Sheridan was good in parts but hampered by the decision to constantly shift him into ‘demon with bad latex mask on’ form.

I picked up a copy of The Stand a couple of weeks ago just before everything started to get shut down. Very surreal read with everything that’s going on!

As far as casting the mini-series, I have to say I thought that Molly Ringwald was horrible as Franny. I was completely thrown every time she was on screen.

This is my third time reading the book and I’ve always pictured William Dafoe as the Walk’n Dude.

I agree on all of this. I would also add that the actors playing Harold Lauder and Nadine Cross were horribly miscast.

As far as I’m concerned, Molly Ringwald is a bad casting choice for ANYTHING.

Well, OK, maybe she could do ambulatory department store mannequin. Just don’t try to get any actual expression out of her.

Well i thought she did well in her first scene with her father, “Admiral who wanted to steal Data’s daughter Lal.”

Sorry, I only know people by their Trek roles. See “Con-man who stole time travel tech as ‘The Trashcan Man’”

It has been many years since I saw it but I remember I thought Gary Sinise was great in it. I always kept an eye out for things he was in after that.

I don’t remember much about the miniseries other than the opening where “Don’t Fear the Reaper” played while the camera panned over all the dead scientists in the secret government lab. I thought that scene was pretty chilling and effective. Is it streaming online somewhere? Wouldn’t mind watching it again.

I agree; that opening sequence was great.

Yep, that opening scene still holds up:

The casting choice I didn’t care for was Rob Lowe as Nick. Not that Rob Lowe isn’t a great actor, but that he looks and behaves way too much like a privileged fratboy to match my notion of what Nick should look like. The things that made him perfect for portraying Sam Seaborn on West Wing made him a jarringly unbelievable Nick.

Really? I thought Rob Lowe did a fantastic job as Nick, he doesn’t play him as a frat guy lol. He is a handsome man, but I’m sure there are some handsome deaf guys.

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Yep, that opening scene still holds up:


Minor question about that opening; immediately after being released, the virus killed everyone in that lab instantly, where they sat or were standing. Later, though, it was much less deadly and it took people a long time to die. Is that realistic?

For the most part I thought the casting was great. The worst were these two. I hate to break down a character just physical attributes but I can’t help it in this case. It was fundamental to their character. How they are perceived by others molds their character. Corrin Nemec was way too good looking for Harold. Harold was more fat Jonah Hill in the beginning and skinny Jonah Hill by the end. Nadine should be beautiful, tall and aloof. At her best Laura San Giacomo is cute. Her acting wasn’t very suited to the character either. Men should be drawn to her. That is not how it came across.

Most of the rest of the cast was very good. Gary Sinese was prefect. Molly Ringwald was wooden but ok. Bill Fagerbakke was perfect. Rob Lowe was surprisingly excellent and it was a turning point for his career. Jamie Sheridan played it much different than the book but it worked well. Smiling charismatic evil is very disturbing.

The new cast? I’m not so sure. For Harold I guess they are going for goth loser instead of chubby nerd loser. That could work. Give Amber Heard black hair and she will look the part. Give Whoopi Goldberg old age make up and she can do a good Mother Abigail. James Marsden is way too much of a pretty boy to be spending his free time hanging out at a gas station. I’m a little surprised they went Nordic for the Dark Man. In the back of my brain I seem to remember some criticism at the time that they cast a white guy in the role originally. I’m trying to remember how Flagg was described. I think it was intentionally ambiguous. Many of the others I don’t know.

IIRC, the virus mutated. The people who were immune were the ones who had intense dreams. Hence Nadine lying when she said she doesn’t dream.

I do like the unabridged version King released later. We got the Kid who hooked up with Trash Can Man and a horrible series of vignettes of people dying of misadventure, not because of the flu. There was a young boy who fell down a well and a wife and mother who accidentally locked herself in the meatlocker where she stored the bodies of her husband and son.

I agree. This is the role that changed my perception of him. Before I saw it I felt he was miscast. After I thought he was great in it.

Ringwald I like, but her Franny was a miscast.

Laura San Giancarlo was abysmal as Nadine Cross, one of the worst “page to screen” characterizations ever. I can only assume that she read the novel, said “no way in hell am I being that girl” (a mousy virgin) and completely rewrote her, thereby destroying the development arc of not just her character, but Larry Underwood’s. He was the “bad party boy” with the deep-rooted heart of gold, while Nadine was the “quiet pure one” whose inner heart led her to Flagg. LsG completely and utterly ruined this dynamic by making Nadine into a floozy party girl you would expect to see on PornTube 20 years later in the “Crack Whore Confessions” channel.

I seem to remember from the book that the virus mutated shortly after it got out “into the wild” and had a longer incubation time, so it was better able to spread, though it was no less deadly. If a virus killed as quickly as it did initially in the lab, it couldn’t spread very far, no matter how deadly.