Authors spend a lot of time crafting character descriptions so you can quickly paint a picture and get a sense of what their personalities are like. For many, these introductions are among the most enjoyable parts of reading a novel.
So it should come as no surprise that fans of a book often cry foul when film roles are cast with actors who don’t match their vision of how a particular character is supposed to look.
Artist Brian Joseph Davis explores this conundrum with The Composites, his series of police sketches based on characters’ book descriptions.
Davis uses basic law enforcement sketch software to create eerily accurate black and white portraits of some of literature’s most famous faces, which has given us the perfect opportunity to compare them to their movie counterparts.
Some can be remarkably accurate, as you can see with Russell Crowe’s portrayal of Javert in the 2012 screen version of Les Misérables…
Javert, Les Misérables, written by Victor Hugo, portrayed by Russell Crowe
Or Rooney Mara’s take on Lisbeth Salander from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo…
Lisbeth Salander, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, written by Stieg Larsson, portrayed by Rooney Mara
…but others were wildly off.
Frankenstein’s Monster looked much different on screen than it did in the book.
The Monster, Frankenstein, written by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, portrayed by Boris Karloff
Take a look at these famous characters and let us know which ones you think were accurately represented and which ones seriously missed the mark.
Annie Wilkes, Misery, written by Stephen King, portrayed by Kathy Bates
Carrie White, Carrie, written by Stephen King, portrayed by Sissy Spacek
Christian Grey, Fifty Shades of Grey, written by E. L. James, portrayed by Jamie Dornan
Clarice Starling, The Silence of the Lambs, written by Thomas Harris, portrayed by Jodie Foster
Count Dracula, Dracula, written by Bram Stoker, portrayed by Bela Lugosi
Daisy Buchanan, The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, portrayed by Carey Mulligan
Dallas Winston, The Outsiders, written by S.E. Hinton, portrayed by Matt Dillon
Hannibal Lecter, The Silence of the Lambs, written by Thomas Harris, portrayed by Anthony Hopkins
Humbert Humbert, Lolita, written by Vladimir Nabokov, portrayed by James Mason
Jack Torrance, The Shining, written by Stephen King, portrayed by Jack Nicholson
Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games, written by Suzanne Collins, portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence
Kurtz, Heart of Darkness, written by Joseph Conrad, portrayed by Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now.
Lux Lisbon, The Virgin Suicides, written by Jeffrey Eugenides, portrayed by Kirsten Dunst
Marla Singer, Fight Club, written by Chuck Palahniuk, portrayed by Helena Bonham Carter
Norman Bates, Psycho, written by Robert Bloch, portrayed by Anthony Perkins
Sam Spade, The Maltese Falcon, written by Dashiell Hammett, portrayed by Humphrey Bogart
Tom Ripley, The Talented Mr. Ripley, written by Patricia Highsmith, portrayed by Matt Damon