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An All-Black Steel Magnolias?

October 18, 2011

With last week’s announcement that there is a Steel Magnolias re-make in play at Lifetime, casting rumors started spreading like wildfire. Trying to guess who will be a part of this cast – if the remake comes into fruition – is a bit of a double-edged sword: you want big names in these roles, but also recognize that this is for cable television. How high can you dream? And, due to the dearth of meaty roles for black women in Hollywood, is it ridiculous to think that some of those very “big names” wouldn’t jump at a chance to play M’Lynn Eatonton. Hell, if I were an actress, I’d be all over that role.

With that, I have put together some dream casting ideas. I’d love to hear yours. I’m sure there are actresses out there that I didn’t list (Paula Patton, I’m talking to you. You annoy me.), but feel free to make your own suggestions. Maybe I’ve missed someone who should be on the list. When we’re done, somebody needs to call the folks at Lifetime and share our list.

M’LynnAlfre Woodard

other possibilities: Angela Bassett, Viola Davis

OuiserOctavia Spencer

other possibilities: Debbie Allen, Whoopi Goldberg

ClaireePhylicia Rashad

other possibilities: Valerie Pettiford, Loretta Devine

AnnelleGabourey Sidibe

other possibilities: Taraji P. Hinson, Tracee Ellis Ross

TruvyTasha Smith

other possibilities: Regina King, Khandi Alexander

ShelbyJurnee Smollet

other possibilities: Zoe Saldana, Anika Noni Rose

The original cast included Sally Field as M’Lynn, Shirley McClaine as Ouiser, Olympis Dukakis as Clairee, Darryl Hannah as Annelle, Dolly Parton as Truvy and an unknown Julia Roberts as Shelby.

Other actresses I considered, but couldn’t marry to a role include: Thandie Newton, Jasmine Guy, Vanessa Williams, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Jill Scott, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Tonya Pinkins, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tichina Arnold and Kerry Washington.

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