Amanda Doughty ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff
NBC announced Saturday that Carrie Underwood is set to play Maria Von Trapp in a remake of the iconic movie-musical The Sound of Music. Upon hearing the news, the majority of reactions observed were something along the lines of Carrie Underwood? The country star? Really?
Here’s the thing- there are so many budding Broadway stars that could have played the role better. Laura Osnes, currently playing the title role in the revival of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella would have been perfect. She has the right voice for the role, and she has the innocent air to her that Julie Andrews (who originated the role of Maria Von Trapp) had in her glory days. For similar reasons, Sierra Bogess, most popularly known as the original Ariel in the Broadway adaptation of The Little Mermaid, also would have done an excellent job.
Despite how great they would have been, it makes sense that NBC would not choose them. T
hey are not that well known, and would not attract as many viewers as a big-name celebrity. But there are other celebrities that would have been a better choice than Underwood. Take for example, Amanda Seyfried. Known for her roles in Mean Girls, Red Riding Hood, and Mamma Mia, Seyfried is showing off her soprano chops in the highly-anticipated film Les Miserables, out this Christmas. From what’s been seen in the trailers, it’s clear her chops are strong enough to handle the role of Maria, and she’s a well-known actress. Another example is Anna Kendrick. A former Twilight star, and a Tony winner, Kendrick proved her singing chops to us in the surprise hit of this fall, Pitch Perfect. Since then, Kendrick has been labeled the “go-to actress/singer in Hollywood”- now being considered for film adaptations of hit musicals like Into the Woods and The Last Five Years. Both of these women have proved themselves as strong actresses and singers, and are fairly well known, which makes them better choices than Underwood.
It’s not as though there’s no good to this situation though. Thinking back to her days on American Idol, she rocked The King and I’s classic ballad “Hello Young Lovers” on musical theater week. The protagonist of that musical, Anna, is very similar to Maria: she’s an innocent teacher in a new land, and requires a beautiful soprano voice. So Carrie’s proved she can sing musical theater; but when she did, she put her country twist on it. Will she do the same to “Doe a Deer” and “My Favorite Things”?
In terms of appearance, Underwood’s definitely got the innocent, daydreaming governess down pat. And she can act, as she proved to us in last year’s biopic Soul Surfer.
Nonetheless, skepticism surrounds the news of Carrie Underwood cast as Maria Von Trapp.