Recasting The Characters Of Breakfast At Tiffany’s (If It Was Made Today)

Truman Capote’s 1958 novella became Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the 1961 romantic comedy starring Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly, an extroverted and eccentric New York escort who falls in love with a struggling writer and kept man, Paul Varjak (George Peppard).

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It was a critical and commercial success and today is considered a cinematic classic. But a lot of young people aren’t interested in movies with “their grandmother’s movie stars,” so if it were remade with today’s stars, here’s who would be walking the red carpet at the premiere.

10 Rusty Trawler – Jonah Hill

two men in dark clothes and black rimmed glasses

The high-profile and rather juvenile multimillionaire was once a (paid) companion of Holly’s, but the thrice-divorced playboy ended up married to Holly’s friend, model Mag Wildwood.

With the exception of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, actor Stanley Adams had a rather minor career in Hollywood. Where he really made his name was on television in the 1960s and 70s. Today, the role would be played by comedic actor and perennial sidekick Jonah Hill of Superbad fame.

9 Sally Tomato – Liev Schreiber

two tough looking men

Incarcerated in Sing Sing prison on racketeering charges, this major organized crime figure pays Holly to visit him each week, where he gives her coded messages to bring back to his lawyer.

Originally played by Alan Reed, who was not only a strong, gruff, burly character actor in the 1940s and 50s but the cartoon voice of “Fred Flintstone,” today the role would have to be played by present-day tough guy Ray Donovan.

8 Mag Wildwood – Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer As Mag Wildwood

The high fashion model, professional party girl, and one-time roommate of Holly has a pronounced stutter and rather extravagant sartorial style. For Mag, the only thing better than being invited to a party is crashing one, which she does at Holly’s apartment, where she passes out unceremoniously on the floor.

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The part was originally played by Dorothy Whitney, an actress with only two movie credits to her IMDb name. Today, standup and actress Amy Schumer of Trainwreck and I Feel Pretty would bring her own brand of bawdiness to the scene-stealing role.

7 Jose Da Silva Pereira – Dev Patel

This suave man in an important international figure involved romantically with Holly and to whom the party girl believes she will end up married. However, he ends up dumping her after her scandalous lifestyle makes the news, as he doesn’t want his public image tarnished.

The role was created by Jose Luis de Vilallonga, a Spanish aristocrat who made three American movies. Today, Dev Patel of Slumdog Millionaire, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and The Newsroom would bring his sophistication and intelligence to the role.

6 O.J. Berman – Jason Bateman

Berman is Holly’s one-time talent agent who tried and failed at transforming her from a teen runaway into a Hollywood starlet. Fast-talking and wise-cracking, he hires his former client a lawyer after she’s arrested for her association with Sally Tomato.

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Martin Balsam played the role, one of many standout performances by one of the most successful New York actors of the 1950s and 60s. Stepping into the part now would be Bateman, who would offer his signature straight man delivery and dry humor.

5 Doc Golightly – Tim McGraw

two men in hats

The Texas horse doctor married Holly when she was 14, after she ran away from her foster home, and was shocked that she ran off for New York to get away from him, too. He goes to NYC to track her down to tell her that her brother who is in the military has died.

Star of stage, screen and television, Buddy Ebsen (“Jed Clampett” on The Beverly Hillbillies) played the small-town vet who must return home without his Lulamae. Country music star and actor McGraw would bring his down-home persona fans saw in The Blind Side, Country Strong and Friday Night Lights to the role.

4 Mr. I.Y. Yunioshi – Dean Cain

one man in glasses and one in blue shirt and hat

Holly’s neighbor in the brownstone is a famous photographer, who “Miss Golightly” disturbs at all hours by ringing his buzzer to let her into the building because she always forgets her key.

The controversy around casting this part came about because instead of hiring a Japanese actor, the role went to the veteran all-American boy, Mickey Rooney. His cartoonish portrayal was stereotypical and racist and is hard to watch today. Popular actor Dean Cain, aka “Clark Kent/Superman” in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, is of Japanese descent on his father’s side (born Dean George Tanaka) and should be considered if this role was ever remade for modern times – minus the racist stereotyping.

3 Emily “2-E” Fallenson – Sharon Stone

two older glamorous women

She is a wealthy married woman with a boy toy: Paul. She sets him up in an apartment in Holly’s brownstone, supplies him with a closet full of Brooks Brothers suits, and provides him with an allowance. All he has to do is be at her beck and call when she’s in NYC.

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Portrayed by Patricia Neal, an Oscar and Tony Award-winning actress who had an impressive career from the 50s through the 70s, who better to recreate the role than Sharon Stone, who is as beautiful and sexy as she was in Basic Instinct.

2 Paul Varjak – George Peppard

man in gray suit/man in blue suit

Paul Varjak is a published author who gets to write all day, thanks to his benefactor. He jeopardizes his cushy lifestyle when he falls in love with his neighbor, Holly. He is in no position to judge the fact that she depends on men to “gift” her as a way to pay the rent.

The handsome, elegant and talented George Peppard (The A-Team) was one of Hollywood’s leading men from the 50s until the 1990s. Today’s sought-after leading man, Jake McDorman – most recently the star of The Right Stuff, in which he played astronaut Alan Shepard, would be perfect as the conflicted young writer who eventually must learn to stand on his own two feet.

1 Holly Golightly – Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart as Holly Golightly

She leads a lavish, unconventional life as part of Manhattan’s “cafe society” of socialites to whom wealthy and important men give 50 dollars “for the powder room.” She eventually finds true love.

Played to perfection by the movie star of all movie stars, Audrey Hepburn, in the updated go round, Kristen Stewart would bring a modern edge to the woman who named her cat “Cat,” went to Tiffany’s to engrave a ring from a Cracker Jack box, and wants nothing more than to make enough money any way she can to support her younger brother Fred when he returns from the military.

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Updated: November 23, 2020 — 3:00 am

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