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Cameron Diaz Joins the Cast of "Annie"

Anne Marie here to talk about the latest movie musical news. It’s official: Cameron Diaz will be the Miss Hannigan to Quvenzhané Wallis’s Little Orphan Annie in Will Smith’s Annie remake. Sandra Bullock turned it down so Diaz joins a brassy line of comediennes who've played this role including Dorothy Loudon, Betty Hutton, Carol Burnett, Nell Carter, Kathy Bates, Katie Finneran and most recently Jane Lynch in her Broadway musical debut.

Miss Hannigan History (Partial): Carol Burnett (82); Nell Carter (97); Kathy Bates (99); Cameron Diaz (14)

Accusations of stunt casting have already echoed through Hollywood and Broadway, but how true are they?

While the decision to cast an otherwise musically-untested star like Diaz (Her singing in The Mask was dubbed) may smack a bit of stunt casting, Diaz certainly has the comedic background to fulfill the terrifying-but-hilarious shoes of the booze-soaked orphanage matron. Cameron Diaz has shown all throughout her career the ability to be slapstick funny, lowbrow silly, and recently very, very bitchy. But, like every other Broadway geek, I had to ask: can she sing? I did some digging through past performances, and found three of note: My Best Friend's Wedding (in which terrible vocals were the point), Shrek, and this NSFW moment...

It’s hard to judge her voice quality from any of those numbers. This is usually a warning sign for me, but Miss Hannigan isn’t a musically difficult role. As long as Diaz relies on her comedic chops, she shouldn’t be Russell Crowe in Les Miz bad. I’m thinking more Julie Walters in Mamma Mia - musically acceptable and very funny.

Cameron Diaz’s movie roles have been a bit scattershot since she graduated from the ditz and dirty debutante phases of her career. With a few crowd pleaser comedies on the horizon, as well as this week’s teaser for The Counselor and this news about Annie - it looks like Diaz is finally finding a solid trajectory. (I refuse to use the word “comeback.”)



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Reader Comments (19)

um, how can anyone forget Diaz in The Mask? That would've been the first example I'd use. Or maybe it's me because that's the first film I ever saw her in.

June 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

Melissa -- her singing was dubbed in that movie.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

I don't even mind this "can [someone] sing?" anymore because this criticism is not consistent.
when it's with someone people like, they don't mind. they'll say: "oh, but he/she can sing, look at this youtube video!", "oh, but the character is not supposed to be a good singer!", "yeah, but he/she will deliver in the acting department", "oh, but scarjo has an album released!"...
and when people don't like someone, they cling to this 'rule'.

I don't mind this casting, which means I don't have a problem with cameron diaz.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

I don't think this invites to be optimistic, but there's also this from A Life Less Ordinary:


June 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

I think it's an awful choice.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I like it. Between Diaz and Bullock, it's clear they're going in a different direction than we're used to for the role. Hopefully it pays off for Diaz.
The important question, obviously, is, Can Quvenzhane sing?

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

I know I'll get slaughtered for this but maybe studios wouldn't feel comfortable casting people who can't sing in musicals if Moulin Rouge wasn't such a success...

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commentergoran

This strikes me as the kind of counter-intuitive casting that could end up shocking everyone. And Diaz certainly has comedy chops. And it's true, you don't need to be a great singer to make Hannigan's songs sing. HOWEVER, Diaz reads too young for this part (I'm not going to touch the "too beautiful" accusation that's been thrown around, because of Being John Malkovich), and if this is supposed to be a black version of Annie, why (DEAR GOD WHY) would you cast a white woman as Miss Hannigan? That can only lead to ugly undertones. And there are plenty of talented African-American women of a certain age who would kill with this part - Loretta Devine, Octavia Spencer, Alfre Woodard... I just don't get it. By all means, knock this outta the park, Cameron, but I'm not happy about this.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

@Nathaniel, thanks I didn't know that, I was 10 when it came out.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa


June 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermark

Hmmm...I was not a supporter of the Bullock rumors, but the casting of Cameron Diaz is way more interesting to me for some reason. I still wish it was Jenifer Lewis (I'll never stop saying it), but whatever.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

Since this is technically an "original musical," hopefully they'll tailor any music Hannigan has with Diaz's voice.

Also, they dubbed her tiny musical moments in Shrek as well.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJS

Why is everyone forgetting about Vanilla Sky. She sang "I Fall Apart" which is even on the soundtrack.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertherealmike

It's always better when an actor can really sing a role, naturally, but Miss Hannigan can easily be played by someone who can carry a tune. It doesn't require a great voice. It requires a great comedic actor. Cameron Diaz fits that's bill.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

She'll be fine. She'll just roll out her Bad Teacher persona, but dialed down for the kiddie audience. The attitude will be perfect. She probably can't sing, but that is somehow not a prerequisite for being in a musical anymore, so who cares? Go with the flow.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

I so wish they had gone with Jane Lynch, who would have nailed it. But I think Diaz is a good choice. She might finally get an Oscar nom.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Good for Cameron, but why oh why must we be saddled with "Annie" again? I rather see the real Bombshell, or for gawd sakes, a version of "Musical, the Musical", or even "Forbidden Broadway" if they're going to rehash those annoying tunes. Or even an episode of Glee. "Annie" is just so tired.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPam

I really like Cameron Diaz ... She has had an interesting film history!

I find her comedic roles are great .. she just seems too young for the role..

I am not a fan of "Annie", but I will forward to her performance.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrick

love it!

June 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterooh

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