Jennifer Lawrence was “obsessed” with the part. Kristen Stewart wanted it “more than anything.” So just who has ultimately landed the role of Peyton Loftis in Scott Cooper‘s adaptation of William Styron‘s 1951 novel, “Lie Down in Darkness”? Yup, that headline gives it away – Stewart has reportedly grabbed the role of Peyton after years of both actresses making it known just how much they wanted to play the incredibly difficult role.
Vulture reports that Stewart will lead the indie adaptation of the classic novel, with Crazy Heart director Cooper at the helm. The fifties-set novel centers on the Loftis family, perhaps one of American literature’s most revolting and damaged families ever put to the page. Led by Milton Loftis (an alcoholic with more problems than just the drink) and Helen Loftis (frigid and emotionally blind), the Southern family has two daughters – the crippled Maudie and the beautiful Peyton. And when the book opens, Peyton is already dead.
Lawrence told “W Magazine” way back in September of 2010 just how desperate she was for the role of Peyton, saying “I am obsessed with that part…I have this feeling of protectiveness over characters I want to play. I worry about them—if someone else gets the part, I’m afraid they won’t do it right; they’ll make the character a victim or they’ll make her a villain or they’ll just get it wrong somehow…I’m trying to write the director of Lie Down in Darkness a letter to convince him that I should be in his movie. I’ll chase him if I have to. I’ll sit outside his house…I’m beside myself over that script. When I get like that, anything’s possible.”
Yet, no matter how passionately Lawrence may have felt about the role (and she was reportedly just as bonkers about her breakout role in Winter’s Bone), that passion couldn’t save her from scheduling conflicts. She’s busy filming The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and X-Men: Days of Future Past in the coming months, and though it’s not yet clear when Lie Down in Darkness will kick off production, it will surely start up sometime during the fall and winter, when Lawrence is busy.
And, hey, there’s always the possibility that Lawrence was determined to not be right for the part.
Of course, Stewart was also obsessed with the Peyton role before she landed it, as she told “Elle Magazine” earlier this year, “I want to play Peyton more than anything I can possibly taste or touch in my life. I want to play her so bad. They’re the most f**ked-up family. There’s a script adaptation…and it’s good. Two people vying for the part (of the father) are Daniel Day-Lewis and Colin Firth. Daniel would be perfect.” Geez, burn on Colin Firth!
If you’re not familiar with Styron’s 1951 novel (or, if you’re like me, and haven’t read it since high school), take a look at its first few pages over at Amazon. Fucked up indeed. Not familiar with Styron in general? Yes, you are – he also wrote the book that inspired Sophie’s Choice.