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Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle: 5 Quotes About Iconic Role

By    |   Friday, 08 May 2015 01:14 PM

It was a huge hit on Broadway, but when the cast was selected for the film version of "My Fair Lady," there were several not so happy fans, mainly because of producer Jack Warner's choice of Audrey Hepburn as leading lady instead of Julie Andrews.

Nonetheless, the film was a success, and Eliza Doolittle is forever etched in the hearts and minds of many. The following five quotes shed some light on Hepburn/Andrews conundrum and about the film in general.

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1. "I was thrilled to be asked to do it, because having a look at it, I thought that there needs to be a new version. I'm not hugely fond of the film. I find Audrey Hepburn fantastically twee," said Emma Thompson, according to The Telegraph, about writing the screenplay for a remake of the 1964 film My Fair Lady, starring Audrey Hepburn. The British actress and screenwriter plans on giving the new version a feminist makeover.

2. "There is an evil and rampantly lunatic force at loose in the world and it must be destroyed," Time magazine reported about the vitriol leveled at Warner, "My Fair Lady's" producer, because of his decision to overlook Andrews who played Eliza Doolittle in the Broadway version, for Hepburn. Warner felt Andrews' stage magic wouldn't translate at the box office.

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3. "I can't wait to see it. I know I'll cry so hard I'll blot my eyes out," Julie Andrews told reporters, according to the Alt Film Guide, about seeing "My Fair Lady", the film, starring Hepburn. Andrews played Eliza Doolittle in the play but, in spite of her Broadway success, the role for the film adaptation was offered to Hepburn who was considered a bigger star.

4. "With all her charm and ability, Julie Andrews was just a Broadway name, known primarily to those who saw the play. But … say Audrey Hepburn, and people instantly know you're talking about a beautiful and talented star. In my business I have to know who brings people and their money to a movie theatre box office. I knew Audrey Hepburn had never made a financial flop...", "My Fair Lady" producer Warner explains in his autobiography why he chose Hepburn instead of Andrews –the original Eliza Doolittle – as the film's lead, as reported in Reel Classics.

5. "Screw Henry Higgins, indeed, but please do not underestimate "My Fair Lady" … the movie itself isn't misogynistic– it's about misogyny," said Time Magazine writer Charlotte Alter. He article discussed whether "My Fair Lady" is a sexist film. While Hepburn's character presents as a strong female, this is compromised in the end, because of her return to, an emotionally abusive man. Still, Alter says, this does not make it a sexist film, but rather, a film about a sexist period in time.

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It was a huge hit on Broadway, but when the cast was selected for the film version of My Fair Lady, there were several not so happy fans, mainly because of producer Jack Warner's choice of Audrey Hepburn as leading lady instead of Julie Andrews.
audrey hepburn, iconic role, quotes, elize doolittle
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2015-14-08
Friday, 08 May 2015 01:14 PM
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