Who Should Play Neely O’Hara In The Valley Of The Dolls Remake?

We guess Lee Daniels got his fill of gritty urban realism with Precious because Gossip guru Perez Hilton is reporting the openly gay writer/director is helming a new version of the glittery pot-boiler Valley of the Dolls for NBC.

Daniels—who is currently filming The Paperboy with Matthew Mcconaughey, Nicole Kidman and Zac Efron—will also serve as executive producer of the series, alongside Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope.

We never read Jacqueline Susann’s original novel, but we can practically quote the 1967 film verbatim. (“Ted Casablanca is not a fag… and I’m the dame who can prove it!”) With Pan Am and The Playboy Club already on the air, the 1960s seem hotter than ever—assuming Daniels doesn’t update the storyline for the modern age.

Courtney Love is a lock for the part of Helen Lawson, the ego-driven Broadway star Neely O’Hara pushes out of the way. (Can’t you just imagine her duplicating Judy Garland’s car-crash screen test for the role?)

But who will play O’Hara and her best friends, Anne Welles and Jennifer North?

As Welles, the smart but love-foolish theatrical agent turned model, how about Ana Ortiz? She was one of the biggest charms on Ugly Betty, where her character, Hilda, was a self-starter who made bad choices when it came to men.

As North, the dim beauty with limited talent who makes “art films” in Europe, who would be better than Courtney Stodden, the child bride of Green Mile actor Doug Hutchison. They’d probably have to spell out her cue cards phonetically but the outtakes would be priceless.

And then there’s O’Hara, one of the most beloved icons of camp culture. We’re kind of at a loss here. Would Patty Duke be willing to reprise her role? Or how about Gabourey Sidibe—she’s worked with Daniels before and did a great job with those fantasy stardom scenes in Precious.

Below, a clip from the original Dolls movie to inspire your suggestions.


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  • David Ehrenstein

    Gabourey Sidibe as Neely and Mon’ique as Helen Lawson. She’ll plant her own tree, alright.

  • Jack E. Jett

    Lindsey Lohan as Neely…..NEELY O’HARA…….

    Boobies Boobies Boobies…

  • Chris Lines

    Read the novel. Trust me. It’s a great read. Wild card – Halle Berry. How about America Ferrara?

  • christopher di spirito

    Lindsey Lohan would be perfect as Neely O’Hara. She’s a real actress and she’s not British or Australian. For Helen Lawson, maybe Tyne Daly.

  • Little Kiwi

    they should do it full-bore camp and cast Emma Stone, because she’s a freakin’ comic genius.

    anyone else gay for Emma Stone?

  • Christopher Lines

    Lindsay Lohan is an interesting idea. If she can get her life together, she is perfect. Tyne Daly is perfect.

  • Cam

    @christopher di spirito: said…
    “Lindsey Lohan would be perfect as Neely O’Hara. She’s a real actress and she’s not British or Australian. For Helen Lawson, maybe Tyne Daly.”

    I’m not sure I understand why people every thought that she was a real actress. She has never done a movie alone where her acting seemed in any way great. In Mean Girls, she was the most forgettable character surrounded by much better actors. Freaky Friday was Jamie Lee Curtis’s Movie. Georgia Rule….nuff said. I know Who Killed me and Labor Pains were beyond ridiculous. The last movie that I can think of that she actually carried was “The Parent Trap”.

    As for the character of “North” I think Amanda Seifried. She always comes off kind of wide eyed.

  • Michael

    Hollywood take note……..leave this movie alone. The original is all we need. Why mess with perfection. No one will pay to see a new version when they can get it for free on TMZ. This movie was scandalous back in the day, now it’s every day! Put the money to an original script and give someone new a shot. Do we really want to see Lindsay Lohan act like she is a train reck…..NO

  • Cinesnatch

    I thought Lindsey Lohan, but then I thought, why not go for someone more talented who can do anything she can and do it with more aplomb, so, yes, little Kiwi, EMMA STONE!

  • phallus

    @Michael. You are totally correct. Just look at the TV version that was filmed in ’81. Leave this movie alone.

  • greybat

    I suppose it’s a bit much to suggest Barbra Streisand as Helen Lawson? Although I’d love to see Bette Midler’s wig getting flushed as well.

  • QJ201

    Definitely Lohan for Neely “the singer”, America Ferrera for the “good one,” Jessica Biel for the “model”

    Sharon Stone for Helen Lawson.

  • Gareth

    Who played Jennifer in the original 1967 Version folks??? her face looks familiar…..

  • Tommy Shepherd

    Haven’t read the book? Haven’t read the book???? Shame on your gay self. Consider it required reading. It’s actually a lot better than the film – epic in an awful sort of way, and with a much better anti-romance ending.

    As for the cast. Scarlett Johansson as goody-goody Anne Welles. Christina Aguliera as Jennifer (just a face and a body) North, Leisha Hailey as Neely O’Hara (she deserves a break), and Cher as Helen Lawson.

  • Tommy Shepherd

    @13 it was Sharon Tate :(

  • christopher di spirito

    @Gareth: The fabulous Sharon Tate. She was slaughtered by Charles Manson’s crew — 9 months pregnant too.

  • Gareth

    @ # 15 & # 16 – Sharon, yes of course. Thx for confirming, thought I recognised the face….not sure about her talents as an actress BUT she certainly was very easy on the eye !

  • Lefty

    Whoever puts out the most to the casting director…

  • rj

    Neely: Lauren Ambrose Jennifer: Amber Heard Anne: Natalie Portman, and Broadway’s sensational Donna Murphy as Helen Lawson.

  • Dave

    Deffinately Lohan she’s a total mess and addicted to drugs like the character Nelly was in the movie and book!

  • Tigris

    Neely: Lyndsay Lohan
    Good girl Anne: Natalie Portman/Scarlett Johanson
    Helen Lawson: Sharon Stone
    “nudie” flick star Jennifer: Kelly Osbourne (just for camp)
    Tony: Bobby Cannavale

  • don j

    Please DON’T do a remake. The film is a camp classic and nothing can improve it. Why do we have to rehash everything?

  • Queer Supremacist

    Remember the Mildred Pierce remake for HBO a few months ago? Neither do I.

    This is going to tank big time. You can’t do camp on purpose, you just can’t. And back in 1967, celebrity scandal was still shocking to a number of people the way it’s not today.

    This is why I don’t go to movies not by Pixar or watch TV shows not called Modern Family anymore.

  • GregR

    I’m at a loss as to who should play Neely O’Hara, the person who plays Neely has to know how to sing, be a young up and comer, and not be annoying like Lindsay Lohan. Ugh. I have no suggestions for Ann or Jennifer. Oh wait, Lindsay Lohan can play Jennifer North. Because all she has are her breasts. Liza Minnelli should play Helen Lawson.

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