I had a thought. Scary, I know. In "Gone With the Wind", a movie that I have seen no less than 100 times, mostly with my mother, I always wondered why Ashley, a born and bred Southen boy, had a British accent.
Yes I know that Leslie Howard who portrays Ashley was in fact, British. Granted that it's the most awesometastical sounding accent, next to Australian... But come on now. Vivian Leigh was from England and she was coached to have a Southern drawl.
Imagine the anarchy when the movie came out if Miss Scarlett O'Hara had sounded like Sharon Osbourne.
So why was it accepted that pansy ass Ashley doesn't have to talk like us? How was that explained?
I am not being harsh when I call him a pansy. Here is a clip from his character bio from Wikipedia...
"Ashley is the man with whom Scarlett O'Hara is obsessed. Gentlemanly yet indecisive, he loves Melanie, his cousin and later his wife, but is tormented by an obsession with Scarlett. Unfortunately for him and Scarlett, his failure to deal with his true feelings for Scarlett ruins any chance she has for real happiness with Rhett Butler, the true love of her life. Ashley is a complicated character. He is not sympathetic to the cause of the North. However, he isn't an ardent Confederate patriot, either. What Ashley loves about the South is the serene, peaceful life that he and his dear ones know at Twelve Oaks, and similar plantations. At one point (following the war) he comments to Scarlett that "had the war not come he would have spent his life happily buried at Twelve Oaks."
In short, Ashley loves the South, but not necessarily the Confederacy. And, he hates war, though he fights because of his loyalty to Georgia.
At one point in the book Ashley pleads, in vain, with his wife Melanie to move to the North, after he comes back from fighting in the American Civil War. However, this isn't because of any affection for the North, but because he wants to be able to stand on his own as a man, something he will never again be able to do in Georgia, now that his plantation is gone [and his home burned]. He ends up working for Scarlett, however, due to her manipulative entreaties and Melanie's naive support of her.
In a sense, he is the character best personifying the tragedy of the Southern high class after the Civil War. Coming from a privileged background, Ashley is an honorable and educated man. He is in clear contrast to Rhett Butler, who is decisive and full of life, but is vulgar and distasteful as well."
See? Pansy. And that's not the P word I want to use here, but I know my Mama is going to read it and she scolds me when I use the P word ;)
So it's not just the fact that cast a girly man to play a wussy character, but this is A GEORGIA MAN!!!
Why not cast Precious to play Karen Carpenter?
Before I get sued for slander by the Leslie Howard family, I am not dissing him. I'm sure he was a cool (somewhat possibly macho) man, and I am sorry his plane was shot down by Nazis in WWII. If he was around today, he would've made a great Dr Cullen.
Let's face it- there are only 2 British men that could possibly take me down...
What REAL men from Georgia look like: