Cosmopolis Female Characters

27 Jan

by Lurker

Over the course of the novel Cosmopolis, we encounter many female characters that are crucial to the story and in the interactions with the novel’s main character Eric Packer.  Watching female actors discuss what it takes to be successful in Hollywood, we often hear there is a lack of really good female parts.[1] In reading this story, there are 5 characters, which provide significant influence over Eric Packer and are all female. Sometimes there are attempts by fans to influence particular actors for parts in movies. We want to take a different approach and discuss these characters in an arch of what they embody and visually what they need to project in order to be successful in delivery of the character. 

By reading the story we encounter the following female characters. I’ve listed some attributes from the story of each of them.

  • Didi Fancher, age 47, art dealer, blonde, has significant influence, taught him about art.
  • Jane Melman, Chief Financial officer Packer Capital. She’s his trusted adviser and a like mind. single mom, competent, runner
  • Elise Shifrin, wife of 22 days, poet, vulnerable, aloof
  • Kendra Hayes, bodyguard, new, powerful, confident
  • Vija Kinski, Chief of Theory Packer capital, gray hair represents wisdom, older, helps him understand the philosophical implications.

Let’s discuss what you want to see projected and not so much as actress examples, but examples of what these women have to do to convince you they understand their character. I’m also certain I might have missed some specific details on each of these, so please feel free to add in your comments!

Discussion tonight, January 27th, 7pm




[1] Reference another article on the same topic.

55 Responses to “Cosmopolis Female Characters”

  1. Parisienne January 27, 2011 at 4:52 PM #

    Hi Ladies!

    I really have to read this book now. From the description of Eric’s wife Elise, I couldn’t see Marion Cotillard playing her. She doesn’t give me an aloof vibe.

    • lurkerm3 January 27, 2011 at 6:33 PM #

      You’ll have to read the book!
      I used the term aloof, because I think the description of Elise leads me to that adjective. I wonder if anyone else would say the same ?

  2. 4string January 27, 2011 at 6:20 PM #

    I will miss Marion. I know Keira Knightly is who is rumored to be replacing her and though I have liked Keira in other roles (such as Pride & Prejudice among others), I’m not entirely feeling her in this one.

    • lurkerm3 January 27, 2011 at 6:38 PM #

      I think the replacement Colin for Rob is making some changes necessary. Keira played a part in The edge of love and in The Duchess that I think she might have something to work with on this part. She has to display some vulnerability, which I think I saw in The edge of love. So I think Keira can pull this off. I’m more interested in seeing her interaction on screen with Rob.

      • Parisienne January 27, 2011 at 6:52 PM #

        Hi! I can only stay for a min. but i think keira has been pulled from Cosmopolis unless they haven’t finalized her contract yet. If you look at the only people associated with the film are Rob and David.

      • ozzie20 January 27, 2011 at 6:53 PM #

        I was a bit disppointed that Marion will replaced too. I love Keira and I think she’s a good actress but I’m not too sure about this role either. I’ll probably come warm up about her later though! Isn’t Elise, suppose to be French? I was thinking Clémence Poésy would be a good fit.

        • lurkerm3 January 27, 2011 at 6:56 PM #

          Ozzie, what description of Elise fits what you read and interpreted from the book?

        • Parisienne January 27, 2011 at 6:57 PM #


          I was reading on another website that some fans want clemence poesy to play elsie because she has already worked with Rob. Then again some fans want KS to play Elsie too but those people are delusional, IMO 🙂

          • 4string January 27, 2011 at 7:09 PM #

            No way Jose! (said in Long Duck Dong voice) should Kristen play Elise. Nuh uh.

            • Parisienne January 27, 2011 at 7:16 PM #

              LOL! I don’t think so either.

          • ozzie20 January 27, 2011 at 7:14 PM #

            Sorry, my brain isn’t working tonight! Bear with me!

            @ Lurker Do you mean what gave me the inpression she’s french? I’m sure I read somewhere she was french but I don’t remember where!

            @ Parisienne I hadn’t thought about who she worked with but yes she was in Goblet of Fire with Rob. Doh! I was thinking of her because she fit with the vision I had of Elise. More than Marion actually!. I think she could do well in that role.

            Hope this makes sense, I’ve had a headcache all day!

            • Lurker January 27, 2011 at 7:23 PM #

              Ozzie, yes! Do you think if the actress is not french it will be drawback to the film? What elements do you think are really critical? Do you think my assessment above is valid for the character Elise?

              • ozzie20 January 27, 2011 at 7:38 PM #

                Ah, right. Gotcha!

                No I don’t think it would be a drawback to the film if the actress wasn’t french. She could do a french accent but even if they didn’t I don’t see it as a drawback either. As long as the actress embodies Elise, it would be fine.

                From what I’ve read so far I think your assessment is right. I also think she’s inquisitive, a bit of a day dreamer too.

  3. 4string January 27, 2011 at 6:35 PM #

    In reference to the article linked (I’m the one that originally came across it) and I do agree with Shapiro in many aspects, but I don’t think the 3-dimensional role is completely gone for women. June Carter in Walk the Line is one that portrays a woman who is feminine, strong, opinionated and vulnerable. I have a feeling her Marlena in Water for Elephants will be the same way.

    I dunno if this is a beef with Hollywood producers in general, but I’m sick of roles either emasculating men or de-feminizing women. Making a man effeminate doesn’t bring him equal to a woman in the same way that making a woman more masculine doesn’t bring her more equal to a male. /rant LOL

    • lurkerm3 January 27, 2011 at 6:54 PM #

      BTW, thanks for that link! It was perfect for this article!

    • Open Book January 27, 2011 at 7:03 PM #

      Love the rant!!! “Making a man effeminate doesn’t bring him equal to a woman in the same way that making a woman more masculine doesn’t bring her more equal to a male.” I completely agree with u!! I think Hollywood often goes to the extreme. I mean as women have demanded more equality in the workplace and at home it does not mean women want to become men. I think HW is trying to figure out a PC way to handle this issue. Do u think Twilight has contributed to emasculating men?

      • 4string January 27, 2011 at 7:10 PM #

        Exactly. Why can’t I be girly/womanly/whatever and still be a force to be reckoned with?

      • 4string January 27, 2011 at 7:12 PM #

        I don’t think the Twilight books have emasculated men, but how it came across on film, but that also could be due to Kristen’s portrayal of Bella which most know I’m not a fan of. In the books, Bella was not moody, grumpy and emo. She kept to herself, probably was a bit shy, and needed more of a life outside of Edward, but she was well-mannered and nice to people. I saw her as someone who likes to take care of people.

        • Parisienne January 27, 2011 at 7:15 PM #

          I throughly agree! I was reading an article with Rob when he was promoting New Moon and he did mention that Kristen’s portrayal of Bella was very strong and so he thought he had to make Edward strong to match her.

        • Open Book January 27, 2011 at 7:23 PM #

          I agree! In the film version HW again did the PC version of Edward which really stripped away the essence of who he was. Coupled that with Bella’s over confidence, bossy behavior really did not help the characters that existed in the book come alive.

      • Parisienne January 27, 2011 at 7:13 PM #

        The only way I can see the male characters in Twilight being emasculated is that the vamps in Twilight are not like Bela Lugosi and Nosferatu or any of the other scary vamps. The vampires themselves have been emasculated, imo.

        • Lurker January 27, 2011 at 7:15 PM #

          That’s a great point. The vampires themselves were not ‘scary’ as a whole.

        • Open Book January 27, 2011 at 7:27 PM #

          Well, I thought Myers take on Vampires was interesting and new.

          I do believe what most men complain about and what makes the Vampires feminine in TW is the sparkle.

          • Lurker January 27, 2011 at 7:35 PM #

            True anything with ‘glitter’ instantly is ‘girly’.

  4. Open Book January 27, 2011 at 6:51 PM #

    Hi Everyone,

    Welcome 4Strings!!

    This is an exciting topic to dive into…..: 0 ) Great one Lurker!!

    • lurkerm3 January 27, 2011 at 6:57 PM #

      What qualities in Elise are you looking to see portrayed?

      • Open Book January 27, 2011 at 7:13 PM #

        Hmm! It’s hard because most poets I know are pretty straight forward. However, Elise needs to be secure with her own sexuality, In Atonement KK was vulnerable, straight forward at times and unpredictable. There was a wide range of emotions she had to play and I thought she did an excellent job. I think she and R would be great together.

  5. Parisienne January 27, 2011 at 6:52 PM #

    Hi Open Book! How are you?

    • Open Book January 27, 2011 at 7:13 PM #


      Nice to have u back!!!

      How are u?

      • Parisienne January 27, 2011 at 7:20 PM #

        I’m doing well. Not 100% yet but am on my way there. 🙂

  6. Lurker January 27, 2011 at 7:17 PM #

    What about the other characters that haven’t really been cast. Which we may not find out about. Elise gets more air time overall, because its the ‘wife’ part. However, I think Jane Melman’s character has a lot of interaction time with Eric.

    • 4string January 27, 2011 at 7:29 PM #

      Jane could be tricky. Even the financial guy (can’t remember his name right now) could be tricky. I can totally Paul G as the unhinged stalker. 😉 I can’t see Viggo as the bodyguard. I imagine a bodyguard more as a Vin Diesel type.

      • Lurker January 27, 2011 at 7:34 PM #

        My mental picture of the two guys first up in the book, Chin and Shiner are college kids. Young MIT types. The body guard Torval – a Vin Diesel type is more along the lines of that as well. He has to project that sunglasses, intimidation thing well!

        The unhinged stalker Benno, some one who can play the mental-crazy-stalker type. Paul G would work well, wonder who they would come up with in his place.

        • kim January 27, 2011 at 10:31 PM #

          There is an interview from Sundance with Paul G and it still sounds like he may still be involved with the film.

          • lurkerm3 January 28, 2011 at 8:35 AM #

            Just saw that! Maybe we’ll hear later.

          • Open Book January 28, 2011 at 3:42 PM #

            If Paul G. is out, my pick would be Stanley Tucci.

            Love ST!! If I had my way I would put ST in every film. LOL!!

      • Littlebells January 27, 2011 at 10:28 PM #

        Hi ladies!!! Yeah, I don’t see Viggo as the bodyguard type either. I could see Vin Diesel. Honestly, when I read the book I had a Telly Savalas thingy going on in my brain. 🙂

        • lurkerm3 January 28, 2011 at 8:34 AM #

          Who loves ya baby! Telly’s favorite line. Sorry…i digress! Telly was smooth, I got an abrasive vibe from Torval.

          • Littlebells February 1, 2011 at 10:50 PM #

            haha! Yes, Torval is more abrasive. I just thought of Telly because of looks. 🙂

  7. Parisienne January 27, 2011 at 7:22 PM #

    For those that have read the book, do you think that they will “melt” two characters into one? For example, In WFE movie, the August and Uncle Al characters are one person.

    • Lurker January 27, 2011 at 7:26 PM #

      Maybe not melt the characters together unless they decide to cut out a few sections of the book. Guess the screenplay would be interesting to read to see what direction they go.

    • Open Book January 27, 2011 at 7:32 PM #

      It’s very likely it’s a way to save money and time. It could happen in order to get a a-list actor to come on board. I would love to see Charlise Theron play Didi Fancher I know she is younger than 47 but she would be great!!

      • Lurker January 27, 2011 at 7:37 PM #

        Likely that they strip down the number of characters in the book – to enhance the main characters? That direction maybe?

        • Open Book January 28, 2011 at 3:32 PM #

          Yes! That may be another way to go.

  8. Parisienne January 27, 2011 at 7:25 PM #

    I have got to go have a good night!

    • 4string January 27, 2011 at 7:27 PM #

      Night, night. 🙂

    • Lurker January 27, 2011 at 7:28 PM #

      Take Care!

    • Open Book January 27, 2011 at 7:28 PM #

      Good Night!!

      Sorry, I did not get to talk to u much….. Take Care!!

  9. Open Book January 27, 2011 at 7:36 PM #


    I have to go as well. Will definitely love to pick up this great discussion tomorrow.

    Take Care!!

    • Lurker January 27, 2011 at 7:38 PM #

      We’ll be here !

  10. 4string January 27, 2011 at 10:32 PM #

    Does anyone else have the Moby/Gwen Stefani song South Side in their heads when reading this book? It really seems perfect.

    • lurkerm3 January 28, 2011 at 8:33 AM #

      Might have to look that one up. Doesn’t ring any bells.

      • Open Book January 28, 2011 at 3:28 PM #


        Oh!!I love that song!

        Heres the song with lyrics!

        • lurkerm3 January 28, 2011 at 9:32 PM #

          OMG, thanks!
          This song is hysterical if you think about it in context with this book!
          I’m cracking up!
          4string Open Book, this great!

  11. Open Book January 28, 2011 at 4:12 PM #

    Lurker!! Now that I’ve had a little time to think. LOL!!!

    Here is my fan cast list for u:

    Elise-Ilsa Fisher or Liv Tyler
    Jane-Rosario Dawson or Maggie Gyllenhaal
    Didi-Charlize Theron or Cate Blanchette(CB because she should be in every film)LOL!!!

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