When reading I tend to not particularly visualize the characters unless something draws attention to their description. So, if there is a screen adaptation, I generally don't have much of a problem with casting.Destani wrote:I have a hard time with the casting mostly because the vampires are supposed to be from different eras. I love old movies and photographs so I have a very clear image of what people from those eras looked like. It wasn't just hairstyles and clothes...their facial structure was often quite different from what we typically see today. So I created images of the characters based on features that I knew were prominent in the time period each one lived as a human.
For instance, actresses from the 20's, 30's and 40's had a rounder face than Niki Reed. My image of Rosalie is completely fabricated in my mind but it's based on some of the features of actresses like Veronica Lake and Joan Bennet.
However, I disagree with the idea that "vampires" from different eras would have era specific facial structures. In any era, the source material is in the human DNA pool. Allowing for migration patterns and population shifts, perhaps, gradually altering percentages, all facial types, skin types, hair color/types are found in the gene pool.
The "look" of an era is determined by the artists who leave a record, from Greek statues to internet "self-portrait" photographs, including drawings, paintings, sculpture, photography and film/video. Vampires of an era would only have that look if there were either drawn from the pool of that era's artist/fashion models, film/stage actors or other exemplars of beauty. I suspect that newborns are more likely to be drawn from the larger mass of humanity.
una was correct in pointing out that "beauty" standards, as well as "hairstyles and clothes" vary from era to era; and that vampires are inclined to blend in. This means that if the fashion dictates a hair style, for example, that does not flatter their facial features, they do as mere mortals do; suck it up knowing that this too will pass, try to mitigate the, currently unfashionable, feature, or do something different.
Since 'Twilight' is set in our time, it makes sense, especially as the Cullens are trying to blend in, to use modern styles regardless of personal tastes and standards. For example, if a vampire had a round face and the current standard of beauty was a thin face, use a hair style that thins the face. No hair cutting though, it won't grow back.
I suspect that our definition of "beauty" is largely formed in our youth (before age 21) by what we are exposed to during this period, somewhat like our taste in music is influenced. (On a personal note, my Aunt Thelma, born 1905, died 1994, never wore a hairstyle that couldn't be found in a magazine or movie from the 1920s or early '30s.) Considering that Stephenie Meyer did state that, for conversion purposes, vampires were drawn to humans that were already attractive, what does this mean in the case of the Cullens?
Carlisle was converted incidental to the escape of a vampire from a mob. Beauty played no role in his "infection". Carlisle, if beauty was a factor in his "selections", probably used the standards of 1640-1650 lower middle class (protestant minister's son) London. However, he only "selected" Esme and Edward. While their inherent human "beauty" may have been a factor, it is not so mentioned in canon. The reason given was that they were about to die.
For Rosalie, her beauty definitely influenced Carlisle. Okay, so what were the standards of the period when his standards formed (the 1640 - 1650s) that influenced him to convert Rosalie? Here is a contemporary example: http://www.allposters.com/-sp/Venus-Bef ... 90296_.htm, Rubens, Venus Before a Mirror, 1614-15. (Please note that Rosalie was also considered "a beauty" by the standards of the 1930s by which time something more svelte than the classical Rubenesque figure was the standard.)
As a note, beauty, in one form or another played a role in the selection of Emmett, probably was a factor for Alice and, although not mentioned in canon, may have played a role in Jasper's selection. Maria was primarily looking for other traits.
It should also be noted that prior to the 1920s (in the United States), due to wide spread malnutrition and the intense physical labor required of most people, purely for survival, meant that a "pleasingly plump" figure, in both men and women, was considered, not only attractive, but as a sign of prosperity and good health.
So, while each era's standards of beauty may fluctuate, all skin, face, hair and body "types" remain in the population, even when out of "fashion". Thus the appearance of a given vampire would not necessarily correspond to a given era.