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Movies/TV

Hollywood has a special way of dealing with height

| Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, 8:54 p.m.
This film image released by Sony Pictures shows Daniel Craig in a scene from the film 'Skyfall.' The super spy might be 50 years old on screen but he never wants to look out of date. It's a unique dressing challenge for a character that is simultaneously modern and timeless. Costume designer Jany Temime says her mantra for the entire wardrobe of “Skyfall,” which opens Friday, was “iconic for 2012.”  (AP Photo/Sony Pictures, Francois Duhamel)
This film image released by Sony Pictures shows Daniel Craig in a scene from the film 'Skyfall.' The super spy might be 50 years old on screen but he never wants to look out of date. It's a unique dressing challenge for a character that is simultaneously modern and timeless. Costume designer Jany Temime says her mantra for the entire wardrobe of “Skyfall,” which opens Friday, was “iconic for 2012.” (AP Photo/Sony Pictures, Francois Duhamel)
LOS ANGELES - MARCH 1:  Actor John Rhys-Davies arrives at the premiere of Touchstone's 'Hildago' at the El Capitan Theatre on March 1, 2004 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Getty Images
LOS ANGELES - MARCH 1: Actor John Rhys-Davies arrives at the premiere of Touchstone's 'Hildago' at the El Capitan Theatre on March 1, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

When casting was announced, fans lamented the choice of Tom Cruise in the role of Jack Reacher.

They couldn't see Cruise — at 5-foot-7 — filling the shoes of Reacher, who in the Lee Child books is described as 6-5, weighing between 220 and 250 pounds, and having a 50-inch chest.

But Child was keen for Cruise from the beginning.

“His physical size doesn't matter,” Child says. “There are certain things that are more important and that you need for a book. You need different things to trigger something in the minds of readers in a book.

“But on screen, you don't need the same kinds of things, because the action on the screen is self-evident. I was more impressed by their similarities than their differences. Reacher is brave and reckless, and so is Cruise. Reacher gets the job done, and so does Cruise.”

Here are a few examples of how Hollywood deals with size:

John Rhys-Davies played the ready-to-rumble Dwarf Gimli in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. But in real life, he's a full-size man. At 6-1, Rhys-Davies towered over many in the cast. A double needed to be used in many scenes to make Rhys-Davies look much smaller than his shorter co-stars Viggo Mortensen and Orlando Bloom (both are 5-11). The Hobbits are supposed to average about 3-6. Rhys-Davies' stature is more evident in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” He played Indy's sidekick Sala in both films.

Hugh Jackman has shown great range on the screen and stage. But at 6-3, his stature required producers of the “X-Men” movie series to revamp the character of Wolverine. According to comic books, Wolverine stands 5-3. Jackman is almost a whole foot taller. Russell Crowe recently revealed that he was the first choice for Wolverine. Casting Crowe, who bowed out and recommended Jackman, also would have required tweaking Wolverine; he's 5-11½.

Daniel Craig may be getting larger-than-life reviews for his role in “Skyfall,” the latest installment in the James Bond series. But he's shorter than the other Bonds in the franchise. Craig is 5-10, compared with the other 007s — Sean Connery is 6-2; George Lazenby, 6-2; Roger Moore, 6-1; Timothy Dalton, 6-2; and Pierce Brosnan, 6-2. Ian Fleming's James Bond was 6-0.

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