The real-life von Trapp family is disappointed that Carrie Underwood was cast as Maria in NBC's recent production of The Sound Of Music Live! Before the musical even aired, Myles von Trapp Derbyshire expressed his doubts to ABC News. Derbyshire is the great-grandson of the real Maria von Trapp.
"It's just upsetting that this could potentially be the final broadcast of our story," he said. "And although her voice is amazing, she doesn't have acting experience.... It's just the overall image, she's a country star, she won American Idol, she's very public in kind of a tabloid way."
In fact, Myles von Trapp Derbyshire had a different leading lady in mind for The Sound Of Music Live! In particular, he wanted a woman known for her acting chops, like Julie Andrews was before being cast as Maria in the original film.
"[Our family has] had the conversations of who could play this role better, and it was Anne Hathaway, for example," he said. "Here's someone who just won an Oscar for a similar situation [in Les Miserables]. She was able to act and sing."
Indeed, Anne Hathaway won Best Supporting Actress for playing Fantine in the film version of Les Miserables. It is unclear if she was ever approached for the lead in The Sound Of Music Live!
Watch Carrie Underwood in The Sound Of Music Live!
Myles von Trapp Derbyshire was not the only member of the famous family to express skepticism towards Carrie Underwood as Maria in The Sound Of Music Live! Last year, when the casting was first announced, Francoise von Trapp blogged about NBC's decision. Francoise, who is Myles' aunt, also questioned the choice and opined that Anne Hathaway would have been better.
"But Carrie Underwood as Maria?" wrote Francoise von Trapp. "Seriously? I mean, I have nothing against her personally — she's an extremely talented country singer, but I'm pretty sure my father is repeatedly rolling over in his grave ... And while the girl can sing (although her voice lacks the Soprano purity of Julie Andrews) can she act? I'd like to know who else was in the running. Personally, I'd have put my money on Ann Hathaway, who in her upcoming role as Fantine in Les Miserable [sic], proves that she can act and sing."
Watch Anne Hathaway's Oscar-winning performance.
One of the film's von Trapps was also not impressed with Carrie Underwood in The Sound Of Music Live! Kym Karath, who played Gretl in the movie, tweeted her dissatisfaction with Underwood's performance as Maria von Trapp. But Karath's co-star, Nicholas Hammond, thought the country singer deserved praise. Hammond, who played Friedrich in the original film, did not see the whole musical live, but he did see clips from it on the Internet.
"I thought going with somebody like Carrie who has a beautiful voice and who has her own following, I thought, 'What a fascinating idea,' because it's looking outside the box a little bit," Hammond said. "It's not just getting another Broadway singer; it's somebody who comes from a background that in a funny way kind of is a reflection of the real Maria, because the real Maria grew up on a farm, she was a country girl. ... I hope Carrie hears or reads about all of our congratulations and best wishes to her, because she certainly deserves them."
Would Anne Hathaway be a better Maria von Trapp than Carrie Underwood? Let us know in the comments section below.