Casting call

Who should play Mick Jagger and Keith Richards?

The originals | The Micks: Jake Gyllenhaal | Michael Pitt | Xavier Samuel | James Franco | Angelina Jolie | Justin Bieber | The Keiths: Paul Dano | Robert Pattinson | Rooney Mara | Charlie Sheen | Al Pacino

Photo credits: Left: Dominique Tarl / Universal Music Group.Los Angeles Times

The Rolling Stones' "Exile on Main St." was released in 1972, the year both Mick Jagger and Keith Richards turned 29.

Who would your choice be to portray the iconic duo for the film version of the book "Exile on Main St.: A Season in Hell With the Rolling Stones"?

Click on the names above to compare the actors Times pop music critic Randall Roberts would send to the casting call.

RELATED: Rolling Stones' 'Exile' as feature film? Casting Mick and Keith

Photo credit: Left: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times. Right: Damon Winter / Los Angeles Times

There's no other way to say it: You need a big mouth and bigger lips to capture then-28-year-old Mick Jagger's essence in 1971.

You have to be skinny and full of frenetic energy while retaining a gentlemanly demeanor. Give Jake Gyllenhall a dirty-brown wig, teach him Jagger's unique "blue steel" facial expression and how to wag his butt, and the 31-year-old Jake could be Mick.

Photo credits: Left: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times. Right: Robert Caplin / For The Times

An actor who already has experience playing the lead singer of an important rock band (a would-be Kurt Cobain in Gus Van Sant's "Last Days"), Michael Pitt looks enough like Jagger to pull the role off.

And given that he's proven his ability to play calculating, cutthroat young men as part of Michael Haneke's "Funny Games," Pitt in the Jagger role could fit perfectly.

Photo credits: Left: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times. Right: Kimberley French/ Summit Entertainment

The magnetic Australian actor is best known for his role in "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" and at a certain angle is a ringer for Jagger.

And since Xavier Samuel proved in "Eclipse" that he's a good fighter, he'd be able to accurately capture the tension between Jagger and Richards.

Photo credits: Left: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times. Right: Frank Connor.Los Angeles Times

Give James Franco some collagen lip injections (it's for the art, James) and teach him a proper British accent (not, most adamantly, like in "Your Highness," please), and leave him in a room with some videotape.<

After an immersive six-month period of intense study, Franco will emerge Jagger.

Photo credits: Left: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times. Right: Carlo Allegri / Associated Press

If Cate Blanchett can play Bob Dylan in "I'm Not There," then Angelina Jolie can play Mick Jagger.

She's got the features, the beauty and the aura of privilege that any successful take on Jagger should have. Alternate: Anne Hathaway.

Photo credits: Left: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times. Right: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Just as Justin Timberlake earned kudos for playing Sean Parker in "The Social Network," Justin Bieber can continue to mimic Timberlake's ascent from teen idol to Serious Actor with a nice Mick Jagger turn.

That won't happen, of course, and probably shouldn't, quite honestly.

Photo Credit: Left: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times. Right: David Lee / Focus Features

Best known for his work in "Little Miss Sunshine" and "There Will Be Blood," Paul Dano has the stringy-haired, gaunt complexion necessary to capture the essence of Richards and the acting chops to pull it off.

Photo credits: Left: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times. Right: Regency Releases

When the Rolling Stones guitarist was working on "Exile," he was recording in a big basement and not seeing much direct sunlight, so a pale, vampiric actor such as Robert Pattinson might be a good, safe choice.

Certainly this casting would please the ladies (but depress the Stones fans).

Photo credits: Left: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times. Right: Columbia Pictures

Few are born with the "skinny junky" gene, and fewer still can act, so this combination, coupled with Rooney Mara's current star-power, would make this a surprising, and potentially transformative, choice.


Photo Credit: Left: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times Right: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times.

Given that on good days the then-28-year-old Keith Richards looked to be in his mid-40s, the casting of an equally indestructible human in the role would go far in convincing the audience of Richards' mettle.

Give Charlie Sheen a Richards wig and feed him some drugs, and the rest will take care of itself.

Photo credits: Left: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times. Right: Alberto Pizzoli / AFP / Getty Images

A joke choice? Perhaps, but given that on bad days, Richards looked to be age 72 while recording "Exile" — weeklong benders can do that to a body — Al Pacino as Richards could cement the actor's reputation as a fearless craftsman.

Advertisement
About The Data Desk

This page was created by the Data Desk, a team of reporters and Web developers in downtown L.A.

Readers: What’s your take? Share it here.