We know that “Fame” (which finally comes out today!) is a reboot of the 1980 movie musical — we’ve spent all week celebrating its release with tons of cast interviews and behind-the-scenes info — but how closely does it follow the structure of the original film? Here, we took a closet look at the main characters from each movie to see how the new class stacks up.
Shy Denise (Naturi Naughton, pictured above, right) is forced by her parents to study classical music instead of the R&B she’s actually interested in, reminding us of two characters from the original film who also strived to impress their parents. Wallflower Doris Finsecker (Maureen Teegy, pictured above, left) was pushed into auditioning for the school by her slightly overbearing mother but blossomed into a confident actress over her four years, and actor Montgomery MacNeil (Paul McCrane) struggled to even show up at all on his famous mother’s radar.
Triple threat Coco Hernandez (Irene Cara, pictured above, left) gets a run for her money from charming, popular couple Marco (Asher Book, pictured above, right) and Jenny (Kay Panabaker), who similarly earn friends with their wide-ranging talent and friendly demeanor. Asher told us this week that he and Marco have lots in common — he’s “very happy-go-lucky, very normal kid.”
In Fame version 1.0, fast-talking actor Ralph Garcy (Barry Miller, above left) caught the attention of his classmates and comedy club bookers with his ability to wittily expound on any situation. Two candidates from the reboot who can fill his smart-aleck shoes are rebel actress Joy (Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, above right), who earns followers via rants on YouTube, or street-smart musician Victor (Walter Perez), who clashes with his teachers over his flippant attitude.
Leroy Johnson’s (Gene Anthony Ray, above left) natural talent as a dancer landed him a spot at the school, but he struggled to keep up academically. Malik (Collins Pennie, above right), a talented actor/rapper (not to mention incredibly good-looking), similarly nailed his audition, but his family’s financial situation makes it tough to keep up in school.
Much like beautiful, rich ballerina Hilary van Doren (Antonia Franceschi, above left) in the original movie, beautiful, rich dancer Alice (Kherington Payne, above right) falls for a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. “She’s a rich, Park Avenue girl who doesn’t want anything to get in her way, but she ends up meeting this guy from Spanish Harlem,” she told us when she stopped by our offices. “You know, the grungy, bad boy her parents don’t approve of.”
Loner musician Bruno Martelli (Lee Curreri, above left) gets an update in film student Neil (Paul Iacono, above right), whose passion for his craft leads him to attempt grand projects. While Bruno engrossed himself in music, Neil engrosses himself in film, and uses school as his own personal movie set. Fun fact: Paul attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School just like his character.
Are you a fan of the original “Fame”? If yes, does that make you want to see the new one any more or any less?