Originally Posted by hbblover
Almost everyone has look really damn good when they played the emcee.
John, Neil, Raul Esparza, Norbert Leo Butz, Adam Pascal, even Alan Cumming
The interpretation of the Emcee, as it's been played ever since, was at least as much a product of Alan Cumming as Sam Mendes or the wishes of any of the producers of the 1993 revival
. They finally tossed off the ragged and dusty/moldy old rags of Joel Grey and Bob Fosse in favor of something that was not just much sexier and more titillating, but undoubtedly more historically accurate for Berlin circa 1931.
For whatever it's worth, I found Cumming's Emcee
not only more believable than Stamos', but much, much sexier. I've seen clips of Stamos playing that part many times before, and to me it just reeks of straight-playing-gay; the Emcee is obviously a very camp openly-proud bi/homosexual (a rather common occurrence in Wiemar Berlin). Not only was Stamos too straight for the part, but much too much well-fed and gym-pumped than any actual person of that time, place and position would have been.
That's not to say that Stamos did a terrible job or that he's unattractive in the part: by all accounts he performed admirably, and is obviously highly desirable sexually. But within the story, the era depicted and the character as it's been written, I think he was deeply miscast. I'm 98% certain that the decision to cast him was entirely cynical: equal parts fill-the-theater on the part of the producers and an effort to broaden his perceived talents from the actor himself. Don't forget that Molly Ringwald (of all people) played Sally Bowles at roughly the same time.
When and if they ever choose to film the updated interpretation, I can only hope that Cumming will be cast in the role he re-created from whole cloth. The fact that he'd be closer to my age than, say, Taylor Lautner would only make it all seem seamier and more debauched