Misery was published in 1987. Master of Horror, Stephen King.
King has later stated that Misery/Annie Wilkes was a metaphor for his substance abuse.
In the American Film Institute’s List of 100 years of The Greatest Screen Heroes and Villains Annie Wilkes is #17.
Kathy Bates started her acting career on the New York Stage. Although she was a fantastic actress, studios did not find her bankable as a film star. So when her plays went to the big screen other actresses like Michelle Pfeiffer and Sissy Spacek got the part.
It was her role in Misery that finally allowed her to be taken seriously as a Box Office draw.
She was the first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Horror Film.
(Fun Fact: Jessica Lange was up for the role of Annie Wilkes!)
It’s hard for me to think of a time when Kathy Bates wasn’t a draw!
Stephen King loved Bates’s performance so much that he wrote the book/character Dolores Claiborne specifically with Bates in mind. In fact, after King learned that Bates was interested in being part of the The Stand miniseries, he rewrote the role of Ray Flowers as Rae Flowers just for her.
In contrast, few Actors were interested in taking on the role of Paul Sheldon. Mainly, because they did not want to be overshadowed by Bates. The part eventually went to James Caan, who was forced to lay in a bed for 15 weeks for the part. Caan found it extremely challenging to be stationary for so long, needing to react to Bates rather than initiating the confrontations.
I was a sophomore in College when I first started reading Stephen King. I read Misery after school had ended and I was on my way to South Carolina for my cousin’s wedding.
The book was incredibly gripping. As an aspiring writer, the whole premise and way King styled the book really spoke to me. After I finished, I watched the film, which I knew would be a much different experience.
You know, you can read it but watching, is a different story…
Not only for the changes they make but sometimes your imagination shelters you.
(Like trying to watch The Reader after reading the book.)
Much Different Experience.
Well, I’ll wrap it up there.
I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about Annie Wilkes.
Thank you for Reading!
See you Tomorrow