The facial recognition technology at MyHeritage.com uses complex algorithms to examine facial characteristics and match them to an extensive database of photographs. Some day we’ll be using it to locate relatives – but today we’re using it for casting purposes, to see which actors the computer thinks Henry VIII and his six wives most resemble.
KING HENRY VIII
Henry VIII is the first to be examined (kings always go first or you can get in trouble). The computer scrutinizes the portrait and determines that actor Jake Gyllenhaal would play the King. Can’t argue with that, though Jake would have to gain plenty of weight to be a contender.
CATHERINE OF ARAGON
Henry wanted to divorce poor Katherine so badly that he shut down Catholicism in England for a bit, which made the Pope all frowny-faced. The computer believes Cate Blanchett would make a great Catherine – which seems like a solid casting decision as she can act and she’s already played Anne Boleyn’s daughter.
Anne Boleyn’s mean-spirited antics and conniving persona would make her a great contestant on Survivor. Unfortunately there was no Survivor five hundred years ago, so instead she got her head taken off. The computer believes John Cusack to be the man for the job. That’s a role we’d all most likely enjoy watching him play.
Henry had a soft spot for Jane, probably because she died after childbirth and he didn’t have a chance to behead or divorce her. The computer’s choice is ironic: Jane was undone from having a child, and Madonna from buying one. Incidentally, these complex facial recognition algorithms do not take acting ability into account.
ANNE OF CLEVES
The portrait of Anne of Cleves is a bit misleading. Henry described her face as that of “a Flanders mare” and wasn’t at all happy about being set up with her. He divorced her, and the guy who arranged the union was separated from his head. The computer says Colin Firth is the man to be Anne. With Cusack as Boleyn this production runs the risk of becoming a Monty Python act.
If you’re going to be dumb enough to cheat on the king you’d best be discreet about it. But if you’re dumb enough to cheat on the king you’re probably not going to be discreet about it. Case in point: Catherine, beheaded for extra-marital humping which is treason when hubby is the boss of you. Jessica Alba looks the part, so says the computer. A good call as she’d help bring in the 18-34 demographic.
Henry was already old and had a festering leg wound at this point, but she’s still lucky to come out unscathed considering his track record. The computer says the lady who outlived the king should be played by Lucy Liu. This presents some casting issues unless it’s a multi-cultural endeavor with disabled dwarfs and Lindsay Lohan as the king.