When you deign to remake a classic like "Rosemary's Baby," the very obvious question is "why?"
So when it comes to Zoe Saldana's "Rosemary's Baby" miniseries, airing on NBC in two parts on May 11 and May 15, the actress says she has three reasons for signing up - and one of the biggest ones is Paris.
The 35-year-old actress is filling the role of Rosemary Woodhouse, the same part once portrayed by Mia Farrow in Roman Polanski's 1968 adaptation of the Ira Levin novel. The horror aspect of the story is pretty much the same - young couple Rosemary and Guy get pregnant with a baby while other demonic forces are at work - but there are new twists and a new setting. NBC's Rosemary and Guy (played by Patrick J. Adams) flee New York in hopes to leave behind a sad past, and settle in one of the City of Light's most prestigious addresses.
Saldana says that while she was nervous to play Rosemary, she decided not to let the inevitable criticism interrupt the opportunity.
"The fans of the classic will not like the new, so that's OK," she said on Entertainment Weekly's Sirius XM show Thursday. "Let me just then have fun. Once you remove that pressure, that people don't accept remakes, then it was all about just me taking the opportunity to play an amazing character, to work with an amazing director, and to be in Paris for three months."
Plus, she "liked the bold decisions that NBC and Lionsgate were taking with doing this re-telling of this specific novel for television," the actress continued. "Everything all around just felt good."
For those who aren't feeling as great as Saldana about this project, critics suggest to let go of your expectations.
"Once one’s expectations are in the gutter, it does not take much to exceed them," Slate's Willa Paskin writes in a review. "NBC’s 'Rosemary’s Baby' ... is a not-great remake, but it is also a not-entirely-horrible miniseries, a beneficiary of the soft standards of low expectations."
The Washington Post's Hank Stuever warns that the miniseries is "stretched way too long over two nights," and "isn't going to keep anyone on the edge of their seats trying to figure out how it will end, especially if you saw the original or read the novel." That said, he believes "it’s a slick and sometimes even elegant TV production that’s several notches above, say, Lifetime’s recent remake of 'Flowers in the Attic.' The script can be remedially hokey, but Saldana turns in a feisty and believable performance as a mother fighting for the life of her unholy spawn. Someone get her a parenting blog and she’ll fit right in."
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