Michael Bergeron
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Eyre vs. Chazz

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From time to time Free Press Houston matches up characters from literature and real life actors to see how they would fare in a battle of wits. This week we’ve chosen Jane Eyre and Chazz Palminteri.

They both have names that are difficult to pronounce – at first: Jane Eyre, as in “air.” Palminteri sounds like “pall-mint-terry.”

Jane Eyre has been made into films multiple times. Most recently by Cary Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nations) starring  Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender (2011) and in the ‘90s in a Miramax film with William Hurt and Charlotte Gainsbourg. There have been films based on Jane Eyre since 1910 including one with Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine in the ’40s, as well as at least five television mini-series. Chazz has been in films since the mid-80s and most recently was seen in last year’s Legend.

FAITHFUL, Chazz Palminteri, Cher, Ryan O'Neal, 1996

FAITHFUL, Chazz Palminteri, Cher, Ryan O’Neal, 1996

Jane Austen did not write Jane Eyre. Charlotte Brontë did. Chazz wrote Faithful (1996) and A Bronx Tale (1996).

Jane Eyre follows the life of a lowly nineteenth century orphan who becomes a governess, and whose independent character and inner strength attract her to the noble man she secretly loves. Faithful follows the life of pessimistic hitman (Chazz) who takes pride in his job. His unforgiving characters traits and filthy mouth gain him the love of the women he’s been sent to kill.

Chazz used a real life environment, an Italian neighborhood in the Bronx, to create characters and plays, as in Faithful and A Bronx TaleJane Eyre author Charlotte Brontë used many real life experiences for her novels. For instance, in Jane Eyre Lowood School is similar to Brontë’s alma mater Cowan Bridge. Brontë fell in love with a married professor, the model for the fictional character Rochester.

Jane Eyre was considered bold and dangerous when it was published over 160 years ago. Chazz usually appears in films that are rated R.

Jane Eyre has never been out of print since October 16, 1847. All of Chazz’s film are available via online streaming services.

— Michael Bergeron