Of course I’m perfectly happy being the fictional character known as myself.
But if I could dig into the vaults of literature and find someone even better, here’s who I’d choose to switch costumes and time periods with:
(5) Prospero in Shakespeare’s The Tempest
A vengeful wizard full of sound and fury, this persona always appealed to me, warts and all. Plus you get to constantly spout all kinds of amazing verse that falls trippingly from the right tongue. And it’s been played by a woman (Helen Mirren), so there’s no gender boundary on it whatsoever.
(4) Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Sure, she’s fat, blowsy, and pathetic, but she has fun with it, tossing off all kinds of withering bon mots while decimating her poor, pasty-faced husband. (“Hey, swampy!”) I’d love to say her dialogue all day even if deep down she’s a haunted, hollow, fraudulent soul. She’s a genius!
(3) Miss Havisham in Great Expectations
Ditto! Sure, the old hag is bursting with regrets and cobwebs, but as long as you have regrets anyway, why not go whole hog and become totally entrapped by them? And she does have a gorgeous old outfit to wear and some rotting piece of cake left over from decades ago. She’s got it all!
(2) Helen Lawson from Valley of the Dolls
The woman has down-to-the-gut class. She’s a barracuda. And she knows that there’s only one star in a Helen Lawson show and that’s Helen Lawson and that’s her, baby, remember? God, I would love to spout her shit and wear that scarf around my head and dodge that mobile and be based on Ethel Merman!
I’m dying to be a little girl who lives at the Plaza! And be a total lovable brat who gets whatever she wants! Eloise is the most admirable fictional character ever written — even more so than Helen Lawson.