The winner of a Scarlett O'Hara look-alike contest said Wednesday that she entered the "Gone With the Wind" 50th anniversary competition "on a lark."
Emily Schapmann of Birmingham, Ala., won the contest as part of the silver anniversary celebration of the 1939 premiere of the Civil War epic.In a screen test produced by the Turner Broadcasting System Inc., five pairs of finalists each performed a scene from the movie now owned by TBS. Schapmann and her Rhett Butler - Robert Noll of Hudson, Ohio - were chosen as the most convincing doubles of the movie's top stars, Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh.
Schapmann's test was set in the Georgia belle's bedroom after the birth of daughter Bonnie. "I did the bedroom scene, which is when Scarlett tells Rhett she doesn't want to have any more babies because it's just ruining her waistline," Schapmann said.
Her performance convinced the judges, but she said there are several differences between her and the scheming heroine.
For one thing, she isn't as money hungry, and her eyes are hazel instead of green. She doesn't have an 18-inch waist and, despite having Southern roots, her drawl hasn't been what it should be since she attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.
But, fiddledeedee, some things can't be helped.
Schapmann, a reporter and producer for a television station, said she didn't have any trouble recognizing her Rhett. A computer programmer, Noll bears such a striking similarity to Gable's rendition of the character that he has spent the past three years making personal appearances as Rhett.
The Associated Press reported that Noll rebuffed questions about being a Yankee Rhett Butler. "I'm just glad to be any Rhett Butler," he said, noting that Gable himself was born in Ohio.
The contest winners will be the hosts of an antebellum anniversary ball Thursday night and will appear Friday during a re-creation of the movie's Dec. 15, 1939, world premiere.