Good thing I didn’t name my daughter Fiona.

How many fictitious characters have there been with the name Chattaway? I can’t think of all that many, myself.

Three years ago, I noted that there was a drug smuggler named “Peter Chattaway” in an episode of the 1960s Australian TV show The Contrabandits. But beyond that…?

Today, I sort of discovered another, when my dad passed along this story from the Driffield Post in England:

SCHOOLGIRL actress Eleanor Tomlinson (16), from Beverley, is following her role in a recent blockbuster by starring in an another major film. . . .

Eleanor has been busy shooting her part in Tim Burton’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland – which also stars heart-throb actor Johhny Depp.

Eleanor, who plays Fiona Chattaway in Burton’s version of the Lewis Carroll classic, is now going back to school after completing the new film role. . . .

Eleanor said her role in the film is something of a departure from previous parts she has played.

“She’s quite a bitchy character, which is really different as I’ve never done anything like that before, so that’s good. . . . “

A bitchy girl named Chattaway? Oh, yeah, very good, sure. I’m sure that will never come back to haunt my daughter.

But then, after reading this story in the Hull Daily Mail, I discovered that the Driffield Post might have made an error:

She is playing Alice’s peer, the spiteful Fiona Chataway, who appears at the beginning of the film before Alice falls down the rabbit hole.

And it turns out that Lewis Carroll himself dedicated The Hunting of the Snark to “a dear Child” named Gertrude Chataway — so presumably there is some sort of connection between that real-life character and the movie character.

But see the difference? Those people spell their name with only one T. So they’re not really “Chattaways” at all.

Whew. That was a close one.

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his film column, which won multiple awards from the Evangelical Press Association, the Canadian Church Press and the Fellowship of Christian Newspapers, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17492591447246532970 jasdye

    naming our children can be so difficult. my family (with the last name ‘Dye’, btw) has a horrible history of picking horror star names. Chuckie, Freddy, Caleb, Rose Mary. and my names are Jason and Michael. we couldn’t even name our baby after my wife’s sister (Carrie. seriously).

    of course, all of these names were chosen years before those respective movies came out. so, you never know, right?


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