|Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents would disagree with you; they legendarily hated Roz's performance. That always baffled me, because I think she's pretty great (even with the heavily sweetened vocals), and I did once get the chance to ask Sondheim about it. He initially dismissed the question but i pressed a little, saying that she has some tremendous moments as an actor that were hard to deny, and he came around with the fact that she was too classy a woman to fully embody the Rose they wrote. I never thought about that before, but it makes sense. Unfortunately, I did not get to ask him who he would have preferred in the movie (I cannot imaging Merman working in the movie, but I could be wrong). Apparently Merman had been promised the role by producer/director Mervyn Leroy, and she was furious at losing it to Russell (whose husband Merman referred to as The Lizard of Roz). I do think that Natalie Wood was perfect casting, she is just so lovely as Louise.