Sometimes fate throws a photo at you, and you cannot look at it without going “what the…?” This is such a photo, right there to the left of this text. The photo was taken at the 2011 Academy Awards, and as you can see Josh Hutcherson is at the forefront (left bottom), Jennifer Lawrence in the center, and in the left corner almost in profile is Armie Hammer. Now, I know many of you are going to say I’m grasping at straws, but these three people may just be fated to be in each others lives, and this snap shot in time is sort of the beginning of it all. Jennifer and Josh barely knew each other at the point in which this photo was taken, Armie’s probably never spoken to either of them to date, but there Jennifer and Josh are before either of them were officially involved in The Hunger Games, in the same frame– feet from each other. Is it fate? You tell me.
Armie Hammer as many of you know is a top fantasy cast in the role of Finnick Odair, and as you all hopefully know I am a huge advocate for the idea of him taking the role and just embodying Finnick to the point where the world, the media, stops characterizing him as a playboy — but as the multifaceted man/character he truly is. I personally look at that photo at the top of the page and get goosebumps up and down my arms, a shiver runs down my spine, I feel slightly sick to my stomach — and I just stare whilst completely gobsmacked. I’m biased, I know I am — but I cannot help it, especially when I’m not a superstitious person, but then get confronted with freaky and almost creepy feelings like the ones that photo gives to me. I want Armie Hammer to play Finnick Odair, I just do — I think he’d be phenomenal in the role, that being part of an ensemble cast like The Hunger Games franchise will always have, would be a wonderful experience for him — much like it was when he was in The Social Network.
I watch interviews with the guy and I see, and I hear Finnick, I also see and hear an extremely capable, charismatic young man with a bright future, a whip smart brain, and personality that would mesh extremely well with the charming wit Josh Hutcherson has displayed, and the silliness Jennifer Lawrence always seems to exude. I look at factors like; personality, plus talent, plus ability to do press and deal with fans with grace an aplomb, which he has shown he’s more than apt at, as points that just get ticked off on an ever-growing list of WHY-THIS-GUY-SHOULDN’T-BE-DISCOUNTED-JUST-BECAUSE-A-PORTION-OF-THE-HUNGER-GAMES-FANDOM-ARE-BEHIND-HIM. I mean, why should it? Answer me that. I cannot be alone in this thinking, this thinking that just because Gary Ross has moved on, that the way in which Catching Fire will be cast will be completely different from The Hunger Games. I’m of course speaking of the methods Debra Zane (who will probably not be casting Catching Fire), Ross, Collins, and Lionsgate employed, i.e. they had almost everyone who was a fan-cast favorite in for either a meeting, an audition, or had them tape an audition piece and send it in. As far as I know, the casting period for The Hunger Games was not a long drawn out process, and Francis Lawrence (if we ever get official word that he’s signed the dotted line), and whom ever gets hired to be the casting director, have roughly three months to find the rest of the principle cast of Catching Fire. I honestly don’t know why they wouldn’t continue to use the
methods in which The Hunger Games was cast, it’s already been proven that as a fandom we don’t have entirely banal ideas — some of them are questionable at times, but as a whole I think we come up with some pretty interesting choices. I know that Josh Hutcherson was on a couple of people’s lists for Peeta, and Jennifer Lawrence was as well. I know that when I saw her Oscar nominated performance in Winter’s Bone that I wanted her to play Katniss, and no one else. I also know that when all the hype started forming around Josh possibly being cast that I made the effort to watch almost all of his films, and then knew that if he was chosen that it would be a good choice, a great choice even — because Josh is probably one of the most talented actors in his age group and will be for a very long time. For Finnick though, the lists seem to be long or short, sadly all depending upon the age bracket an individual falls into. Sadly, I’ve also seen an over abundance of pretty above talent, where it comes to people’s ideas for Finnick. I think I’m more disheartened by that than anything else, because it shows a lack of forethought, and a lack of understanding of the character– if you will. I think we can all agree here — Finnick is not just a pretty face, and having him being portrayed by someone who has only proven them selves to BE a pretty face is backwards in thinking, and dare I say it — shallow.
Does Armie deserve a meeting, or an audition, I think he does. Would he even take one or the other? I have no idea! I know that he’s rising in notoriety, and that his schedule is pretty full. However, I also know that he’s never taken on a role like Finnick before, and that can prove to be an enticing draw, but I also know that with the combination of roles he has had, and with that knowledge base and the knowledge he’s gaining with working with people like Johnny Depp, he’s more than ready for Finnick.
So I guess I end this article by paraphrasing the plea my friend The Girls With The Pearl used. Please cast talented actors and not just attractive ones! Finnick is more than just a hunky charmer… We need an actor who can portray that accurately.
Them There Eyes