Some characters get cut, some characters stay the course, get filled out, and become something else entirely. This is what happens in the process of adapting a novel into a screenplay, things just, well– change.
Over the last several days we’ve all hopefully been witness to the casting announcements of characters like Commander Lyme, Boggs, Castor, Pollux, and now most recently Homes. Most won’t remember Homes, I’ll even admit that when I saw that the character was officially cast, that I thought the character was originally female, and that they had made a creative decision to gender swap “her”. However, I’m pretty sure now that I was probably mixing him up with Jackson, the only other female Squad 451 member besides Leeg 1, Leeg 2, and of course Katniss Everdeen. So, they kept Homes, I won’t be the first to say this, but I’m surprised. And the reason I’m surprised is that in the grand scheme of thing, or at least the grand scheme from my point of view, Homes is one of the more superfluous characters in the novel. Now, that’s not my saying that he doesn’t serve a purpose, because he does– everyone in that Squad has a specific talent that’s needed to fill a certain quota, or role if you will, and Homes is one of the squads long distance sharpshooters, like Mitchell and Jackson. I’m just taken off guard that characters that are somewhat forgettable are being kept, whereas characters from The Hunger Games, and Catching Fire were summarily cut seemingly for time, and alleged fluidity purposes. Examples: Peeta’s father, Lavinia the Avox, Darius the Peacekeeper, and Madge Underseee.
I won’t lie, I’m still a bit miffed that those four characters I just named were cut, which brings me to this– I hope they don’t cut Delly Cartwright. Look, I know to some of you she’s just as superfluous as Homes, but it cannot be denied that she’s an integral part of Peeta’s storyline in Mockingjay, and I personally see her character being wholly cut from the film franchise as a major disservice to the rounding out of Peeta as a fully realized character. I know that Delly’s character could be spliced and combined with say, Prim fairly easily, but that just seems counter intuitive as Delly is the only person in the whole of District 13 who has a past with Peeta that is not connected directly to Katniss– and Prim is directly connected to Katniss, who we all know is Peeta’s trigger. Disaster in the making in my mind if Delly is left on the cutting room floor like Lavinia was in The Hunger Games.
Here’s to hoping we get a casting announcement soon for some young actress filling the shoes of Delly– the most optimistic person in the entire series.
Them There Eyes
Well, he’s probably been cast for quite some time now, it’s likely though that the Powers That Be just deemed us worthy enough to finally have the information of who exactly will be filling his fictional shoes for the next two films. Mahershala Ali is the man who gets to be fake thrown up on by the lovely Jennifer Lawrence, and yes, his name is a mouthful, he’d probably be the first to admit it, and if he doesn’t, well his game– not mine.
First of all, I’m just bloody relieved that the wait is over! Second of all, I’m glad it’s him. Why am I glad it’s him you may ask? Because, damn it all to hell, he’s a fucking good actor, and highly trained one at that, yep with an MA in acting from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts– see, told ya’ he’s all trained up. Which, at least from what I know is somewhat rare for an American actor, usually it’s just the Brits who go to drama school, like our dear Sam Claflin with his degree from LAMDA. Why else am I glad it’s Mahershala, whom I’m now just going to just call Ali– because it’s easier to say, spell, and it’s apparently his nick-name anyway? ‘Cause well, um… yeah, he’s hot. What? My eyes take in his face, and his physique, and my brain goes, “well, that’s nice.” Nice voice too, did I mention he’s a respected rap artist as well? Yeah, anyway Ali’s a looker, he’s also no slouch in the acting department, which frankly is why I think he was hired.
Let’s see, what he’s probably most known for right now is his work on the NetFlix series House of Cards, where he shared screen time with none other than Academy Award winning actor, and Old Vic Artistic Director, Kevin Spacey, as well as the original Buttercup herself, Ms. Robin Wright (side note: Robin Wright was one of my top favorites for Alma Coin, and at one point I thought Kevin Spacey would make a wicked awesome President Snow.) Yep, the man has literally stood opposite those people, and told them no– or well, blackmailed them. You should watch House of Cards, it’s like Game of Thrones, but without swards, and blood, and horses, plenty of Wildlings though, yes– in suits. I also wouldn’t be surprised if his character shows back up in the second season of the series as well, so keep your eyes peeled!
Ah yes, what else? HBOs Treme, which I’ve been meaning to watch since its debut, and now I finally have an excuse, other than John Goodman being awesome, and amazing, and starring on it. And then there’s the cult
series The 4400, which I admittedly have never had a desire to watch, but I’m sure some of you out there have seen it, or will be interested in seeing it now we know Ali was a regular in the cast. Sure, he’s done some great, to decent, to meh TV shows, but he’s also taken part in some stellar feature films. For me I say check out his work in A Place Beyond the Pines ASAP, he doesn’t have the largest role, but he still makes his mark, and does some very moving work, also the film stars Ryan Gosling, and Bradley Cooper, so even if you’re only watching it for Ali, the principle cast will keep you engaged throughout. Actually, I just recommend A Place Beyond the Pines as a whole, not only for Cooper and Gosling, because in all honesty it’s the supporting cast of actors that I found the most interesting, especially the young actors whose characters are introduced in the third half of the film, in fact Ali’s best scene is with one of those young actors.
Now, I don’t actually remember him in The Curious Case of Benjamen Button, but he’s in that one as well– and I simply love to give people any reason to watch that film, because it’s chockablock full of good performances, yes, even from Brad Pitt who’s notorious for rather wooden performances, that always leave you seemingly wanting.
If you’re not willing to take the time to watch House of Cards, or anything else I’ve written about, which frankly to me says you’re lazy as hell, and probably didn’t even finish reading this article anyway, you can always click this link here, and watch a 6 minute short film Ali did in 2008.
Boggs is cast! Welcome to the fold, Mahershalalhashbaz! Told you his name was a mouthful.
Them There Eyes
With Monday came another Mockingjay casting announcement: Lily Rabe will play Lyme. Now if you don’t know who Lyme is, don’t worry. You’re not the only one who’s forgotten about her. It’s been a running joke on HG Fireside Chat since for a brief moment, pretty much everyone forgot who she was when a listener asked about her. We didn’t even fancast her! And I wasn’t completely sure she was going to even make it into the movie.
So here’s a quick refresher. Remember in Mockingjay when Katniss goes to District 2, and they try to disable the Nut, leading to Katniss getting shot? Lyme was a past victor who joined the rebellion and became the Commander in District 2 during this time period.
Being a District 2 victor, it’s assumed that Lyme was a Career and even could have mentored Cato or more likely Clove. But she fought for the rebellion and was even high in rank, probably due to her victor status. As far as a physical description, Katniss remarks that she’s tall and muscular and is about a generation above her.
One reason that people seem to forget about Lyme is because she doesn’t end up voting for the Coin-proposed Hunger Games, so it is assumed she died sometime between the taking of the Nut and then. Because Katniss doesn’t say anything about her after District 2, not even an explanation for why Lyme isn’t around at the end, we as readers forgot along with her.
But hey, we won’t forget you, Lily Rabe! We’re excited to see what you can bring to fill this role out a bit. By several accounts, I hear you’re great on American Horror Story. And I may actually watch this season (I’ve been a big fat chicken and don’t like scary things).
And now I want some pie
It’s official, as in not made up, and totally real– Julianne Moore has been cast as the leader of District 13, also known as President Alma Coin. First off, I’ve kind of been slowly freaking out over this news all day, and it hasn’t been an empty day for me in the slightest, so the information would get forgotten, and then I would remember, and it was like a rush of blood to the head, or a brain freeze. Good times.
Eight months ago I wrote an article titled The Moms Are All Right, where in I fantasy cast both Annette Bening, and Julianne Moore in the role of Alma Coin. Two months previous to that article I had also mentioned in another article that Julianne Moore would be a good choice for Alma Coin. Today the idea, which I had written up twice– came true. You don’t understand, AN IDEA I HAD ALMOST A YEAR AGO CAME TRUE! That doesn’t happen, that just doesn’t happen ever. It’s not like I outright campaigned for Julianne either, I’ve known for a long time that that methodology doesn’t work, and in the end just ends up breaking your heart. So, in this castings case, I didn’t pit all my hopes and dreams on one horse, Julianne was not my Pie from National Velvet, she was simply a niggling hope I had at the back of my mind. Like, “it would be kind of awesome if they cast her, ’cause she’s really talented, and pretty, and I wonder how she’d play opposite Jennifer….” It was never, “ohmygodtheyhavetocastherorI’lldie!” Yeah, like so many people demonstrated their crazy after someone else was cast as some other character in another franchise, poor Charlie.
Anyways! After all that back-of-my-mind hoping, I was magically put in charge of the preliminary logistics of the fandom wide Campaigning for Coin series. And this is how it happened: For months, maybe even a year, I’d been gathering photos of actresses who I thought could be potential candidates for Coin on a secret pin-board on Pinterest, Julianne was one of the first women I’d pinned to the board. So, when I was put in charge of the preliminaries for the series, I decided the best way for us to decide the 12 women we’d all write up on, would be to invite everyone involved to view the board, and vote and/or like the photos of the women they wanted to write on. The 13th was decided by you guys, i.e. we all kept track of the actresses who were mentioned the most in the comments on all our separate sites. The voting was a nagging, slightly tiresome two week process, but eventually the list was narrowed down, voted on again, and then officially sealed. Julianne Moore always managed to stay on the board with only a medium amount of votes in comparison to others like Anjelica Huston, amazingly.
Many people don’t take fantasy casting seriously, and you know what– I think they’re right to. But, sometimes the ideas really and truly work, and maybe the people in charge are listening, and paying attention, and thinking they’re good ideas too– that’s what I’m coming away with in this instance anyway. It’s done, it’s awesome, no one in their right mind should be disappointed.
It’s been a long time coming.
Them There Eyes
While we weren’t looking, or were preoccupied with banner reveals, and casting news for the Mockingjay films, two Catching Fire cast members went unnoticed on the IMDb page for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. If you’ve guessed who they are by the title of this article, smart cookie, ’cause they’re none other than Ripper and Greasy Sae. Ripper is, if you remember, the one armed woman who made, and sold white liquor at The Hob. And Greasy Sae is the inventive chef who sold food, also like Ripper, at The Hob.
Over the last few months I’ve covered several secondary cast member reveals here at Victor’s Village, including the reveal of Patrick St. Esprit being part of the cast as Romulus Thread. At the time of that particular reveal however, nothing was official, as even I know, and you know that IMDb pages can be altered by anyone with an IMDb Pro account. Patrick St. Esprit since then has shown his angular face in both the Catching Fire teaser trailer, and the first official full length trailer. So, that casting is official, full stop.
In the case of Greasy Sae, I’m a little more than confident that her casting is the real-deal, as, I wish I could have a drum roll here, but alas, the actress who’s listed with her name next to Sae’s, is the same actress who traded Katniss’ Mockingjay pin to her in Gary Ross’ adaptation of The Hunger Games. Yep, it’s none other than Sandra Ellis Lafferty. To me this bodes well for the threads of continuity some people may be a little bit apprehensive about since this time around we have a new director, and a whole slew of new people taking part behind the scenes. I mean, yeah, Sae may now be simply a merchant who deals in buttons, trinkets, and other bits and bobs, but who’s to say that perhaps in Catching Fire they’ve wholly embraced her character background from the books, and made her the inventive chef we all love and remember her to be. Maybe we’ll even get a line from Gale or Katniss about how, “so you sell food now?” I’m cautiously optimistic, and I encourage others to be as well, because film-wise the Catching Fire team has yet to roll out any red flags that say “we messed up!”
As for Ripper, she’s being played by an actress who I’m gathering was found in the Atlanta area. She may only get a miniscule scene in the beginning of the film I’m also gathering, but if adhering to the books is Francis Lawrence’s true method, Taylor St. Clair will also show up in the Mockingjay films, one arm missing, and probably apologetically looking at Woody Harrelson as he pretends to go through The Shakes.
Sadly, Peeta’s brother whom I wrote about months ago, has not shown up on the IMDb cast list, and neither have many of the very expressive young hopeful actresses whose audition tapes showed up along with Issac King’s.
Here’s hoping Peeta gets a family this time!
Them There Eyes
When we made that joke that we needed Annie Cresta to be cast on Sunday night, we had no idea that they’d be announcing the casting the next day… But still, we can’t help but think “Damn, we’re good!”
Our Annie is Stef Dawson, an Australian actress who only needed one audition to land the role. Stef is STRIKING. All of her features just scream LOOK AT MY FACE! LOOK AT IT!
It may seem like a minor detail in the grand scheme of things, but let’s face it: As much as we want Annie to be this big, really involved character like she is in our fanfic dreams, it will likely be a fairly minor role. So if nothing else, Annie will be powerful because audiences will remember. that. face. Of course, Stef is already talking about how she connects to Annie as a survivor and the character’s vulnerability, so we know she’s going to make whatever lines she has count.
The response from fans was immediate. Most were quite pleased, though others were disappointed because Stef Dawson isn’t the Hollywood starlet they had in mind, to which we say “SERIOUSLY?!” We haven’t seen anything that Stef Dawson has been in (besides tiny clips from her showreel), so we can’t possibly compare her performances to others. But we don’t think she was given the job because the Mockingjay casting director got tired and just picked someone at random. “PICK AN ACTRESS, ANY ACTRESS!” No! There were probably hundreds of women who auditioned and Stef Dawson got it because she clearly earned it.
And all of you whining because Book!Annie has brown hair… We’ve talked about your type before. YOU NEVER LEARN. You make the collective fandom IQ drop 10 points. Just.. ugh!
Of course, Stef wasn’t the only announcement this week. The Hunger Games fandom now has its Messalla, Cressida’s lovely assistant, in the form of Evan Ross! Yup, THE Diana Ross’ son! Besides an unfortunate stint on the new 90210, Evan’s career is filled with lots of interesting indie films, including a boatload of projects in the works quite recently. It’s nice to see that he’s got quite the range, because Messalla is full Capitol and thus a little too eccentric for Katniss (and probably audiences) to fully appreciate. It’s another minor role, but it’s one that can make a memorable impression with a few well-delivered looks and lines. There will also be a major physical transformation involved, so it’ll be interesting to see how this 25-year-old who still has a bit of a baby face will bloom into a frantic Capitol citizen.
Messalla also has what’s arguably the most horrific / fascinating death of any character in the entire series, so as long as that makes it into the script, Evan has won already!
Boggs Next, PLZKTHX!
The Girl With The Pearl
Forget whatever the hell is supposed to be going on with Catching Fire right now! Our slight case of ADHD has temporarily moved on to real, honest to goodness NEWS! Mockingjay news! Casting news!
Natalie Dormer has been cast as Cressida in Mockingjay: Part 1 and 2. As you can see, it’s kind of a big deal to us.
You may be tempted to say that Cressida casting is not THAT big of a deal because it’s a relatively small role, but consider this: Stanley Tucci is Caesar Flickerman and Phillip Seymour Hoffman is Plutarch Heavensbee, both relatively minor roles that would’ve been played by some random Joe and Jack Schmoe actors if there wasn’t a special caliber of acting expected for every role in this film. This has us thinking that Natalie Dormer is kinda sorta special.
We must admit, we don’t know a lot about Natalie Dormer. She’s well-loved as Margaery Tyrell on “Game of Thrones”, played Anne Boleyn on the popular television “The Tudors”, recently did the movie Rush with Liam Hemsworth’s brother Chris, and is currently filming the movie Posh with Sam Claflin. The resume isn’t massive, but she’s a young actress and what we see is really promising.
Cressida and her team are a great example of the difference between Capitol perceptions and the harsh reality. We see them lose their trademark naivety as they realize the horrors of war. By the time we hit Capitol Square, Cressida is the Capitol citizen (actually, Capitol defector) closest to getting on Katniss’ level. She’ll probably have a crazy unique look, which is why it’s kind of irrelevant to say she doesn’t look the way you’d expect Cressida to, but an even more unique personality. We seriously doubt Lionsgate would give such a role to just anybody. It requires range, people!
Her casting also gives us hints about when things will likely be filmed, as she’s currently filming with Sam Claflin, which likely means that neither of them will be needed when filming begins in late September (unless Posh finishes up in the next few weeks.) Perhaps filming will start off with District 8 or 2 visits, the bunker scene with Prim, or the book’s opening scenes dealing with Katniss’ depression, but it doesn’t seem like war and propo mode will be the first thing out of the gate!
Casting news doesn’t always feel like good news, but this one to giving Mockingjay a positive start.
Really, we’re more worried that she will be Sam Claflin’s love interest in Posh, which will somehow lead to us weirdly shipping Finnick/Cressida.
After That Last Thought, We Seriously Need Some Annie Casting News,
The Girl With The Pearl
The media world is ramping up for San Diego Comic-Con, and droves of Hunger Games fans will be descending upon that medium-sized city wanting for anything, and everything Hunger Games related– also any number of other fandoms they happen to be a part of as well. Or scratch that– better yet, anything and everything The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and possibly The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One and Two related, yeah and those other fandoms. Unfortunately I will not be one of those droving fans, sadly like our fair ring leader The Girl With The Pearl, I am unable to attend, do not fret however, because our lovely Twiffidy will be in attendance. As someone not attending the festivities down in So-Cal, I’m not all that concerned about the prizes, meaning the piles upon piles of fan-ish merchandise that Comic-Con is known for, which as I can tell seems to be a huge draw for many many people. In reality I’m more concerned with what will be presented to the world at large having to do with Catching Fire, and hopefully The Mockingjay films, ’cause I really can’t do much with a lanyard imprinted with Josh Hutcherson’s visage.
You’d think I’d be all rabid, and twitchy in need for Catching Fire info, wouldn’t you? Wrong,
because for some unholy reason I’m actually quite calm about the film, mostly because it’s already pretty much in the proverbial can, and I don’t see the purpose in worrying about something that’s already more than half way to being complete. The Mockingjay films though, yeah– those ones I’m all fidgety over. I’m big into casting, have you noticed that? So, it’ll be no surprise to you when I bring up the conundrum of four of the characters that are hopefully going to grace us with their presence in said films. And those characters are Leeg 1, Leeg 2, as well as Castor, and his Avox identical twin brother Pollux. See, the conundrum is this: Two sets of twins are hard to find, or– two sets of twins who are all actors is really really hard to find. I can think of three sets of twins who are all actors, and none of them are either all available, still willing to even still speak to each other, or yeah– the last bit is a huge hindrance on pretty much everything.
In a better world two sets of twins with acting talent, and wide open schedules for almost a
year, will come out of the woodwork, and amaze the pants off Debra Zane (casting director), and her crew. However, in reality I see three things possibly happening: 1. They cut the characters from the films completely, thus eliminating the next to impossible task of finding two sets of twins to fulfill the roles. 2. They change the roles from twins to just siblings. 3. They Winklevoss that shit, i.e. they pull a David Fincher and cast only two people to play the sets of twins, and then cast stand-ins/ body doubles to appear as well, then digitally replace their faces with the actors faces, just like what happened with Armie Hammer in The Social Network.
I vote for 2 or 3, because I’d like The Mockingjay films to be as close to the book as humanly possible. Not that I have a vote in the hypothetical mess I’ve conjured.
Them There Eyes
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, the last week or so, the talk of the Hunger Games fandom has been mostly focused on one thing: the Julianne Moore rumor. Thursday, Deadline reported a rumor that Julianne Moore was being looked at to play President Alma Coin, and later in the day, The Hollywood Reporter went a step further and confirmed she’s been in early talks. Both Deadline and THR have been known to be fairly reliable sources regarding casting news so all the fansites have been abuzz and several entertainment media outlets have run with the story. But there’s one thing…
Just two days prior, the fansites had done a Campaigning for Coin post on Julianne Moore. It seemed like such strange and incredibly coincidental timing. Did the fansites just predict casting out of the blue? That would be a first. Here are the two possible ways it could’ve gone. A) The fansites inadvertently started a rumor and all the entertainment media sites just ran with it or B) We are really just that good.
As per usual, the media sites have been talking about the casting rumor as if it were fact, and some who clearly know nothing about the series seem rather confused about there being another president in THG. We however are a little more reserved since no one can forget the lesson we learned from the John C. Reilly rumor/fiasco.
But here’s a little lesson to take from all this. Maybe, just maybe, your favorite fansites know what we’re talking about.
For the record, we’d be very much delighted if this came true
Can we panic now?!
It seems like only yesterday that we were all getting clammy while waiting for Finnick to be cast, but guess what? It was ALMOST A YEAR AGO.
Catching Fire, the movie that seemed like it would take an eternity to be made, is done. Now all that’s left is the Mockingjay films. And it’s starting!
Catrett Locke casting, who cast all the extras for Catching Fire, recently put out a call for Mockingjay. They don’t specifically mention the series names in the hopes of avoiding a massive flux of applications, but everyone knows what they’re rattling on about! Abstract, unique runway outfits? Capitol citizens, bitches! Too bad they forget to mention that you’ll be expected to run for your life while smoke bombs and the like go off all around while in said runway outfits. Those heels are gonna hurt ya!
If that wasn’t enough, Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment was a little more blunt in the hopes of finding solid crew members.
CREW CALL: “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1″ is accepting resumes for all crew positions. Please email your resume to email@example.com.
They can be obvious with the crew since you actually had to have some education or background experience to be hired. Though it cracks me up that these companies run everything via good ol’ GMail!
Either way, all this is certain sign of something: THE END IS NEAR.
And despite all these location rumors (Bristol! Paris! Detroit?!) all of this is still out of Georgia, meaning that at least some of the filming is going down there once again. Consider it the only location confirmation we’ve got so far!
But it’ll all be over before we know it! By this time next year, filming for both parts of Mockingjay will be donezo (or thereabouts). By the time promo begins for Part II, the cast will start answering every question with “We filmed it so long ago, but I remember…” These next few casting calls will be the last round of casting for the series! The last search for crew members is upon us! This will be the last round of discussions about new additions to the series.
We’re getting there, folks. Let’s take a second to absorb it all.
Perhaps We’ll Have Suzanne Collins’ New Book To Console Us When The End Comes,
The Girl With The Pearl