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Not New News: Casting Announcements for Mockingjay: Part 2

Fresh, juicy, non-paparazzi quality news is really, really, really hard to come by where it comes to the film franchise of The Hunger Games trilogy, or shall we drop the “trilogy” all together, and call it what it is now– a quartet. Yeah, I don’t even know if quartet is the correct terminology, but I’m going with it! We did get news though, and– um, how do I put this nicely? It was kind of not new news? Yeah, not “new news”, this past week our beloved fandom, as well as the mainstream media got the not “new news” that a couple of actresses have been added to the cast of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 2,

Jackson wasn't cut, wooooo!

Jackson wasn’t cut, wooooo!

also, it must be said– damn that title’s a mouthful. Okay, one of them was newer news than the other, but when push comes to shove you’d have to be a very lax fan to not have already known the “news” of Michelle Forbes being cast as Jackson. I mean, come on, her name’s been listed on IMDb on both the Mockingjay film pages, as well as her own page for months on end! And in case you’re wondering “rumored” was not next to her name unlike one other actor’s (John Cusack), who’s name remains on the Part 1 cast list still. Ugh, the old bait and switch! At least that’s what this kind of feels like.

Not to be a total downer, ’cause we did get the news of Eugenie Bondurant having been cast as Tigris. That folks was “new” news, as up until the announcement we were unsure if Tigris had made the cut of characters from the novels. We did get some morsels of positive almost confirmation of her character making an appearance a couple of months back, however from Nina Jacobson via her Twitter. However, for all we knew it was only the location of Tigris’ shop being used was stated, not that the character herself was showing up, whiskers intact, and tail swishing creepily around. We had hope though, and now we have more than that.

Can we have real promotional material now, guys– please? Casting announcements are all well and good, but half of them so far have been previously drawn conclusions.

At this point Star Wars: Episode VII news is beating Hunger Games news senseless.

Them There Eyes

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The Hunger Games Casting Effect

Every now and then, we see a casting announcement for one of The Hunger Games actors and think “PERFECT!” This is especially true when it’s one of the young tributes from the first film, because we get all sentimental about the fledgling careers of budding young actors. They were just baby tributes yesterday! *sniffle*

#Swag #Boss Remember those days?!

#Swag #Boss Remember those days?!

When we heard earlier this week that Dayo Okeniyi has gone from Thresh to a lead role in Terminator: Genesis, we were pretty stoked. Dayo will be playing the adult version of Skynet creator Miles Dyson’s currently unnamed son, who almost met his fate at a young age in Terminator 2, but apparently lived through the apocalypse after that.

In the world of action movies, the Terminator films are surprisingly more tolerable than most, even in their later versions. We’re actually way more knowledgeable about this series than should ever be warranted. There isn’t a full plot breakdown yet, but this looks like the original Terminator retold mainly from the post-Skynet POV. Lots of time travel and all. And whether the plot is good or not, this movie is going to get a looooot of attention for Dayo!

Because that's not creepy... *hides*

Because that’s not creepy… *hides*

The newness of Dayo’s character in the future setting could mean a couple things: 1) Because he’s not deeply rooted in the mythology, he’s easy to kill off or 2) Because the mythology says Kyle Reese and John Connor both kick the bucket, Dyson Jr takes over as leader of the rebels. We’re hoping for the latter, because Dayo is a bona fide actor and we know he deserves better roles than the smartass best friend in a romantic comedy. We mean… his last movie was Endless Love. Ouch.

This, along with roles like Alexander Ludwig on Vikings and Jack Quaid’s upcoming HBO pilot, only helps prove that there were some really stellar actors even in the not-so-big roles in The Hunger Games. We wish we saw more of it! But, ya know, we’re cool most of those actors finishing high school before they bombard the big and small screen!

Who knows! At this rate, I just may have to fancast several ex-tributes in the inevitable “re-imagined” versions of popular movies!

I’LL BE BACK,
The Girl With The Pearl

The Mockingjay Extras Edge

OMG GUYS! STUFF TO SPECULATE ABOUT! WE’RE TOTES GONNA DO THAT NOW!

*cough* Sorry. We get really excited about the little things during slow news periods. But you probably want to know what we’re talking about soooo moving on…

clc

These guys!

We all know that Catrett Locke Casting is responsible for all Hunger Games extras casting. It’s supposed to be semi-secret, but at this point everyone’s figured out who to email for their shot at roughly two seconds of on-screen immortalization (which my friend Max managed AGAIN in Catching Fire and I am super jealous, but that is another post). Even CLC’s calls are essentially like “Yeah, we’re fucking awesome because we’re working on Mockingjay! Try your luck, suckaaaaahs!”

Just recently, they put up a new call for a few things. The first is obviously Peacekeepers, as the advertise for tall, very muscular who like to “keep the peace.” See last sentence of previous paragraph.

The next is a little more confusing. They’re looking for a blonde haired, blue eyed woman. Which is to say a bleached haired, blue eyed woman, because no adult blonde is really THAT blonde. Will you take a dirty blonde haired, gray/green eyed short chick, CLC? If so, I’M YOUR GIRL. But what is this for, again? Why do we need a random blonde woman? Why are her blondness and blueness important? We cannot compute! The production is probably in need of District 13 extras and some fleeing Capitol citizens, but that wouldn’t require a specific look. Chances are you’re looking for someone with striking features, but do they really have to be those features? Will we even know why said look was chosen when the movie comes out? So many questions!

Futuristic council meets in... No wait, this is a concept sketch for a new UN building!

Futuristic council meets in… No wait, this is a concept sketch for a new UN building!

Then there’s our “council members” call. They’re either Capitol or District 13 council, though we’re guessing District 13 since the call specifically states that anyone applying should be pale. They ask that everyone be Caucasian as well, which we don’t love. But it makes us wonder if the film is trying to give this council a creepy Aryan sort of feel.

The last call also asks for “character faces”, which kills us every time. They try to make it sound like a compliment. Let’s just be honest! Say the company wants people who look a little offbeat, so they’ll stick out in a crowd. It’s like when we used to watch America’s Next Top Model way back in the day and Tyra Banks told contestants “You have such an interesting face! Such big eyes and such awkward angles!” Uhhhh… what?

We knew there would be some additions with Mockingjay being split in two, so at least this is gives us a better idea. Now create an extra role we would be good for, dammit!

CLC Probably Has Us On A Special Super Secret Blacklist,
The Girl With The Pearl

Keeping Homes But Cutting Cartwright

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 mockingjay-homes-casting-omid-abtahicharacters 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

Boggs Is Cast

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

Yeah, he's not good looking at all... or talented.

Yeah, he’s not good looking at all… or talented.

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

Why Do We Always Forget About Lyme?

1208739_757525487597438_545165230_nWith 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
Twiffidy

Julianne Moore: Officially Alma Coin

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,julianne_moore_ 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

The Bootlegger and the Inventive Chef

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_the_hobKatniss’ 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

The Cresta and Capitol Casting

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!”

LOOK AT IT, DAMMIT!

LOOK AT IT, DAMMIT!

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.

This. Because the picture Lionsgate posted is SEVERAL years old.

This. Because the picture Lionsgate posted is SEVERAL years old.

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

The Hunger Games’ New Dormer

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.

by nikola nickart

by nikola nickart

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

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