I don’t know if you’re aware of this or not, but the people who make up the cast of The Hunger Games franchise are pretty damn busy lately, and I don’t just mean Jennifer Lawrence. Although Jen probably wins for most busy though. Why? ‘Cause they wrapped on re-shoots for Catching Fire only a smattering of weeks ago, and now she’s jetted off to Boston to film another film with David O. Russell at the helm, Bradley Cooper will also co-star (third time’s the charm?), Jeremy Renner, and none other than Christian Bale is playing her husband. After that project wraps, I’ll make the educated guess that she’ll be off to Vancouver, B.C. to film her second X-Men film. Busy Bee, we should just call her that now, and she wouldn’t even be able to call foul, ’cause it’s so true, she’d probably cheer us on, and then ask for a Bud. Jen’s not the only cast member though, obviously– so who else is racking up the projects? Well, pretty much all of them!
Let’s start with the most random! Ashton Moio AKA, District 6 Tribute Boy was on HBO’s The Newsroom last season, and his character even had a name, which was Lester, he even had lines, and he didn’t die– it was awesome. Ashton deserves a slow clap for that, or maybe for being the guy with the audacity to hit on Sloan Sabbith (Olivia Munn) in the middle of working out a story, all whilst stuck on the tarmac at JFK International Airport. I am slow clapping my ass off right now, ’cause he was hilarious. Really– everyone go catch up on The Newsroom before the second season premieres later this year (probably August).
Next we have fan-favorite Dayo Okeniyi, and yes– I still have to look up how to spell his last name every single time I have to type it out. I’m sorry, Dayo, but that’s a lot of vowels. Anyway, aside from Dayo’s unique last name with all the letters that trip me up, he has been really really busy since the summer before last, otherwise known as The Summer of The Hunger Games. Actually it’s not known as that, I just made that up, but it sounds better than the summer of 2011. Back to Dayo! After Hunger Games wrapped Dayo went and made a whopping four films! I say whopping because four films in two years, means– well, a lot of time being four different people. He’s an actor, that’s what he does– pretends to be other people. A little fandom-crossing may be in the mix as well with the projects Dayo let barrow his talent, The Spectacular Now, which premiered at Sundance this past January, well– it stars Sheilene Woodly, also known as Triss from Divergent. And if you consider John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars to have a fandom, or just Nerdfighteria, Sheilene was just cast in the lead for the adaptation of that masterful novel. Other works in the works for Dayo are a horror film called Slew Hampshire, which I’ll probably never see– ’cause I don’t like horror. No, not because it scares me, because I find it entirely predictable, and laughable. What’s next? Ah yes, a guy-centric film appropriately titled Cavemen, that one’s starring Skylar Astin, AKA Jesse from Pitch Perfect. It looks like it could be an examination on the hopelessness of being a young man living in the 2010′s, also Chad Michael Murray is co-starring, which that freaks me out a little bit. The most interesting project on Dayo’s short but notable dossier, is his most recent project, Runner Runner, what makes it interesting is the starring roles are filled with names like Ben Affleck, Justin Timberlack, and Gemma Arterton. I’ll tell ya’, I’m intrigued just by seeing those names, synopsis of the project is this though, “a businessman who owns an offshore gambling operation finds his relationship with his protégé reaching a boiling point.” I’ll see it, hell– I’ll probably see it opening weekend.
What’s next!? Okay, this might kick Ashton Moio off the most random pedestal, because if you didn’t know it already, Alan Ritchson, our dear, shiny, strong jawed, Gloss, as well as our funny man (he’s really funny, check out his Twitter), has been cast as the voice of Raphael in the new Ninja Turtles re-boot. Also, before he did Catching Fire, he made a film with John Goodman called Spring Break ’83. I may have to see this film just because it takes place the year, and probably the week I was born.
I’ll be honest this one gets me really excited, guys! Jeffrey Wright, our Beetee, has taken a recurring role on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire! I love this series, it’s executive produced by Martin Scorsese, and Mark Wahlberg– which if you haven’t been paying attention for the last 30 + years, produce very good films, and television shows. Any who, about Boardwalk, it’s a period piece set in prohibition era Atlantic City, New Jersey, it’s amazing, and it also stars Steve Buscemi. Wright’s going to be portraying a shady sort, as pretty much everyone on the series is, but even better he’ll be a “philanthropist who controls Harlem.” Shivers just ran down my spine, because not only were the 1920s ripe with the on-set, and/or invention of organized crime, but they were also the birth of so many American cultural markers, like The Harlem Renaissance, the popularizing of jazz, and the beginning of the rise of some of the great American novelists we still consider great today. So, Wright’s going to be fictionally rubbing elbows with likely cultural icons like Langston Hughes, or even Louis Armstrong, which means a wider audience might be exposed, or re-exposed to this age of rich cultural goodness. Color me happy!
That’s all folks!
Them There Eyes
We got ‘em guys. Yeah, that makes no sense! So, here’s the deal, I’m getting kind of tired of dealing in speculating on casting where it comes to this franchise, but low and behold real casting information has gone ignored for too long.
Remember a few months back when those audition tapes from CL Casting were leaked, and we learned that they were looking for people to fill the roles of Thresh’s, Rue’s and even Peeta’s family? Well, we have a grandma, Thresh’s grandma actually. I’m one of those sad lot of people who check The Hunger Games: Catching Fire IMDb page frequently, and I do it for several reasons. For one I tend to forget how to spell people’s names, and IMDb usually has the correct or most used spelling of people’s names. Two, the page’s information is in constant flux, i.e. people add them selves to the cast list, and then they get taken down, as well as people getting added to the cast list by the proper channels. 99% of the time if a name has stayed up on there for longer than a month, they’re more than likely the real deal.
In the case of Thresh’s Grandmother she’s a regional actress with several small roles under her belt, and if I do say so myself, she totally looks like she could be part of Dayo Okeniyi’s (Thresh) family. Her name is Deena Beasley, which you can clearly see emblazoned across her head-shot, and you have got to admit that she looks like Dayo. Deena’s been in some higher profile projects that tote names like Nicholas Cage, and — actually Cage appears to be the most recognizable name connected to her. But, hey — now she can possibly say she’s connected to Jennifer Lawrence, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Woody Harrelson, and Donald Sutherland.
Everyone remembers Romulus Thread, right? I hope you do, ’cause he’s involved in one of the most intense scenes to take place in District 12, i.e. Gale’s arrest, and gruesome whipping.
I know that Thread’s casting was kinda sorta released, there was never a press release from The Powers That Be, but at this point press releases aren’t things that they’re that focused on, especially where it comes to secondary characters who aren’t Tributes, or semi high profile like Plutarch. Anyway, I have my own sources who have confirmed that Patrick St. Esprit’s casting is the real deal. But about St. Esprit, he’s best known for his recurring role on Sons of Anarchy– which I have to admit, I became a huge fan of a couple of months ago after marathoning all five seasons, I’m refraining from commenting on the ending of season five– which is really hard for me guys, really hard. He’s good guys, we have nothing to worry about where it comes to Thread, unless of course they’ve decided that Thread’s a bleeding heart who likes kittens, and I don’t mean to eat.
Next we’ve got Cray, which should not be confused with the colloquialism “crey crey“. Old Cray is how we know him, but according to IMDb he’s just Cray now– not a big deal. Big deal for me though is that the actor who’s playing the old lecher is a Prison Break alum! Confession: I’m a massive Prison Break fan, and do not ask me how I feel about the 4th season, I’ll just ignore you. Wilbur Fitzgerald played a small but important role on Prison Break several years ago, and no– he wasn’t the main characters’ father. Fitzgerald, like Beasley is a regional actor, he is in fact based out of Atlanta, and he’s represented by the same agency several of the other Atlanta based cast members are. Cray’s a departure for him though, as most of his work has been fatherly/grandfatherly types, but he’s also a played more than his fair share of law officials– I believe he was a lawyer in another life. Color me impressed.
So, that’s that, we’ve got Thresh’s granny, and two brutes from District 2. Now, where the hell is Annie!?
Them There Eyes
As promised, here is the interview! The fansites did a group interview with others present like the crew from Lionsgate Home Entertainment in charge of the DVD special features. Check out what else went on at the Midnight Release Party here.
And we bring it to you in 3 different formats: embedded audio and a transcription, courtesy of Erin and Elena from HG Movie Site, and video as part of Down with the Capitol’s Aldrin’s vlog. Photos are also courtesy of HG Movie Site!
As a reminder, in attendance were Jack Quaid, Dayo Okeniyi, Welcome to District 12 (Courtney and me), HG Movie Site (Erin and Elena), Down with the Capitol (Aldrin), Mockingjay.net (Beth), and Victor’s Village (also me), plus individuals from Lionsgate, including Lisa, who did ask a few questions.
Dayo: All right let’s go.
Question: All right so we saw the special features.
Dayo: First of all, hi.
Courtney: Oh I’m Courtney by the way.
Courtney: This is my good friend Tiffany, we run WelcometoDistrict12.com
Courtney: (points to Tiffany) and she also writes on Victor’s Village.
Dayo: Right On.
Courtney: So, we saw the special features, and there is one part that is hilarious. Jack, he’s like, you guys are all together, and they are like PUT YOUR COFFEE DOWN (everyone laughs).
Jack: You guys have seen the special features, we haven’t.
The Hunger Games DVD is upon us! But not without some awesome midnight release parties! All around the US, Hunger Games fans were celebrating the much anticipated release, and some celebrations even came with some Hunger Games actors.
I was able to make it to the WalMart event in Santa Clarita (just outside of Los Angeles) where Dayo Okeniyi and Jack Quaid were to appear and do a signing for fans. Upon pulling up to the store at 10:15, the line was already pretty long, so long that later on in the night we heard that a local news channel showed a shot of the line taken from a helicopter. I didn’t have to stand in it because fansite runners from Welcome to District 12 (Courtney and me), TheHungerGamesMovies.net (Erin and Elena), Down with the Capitol (Aldrin), Mockingjay.net (Beth), and Victor’s Village (also me) were ushered inside before the signing because… we would get to interview them! Needless to say, we were pretty jazzed when we found out. But we’ll talk about that later.
Once that was done, we went out to the front where the signing was to occur. After quickly signing stuff for us, they brought in the fans. Us fansite runners loved seeing how psyched everyone else was to get to meet Jack and Dayo. They gave their attention to each of the fans that came in, and the fans left happy and excited that they got to meet Thresh and Marvel. Even after the signing was over, they went over to sign stuff for fans waiting outside the door. And they took the time to thank us with fansite group hugs from each of them at the end of the night!
It was a great night. I was very much tempted to raid WalMart’s display of Hunger Games school supplies, never mind the fact that I have been out of school for 3 years. Jack and Dayo are the sweetest, and they love the fansites so it was quite awesome getting to hang with them.
So about that interview. We will be posting that Monday morning, along with some more photos! And these are questions we’re certain haven’t been asked before in interviews with them so you’ll want to keep a look out for it!
Put your coffee down!
The Hunger Games trilogy is barely off the ground and we’re already biting our nails on behalf of some hot young stars.
No, not Jennifer, Josh, and Liam! We’re talking about the true newbies, mainly the tributes. See, there’s something that comes with small roles in epic series like The Hunger Games. It’s a temptation to join a dark, dangerous world.
That’s right: The never-ending, all-encompassing Con Circuit.
San Diego Comic Con is not the only Con that allows fans access to their favorite stars (and their more obscure co-stars who don’t actually have a line or more than a few seconds screen time, but fans love them anyway because they’re that obsessed.) There are cons all over the world at all times of year, toting celeb and not-so-celeb favorites for all tastes, allowing them to be praised by adoring fans.
But this Con Circuit is a dangerous, almost mythical place: Some obscure stars enter, never to return to real show business.
Right now, The Hunger Games is still new enough that the tributes are acceptable members of the Con community. Recently, cast members have attended Florida Supercon, OZ Comic Con, and Fiction 2 Film, with San Diego Comic Con and likely Dragon*Con in the near future. Every time we see stars, especially the ones without previous career experience at a convention, part of us smiles while the other part screams “RUN, BITCH, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!”
Maybe it’s the money or the praise or the really fun atmosphere that comes with cons, but it baffles us how many actors are willing to basically give up their chances at real careers to travel the Con Circuit for way. too. long., as if it were an eternal summer. Like we said, this doesn’t really apply to the Hunger Games cast this early on, but there’s always potential that it could. Imagine District 8 girl or District 3 boy sitting at little tables signing autographs forever. FOR-EV-ER.
Every time we see that one of the newer actors has landed a new role, we fall to our knees and thank the almighty Cornucopia that there is still hope for them yet. We nearly shed tears of joy when we heard about Jackie Emerson’s new project, Son of South or Dayo Okeniyi’s upcoming television role. Because the actors we love deserve to be more than signing machines at our local Con. They deserve long, diverse careers. And after a while, that will mean moving on from The Hunger Games.
So let’s enjoy our time with The Hunger Games stars on the Con Circuit while we can.. then let’s hope they get the hell out of there, eventually.
Though We Will Still Find A Way To Leg Hitch Jackie Emerson,
The Girl With The Pearl
If you follow some of our lovely tributes on Twitter (well, a certain one), a couple phrases may have entered your vocabulary. You guys know what we’re talking about. “Liv it up.” “Stay crispy.” “Chillin’ like a villain.” Okay, we added that last one, and we’re sure that dates us in some way.
And then last night, we got another Ludwig gem: “Boss status.” We’re really expanding our vocab now!
As a fandom, we’re blessed with a largely fan-interactive cast. Sure, Josh, Liam and Jennifer are busy doing their thing, and rightly so, but Jackie, Dayo, Xander (obviously we’re all on a first name basis), et al., take to Twitter and answer fan questions and do live streams. And with such a tight knit cast that seemed to have really bonded on set, they seem to hang out with each other when they can, tweeting pics when they’re out together. Which is great for us! We love that. It’s nice seeing that they’re all so close and seem to genuinely like each other.
But of course, every now and then, we have to laugh and/or facepalm. Like we said, last night’s tweet was a real gem. And not just because of the “boss status” hashtag. Here’s the full tweet:
After we’ve gotten over the ickiness of someone in their 30s hitting on a 19-year-old, we have to admit, we kind of started to imagine what kind of pickup lines a 30-something would use on Jack Quaid. Probably calling him “Rookie” or “Maverick”. Asking if he’s “Got Mail” or “Addicted to Love”. Maybe trying to make a date for “The Day After Tomorrow.” All right, we’ve gotten that out of our system. If you couldn’t tell, we’re fans of his parents.
In all seriousness, to our wonderful Hunger Games cast, keep doing you. We love your pictures, we love that you seem to appreciate us fans, and we love hearing from you. Just… try to keep it appropriate. But if you don’t, you have given us license to playfully and lovingly mock you.
Liv it up and stay crispy!
We’re not gonna lie. We’ve got some biases when it comes to The Hunger Games cast. We love them all! We just love some more than others! We’ve kind of got a list going on in our heads and you know you’ve got one too.
Today we’re going to talk about Jackie Emerson, who very high on our list.
“Why?” You ask. We’ve never even seen Jackie act! How could we like her so much?
Because Jackie is the type that has conversations with fans on Twitter, who hosts TWO AND A HALF HOUR streaming chats with them, who always has the widest smile in every photo that’s ever hit the internet. She’s got tons of friendly charm without seeming self-serving or cheesy.
Last week, Jackie released her first music video for the song “Peter Pan”. Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, here you go:
As you can see, the song is a cute little ditty about not growing up too fast.. but not growing up too slowly either. The lyrics kind of go back and forth on that. Either way, it’s pretty catchy.
With the video being hyped up for so long, we’d expected to see a little more than Jackie singing and playing the piano, but you know what the weird thing is? We sat there and watched Jackie singing and playing the piano the whole time. When she tilted her head back and laughed in the beginning of the video, our brains went “OMG SHE IS THE ADORABLE LITTLE SIBLING WE NEVER HAD! Cannot look away!”
Also, given all the comparison tomfoolery surrounding the Vanity Fair photo shoot, we didn’t have much time to express how much we actually ENJOYED that cast photo. We especially enjoyed this little section to your right:
It’s official. Between the video chat and this piece of the cast photo, Jackie Emerson and Dayo Okeniyi are the two most adorable friends ever. We’re sure they’re just that, friends, but we wouldn’t completely object to the idea of them running off to Las Vegas eloping.. you know, when they’re both old enough to actually do that.
Or at the very least, they should consider having an illegitimate child in ten years or so. That way, no matter who either of them end up with after the fact, their parents are guaranteed at least ONE beautiful grandchild. Juuuust sayin’!
It takes a lot to melt our cold, steely hearts, but somehow Jackie has done it. And for that we declare today Jackie Emerson Appreciation Day! Feel free to share your thoughts and gifs in the comments!
The Girl With The Pearl
Dayo Okeniyi, our Thresh in the upcoming Hunger Games film, had a birthday last week. While we were sending him a quick tweet to congratulate him, we were struck by a sad, sad revelation.
Ready for it?
By the time Dayo has his next birthday, he will be completely done with The Hunger Games. We’re talking filming, promotion, premieres.. the whole sha-bang.
Because no matter what other ways The Hunger Games may be considered sci-fi fantasy, there’s no coming back from the dead. Thresh suffers a mysterious death at the hands of Cato and POOF! We never see him again.
And then we get to thinking.. all but two of the actors playing tributes will have moved on from The Hunger Games by this time next year! We realize our Rue (Amandla Stenberg), Foxface (Jacqueline Emerson), Clove (Isabelle Fuhrman), Cato (Alexander Ludwig), Glimmer (Leven Rambin) and Marvel (Jack Quaid) will all have gone on to the next project along with Dayo.
Then we eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream and cry ourselves to sleep.
In a geektastic way, the fans have become connected to the actors/stuntmen playing the tributes. They’re the ones who reply to fans, talk about the filming basics and hanging out, and take photos while out and about in North Carolina.
Obviously, we think Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth think they’re way too cool to communicate with fans. It’s not like they’re super busy running around a forest or something. Oh wait..
Then we come to a stunning realization about the people we’ve got a new found attachment to.
AFTER THE JUMP! Muahaha!