Welcome back to another edition of Campaigning for Coin! Today, we’re discussing an actress best known for her roles on ER and Doctor Who, two very different but very popular television shows. Everyone gather around to hear the fansites’ thoughts on Alex Kingston!
Rebekah (Them There Eyes): I’ll be honest, I’m a long time fan of Alex Kingston, starting with her work on the long running, critically acclaimed, award winning, and fan loved NBC series ER. She’ll always be the fish out of water Doctor Elizabeth Corday to me, which I think is a good way to think of Alex. Elizabeth allowed Alex as an actress to explore a multitude of feelings, and experiences to act out over the course of that characters 12 year run. Aside from her work on ER though, Alex has played a gamut of other characters, most famously she’s Doctor River Song on Doctor Who, where she’s really kind of a source of comic relief seemingly majority of the time. And then there’s her work on series’ like Upstairs Downstairs, and the CW’s Arrow. She’s definitely proven her self capable of embodying different kinds of women, therefore I say I wouldn’t kick up a fuss if she was cast as Coin. Her being cast might even bring in a whole slew of different kinds of audience members, because Alex is known from such a diverse collection of projects. She’d bring in the ER crowd, and the younger crowd from the Doctor Who side of things, and the PBS/BBC loving lot from being known for Upstairs Downstairs. Alex Kingston, I simply can’t find fault with this idea. Who’s next?
Savanna from Hunger Games Fireside Chat: I am a Doctor Who fanatic. And as such, I’d hate for my view of River Song to become tainted by seeing Alex Kingston play Alma Coin. However, setting my selfishness aside for a moment, I actually think that Kingston could potentially be a great choice. While her identity as a person is — unfortunately — closely linked to River for me and many others, Kingston is quite adept at slipping into her roles so well that you lose yourself in the character and the story. So with a different hairstyle and an American accent, I doubt Whovians would have trouble seeing Kingston as Coin and not River. I haven’t seen ER, so I can’t speak for her performance there, but Kingston was an absolutely phenomenal Mrs. Bennet in the miniseries Lost in Austen. While having nothing in common with Coin on the surface, if you’re familiar with Pride and Prejudice, then you know just how manipulative and scheming Mrs. Bennet can be. True, she’s simply a small-town meddler and not a political schemer, but after seeing Kingston so brilliantly portray this “ball-breaking” matriarch hell-bent on securing good marriages for her daughters, I would love to see her interpretation of Coin.
Colleen from HG Girl on Fire: In my mind, Alma Coin is cold & manipulative, but she had to have some quality to make everyone trust her. I can easily see Alex Kingston taking on that role. She’s just so versatile. Most people probably know her as a doctor on ER or as the charming (yet not completely trustworthy at times) River Song on Doctor Who. When I saw Kingston’s name on the list of possibilities for Coin, I thought of her role as Boudica in Warrior Queen. She rallies her people to rebel against the Roman Empire and goes down fighting. She’s believable as a leader, and it’s this role I first thought of that made me think she would be a good choice for Coin. But it’s her Doctor Who role that clinched it for me. She plays River Song with an air of authority, but with her own secrets & agenda. She’s all but mastered the ‘I can be your best friend or you worst enemy’ look, and, to me, that is the essence of Alma Coin. And I think the British accent would totally work for Coin.
Kelsey from My Hunger Games: Being a massive “Whovian”, I will forever and always see Alex Kingston as the lovable, sassy and adventurous Professor River Song. So upon first seeing her name among the list of actresses “Campaigning for Coin”, my initial reaction was to object. However, since I am a huge fan of Alex’s, she was worth looking into a bit more. That’s when I realized how amazing of an actress Kingston really is. Looking at her as Dr. Corday in ER, Mrs. Bennet in Lost in Austen all the way to Boudica in Warrior Queen and Dinah in Arrow. Every one of her characters is so different, yet Alex is able to bring them to life so vividly. That alone it is a huge testament to her ability. At this point, Kingston isn’t a household name – and that could definitely work in her favor. The fact that she isn’t incredibly well known could make her an easier choice for Lionsgate, considering their budget. But the fact that she is a very well rounded actress bodes well for the fans. I think she can easily bring Coin to life like she has with so many others!
Courtney & Tiffany from Welcome to District 12: We LOVE Alex Kingston! We are both crazy huge Doctor Who fans, and if there’s a character we love almost as much as The Doctor, it’s River Song. Of course this isn’t the only reason that we are in love with the idea of Kingston as Coin. We’ve seen the duality of her acting solely through the show, and her resume speaks for itself as well. We aren’t worried about her capabilities as an actor to handle Coin in the slightest. She would also be a perfect Coin candidate for the “lesser known actor” option.
Time for the next candidate in Campaigning for Coin, a segment in which the fansites come together to discuss possible casting for District 13 President Alma Coin! This week’s pick is a sci-fi favorite: She’s done Alien, Avatar, Ghostbusters, Paul, Galaxy Quest, Cabin in the Woods, and The Village. That’s right, it’s none other than Sigourney Weaver!
Kait (The Girl With The Pearl): Sigourney Weaver is one of the most classic ass-kickers in Hollywood. She’s battled aliens, injustice, armies invading Pandora, and Zuul! Yet I have no idea what she’d do with a cruelly ambiguous character like President Coin because I haven’t seen her taken on a role like that (though I’m told Political Animals is a great example.) Sigourney is usually the hero or the mockingly evil character, though in all the movies she displays a great sense of authority. But it’s possible that she’s also TOO much of a sci-fi favorite to really convince audiences she is Alma Coin, not just Sigourney Weaver playing Alma Coin. Overall, she’s not my top pick, but I wouldn’t be unhappy if she were cast in the film!
Ellie from Down With The Capitol: Most famous for battling aliens and, more recently, battling with aliens, we know Weaver can play a strong, intense female character. She has that stern superiority about her that must be present in any President Coin. She could bring out Coin’s relentlessness beautifully, as well as her weaker, more fearful moments. Her height, alone, could give Coin an overpowering dimension that could cause fear in the viewers. She would be wonderful choice for Coin, who would bring even more talent to an extremely talented cast.
Adam from Hunger Games Fireside Chat: There’s a reason Sigourney Weaver tops the mountain of many President Coin lists: She represents female empowerment better than perhaps any other actress out there. She has earned that reputation through dominant roles in Alien, or even Avatar, but there was a reason she was selected for those roles — she possesses a transformative acting talent. President Coin may be a villain in many eyes, but that doesn’t make her a weak character. Coin is ambitious and ruthless, and extremely cunning in her attempt to achieve supremacy over Panem. Weaver could seamlessly fit into that role, applying those badass heroine characteristics she’s so famous for to more sinister aims. For Coin, Weaver is as good as it gets.
Amanda from HG Girl On Fire: I do think that Sigourney Weaver would make a fabulous President Coin. My only hesitation is that, given her record of mostly science fiction, especially Alien, I worry that I might spend the entire time picturing President Coin fighting off aliens, which is unfortunate because, as I said, I really do think she would be great in the role. She is an extremely talented actress, and I think she can definitely handle the meaner, colder persona needed for Coin, and she more closely physically resembles how I pictured Coin. I think she is closer age-wise too. Sigourney Weaver is in my top two picks for this role. I would not be unhappy at all if she were to play President Coin.
Ciara from Mockingjay.net: For cinema historians everywhere, Sigourney Weaver is the only choice for President Coin. Katniss has raised her bow at a time in film, particularly in 2012, when we saw more heroine-headlining blockbusters than any other year previous. Casting Weaver as Coin would be a nice thank you to the very first female action icon and to the makers of ‘Alien’ who, in 1979, simply switched Ripley from a man to a woman. It would be a fitting passing of the torch to the most exciting heroine of cinema today. But this isn’t like casting her in just another cameo performance to reference her title as the queen of sci-fi and horror (‘Paul,’ ‘Cabin in the Woods’). President Coin is much more important than that. Sigourney Weaver is a truly wonderful actress. We know she can play cold and calculating extremely well but she can do it with much more subtlety and complexity than many other actresses of her generation from ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ to more recently in ‘Rampart.’ And that’s what is needed for Coin. She’s most certainly not an evil character. But she’s not a good one. She’s human. Mockingjay is all about the failings of humanity and the cost of war and Weaver would give the honest and credible performance that the character of Coin deserves. If that wasn’t enough she would be an incredible adversary to Donald Sutherland’s Snow, both characters being like different sides of the same *ahem* coin. And lastly, she should sign on to Mockingjay because the fact that Donald Sutherland and Sigourney Weaver haven’t been in the same movie together is a crime against celluloid!
Kristen from My Hunger Games: What is there to say about Sigourney Weaver, other than she is the face of an entire generation of cult classics? I’m not going to talk about her portrayal of the supercool scientist/ET killer Ellen Ripley of the ridiculously successful Alien franchise. I’m not even going to talk about Dana Barrette and the infamous “There is no Dana, only Zuul” line from Ghostbusters. I’d just like to call your attention to 1997’s awesome retelling of a classic fairytale—Snow White: A Tale of Terror. Sigourney Weaver rendered the single most bad-ass interpretation of the Evil Queen/ Poison-apple-toting old hag EVER. (That’s right, I said EVER, Charlize Theron…) More than portraying a seriously vain, jealously deranged, power-starved wicked step mother, Sigourney brought an almost sympathetic note to the role as a grieving mother who never could get past the death of her son. Her heart was kind of in the right place at least for a while. And that’s exactly why Sigourney has my vote for President Coin. She is fully capable of playing a dastardly and manipulative character, while at the same time maintaining a certain je ne sais quoi about her. In the books we’re lead to believe that—unlike President Snow—Coin is the Head Honcho of District 13 because the people chose her to be, which is to say, she must have been likeable enough to get elected. If the writers/producers/directors want to portray a tough-as-nails, yet relatable President Coin, Sigourney Weaver would be the hands-down choice in my opinion.
Jessica from The Hob: Sigourney Weaver is a versatile actress who could easily capture President Coin’s power hungry, unscrupulous nature. With a wide range of roles under her belt from Alien to Galaxy Quest to The Village, Weaver creates characters who are powerful and commanding even if they are not in an actual position of power. I can easily see her ordering torturings or using her troops like game pieces. She also has the depth to portray Coin’s conviction and mass appeal to the residents of District 13, who liked and respected her enough to make her President in the first place.
Courtney & Tiffany from Welcome to District 12: If a more popular actress was to be cast as Coin, we would jump for joy at the thought of Sigourney Weaver. She’s played roles in many popular films every decade in the past 30 years, been apart of classic franchises (Ghostbusters, Alien) and has been nominated for an Oscar three times. Like the other fine candidates, she often plays powerful women and a voice that emits authority and power. Whenever Sigourney Weaver is on screen, she commands attention, and that is something we very much need from whoever will play Coin. There would be no doubting her command as the President of District 13. Let’s not forget, she played a Hillary Clinton-esque figure in Political Animals. Aside from the fact that Sigourney Weaver is a fan favorite, she’s got the voice and the look to play Coin.
Is Sigourney Weaver your pick for president?
If you’re a Game of Thrones fan – heck, if you follow entertainment news in the slightest – you know what a big shock Sunday’s episode was to watchers of the show. Monday morning, it was all anyone was talking about. For those that have read the books and knew about the Red Wedding, it was less of a shock and more of release from the anticipation of it. Behind every camera filming the shocked and devastated reactions of the unaware and unspoiled (unsullied?) fans was a book reader who saw it coming.
Let’s look forward to November 2015. Imagine you’ve got a TARDIS or Delorean or something. We all know what happens at the end of Mockingjay. We’ve grieved, we’ve lamented, we’ve read the books and know that Finnick gets his head bitten off by a humanoid reptile mutt and that Prim has been blown to pieces and Snow gets trampled by a crowd. When we sit down to watch the movie in two years, we will have seen it coming. But the question is, will everyone else?
In many people’s minds, The Hunger Games is a young adult book, so it’s likely that non-readers are expecting it to be that dark. Surely, Finnick, who is so beloved, will escape harm to be with his wife and watch his son grow up. Of course, Prim, who Katniss loved so much that she volunteered for the Hunger Games to save her, would survive until the end. And no doubt, Katniss would be the one to bring Snow down with an arrow to the heart.
Whenever I talk to anyone who has only seen the Hunger Games movie, I always say, “Just wait until Mockingjay.” I warn them that they won’t see any of it coming, and they never believe me. Mockingjay Part 2 is likely to shock audiences when it is released in 2015, and I can’t wait.
I’m sorry for the Mockingjay flashbacks
Mockingjay casting news is just, spare. So, when even some paper I’ve personally never heard of prints a tiny article stating that such and such, or so and so, is in talks with Lionsgate about a role in Mockingjay– I sadly pay attention. Actually, I kind of have to, it’s that or I write a retrospective on why I wish Taylor Swift hadn’t been included on The Hunger Games soundtrack. And who the hell wants that?! I surely don’t. Here’s the deal, so far only two people have been rumored to have had supposed conversations with the Mockingjay films’ casting department, that I can remember, and they are Rebel Wilson– and the weirdest rumor yet, William Levy.
You read me right, and if you’re at all like me, you’re doing a little um, well “what the fuck!”-ing, right now. Yes, with arm movements, jerky ones, perhaps you’ve dislocated your shoulders in this process, maybe you’ve fallen off your chair, or your sofa, maybe you’ve gravely frightened some people on public transit who are sitting near to you? I
dunno, I’m not you, I am me– and I think the idea of William Levy, Spanish language soap opera star, Dancing With the Stars contestant, and also the guy who hits on a giant brown M & M in a commercial, allegedly being in talks to take a role in Mockingjay is the weirdest thing I’ve heard since a friend of mine told me she likes Velveeta. Yes, because this just makes the most sense ever, the guy who people thought would make a good Finnick, even though he’s clearly very much so over 30, (he’s 33), is a shoe in for some role none of us ever thought of him for, because we’re brain dead, or dead already. Guys, am I dead?
Okay, melodramatics aside, this is all just a rumor, unsubstantiated by a paper I had never heard of until yesterday afternoon. So, I’m not going to get ahead of myself entirely, I’m going to say this: If there’s any truth to this rumor at all, he’s clearly a better actor than I thought he was. However, I can’t help but go further and flail over the fact that there are simply no logical roles for him to be up for, at least not when examining the roster of characters initially. I mean, there’s Boggs, who’s middle aged, there’s Doctor Aurelius, who yeah– that’s not working, and then there’s characters like Pollux, Castor, and Messalla. If I was Debra Zane, which clearly I am not, Levy would be up for a role of someone from the Capitol, ’cause he’s a very aesthetically pleasing man person, and factoring in that the man has a thick Cuban accent that he cannot put off, my money’s on Pollux. Why? Because he doesn’t speak… at all. But who’s gonna play Castor!?
Guys, I really don’t like that Taylor Swift was on The Hunger Games soundtrack.
Them There Eyes
It’s that time again, the time in which we examine yet another actress potentially in the role of the multidimensional President Alma Coin. This week the lady in question is none other than a Victor’s Village favorite, Miss Tilda Swinton of London, England!
Them There Eyes aka Rebekah: When I read Mockingjay the first time it was in the throws of needing to know what happens next above anything else, sometimes that included water, so when I was picturing the characters, like Alma Coin—all I saw was a woman with sharp features, cutting eyes, silver bobbed hair, a slender build, and a presence that screamed intelligence, cunning, and fortitude. It wasn’t until the second time I read that book that I realized I was picturing Tilda Swinton, or a version of her, the whole time. So, now I can say it without any qualms, I think Tilda Swinton is ideal for the role of President Alma Coin. She’s a fine actress who’s made a name for herself as a character actress above the need for fame, in fact most of her work has been supporting roles, like her work in The Beach, The Deep End, Vanilla Sky, Adaptation, Young Adam (one of my favorites), Constantine, Broken Flowers, Michael Clayton, Burn After Reading, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, the impacting independent film We Need to Talk About Kevin, and most recently the critically acclaimed Wes Anderson film, Moonrise Kingdom. She’s of course most famous for her work in the blockbuster Narnia series as the White Witch, so obviously she knows how to play a quietly menacing character, but she’s not the kind of actress that people will go see a film just to see her, she’s an ensemble actress, the kind who thrives off the work, and the people she’s collaborating with. And to me she’s pleasant surprise to see when she shows up in films, even if sometimes her characters are not the most warm and fuzzy types. That’s another thing about Tilda, she never picks boring parts, and she never adhere’s to one genre, she’s open, and she always, and I mean always delivers. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that she’s already worked with Francis Lawrence on Constantine, and her schedule, according to her IMDb page, is wide open. Debra Zane, casting director extraordinaire, please hear my shouts, call Tilda’s people ASAP!
Courtney/Tiffany from Welcome to District 12: Tilda Swinton is a top choice. Again, she often plays a position of power and her physical structure (specifically in her face) are straight edges. This goes very well with Coin’s description of her hair which is very precise. Those straight lines in her face says cold and calculating, making her a great choice for Coin. Let’s also not forget that she would go well with the other adult actors being an Oscar winner. We have no doubts about her acting ability, and her physical looks seals the deal. The only possible downer we could see in Tilda is that you’re not supposed to suspect what kind of person Coin REALLY is. What will newcomer’s opinion be of Tilda Swinton in this role? Will the audience assume she is not what she seems because Tilda Swinton is playing her? Much like the book, Coin’s “”alignment”" should be ambiguous to the audience.
Emily from Down With the Capitol: Tilda Swinton would be a brilliant casting choice for our President Coin. I am a huge Narnia fan and she wowed me with her performance as the White Witch in the franchise. It’s obvious to me that she would be able to pull off cold hearted and power hungry Coin. I have also seen her in Constantine (which Francis Lawrence directed) and thought she was great. She really has a knack for twisted, calculating characters—which Coin definitely is. In my mind, she looks the part. She’s the right age, has very unique, fierce looking features and definitely has those “eyes that could burn straight through you”. One of my biggest issues with this casting is that I want a seasoned actor, but not someone who would be too recognizable or would not be detachable from their previous roles. To me, Tilda Swinton fits the bill perfectly. My only concern is that she’s done the mega-hit book to movie franchise before and I don’t know if she’d want or need to do it again, but my fingers are crossed that Francis Lawrence is able to give her a call.
Adam from HG Fireside Chat: Tilda Swinton has always walked that tight rope between benevolent and menacing, whether it be in The Beach or — in what was a masterful performance — Michael Clayton. Coin embodies both of those characteristics, at first seeming to be the savior of Panem, but later, a ruthless commander with great ambition and chipped-away morals. Swinton possesses the acting chops, the look, and the complexity to deliver. She would be a mighty fine choice, capable of bringing a potent element to the Mockingjay films and, more specifically, to the ascetic stylizing of District 13.
Amie from HG Girl On Fire: If you’ve seen The Chronicles of Narnia then you know that Tilda Swinton has the rare and perfect ability to be insatiably evil while you can’t take your eyes off her every move. She was oddly comforting to Lucy Pevensie as she welcomed her into her cold arms, while have plans that would only benefit herself while being the end of Lucy and her brothers. She was the driving force of the Narnia film, bringing the white witch to life like never before on screen. This is an important quality the actress who plays Coin must have, while she is not considered evil, she has
lost the ability to have human compassion like many other victims of the Capitol Dictatorship, which causes her to have little boundaries to how she chooses to he run her regime in District 13. Tilda had a calm yet unsettling demeanor, no matter how honest she is or how much she has your back, you know there is much more where it comes from and you are a afraid of what you must do to earn such loyalty from her. I can see her every move as Coin already, and that makes me nervous, because Coin is eerily predictable, a replica of a certain Capitol leader Katniss thinks is her real enemy, and soon realizes she has been mistaken. As far as Tilda Swinton’s look, her interestingly plain face and minor facial expressions remind me perfectly of Katniss’s description of her as “slush that you wish would melt away”. Tilda is beyond talented as an actress, and very simple like Coin. She can hide her true intentions behind her cold eyes with perfect grace, and Tilda Swinton would be my pick for our Coin for Mockingjay P1 and P2.
Carla from Mockingjay.net: I don’t think there’s any doubt as to why Tilda Swinton is part of this list; most people would recognize her from playing characters that are in positions of power and demand attention– from Archangel Gabriel to the White Witch– and out of her impressive repertoire, her antagonist roles particularly stand out to me. Even her real life traits, her appearance, facial features and tone of voice inspire one to think of a serious, highly intelligent and sofisticated mind. I have no doubt she can pull off a great President Coin if she’s cast. My only doubt is: would it be too much of a good thing? Coin would do anything for power, certainly; she was a
woman without scruples and we’ve seen Swinton play roles like that memorably. But I don’t want her to seem TOO calculating, TOO manipulative. To me, Coin has to have a certain appeal to the people as well; she wasn’t a good person, but she was a competent president, as far as the people of Thirteen were concerned. So in my head, Coin has to straddle the line between shady antagonist and straight-out villain, much like Donald Sutherland does as President Snow. And I think Tilda Swinton might come across as too unapproachable for that. I wouldn’t mind if she’s chosen, personally, because I do think she’s amazingly talented, but I think there are actresses out there who would portray this duality in a much more natural manner.
Jacqui from My Hunger Games: Tilda Swinton is mesmerizing. She’s fascinating. She’s avante garde and I love her. I love her for her work on David Bowie’s video for The Stars (are out tonight) and I love her because she slept in a box at the MoMa as part of an art installation. Tilda is a gender bender and she plays luminious, ambiguous characters to perfection. In her career she has played the archangel Gabriel in the oddball comic book movie Constantine, the White Witch of Narnia, an Italian housewife, a woman who watches men age backward in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button while sipping tea with them, the mother of a teenage boy who commits a high school massacre and a Virginia Woolf character. She’s also the new face of Chanel, is about to star in the sci-fi thriller Snowpiercer, then follow up with a vampire romance called Only Lovers Left Alive. There’s nothinig this woman can’t do and she could certainly pull off a President Coin that looks like a legitimate face of the revolution, while harboring cruel intent. She would be perfect and a huge coup for the franchise.
Lee from The Hob: Tilda Swinton would make a very interesting President Coin. Her acting range is vast – playing an Archangel in Constantine, to the White Witch in the Chronicles of Narnia films, and contemporary fare such as her work in Michael Clayton – giving viewers confidence that any role she takes will be striking. Ms. Swinton becomes totally subsumed by the role she is portraying; cold, remote, and powerful. She always leverages the actors’ tools of physical and vocal attributes. Her President Coin would be frightening and riveting to watch.
It’s come to my attention over time that some characters in The Hunger Games trilogy just don’t get as much attention, and face it, as much love as the rest of them. Sure, Peeta’s got the whole artist with a heart of gold thing going on, and Finnick is the heartthrob with the sensitive streak a mile long, and Katniss is the Mockingjay and the heroine, but what about the trilogies resident surly drunk Haymitch Abernathy? Doesn’t he deserve some intense love, and scrutiny just like the three mentioned above? Well, I sure as hell think he does!
Where to begin with Haymitch though? Yeah, he’s a surly drunk, and an all around ass-hat half the time, but he serves a purpose, and he’s far from lacking in the brains department. However, sometimes I feel like the characterization of him as simply the drunk detracts from the reasons why he’s been plying himself with alcohol for the better part of his life. Haymitch is a victor, hard to wrap your brain around the image of him winning anything when he’s alcohol soaked likely 90% of the time, vomiting on himself, vomiting in public, and being showered off, whilst fully clothed, by a teenage boy he’s just met. Wow, the-teenage-boy-he-just-met bit makes it sound kind of pervy, doesn’t it? But that’s the thing, so much of Haymitch is just… strange, and unexplained.
What we know about him is this: Haymitch won The Hunger Games when he was 16 years-old, and he didn’t win by accident, he won by cunning, drive, fortitude, physical strength, and agility. And then there’s that The Capitol likely systematically killed off everyone in his family, including his girlfriend after he won said games. He has very few friends, but he is friends with Chaff a victor from District 11. Me thinks that Chaff and his brand of friendship is likely drinking though, lots of drinking, like black-out-drinking-I-don’t-know-my-name-anymore drinking. Sadly, this drinking
buddy theory has also prompted other theories that Chaff and Haymitch were also fuck-buddies. Me, I–I’d rather not go there. Also, he’s unmarried, and apparently has no children, ’cause you know– you don’t have to be married to have children. He’s a slob, but that should already have been figured out from the whole vomiting-on-self-problem. Wow, this guy is just a mess, how is he still breathing by the time Katniss and Peeta are unceremoniously dumped in his lap?
So, that’s what we know, or what we think we know. Here’s what we think, or many of us think, aside from the people who believe Haymitch and Chaff are sometimes sex partners: He’s got a raging case of PTSD, which is untreated, undiagnosed, and therefore the effects of being in The Hunger Games are just as fresh as they were when he was 16 years old. Also, he’s quite literally destroying him self from the inside out, because he self medicates with copious amounts of alcohol, i.e. he’s not a drunk by the sheer luck of a horrible genetic proclivity for addiction. Although all bets are off if Suzanne Collins comes out with a prequel about Haymitch, and it turns out his family has a history of substance abuse. He isolates himself on purpose, because The Capitol kills anyone who seems to get close to him emotionally His sense of humor is another way in which he isolates himself, because it’s cutting, dry, and more often than not his jokes and/or quips are at another persons expense. What else can I say about Haymitch, other than that he sometimes gets the best lines in all three of the novels? Oh, I know! That Gary Ross’ directional choices vastly changed the layman’s view of Haymitch thanks to him taking most of his knock-out-drunk behavior out of The Hunger Games film?
Let’s all hope, and pray that the Haymitch of the novels shows up a bit, or a lot more in Francis Lawrence’s renditions of the rest of the series, am I right– or amiright?
Them There Eyes
We’re starting a new series, and it’s called Campaigning for Coin! Over the next several weeks fan-site reps from all The Hunger Games fan-sites will weigh in on different actresses in the role of President Alma Coin of District 13. Starting off the series we have the silver haired Miss Glenn Close, a fan-favorite to some. Read on and see what everyone thinks of the idea of Glenn Close as Alma Coin.
Them There Eyes aka Rebekah: I’ll be blunt, Glenn Close is far from my favorite choice for Alma Coin, but is she the worst choice out there? Far from it. Glenn brings everything to the table that would be required of an actress in a role like Alma Coin, but to me it would be flat out type casting. See, Glenn is known for playing tough ladies (Damages), scary ladies (Cruella de Vil), and oh yeah– creepy and/or weird/crazy ladies (The World According to Garp, Fatal Attraction, Stepford Wives). I’d even say she’s made a career of it. Personally I think taking on a role like Alma Coin wouldn’t be challenging for her at all, and if I was Glenn– I’d want to play a character that’s not something I’ve technically done before. Aside from that, logistics get in the way as well, as she’s just signed on for another franchise just this week, Guardians of the Galaxy. So, I’d go so far as to say that adding The Hunger Games franchise on top of that would be incredibly taxing on a lady who’s over 15 years older than Alma Coin is supposed to be, and if you’re a regular reader of my work on Victor’s Village, you would know I’m not a proponent of casting an older actress in this role. Glenn Close? I’ll say it loud, and clear, I don’t think it’s going to happen. Next!
Arianna from Down With the Capitol: Honestly I’m all in for Glenn Close as Coin. I never thought of her until her name was brought up for this project. She could most definitely play the part as Coin aka an evil woman in power, especially after playing parts in movies such as Cruella De Vil in 101 Dalmatians and her role as VP in Air Force One. She also has the perfect Coin look which is a bonus. Glenn would only add amazingness to the already stellar cast we have.
Amanda from HG Girl On Fire: This is actually a hard call for me. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind what so ever that Glenn Close could pull this role off. I think she could, and she would extremely well. I think she has proven her acting chops time and again especially with this type of role. One of the things I think is very important for the role of President Coin is that the actress not be too likeable, and be able to pull off being the “bad guy.” I want to be happy when we get to the end, and (spoiler alert) Katniss murders Coin, which in this scenario I don’t think would be a problem, especially when I picture that scene in Fatal Attractions where she’s boiling the pet rabbit. My one and only problem is that Glenn Close does not fit the mental picture I have of Coin. I pictured her as being younger with darker hair, but with that being said I think with hair and makeup that would be and easy fix, and I’d rather see someone who could play the role very well, and not concentrate on looks so much.
Savanna from The HG Fireside Chat: I adore Glenn Close and think she’s immensely talented, though I haven’t seen much of her recent work. I loved her as Queen Gertrude in the 1990 film adaption of Hamlet, and her performance as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard is just…magnificent. To say the least. But for some reason, I’m not too into the idea of Close as Coin. Maybe it’s because she’s too big of a name and too recognizable. Honestly, I’d rather see a lesser-known actress have a chance to take on the character and have it become a career-defining role. That being said, Glenn Close can do absolutely anything, and if she were to be cast as Coin, there’s no doubt in my mind that she would be phenomenal. She does the cold, hard, calculating thing very well and would certainly be a believable leader. The best thing she has going for her, in my opinion, is her powerful, almost magnetic presence; whether she’s onscreen or onstage, it’s impossible to not be drawn to her.
Crystal from Mockingjay.net: I’m not the biggest fan of Glenn Close. I know, I know, she’s got a stack of Oscar nominations, but that doesn’t mean I think she’s consistently a great actress. I’ve already seen her play an executive office role in Air Force One and for those of you that haven’t seen it, she was pretty awful while I thought Harrison Ford, Halle Berry, and Gary Oldman carried off their silly cliche action roles off rather well. I need someone who makes me feel like withering into the floor and an actress who has been in Mars Attacks! is just hard for me to take seriously. She’s got the hard look, but for some reason I’m just not confident she’d pull it off with the right amount of cold Coin swagger.
Kristen from MyHungerGames.com: Obviously, Glenn Close has had quite a bit of commercial success in family movies, including her hysterical take on Cruella De Vil in Disney’s live-action version of 101 Dalmatians—but let’s not forget the role that really made her a star: Alex Forrest in the 1987 thriller Fatal Attraction. If you haven’t seen this movie (and if you’re old enough to watch R-rated films) stop reading right now and go watch it. I guarantee you will never see a creepier interpretation of the sociopathic “woman scorned” character on film. In the interest of keeping spoilers to a minimum, let’s just say that Glenn Close plays a manipulative nut-job so well, she’ll make your skin crawl. That being said, I would absolutely LOVE to see Glenn Close as the ruthless, power-hungry Alma Coin. I think she has amazing range, and is beyond capable of convincingly portraying the cunning, unscrupulous leader of District 13.
Angie from TheHob.org: When I think of actresses that could portray our infamous
President Coin, Glenn Close does seem to fit the generic Coin mold. Glenn is a little older than President Coin, but I still think she could pull off the character. She possesses the “look” that President Coin should have: shoulder length gray hair, eyes that could bore into any soul, and a serious stature. What sets Glenn apart from the rest in my opinion is her previous role as Cruella de Vil in the 101 & 102 Dalmations movies. Glenn shows that she can play the role of a ruthless, selfish villain that truly only has one main objective. The characters are alike considering in both films they are willing to do or kill whatever or whomever they need to get their way – whether its puppies or medics or children.
Courtney/Tiffany from Welcome to District 12 : Glenn Close for Alma Coin is something we never knew we wanted until it was first suggested. She quite often plays a woman in power, like the Vice President in Air Force One, and can play a great villain, like Cruella De Vil in the live action 101 Dalmations movies. Some may argue that Glenn Close is too old, but we think that’s silly since the casting in The Hunger Games has not limited actors for their age. For example, Lenny Kravitz and Donald Sutherland are WAY older than the characters they play, yet they are fabulous additions to the franchise. We’re more concerned with the actor themselves than the age, provided that they are not on the extremes of the age scale. More than anything, it would be nice to round out The Hunger Games cast with yet another critically acclaimed actor. While never having won an Oscar, she has been nominated several times and has won everything else under the sun. We think Glenn Close has the look as well as the range to play good, evil, and a woman in power: All necessary traits to play Alma Coin.
Betcha can’t wait to see who’s up next!
My oh my, the location scouting rumors for the Mockingjay films are running wild, and crossing boarders! Right so, here’s what’s up, or a refresher if you will– only a matter of weeks ago rumors surfaced that the Mockingjay films were slated to be filmed in Boston, Mass, Atlanta, Georgia, and Los Angeles, California. And then a couple of weeks later more rumors surfaced that Detroit, Michigan, and Paris, France were on the table. The latest, and the most detailed rumor however, is now that a Bristol, England housing project (estate), is also being considered. Holy globe-trotting Batman! I don’t know about you, but I certainly never thought that the final installments of The Hunger Games would take an international twist, so to speak.
Remember way back when rumors starting peeking out over the Internets about location scouts checking out properties in South Carolina, and the camera phone images gave us chills, because the made up company that was doing the scouting was calling its self Ludus? Exciting times, huh? Yeah, all the way back to 2011. Now though, now we’ve got more than over eager fans tripping up, and making crazy eyes at anything that resembles Hollywood types in our midst. I wonder what a location scouter even looks like to your average person? A stalker? A really attentive tourist? An OCD person in a rental car? Do they wear vests with lots of pockets, and deer stalker hats? Do they talk in air quotes? Like “well, Francis is looking for ‘this’” Whilst standing in a concrete alcove in a Bristol housing estate? I have no clue! But about the rumored locations, I know our resident Girl With The
Pearl would be hell-a disappointed if Boston was taken off the table, and me– well I’d be disappointed for her. Los Angeles I think, or making an educated guess here, is probably still on the table, but likely not for location heavy filming, i.e. probably soundstage work. Detroit being one of the rumored locations actually greatly intrigues me, because Detroit has an Art Deco laden downtown, which ties in very well with the Brutalist styles established in The Hunger Games for the Capitol. And, well– Detroit has a lot of empty neighborhoods, abandoned downtown properties, and really not many people are going to kick up a fuss if Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, and whoever gets cast as Boggs and the rest of Star Squad 451, are running around playing commando fighters. Why? ‘Cause no one’s around most likely. Paris? That was a bit of a head scratcher at first, and then I remembered the tunnels that are infamous in that town, but that would be all kinds of morbid, and not at all how I think any of us, including Francis Lawrence and co. thought of the underground tunnels of The Capitol.
Whatever, just want ‘em to make some great films, and if they choose England– Sam can potentially sleep at home. Win for him!
If you follow my other project, Welcome to District 12, you are probably aware of how much we support the idea of splitting Mockingjay into two parts. It was disheartening to both Courtney and I that fans were so highly against it at first. It did not make sense to us since at the same time fans would complain and worry about all their favorite scenes from the series being cut from the films. It seemed to make sense that a split Mockingjay equaled 2-3 hours of footage that we wouldn’t have gotten otherwise, making the likelihood that all of our favorite minor scenes wouldn’t make it. “Not enough material for two movies,” they’d say, and I’d do a re-read of Mockingjay and think, “ARE YOU CRAZY?! This happens and this happens and what about this?!” Mockingjay may be relatively short in pages, but in actual events translated into cinematic moments, there is a lot to cover.
So Courtney came to me with a mission to map out what Mockingjay would look like split into two movies as opposed to one, and over several meetings we had the outlines for what has become Mockingjay Mockup, an ongoing series of posts created to make the argument that splitting Mockingjay is not just a great idea, but completely necessary to preserve the integrity of the book. It’s gotten a very positive response so far, and as time has gone on, with the news that Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2 will be filmed back-to-back and that they will retain the same director (Francis Lawrence) and writer (Danny Strong) being a huge reassurance to fans in general, we’ve been able to breathe a little easier since it seems fandom is coming to terms with the fact that Mockingjay is being split.
When I came across an article this week with the argument,”Why the decision to split Mockingjay into two films may ruin The Hunger Games”, it infuriated me. Not just a questioning of “Is this necessary?”, but straight up ruin the franchise? One thing that we here at Victor’s Village can’t stand in general is re-hashing complaints of ideas that fandom has already more or less come to terms with. While I don’t think it was the intent, it feels like shit-stirring. Mockingjay is being split into two movies. It’s happening. Saying that it would ruin the franchise is not putting enough faith in the filmmakers, which sucks when they haven’t even started filming yet, not to mention we don’t even know what Catching Fire will and will not touch upon. Do we really want to be a fandom that is waiting for our franchise to fail?
Don’t get us wrong, it hasn’t worked with some franchises, like Twilight. Trust me, Breaking Dawn did not need to be split in two. But the idea that it is straight-across-the-board a bad idea for all book-to-movie franchises is a little unfair. It’s still a fairly new idea, and filmmakers and studios can learn from the movies that came before.
Please, let’s not beat the proverbial dead horse. I’m a little tired of defending something that is already going to happen.
Sorry I’m not sorry for the shameless plug
Aeris, who covered the fun of Cannes for us last week, is back for another guest post! We know you’ve missed her too.
This time, The Girl With The Flowers (it’s a Final Fantasy reference! Who knew?!) is doing a little study on Peeta’s hijacking and how “real or not real” it makes his character throughout Mockingjay!
It has come to my attention that some fans (and I use the term loosely) truly believe that the jungle scene in Catching Fire is the last time we truly see the “real” Peeta. Real as in, not hijacked, not hating Katniss’ guts, not trying to kill her when they finally reunite, and of course still completely in love with her.
Yeah. I’m not getting it. See, first of all, Peeta is still very much his old self in the beginning of Mockingjay. He’s suffered at the Capitol’s hands, sure, but he’s still trying to protect by warning her about the bombing, undoubtedly risking his own life in the process. And he appears multiple times on the Capitol broadcasts during the first part of the book (let’s just assume Lionsgate makes the cut at when he tries to strangle Katniss), hurt, thin, but still the boy with the bread that we have all grown to love (or if we’re being honest, all fell in love with as soon as he was introduced in The Hunger Games). So there’s that.
But mostly, I want to talk about what happens in the second half of Mockingjay. Peeta has been tortured in such a way that everything about Katniss triggers his worst fears, and understandably, he wants to make that threat disappear. Moreover, he now sees her without the love-goggles (what, beer-goggles can exist but love ones can’t? The image isn’t very poetic I know, but it was the best way I could find to express it!), and sees her for what she is. The “real” Katniss. As Suzanne Collins puts so heart-breakingly puts it:
“All those months of taking it for granted that Peeta thought I was wonderful are over. Finally, he can see me for who I really am. Violent. Distrustful. Manipulative. Deadly. And I hate him for it.”
And yet, as Katniss realizes she’s being unfair, and they start playing the beautiful but tragic “Real or Not Real” game, Peeta is gradually brought back to us. He remembers. He bakes. He responds. He jokes a little. He puts everyone’s life before his own, because he’s conscious that he’s still dangerous. But what’s most important is that is he brought back by the one person who “made” this new version of him. Because deep down, he knows who she is and still loves her.
Before the epilogue, this new Peeta is still fragile, but he’s working on it. He isn’t the hijacked, scary version of himself. He isn’t the steady baker either. But he’s getting close.
And after the epilogue, Katniss and Peeta slowly heal, helped by one another. I don’t like to say they “grew back together” because that would imply they went their separate ways, and I don’t believe they did. They went through a lot, they got separated, yes, but physically, not mentally. The Capitol tried to turn Peeta into a customized Katniss-destruction weapon, but they failed. Katniss was devastated and almost destroyed by Peeta’s temporary loss, but they never ceased to be the Girl on Fire and the Boy with the Bread.
So I truly believe the “real” Peeta was shining through all along. Sure, sometimes it was only very short peeks, but he was there. Somewhere, deep inside.
Which is why people saying we don’t get to see him ever again bug me. Have we actually read the same books? I mean, if we take that logic, shouldn’t they also claim that Catching Fire is the last time we see the “real” Katniss? She may not get hijacked by Trackerjacker venom in the aftermath of the district 13 rescue mission, but she does a complete behavioral 180 nonetheless.
That being said, I have to admit I don’t look forward to seeing Peeta hurt. If I’m perfectly honest, I’m probably going to bawl all through Mockingjay Parts 1&2. But then again, who isn’t, right?
“You love me, real or not real?”
I Am Not A “Hunger Games Fan”, But A (Real) Tribute,
Aeris (or, if you’re a Final Fantasy fan, “The Girl with the Flowers”)