There are a several things I both look forward to and dread where it comes to the up coming adaptations of Mockingjay. Some of them are completely innocuous things, like are they going to get Katniss’ ill fitting shoes right? And then there’s big things like, are they going to adhere to the first person narrative that the novel was told in, and therefore show us Katniss’ trauma addled mind, with its swirls, and utterly terrifying imagery. Personally, I hope they do, like– I really really hope they do. And then there’s my most favorite thing in the world, okay not most, but pretty high up there– the casting of the remaining cast. I’m most nervous, of course, about the casting of three particular characters though, and they are unsurprisingly President Alma Coin, Captain (No First Name) Boggs, and finally Annie Cresta. People have certain performers in mind, I know they do– and I have to be honest, many of the names that are thrown out by your average book reader, and movie fan– are not who I would want to be cast in those roles at all.
Let’s start with Boggs, shall we? I’ve written probably around ten fan-casting articles about Boggs over the last almost two years, and I think they went over pretty well. Several of the actors who I wrote about even approved and thanked me, yep– behold the power of Twitter. Others have sadly retired, I’m talking about Wentworth Miller, who I wrote about a long long time ago. He’s transitioned to being a full-time screenwriter, sort of like our dear Danny Strong. If you’re at all sad about Went leaving acting behind, don’t be– he’s got a BA from Princeton in English literature, therefore he’s finally using his degree, and I’ll bet you money that his academically minded parents are very proud he’s using it after all of these years. Enough about Went!
Here’s my real deal: I’ve tried very hard to be open-minded where it comes to casting of this franchise over all, and Boggs is likely to be a casting decision that the casting director will take artistic license with. Meaning, they’re likely to scrap any or all racial, or ethnic indicators that Collins wrote about him, i.e. his blue eyes. The thought of this kind of bothers me, because I fear that they will cast a stereotype that I keep seeing repeatedly in film, television, and in people’s fan-casting ideas for this role, and also for others. Okay, so what is it? It’s the racial/ ethnic stereotype that a career military person, like Boggs, should be portrayed by a black actor, or a Latino actor. I don’t know where this stereotype came from, but it’s here, and it’s not going anywhere thanks to wonderfully inept films like Avatar, and shows like The Unit. What’s puzzling to me is this though, statistically speaking the military in the US is over 70% white, and only 18% black or Other. So, who do I point fingers at? Hollywood? Ignorance? Do people just want to cast this role ethnic to change things up, what? Or are people okay with Boggs being “token cast”? Call me racist, I dare you, I’ll just laugh at you.
Annie Cresta: We have heard nothing about this role being cast. We only know that Sam Claflin is playing Finnick with Annie Cresta as part of his back-story in mind, as indicated by several interviews Sam has done since he was cast, and since he wrapped on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. That is literally all we know about Annie Cresta. So, I think I can safely say that because there’s been little to no acknowledgement of this character so far, the fan-casting of this role has stagnated, or is in a really weird ass funk. After Sam was cast as Finnick the name I saw the most, disturbingly, was Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey. I know why this happened on an intellectual level, but on an emotional one– I just sat back and went “say what?” And I said what, because Bergès-Frisbey has one of the thickest Spanish accents I have ever heard, and I have friends who are from Spain. So, to those who are in love with this idea, because Sam and her shared screen time in another franchise– please start thinking outside the box. I’m even thinking outside the box for this one, because oddly enough out of the three characters I’m writing about today, Annie Cresta is the only one I’m 100% on board with them casting with an ethnic actress! And yep, I think some people would put Bergès-Frisbey on an ethnic actress list, but– don’t make me point out that I can’t understand what she’s saying! Too late. I have no ideal for Annie, I just want someone who’s got off the charts chemistry with Sam, and who warms the cockles of my cold dark heart.
President Alma Coin: Oh dear god, are you all still here? I know how fickle, and fleeting people’s attention is on the Internet, so if you’re still reading this, kudos. Alma Coin is a little bit of a hot button topic for me, much like Boggs, but in her case I’m a stickler for a multitude of things about her casting. In my head, or my head canon, which is backed up by Mockingjay I might add, I’ve always thought of Coin as a woman who physically is not how many people have been seeming to imagine her. Let’s go over a few things about District Thirteen: It’s population for over 70 years has been living under ground, this means little to no sun damage has befallen them, and to me this means a lot of them do not look their age. Sun damage increases the aging process for many people, and if you’ve lived your life in an underground complex for 50 years, your skin is probably that of someone 15 years younger who actually sees the sun on a regular basis. Thirteen is a very regimented society, people are scheduled to within an inch of their lives, all the way down to when they eat, what they eat, when they sleep, and where they’re allowed to go. I’d even posit that part of the regimentation for the population is strict exercise regimes for everyone. If you can also recall, District Thirteen experienced a devastating health epidemic several years before Katniss and co. showed up, it rendered some people scarred both inside and out, i.e. many people have pock scars on their faces, and are infertile because of the disease. In my head District Thirteen is like District Two without the blood lust. So with all of that in mind when I imagine Alma Coin, a woman in her early 50s, I picture a woman who’s in pique condition physically, she’s un-scarred by the epidemic, although she may have been laid barren because of it, and also because she never had children, she probably looks younger than she actually is. Then there’s the unfounded idea that she’s unattractive. I don’t see that, in fact I see the exact opposite, I see Alma Coin as someone who District Thirteen rallied behind because she’s a symbol of their ideal. Strong, intelligent, and yes– beautiful. Beauty and brains, basically Coin is the Evil Queen from Snow White, or Cinderella‘s step mother, beautiful, cunning– totally fucked in the head.
And nope, I don’t mean the Disney versions, I mean the Grimm’s.
Them There Eyes
The Capitol Portraits have been arriving all week and we are in OVERLOAD MODE! Rather than only dedicate a skimpy paragraph to each in a typical post, we’re going old school!
For those of you who only discovered the site recently, we occasionally like to team up and BREAK IT DOWN for our audience, chat style! It’s long (hence the “Read More” tag! Click it!) and meticulous and hilariously ridiculous! Enjoy the party!
EFFIE MCQUEEN OF GENOVIA
The Girl With The Pearl: Okay ladies, let’s start with Effie!
Them There Eyes: I think they’ve upped the ante, and this was just our first taste of how far they’re potentially going.
TGWTP: Here’s my only hesitation: Is too much of one color a bad thing?
Them There Eyes: I don’t think it’s too much color at all! She’s supposed to clash, and pop, and other sounds.
Twiffidy: Yeah, too much color is very Capitol anyway.
TGWTP: I love that she’s got a regal gown with frilly but awesome shoes and SPACEMAN GLOVES!
Them There Eyes: I also love the clash of how soft her hair, shoes, and dress are in contrast to the gauntlet rings.
Twiffidy: This gave me flashbacks of when I went to the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met when I was in New York a couple of years ago.
Them There Eyes: I am in such hard like with Alexander McQueen… I’ve been looking at his work for years and going “Capitol, Capitol, Capitol.”
TGWTP: Alexander McQueen is the official designer of Effie Trinket. Which would technically make her totally vintage!
Them There Eyes: I know… her shoes were McQueen last year! And I’ve been pinning heelless shoes to my Panem themed pin board on Pinterest for months….. when I saw those shoes I flipped the fuck out, ’cause I’ve pinned several similar versions by McQueen.
Twiffidy: And these heelless shoes were A-MA-ZING!
TGWTP: Elizabeth Banks could wear a potato sack and look good, but Alexander McQueen definitely helps. I want to test that potato sack theory someday, though. I say that about these actors, but I need to see them in potato sacks!
Twiffidy: And I don’t know if those are bracelets or part of the glove, but I like that contrasting color, it helps break it up so there isn’t too much of the pink. And Elizabeth’s pose is perfect, very charm school with the crossed ankles.
Them There Eyes: Yes, very poised… polite, queenly. I’ve seen gloves like that before in my mother’s knitting books, they have sort of bells on them… or petals like a flower. And her pose makes me think of that sequence in the Princess Diaries.
Twiffidy: Haha yes! Very Princess Diaries! I’m waiting for her to tell Katniss to do the “Thank you for being here” wave.
TGWTP: There’s a reason that Effie always gets released first. The image demands your attention!
Twiffidy: Oh my gosh, yes… They do like to release her early!
A LITTLE LESS KARL LAGERFELD, A LITTLE MORE BARBIE
The Girl With The Pearl: Speaking of demanding attention, what do we think about Caesar?
Twiffidy: Funny story, I showed this to my friend and he did not even realize Caesar had a ponytail in the first movie
Them There Eyes: His hair still makes me think of one of my My Little Ponies. Her name was Rattles.
TGWTP: Well, it’s a high ponytail this time around. Caesar and Barbie now have something in common!
Twiffidy: Haha… a little less Karl Lagerfeld, a little more Barbie.
Them There Eyes: At least it doesn’t remind me of Michael Bolton anymore!
TGWTP: At first glance, I thought his hair was shaved off on the sides and I got really distressed!
Twiffidy: Did you notice his eyebrows look a little purple-y?
Them There Eyes: Yeah, they’re violet. He was already one of the more extremely styled people they had, but still it’s up a notch or two, which is what I was craving.
Twiffidy: I’m glad they stuck with the textured suit idea from the first movie and then elevated it.
TGWTP: Caesar is basically a 5-year-old’s hair color experiment.
Them There Eyes: Kool-Aid!
Them There Eyes: Great. Now the Kool-Aid guy is going to come crashing in here saying “Ohhhh yeaaahhh!”
EXPERIMENTAL SEX CLUBS IN THE MATRIX
TGWTP: Then let’s run to the next victim! *cough* I mean, subject! Cinna!
Twiffidy: My male friend said he wants Cinna’s boots.
Them There Eyes: If they wanted to scream rebel in our faces, but in a sexy way…. they’ve achieved that affect.
TGWTP: I know Cinna is not very Capitol and quite understated, but I still wanted MORE. His jacket has that emperor effect, so I appreciate that.
Twiffidy: But I think the gold eye liner is still there, which is reassuring.
TGWTP: It is, which makes it okay for him to be in all black.
Them There Eyes: Why all leather though?
TGWTP: No idea! Does anyone else think the tight leather sleeves make his arms look like toothpicks?
Twiffidy: This gives me such a Matrix vibe, especially with the green background.
Them There Eyes: Yes, that’s what I was trying to grasp onto… Matrix!
TGWTP: Seriously! I’m expecting Neo and Trinity any minute now!
Them There Eyes: He looks like Morpheus’ baby brother! I’ll say this… I’m glad they got rid of the medallion necklace. He has the gold hoops in his ear, and one ring on… His accessories are set in my eyes now. But…. do we think he looks a little sex club-y?
Twiffidy: Just the forearms.
Them There Eyes: Just the arms are sex club worthy? Wow… Up your game, Cinna!
TGWTP: It could happen. Cinna could be the quiet type who actually spends all his nights getting his freak on in peculiar places.
Them There Eyes: I smell a fan-fic!
Twiffidy: Be careful what you wish for!
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I’m sure you’ve heard it all by now, but Sam Claflin is dead tired of eating chicken and asparagus. Me though, nope– I think chicken and asparagus are two of the best, most tasty, most versatile, and most nutritious things a person can prepare, and then eat. I’m a bit of a cook, not trained by anyone special, unless you count my mother as someone special, which I do, ’cause hello– she gave birth to me! Oh! Also my siblings, but no one wants to hear about them. I’m no Crystal; who runs fictionalfood.net, but I do know my way around a garlic press, which is an invaluable tool (seriously), that patting meat dry before cooking it is tantamount, and that having sharp knives in your kitchen is more than necessary, in fact it’s sometimes a matter of life and death. Let me put it this way, getting accidentally cut with a dull knife whilst preparing food more than likely leads to infection, because dull knives hold more bacteria, and germs– no matter how clean you think they are. Sharp knives if they cut you, cut you clean– for lack of a better word, the cut will not be jagged, and the likelihood of bacterial infection is much less, and when it heals, the scar will fade faster. Get your knives sharpened by a professional for a couple of dollars ASAP, people. I know it seems scary, but if you don’t you could let any number of infectious bacterium lie around your home, when it could easily be prevented. Yeah, you think this lesson is over? It’s not! Check out Sam below talking about the process of taking on Finnick Odair!
Where was I? Damn it all to hell, his dimples are distracting! Oh yes, chicken and asparagus. I’m going to make an educated guess here, but Sam was probably not doing very interesting things with these two food stuffs, which perhaps has led to his distaste for them. And, of course this makes me sad in my soul, because there’s so very much to be done with them, and nothing naughty– only tasty! As far as I’m concerned there are only about five ingredients you need in your kitchen at all times, and they are as follows: Lemon (can be supplemented with any number of wines, and also orange), it is there for acidity of course, and for flavor– it’s usually used at the end of the cooking process as to not over-power a dish. Next up, garlic. I don’t know why people are so afraid of garlic, because it tastes great, it’s good for you, and if you think it smells bad, get over it– because I’d much rather smell garlic on someone’s breath than Twizzlers. FYI, keep garlic at room temperature, otherwise it spoils or dries out before its time. Onion, and don’t you dare keep it in your refrigerator before they’ve been cut, chopped, or had their skins removed, refrigerating onions before these processes leads to moisture, which leads to the vegetable spoiling quickly, and you literally throwing money away. You can keep onions and/or shallots in your pantry for months uncut, but only a matter of days or weeks in your fridge, learn this now or forever be wasting money. Herbs, my favorite herbs are Rosemary, Thyme, Fennel, Basil, and Lavender, otherwise known as, Herbs de Provence. Olive oil, extra virgin is good (meaning the 1st press of the olives), but you really never know what you’re getting now a-days, people can slap whatever they want on an olive oil label now. My take, if it smells like olives, and not like something else entirely, it’s good. ‘Kay, if you’ve got those five ingredients, you can make millions of delicious meals all year round, and for cheap. Now, the question is– what to do with these five ingredients?
I’d say use your imaginations, but I’m afraid. So, here’s what I do– and what Sam could have done, or still could. Say you’ve got some chicken, I prefer chicken that’s on the bone, and still has skin– I know this makes it more caloric or fatty, but it also means they actually taste good when cooked. If you’re afraid of chicken skin, or chicken bones, get boneless, skinless chicken thighs– chicken breasts are okay, but they’re really dense, and harder for flavors to permeate. Get a bowl, the mixing kind is best, mine are all made of metal, but if yours are ceramic, fine. Take your chicken, pat them dry with paper towels, because residual moisture makes steam, and you do not want that. Take a few garlic cloves, I’d say the more the merrier, but I’ll be conservative and say three large cloves, remove the skins, and chop the garlic finely– if you’re not good at chopping garlic, get a garlic press– I’m thinking of naming mine God. Put the garlic in the bowl. Take your lemon, your wine, or your orange, and juice/pour a cup/260 ML. Put your juice, or wine in the bowl with the garlic. Herbs time! If you’re a measuring freak get out your measuring spoons, but for me I use my hands, and add pinches of herbs to the bowl also whilst rubbing the herbs with my fingers to make them break up more finely. It also makes your hands smell nice. Now add a splash of olive oil, and put your chicken in the bowl, and you guessed it, or I hope you’ve guessed it– let the meat marinate. You can put the bowl in the fridge, but leaving it out on a kitchen counter with perhaps a bit of plastic wrap over the top is good, or a kitchen towel– the acid in the juice or wine acts as a nice preservative for a time (20 – 45 minutes), but if you’re paranoid– fridge it– but know the longer the meat stays in the marinade, the better it will taste. Asparagus is another story, but not really: Wash it, and get rid of the ends, the best way to do this is not to chop, but to take the stalk in your hands and break off the end. Just bend it, and where ever it breaks is literally where the vegetable wants to be broken, and you should listen to it, because it’s smart, and knows its self better than you do. You could also chop up some onion in here somewhere, and have it be friends with the marinade, or the asparagus– this is the only place I’ll allow your imaginations to run wild.
How to cook these things! You could saute, bake, or broil the chicken. I won’t suggest boiling the chicken, because that means all the flavors you just added with the marinade will leech from it, thus defeating the purpose of all that time, and work, and garlic fingers. The healthiest method is to broil and/or bake the chicken. Broiling pans are best if you’re trying to be healthy, because the meat will not be cooking in its own fats, and juices, but if
you want more flavor, set the meat in a baking pan– glass is good. So, you’ve chosen which kind of pan you’ll use, now you cook the chicken until it is cooked through, i.e. no pink. How to know if chicken is done is poking it with a fork, and if the juices that flow out of it are clear, it’s done. So, 15-35 minutes depending upon if you’ve gone with boneless, skinless thighs, bone-in and skin on legs or thighs, or boneless, skinless breast at 300-400 degree heat should do the trick, and do not place the pan directly under the heat source, that will burn the meat on whatever side it’s facing. Now for the asparagus! Healthiest method to cook it is to steam it. If you don’t own a steaming apparatus, get one– they look like this, or this. Where most people go wrong when steaming/cooking vegetables is how long. Read it now, and know it forever to ensure you do not make limp, gross, disgusting vegetables, because the magic number is six. That’s right, six minutes to steam/cook asparagus (also broccoli), and only six. How to know it’s steaming, the water it’s set in/above is boiling. You can also steam onions along with the asparagus, you simply can’t go wrong with this choice.
Congratulations! You’ve just made a yummy meal, that was probably really cheap, really easy, and very un stressful! Now to make it more filling, make some rice, or have a nice salad along with it, and you’re golden! And know this, Katniss’ mother could totally make this, only she’d likely have to use berries for juice, or Ripper’s white liquor, along with some other vegetable– perhaps even Katniss Root.
Damn it I’m hungry, and this probably would have made a better video!
Them There Eyes
Sam Claflin is our Finnick Odair. How many times does that have to be said for the fact to sink into people’s skulls? I honestly have no clue, ’cause I accepted it before the rumor of his casting became not a rumor, but true. But, as always there are harder sells out there, but hey– if I can accept Lenny Kravitz as Cinna, you out there in the nothing can accept Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair. Acceptance has been reached by some, and with acceptance comes well, some bargaining, if you will?
The recent Entertainment Weekly cover story should have assuaged some people’s apprehension, but before I go any further, I have to confess something fandom related– I no longer frequent Tumblr, except in fits of weakness, and then I rebuke myself for it for hours. Also, I’ve maybe been to a Hunger Games message board a handful of times including before I became a staff writer for Victor’s Village, as well as after. I am a bad fandom member in this sense, because I don’t engage in discussion in the most common and conventional way, or at least the way in which I’m gathering most people who consider themselves Hunger Games aficionados do. So, what does this have to do with Sam Claflin, or Finnick Odair for that matter? Easy, I had no idea that after the Entertainment Weekly cover story was released, that people were freaking out over the frankly unfounded idea that Finnick was getting more screen time, more attention, and was taking over the love interest role from Peeta Mellark and/or Josh Hutcherson in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. However, when I did learn that this was a reaction that a few loud people were having to the tiny soundbites of information Nina Jacobson, or Francis Lawrence were expelling– my reaction was “oh, for fucks sake!” I said it above, UNFOUNDED, and that is simply the case. I know people like to drum up trouble, and read into things that aren’t there, or are there but only if you squint and pop a zit at the same time, but come on people, really?! I mean, I know Sam’s a fit bloke and everything, but they’re not going to change the entire trajectory of the film franchise just, I don’t know, because they can? This isn’t 1942, they didn’t buy the rights to a novel, just so they could keep the title. Luckily people have seemed to have calmed their tits down, but I wouldn’t know– ’cause yeah, message boards, and Tumblr freak me the hell out, ’cause as you know– tons of crazy talk seems to go down. And trust me, I’m crazy enough as it is.
Shine on you crazy diamonds, Finnick’s not replacing Peeta in the beach scene, I’ll bet my camera on it, her name is Ado Annie, and she can’t say no– except when the memory card is full.
Them There Eyes
This has been a big week for Sam Claflin. We, of course, have obviously known for months that he is playing Finnick Odair. After all, to say we’d been invested in who was going to play this beloved character is an understatement. And the paparazzi photos have already clued us in on his look so we’ve been able to sit with it for a while. But for many the casual fan, the Entertainment Weekly cover was the debut for Sam’s Finnick.
I had taken my copy of the magazine to work, and I was bombarded by opinions on Finnick by my coworkers. Some liked what they saw, some didn’t, most were skeptical. Me, I’d already been pretty much sold on him. But that was a lesson for me in “Everyone’s going to have their opinions.”
I have to hand it to Mr. Claflin. He’s got a lot of pressure on him. We’ve been quoting “Don’t mess this up, or we will kill you” quite a bit this week. Granted, I’ve seen some very supportive tweets to Sam as well, but I can only imagine the tweets from those bound to hate anyone who isn’t their Finnick. But he’s taken it all in stride, keeping a relatively low profile except to thank the Hunger Games fans, support Jennifer and complain about London traffic.
To Mr. Claflin, I feel confident in saying that we are rooting for you, if that’s any consolation. Your dimples just about knocked us out this week, and that’s a good start. We know you feel the pressure, so there’s no point in trying to add to it. We’ve got you for three movies, so we better make sure you survive to film them. You said you’re prepared to do anything, and we’re prepared to show you some support.
We’ve found Finnick Odair, let’s not scare him away
Today I screamed a little bit, but not at anyone personally, just let out a sharp, shocked cry from my mouth. Why? ‘Cause, oh dear god… Plutarch Heavensbee! Yeah, yeah, you can hate on whatever the hell you want, nit-pick everything to within an inch of its life, and just be a complete knob, but today you can’t ruin my joy, because we got our first real, glossy, edited, official photo-stills from our new favorite film we haven’t seen yet, AKA The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Oh, and we also got the first Catching Fire Entertainment Weekly cover of 2013 revealed to us. But obviously that’s not what got us all screaming– nope, t’was the photo-stills. Yep, if you haven’t seen them, and also if you consider anything that shows costuming, hair styling, or pretty much anything from the film as a spoiler, read on at your own risk, ’cause I’m gonna gush all over you, and it won’t be pretty, also the photo-stills will be there, staring at you… judging.
Disclaimers, warnings, etc!
First and foremost, SPOILERS AHOY!
Thought of a really fun post, but it involves those Catching Fire set photos that everyones been talking about! To be fair, it is UNDER THE CUT (or further down the page, if you’re already in the full page link!)
Here comes that super repetitive reminder that we’re three. different. writers. with different opinions. For instance, Them There Eyes is really not a fan of these things. However, I’m more lenient. Personal preference: We dig it! These photos have been up on the Internet for days without any sites receiving notifications to remove them, so we’re not secretly, scandalosuly posting them against the will of the mothership. Breathe in, breathe out!
Plus, we’re gonna get hella wicked maaaaad funny with it!
In short: You have been warned. We have explained our position. Nobody is making you look if you don’t want to. QUIT YA BITCHIN.
Ya bitchin’. Quit it.
Willing to check out the rest of the post? Venture UNDER THE CUT!
When pictures of Sam Claflin from the set of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire came out, there was a bit of a wave of acceptance. Where many were hesitant to accept Sam as Finnick, we saw a lot of people changing their minds (there will always be some stubborn hold-outs).What changed? Well there was the slight body bronzing – if you’ve seen Pirates 4 you’d know he’s no stranger to that – but mostly it was the hair that changed people’s minds.
Let’s talk about color. Ever since we can remember in this fandom, there has been debate over what exactly is “bronze” hair. Is it red? Is it blond? Is it somewhere in between. And when we look at Sam’s Finnick hair, we get to nod and go, “Oh yeah, bronze.”
And the styling, which has been compared to both Edward Cullen and McDreamy on the HG Fireside Chat but for some reason we want to say Dragon Ball Z, takes him out of his Sam Claflin-ness and pushes him towards Finnick. We took one look at him was immediately reminded of some “classic” fan art versions of Finnick.
We’ve got to ask though. Why does hair matter so much? A good hairstylist in touch with fan opinions can change a fangirl or fanboy’s opinion at the drop of a hat. We’ve talked about fandom’s obsession with hair before (and before). Sometimes it feels like that’s all we do. But it’s just a fact that we can’t have fandom take our word for it that actors are going to be good for the part. They have to see it. So much of what, in a lot of fans’ minds, makes a good adaptation is whether or not what they pictured in their minds has translated on screen. And hair sometimes just makes the look.
When we say hair, we also mean of the chest variety
This past week one of the biggest events in the film industry went down, and no– I don’t mean the casting of certain characters in Catching Fire, I’m talking about The Toronto Film Festival. Several people involved in The Hunger Games made appearances, including our dear, wonderful, quirky Katniss aka, Jennifer Lawrence, as well as Philip Seymour Hoffman. Sadly Woody Harrelson ended up canceling his trip to Canada in support for his film Seven Psychopaths, but he would have made three on the list of Hunger Games cast members participating in the festival. Flying under seemingly everyone’s radar though (or maybe not), was the presence of one of the fandom’s hopeful Finnicks, Mr. Garrett Hedlund. Hedlund as we all should know by now was a top fan favorite for the role, and apparently the rumors were true, he was contacted by Lionsgate about it– however the information that he actually auditioned seems to have come up to be false. In a very short excerpt from an interview Hedlund did with Josh Horowitz of MTV News, he was asked point-blank about the rumors, and subsequently he answered in his normal, quiet, slightly haltingly paced fashion. “They did approach me,” he said, “but I was working on this film at the time. We shot the whole film in 23 days and I was really… immersed in it. I couldn’t get around…” and then he gets out that he hasn’t been able to read anything in a long time, because he’s been so busy.
All right, considering this is an editorial site, I think it’s been pretty obvious how I felt about the idea of Mr. Hedlund taking on the role of Finnick? I would not have been happy, because for me he’s always been lacking a few key factors for what I will always consider to be a must for an actor who involves them selves with a franchise. And, one of those factors, everyone– is presence. Hedlund, at least for me doesn’t have one, or he does– just not an appropriate one for a franchise the size and breadth The Hunger Games should have. Now, watch me give him a compliment inside of also kind of putting him down! Hedlund, when he’s being himself reminds me of James Dean. Yep, Jimmy Dean, the fated, perpetual 25 year-old, and also one of the actors to come out of Hollywood of the 1950s who changed acting on screen as we know it today. James Dean was an awkward, shy kid, he was nervous, a little twitchy, but when he was on screen, that unease worked, and it made people notice him. Just watch his first scene in Giant, he has maybe less than a handful of lines, but your eyes stay on him. Hedlund has a similar quality to his personality, however his awkwardness does not tend to draw you in. An other factor, which is entirely my own opinion, is that Hedlund has yet to show me that he’s a genuinely good actor. Maybe that’s because almost all the films he’s been in are projects that did little to spark my interest, but I did see a number of them in order to be well informed on what he could have brought to the role of Finnick, and my opinion has been formed where it comes to his acting prowess– he’s decent, but he’s not what I’d deem noteworthy. It comes down to this, when you watch an interview with him, and then an interview with who did take the role of Finnick, the competition is nil. In other words, Sam Claflin was the right choice, at least from where I’m sitting. Also, if you compare acting performances of the two, one of them comes up on top to me as well, and that’s obviously Sam. Sam’s got it, okay? And, when I say it, I mean he has presence, he has a sharp personality, and on top of that he’s more than a decent actor, he’s a good actor. I’ve said it before, the role of Finnick needed someone who can handle all aspects the role requires, including the acting chops, and the emotional fortitude to portray the darker sides of Finnick’s character, but one huge part of the role is the ability to do press (sell, sell, sell!), and do it well. Sam interacting with the press is a breath of fresh air, he’s quippy, he’s clever, he’s fun, and in my opinion– because all of this is just that, he’s more than capable of taking on the dark, the light portions of Finnick. Hedlund, to me, in all the roles I’ve seen of his, he was very one note, which doesn’t cut it for me– at all. I’m glad we got Sam, guys– really really glad.
Now I dread the interviews that’ll come next summer when one of the other fan favorites is doing press for his own film– ’cause Finnick will come up, I can feel it in my bones.
Them There Eyes
Sometimes there are unexpected gems unearthed in the slowly being erected foundations of this wonderful thing called The Cast of Catching Fire, and those gems are not only the über class some of these people bring to the table, acting talent wise that is. However, after careful examination there are a few real diamonds in the rough, and some of those diamonds are members of the cast who’ve deemed the wonderful place known as Twitter, as a playground for their aimless, sometimes enthusiastic, sometimes ridiculous thoughts. Last summer when the cast of The Hunger Games was established, and then almost all the Tributes’ Twitter handles were revealed– most of us went along and followed them. I always felt a bit strange following a bevy of teenagers personally, but I sucked it up and followed the boys and the girls from District 1 to District 11 (Josh Hutcherson didn’t start using Twitter again until 2012.), thankfully the boy from District 11 was, and is very legal– so, I didn’t feel completely weird about following him at 23-24 years of age. Others though, I just don’t think I can ever feel truly comfortable following someone who’s not old enough to get a drivers license. Although, I’ve made the exception for Willow Shields, and Amandla Stenberg.
For me, and maybe for some of you out there, one of the more appealing things about the cast of Catching Fire, is the fact that everyone who’s been cast so far is an adult, and we no longer have to avert our eyes when they do or say something questionable– wait, I personally still have to do that, ’cause I still follow some of last years Tributes. This time though, or this summer– no one in the new cast has done, or said anything too off kilter, and like I said above– some of them have turned out to be gems. Not that it’s a contest or anything, but some of these people are better at using Twitter than others, and in that sense– I guess there sort of is a contest going on, but maybe we shouldn’t tell them. So, without further ado, I bring you a comprehensive list of who’s best/better at using Twitter in the cast of Catching Fire!
Coming in last place is unfortunately Ms. Maria Howell, aka @MariaSingsActs. Maria’s Twitter timeline for the most part is tweets asking people to go like her Facebook page– which defeats the purpose of having a Twitter, doesn’t it? Does for me, but I don’t matter– do I, do I? Perhaps the limitation of 140 characters to express her self has proven too daunting, I know I didn’t get a hang of it for a while. Time will tell if Maria’s tweeting skills advance over the span of the next year, ’cause being part of this project is likely to change her life, and possibly her Twitter habits.
Next up is another lady, Stephanie Leigh Schlund, aka
@1StephanieLeigh! I’m sure she’s a sweetheart, and she’s very thankful for the complimentary tweets she’s received from fans after being cast, and judging by her tweets of the last day or so, she really loves her sister. However, and this is going to sound awful, all she’s tweeted lately are glamorous Instagram’s of herself. Survey says, I need more substance than tweeting about finding her gym shoes, her appreciation for the congratulations on being cast in what’s sure to be one of the biggest money making films November after next. I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt, especially since it looks like she took a break from the Twitter-sphere somewhat recently, and just got back into it.
I’m happy to announce that Bruno Gunn aka @BrunoGunn is a laugh, and I’m not pulling anyone’s invisible tail when I say that. He’s probably the most enthusiastic Tribute to be added to the roster, and man does he love a hash-tag! Bruno’s a fan of not only hash-tags, he’s also a fan of replying to fans, and also– the man likes puns.
Running ahead of Mr. Gunn is of course our
dear, and newly crowned Finnick Odair– Sam Claflin aka @samclaflin. Sam’s Twitter avatar pretty much says it all, he’s jocular, and yep– he knows how to carry on an almost hour-long Twitter-wide conversation about combining different words into drunkenly hysterical matings. Also, he’s apparently not afraid to start singing to himself in public when he’s bored, alone, and did I mention bored… whilst at the airport. Sam gets a very shiny, completely non-existent silver medal for knowing how to use 140 characters, and use them well.
Which brings us to the winner of this non-contest! But here it is, or he is– Mr. Alan Ritchson aka @alanritchson. Alan is kind of a master at tweeting, perhaps it’s his song-writing skills being put to use, or the training he received whilst being part of a comedy television show– but damn-it-he’s-just-fuckin’-funny! Personally, I was not expecting him to be the winner of this non-contest, but he so is, because he goes and says things like, “all the training I’ve been doing has rendered the lower 98% of my body useless. I’m thirsty, I’ll drag myself to the sink by my face now.” Or this glittering jewel of hilarity he tweeted just today, I warn you now to read the caption first. Okay, and not only is he hilarious, but he’s also an expectant father who tweets about putting up animal decals in his unborn child’s room, which of course makes anyone with a soul let out an “awwwwwe”. So, there you have it– Ritchson wins the shiny, shiny gold! I cannot wait ’til he makes me despise his character like Xander Ludwig did last March, thus making me admire him for not only being funny, but being a talented actor — Alan I mean. Okay, Xander as well, can’t forget good ol’ Xander!
“Th-th-th-that’s all folks!
Them There Eyes aka @Rebekahdg