Thursday, March 17, 2011

Casting "The Hunger Games" - If I Ruled The World

Steve Granitz/Wire Image
As everyone on Earth pretty much knows, Lionsgate is furiously scrambling trying to finish choosing their cast for the soon to start production of the film adaption of one of the my favorite book series The Hunger Games. This morning it was announced that Jennifer Lawrence (above) has landed the role of Katniss. Although the producers ultimately didn't go with my first choice of Hailee Steinfeld who was the perfect age, coloring, and build for Katniss, I understand why they went with the older Lawrence. Hailee's age would've prevented her from working a full shooting day and would've made the casting of Peeta tougher. Let's face it folks, there aren't any good male actors that could handle Peeta that are under the age of 18; and casting someone older than that to be romantic with Steinfeld would've felt wrong. And Jennifer Lawrence is truly a great actress and supposedly gave an amazing audition for Katniss that impressed everybody. She was certainly gritty enough in Winter's Bone, and I think if they darkened her hair she'll do just fine.

Real or not real? The current front-runner for the role of Peeta is hottie boombalotty Hunter Parrish. I'm fine with this choice, especially since Jennifer's been cast.

I do think that Parrish would be better suited for the role of Finnick Odair (and it would mean we'd get to see more of Hunter's delicious skin), but he's a great actor and has the chops to handle the role of the book's hero.

What about the other hero in the book, hometown hunk Gale? Well there's several guys rumored to be up for it including Adam Gregory from the new (horrendous) 90210 and an unknown (at least to me) Thomas Mcdonell who in my opinion certainly looks like the way Gale is described in the book, except for the eye color. Strangely, I'm not as invested in the casting of Gale as I am in other characters of the book.
For example, I would boycott the films full stop if they didn't cast black or dark-brown skinned actors for the roles of Rue and Thresh. But I keep imagining nightmare scenarios where Willow Smith gets the role of Rue. I mean think about it, she's kind of perfect for the role isn't she? Ugggh, I want shoot myself for even putting that thought out there in the ether.
And then there's the pivotal role of Hamish. A man who is supposed to be in his late 30s/early 40s who's been totally ravaged by drink and depression. Ever since Entertainment Weekly did a poll about who should play him way back in August and mentioned Robert Downey Jr. as a choice, I have been kind of obsessed with this idea. He would do f*cked up drunk so well. But still be able to pull off Hamish's sense of humor, while keeping it dark. I'm sure there's no way that RDJ has been approached for this but he's seriously the only person I can picture now, even when I recently reread the last two books in the series. I guess I just ultimately hope that the producers and director Gary Ross are thinking seriously and smartly about the casting choices for ALL of the roles, not just Katniss and Peeta. Everyone's important.

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