The Hunger Games:

My Reaction to the Casting of Katniss, Peeta and Gale.

 

Recently, there was the announcement of who Gary Ross and Lionsgate cast as Peeta and Gale in the Hunger Games Series. Below find my reaction to the casting, keeping in mind, I am completely taken with the series!

I work in the film industry. So I know how it works. I know, for the most part, how and why movies are cast with particular people. I may not agree with it, but I understand why such person was cast. However, sometimes, when I am such a big fan of something, all reason seems to go out the window.

I am obsessed with Hunger Games. I am in love with the book. Suzanne Collins built such fantastic characters, and put them in such horrible, horrible situations that you can’t help but care for them. Her characters are strong, and emotional, and good at heart, while at the same time, flawed, and  impulsive and they do things with such reckless abandon.

When you feel so strongly about such characters, they can’t help but form clear pictures in your head as to who they are – or more precisely, who they aren’t.

You can’t make everyone happy, I understand that. But with the decision to cast Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, and Liam Hemsworth as Gale, I can’t help but feel strongly disappointed. I don’t disagree that Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson aren’t incredible actors. I’ve never seen anything Jennifer Lawrence has done but that fact that she was nominated for Winter’s Bone, which I hear is fantastic, makes me believe she has acting chops. And I love Hutcherson’s work (Zathura, Bridge to Terabithia, and of course The Kids Are Alright). Liam Hemsworth, all I know about him is that he’s Chris Hemsworth’s brother and he did that movie with Miley Cyrus. However, did not picture Katniss, Peeta, or Gale looking anything like these three people.

I picture Katniss as petite, skinny, brunette, darker skinned, and small but powerful. Like a skinnier, longer haired, Ellen Page in Juno. I’m not saying I picture Ellen Page, just there are some similar characteristics in her. In fact if Ellen Page were cast as Katniss I’d consider it a disaster. The actress who I think most resembles the “Katniss” I have in my mind, was probably a younger version of Lyndsy Fonesca (only with gray eyes instead of blue eyes). Even with a hair dye, and losing weight, and a tan, Jennifer Lawrence’s essence (if that makes sense) just isn’t who I pictured. That not to say she won’t do a fantastic job. Hell, she could do such a remarkable job, that I forget the Katniss that now exists in my brain when I see the movie. But for now, she’s just not who I pictured.


My Pick: Lyndsy Fonesca

Their Pick: Jennifer Lawrence

Peeta, is probably my second favorite character of the whole series. Behind Finnick. But he’s definitely my favorite character in Hunger Games. When I picture him, I see a blond guy, tall, good looking, funny, but not a pretty boy. Just a real guy not as athletic, but still big enough for Katniss to disappear in his arms. He should be taller than Katniss, maybe 5’10-6’0. I picture his essence like the character Marty (Wayne Wilcox), from Gilmore Girls, only with more confidence. Maybe throw a little bit of Ryan Renyolds from the Proposal in there too – and that is the perfect Peeta. Josh Hutcherson, I feel has a lot of those qualities. I think he could do a good job. My biggest problem with Josh is that he’s too small. He’s the same height as Jennifer Lawrence, and smaller in size than she is. Or at least that’s how I feel. Peeta’s arms have always been something Katniss could find shelter in. Looking at Josh, I just don’t get that sense. Hunter Parrish, who I know was also up for the role, but know nothing about, seemed like a more logical choice looks wise, acting wise, I can’t judge.

 

My Pick: Hunter Parrish as Peeta


Their Pick: Josh Hutcherson

Then we get to Liam Hemsworth as Gale. Gale, I picture as a rugged pretty boy, the bad boy. I pictured him, tall and lean, with a bit of anger in him. Actually, I saw this guy.(Ryan Rottman) on Victorious the other day, and this is a little bit how I pictured Gale, only more weathered and rugged. (Yes, I’m 28 and I watch Victorious. So sue me!) My problem with Liam Hemsworth, is if his acting skills will be up to snuff. Sure, initially Gale has such a small part, but by book 3, Gale is extremely fleshed out and plays a bigger part in Katniss’ life.

 


My Pick: Ryan Rottman as Gale


Their Pick: Liam Hemsworth

I just hope this movie doesn’t get turned into Twilight. I know this movie is and will be compared to Twilight no matter what. I know many people love this movie and it has an incredible fan base and I have also never read the books so I can’t compare the book to the film. The first Twilight move was fine. It was a little too sappy, and melodramatic, and…well for lack of a better word emo. And I’m sorry, but I also do not find R-Pattz that attractive. That’s just my opinion. The movie, plot line, etc, was pretty good. I like the idea of the Edward’s family trying to protect Bella at all cost, even if their first instinct is to suck her blood and kill her. However the 2nd Twilight movie was, quite frankly a disaster. Who wants a heroine who dissolves into fits of screaming and nightmares and depression over her love leaving her. And not just for a few days, or weeks, but months making her unable to function. I like my heroine’s strong, like Katniss. She’s fighter. And yes, in the later books she dissolved into some dysfunction, but that’s because she watched her friends and family get tortured, people die, all while fighting a big bad evil, who was trying to destroy her both physically and emotionally. I think I’d get pretty depressed about that too.

I do not want Hunger Games to focus so much on the love triangle, though I know it’s Hollywood’s mission to make every teeny-bopper movie about a love triangle. That’s not the point to Suzanne Collins books. Her story is about a girl who is trying to protect her family, no matter what happens. And she herself doesn’t even know how she feels – won’t allow herself to feel – so to turn the movie into some sappy teenage romance would be a great injustice to the books and pretty much to everything Katniss is.

I will try and hold out, and not judge too harshly until I actually see the movie. But in my opinion the Harry Potter casting was spot on. And they cast unknowns. And even when they cast well-known people like Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman, they were so fantastic, it gives me hope that Hunger Games can be too. Although show me the person that wasn’t ecstatic about Alan Rickman as Snape. I mean he’s just perfect, right?

Anyway, that’s my reaction to the casting, and my hopes for the movie. What do you think? Am I being too rough on the casting? What do you think of my picks? Who were your idea Katniss’, Peetas, and Gales?

For funsies – check out this website I found where you can cast the movie. My vote is still Danielle Panabaker for Foxface!

 

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Comments
  1. linda says:

    Hi- I just discovered your blog and I think it’s fabulous!! We have similar taste in movies and books and I LOVE Glee<3
    I was sceptical too, about the casting of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss. I must confess that I haven't seen her in anything, but I hear she is an amazing actress. She just didn't have the "look" that I pictured for Katniss. I recently saw the "Entertainment Weekly" cover with Jennifer as Katniss on the cover- I must say that I was impressed! Has your opinion been swayed at all?
    Keep up the good work!

  2. linda says:

    Oops, forgot to ask you what you think about the casting of Woody Harrelson as Haymitch?

  3. […] tributes we were most anxious about, and frankly the most anticipated. These two we will be just as picky about as we were with Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth.  Also these two […]

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