The other day I got a notice in my personal inbox from Twitter. First let’s set the scene for you, all this past weekend I was without Internet access at home, which was obviously not fun, and also the reason there was no article from me this past Saturday. Anyway, I was being faux studious using a computer at me local library to check my messages. So, I’m sitting there minding my own, sifting through the three-day old Google alerts telling me The Avengers has kicked The Hunger Games’ ass at the box office, and I’m rolling my eyes, and blah blah blah— I see the name Daniel Newman in all capital letters, and Twitter as the sender of a message, all still in bold, ’cause it hasn’t been read yet. I click it of course, and this is what my eyes saw.
My reaction was a very unladylike exclamation, out loud, of “you’ve got to be kidding me?!” To which I then looked about the room gauging whether anyone cared about my un-library like behavior (no one did). Funnily enough the same day I was forwarded a message from the illustrious The Girl With The Pearl, AKA the founder of Victor’s Village, and it was the exact same notice I had received. Daniel Newman if you’re unaware, is proving to be an infamous name in the Finnick casting rumor mill, and you can read a little something written previously here about his questionable behavior. As of Monday though, Mr. Newman was following both the Victor’s Village Twitter account, and all three of the staff writers personal accounts. First reaction, if you must know, to the forwarded message was equally unladylike, much like my reaction to the original notice, I believe my response was “what the fuck?”, or as The Girl With The Pearl put it, “I feel like we’re being punk’d.” None of us were being punk’d though, and it turns out Mr. Newman wasn’t just randomly following us, he had started following a semi large pool of members of The Hunger Games fandom, including Aldrin District 2 Mayor, and Miranda AKA Peetatoast on Tumblr.
Funny story, he’s now unfollowed pretty much everyone I just mentioned, including all here at Victor’s Village. We don’t know why he personally unfollowed us, but we’re neither surprised or hurt by this development. Personally, my take, and The Girl With The Pearl’s, is that he’s been going around following fandom members and hoping to get positive responses, i.e. mass out pourings of affection and support in regards to him being cast as Finnick, which he’s got from others, just not from us. The problem is, is that here at Victor’s Village we do not support his past behavior, nor do others in The Hunger Games fandom. Mr. Newman could quite possibly believe that all publicity on the matter of him being connected to the role of Finnick is a good thing, but I’d just like to assure him — out rightly — that it is not, especially in this instance. We are not saccharine sweet sheep like people, if you will, who believe that he’s a “perfect fit”, that he’s “gorgeous”, and “talented”, and just “the best thing since sliced bread”, or whatever. I’m sure the man is talented in his own right, don’t get me wrong– I’ve just not exposed myself to much of his work. I know he’s has a small part in a film I’m greatly looking forward to seeing (The Great Gatsby), and if Baz (yes, we’re on a first name basis in my head), saw something in him that has to mean something. Honestly though, going out on a limb here, had he just simply not started tweeting about being cast, when he absolutely had not been, if his name had also just simply come out in a press release as one of many on a list of contenders for Finnick — then ONLY then — would we consider being supportive of him being connected to the role. That’s not how his name came to our attention though, and this is why we do not like him.
Interacting with fans is fine via the Internet, and using the Internet to further ones career is all well and good, but it’s got to be said— Mr. Newman’s interactions, and behavior on the Internet has not been painting him in a good light. It’s actually, in my opinion, been painting him as arrogant, self serving, immature, and tactless. I’ve looked over his Twitter timeline several times, and it’s chockablock full of retweets of compliments from fans, mixed in with asks for RT’s, and messages en masse to fans asking them to tag their tweets with hashtags relating back to his desire to be Finnick. All of this makes me judge him, and not quietly— because obviously I’m writing about it. I don’t think this is the right way to garner support for the role from fans, I also don’t think his tweeting that he was cast to begin with, is a good way to get in good with the studio. To be blunt, it’s gravely unprofessional— and I’m not a professional at anything, and even I can discern that the better, or more proper way to get a studio, and a large group of people to like you is for one: Not lie to them. And two: Not continue to fuel the original lie by, for all intents and purposes, not admitting that it was a lie to begin with. Also three: what’s with the succession of tweets that were all pictures of himself? Do I think he has a chance at being cast as Finnick though? Judging his behavior strictly via the Internet, I have to resoundingly say no, no he doesn’t, because he’s made a large chunk of this fandom not like him, and I have a strong suspicion that the studio might not be too keen on him either, and you don’t want to make a fandom or a film studio dislike you if you want them both to like you.
Whose Internet behavior and interactions with fans makes me think they deserve to be considered for roles in Catching Fire though? Stay with us, and you just might find out.
Them There Eyes