The Color Wheel

I’ve been a Hunger Games fan for quite some time now, and I know there’s many things that get this community into a tizzy, and one of those things is weirdly hair color. Oh yeah, the ever-present hair color debates are infamous. For the first book, and subsequently the film adaptation– the character’s hair color disputed the most was Peeta’s, but I think that argument has been settled (please, dear god, let that debate be settled!). Peeta’s hair is a sandy ash blond, straight from the book its self, his full physical description is actually– “medium height, stocky build, ashy blond hair that falls in waves over his forehead.” And that is exactly what Josh Hutcherson looked like in the film: Medium height, stocky (you saw his arms right?), and his hair was a shock of ashy blond hair that he grew out so it could fall over his forehead when not slicked back for Reaping Day, or other pre-game appearances. In comparison to other films that were adapted from popular novels, for example Robbie in the best-selling and critically acclaimed novel Atonement, was described as tall with brown eyes, James McAvoy who was cast as Robbie in the 2007 film adaptation in reality is only 5’7, which is not considered tall, and has bright blue eyes. So, in light of a casting decision like McAvoy’s in Atonement, which I don’t think I’m wrong in saying came about because McAvoy is a phenomenal actor, what they got in Hutcherson as Peeta was pretty spot on with what was envisioned in the book– yes, of course minus Peeta’s blue eyes. On the eye color bit, I’m personally glad that Hutcherson’s hazel eyes didn’t seem to factor in to him being cast, because I personally believe his talent trumps the color of his irises, just like McAvoy’s did with Robbie.

Now that the Peeta hair color debate seems to have died its final death (it had to die a lot, it’s like a vampire), the new debate is a raging firestorm. I use the word firestorm, because the color in debate is the color bronze, which is in the red family, just not as red as some people seem to think it is. Yep– talking about Finnick’s hair color here. Seriously though, is there anything about Finnick that isn’t hotly debated, you’d think that his hair color wouldn’t be a hot button issue, but it is– go figure. Let’s go to the source material, shall we? Full description is as follows: “Tall, athletic, with golden skin and bronze-colored hair and those incredible eyes.” Seems pretty straight forward to me, but apparently bronze is a color that, I’m just going to say it, is being mixed up with another alloy, copper. I went so far as to go to a professional hair styling supply shop, and asked the nice man who works there if he could actually point me to a bottle hair color that is listed as bronze on the box. Guess what? There isn’t one listed as such, at least there wasn’t in that shop, and damn there were a lot of bottle hair colors in that shop. So, then I just thought about it some more, and then today I asked my friend Renee, a fellow Hunger Games fan who has a degree in art, and is the only person I know who refers to colors by their real names. It’s a wonderful aspect of her personality actually, she’ll call a light green mint, or a golden yellow goldenrod, ’cause those are the colors proper names, and she knows it, and I think she wants everyone else to know they are as well. Anyway, I asked if she thought Finnick was a flaming ginger like so many people keep thinking he is, and she said, “I think if he were supposed to have red hair it would have been described by Katniss as just that. She’s a very no nonsense character, so why would she describe someone as something they’re not? Also, when has bronze ever been red? It’s bronze, it’s goldish brownish red, it’s a very specific color.” And guys, I think she would know this, because she’s taken color theory courses, and had to write papers, take exams, and paint pictures, and make art that displayed her ability to discern colors, and other fun art stuff I don’t know about, ’cause I majored in English. Is this debate dead though? I don’t think it is. All I know is that when Finnick is cast, adhering to the color bronze may not be a top priority, in fact the actor who may end up being cast may not naturally have “bronze” hair, he could be like Hutcherson who’s a natural brunet, or Jennifer Lawrence who’s a natural blonde. This means that they may have to just dye the his hair the right color, and move on with their lives. Or, they could go against the grain entirely and cast someone who’s of Asian decent, or African decent and forgo the description/picture many, many of us have in our heads.

Me though, you know me– I think a bronze haired, tall, athletic, golden skinned young man, with incredible eyes already exists. 

Them There Eyes

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5 comments

  1. It’s funny how there’s so much debate about Finnick’s coloring. For me, sea green is a cool, blueish green, and bronze is a goldenish brown with maybe a hint of red.

    1. I agree with you on both color descriptions, because the sea I know is blue, and green, and also grey. I think other people may think of sea green as something lighter, and possibly not something they’ll ever find in an actor who actually exists.

  2. I have be never understood this notion that bronze = red. It could be described as either a light golden brown with warm (red) tones or a very dark warm blond. No ashy tones. Armie’s hair color captures it perfectly. (And to be honest it’s my own hair color).

  3. I agree that Armie Hammer is an ideal Finnick. I’m also glad there seems to be a healthy fan contingent who are open to just casting a talented actor and letting the appearance stuff be tweaked during production. Hair dye, spray tans, contacts… That part isn’t that serious! I think the actor being good at his job and bringing the right vibe to the role is what counts.

    And yes, James McAvoy is a phenomenal actor. He is also my boyfriend. (in my dreams)

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