Another Open Letter — To Armie Hammer

We’re doing it again guys, we’re meaning me actually– yep, writin’ another open letter to Mr. Armie Hammer.

Dear Armie,

So, we’re back here again– you potentially reading this, me hoping you’re reading this, it’s a cycle I’d really really like to break. All right then, I’m just going to lay it all out there, and if it moves you to feel or do anything, this is my hope. There’s only one thing I’ve ever been able to convince anyone of in my life, and that is that you are the perfect actor to take on the role of Finnick Odair, and I’ve been able to convince over thirteen hundred people of this. Thirteen hundred, and as of tonight (6/15/2012), when I am writing this letter, three hundred sixty-five. Let me say that again, 1,365. That’s more people than who graduated in my high school class eleven long years ago, yep– that’s right I am in fact older than you. I feel kind of wary, or better yet horrible for attempting to do this again when I know you’re neck-deep in shooting a film, but the casting buzz for this role so many people want to see you in is getting very very very loud. Thankfully, or perhaps not thankfully from your point of view (I have no idea), your name keeps popping up. Like in this article.

I assume that your agent or manager has told you that the director of Catching Fire allegedly wants you for the role. I say allegedly, because the reports that are filtering in are coming from an entertainment news gossip site, and everyone knows that what those sites say should be taken with about as much clout as a snake oil salesman. Unfortunately, that same site is also reporting that you supposedly have not reacted well to Mr. Lawrence’s desire to work with you. Again though, I can’t really believe any of these reports, especially since they are all coming from one site, and the author seems to favor another actor in the role as well. The politics of fantasy casting is brutal if you haven’t gathered that by now.

I have to get this out– I read an interview that you did a few months back in In Style, and I had a visceral reaction to a confession you made to the journalist, it was your penchant for knot-tying. I have no idea if you’ve read the books, I hope you have, but if you haven’t there’s a habit of Finnick’s that I would like to think would perk your ears up. He has the same hobby, in fact he spends half of the third book tying knots as a way to cope with his traumas. Traumas like: Being forced to enter a competition to fight to the death at the of age 14, killing people, killing children really, and then having to watch his girlfriend do the same several years later, and then having to compete all over again when he thought he was safe, oh and also some other stuff you have to read the books to find out about just like everyone else.  Anyway, when I read that you have the same hobby though, like I said, I had an involuntary reaction– I put my hands over my face and swore like a fucking sailor. Kind of like that actually, and note: I was in a public library when this happened. Look, I know this is weird, and this is also all borderline bullshit, but wouldn’t it be great to sit around for hours on end tying knots and getting paid to do so while also acting? Wouldn’t it? It’s also been suggested to me that you may not be interested in the role because Finnick could be seen as someone similar to Prince Alcott, but Finnick is no “prince,” he’s not even particularly refined, he’s just a fisherman’s son, he is charming though.

I know that the media has been toting that The Hunger Games series is for teenage girls, which I have to refute constantly, and I’m also now imagining that the thought of making a film for teenagers isn’t exactly enticing to you.  I am not a teenage girl though, and most of the people I know who have read the series, and emphatically admit that they love it as well, are all over the age of 25, some of them are even men in their 50s. So, rest assured, if you had any assumption that the audience you’d only be seen by are a bevy of screaming girls, that’s just simply not the case, because The Hunger Games has been read and seen by everyone from grandmas, to single fathers in their 20s, to 12 year-old boys.

I have no sway over anyone of importance, let alone you, and I know you’re extremely busy with work, and life, and frankly even I would find my self annoying, but honestly does it mean nothing that more than a thousand people (and I’m sure there are more, they just don’t all have Facebook accounts), and that supposedly the director of the project, wants you to consider taking on this role? I’ve never been sought out for anything anyone thought I was perfect for in my life, I have to think that it feels pretty fabulous, but I’m not you, and I can’t pretend to know what it’s like. All I know is, I hope you don’t think this is ridiculous, and pointless, and stupid, and any number of adjectives. I know you tend to take on projects because of the material, and the people you’ll be working with, so… Jennifer Lawrence is probably one of the most talented young actresses of her generation, and Josh Hutcherson he’s no one to laugh at where it comes to the longevity of his career, his acting performances, and the people he’s worked with over the years. Stanley Tucci, who you would absolutely have a scene with, he’s practically a Doric column in the supporting actor category, and he’s never played the same character twice, except here he will of course. Woody Harrelson, no one can deny that he’s a force to be reckoned with when he does drama, and his comedic timing is spectacular. And Elizabeth Banks, she’s just an extremely talented actress, who also comes off as a genuinely solid person in real life. And then there’s Donald Sutherland who I don’t even know what to say about Donald Sutherland, other than he’s been around forever, and rarely disappoints, also he himself pursued the role he is playing.

Other names have been surfacing as well, actors who may be potentially playing the newly introduced characters. Names like Philip Seymour Hoffman (Oscar winner), Cicely Tyson (Oscar nominated), and Catalina Sandino Moreno (Oscar nominated). Tyson is supposedly up for the character who is essentially Finnick’s surrogate grandmother, and if you’re familiar with her work, you know she’s extremely giving in her performances, and damn she’s been working a long time. The script as well boasts talented and well known names, Simon Beaufoy who wrote the screenplay for Slumdog Millionaire, and 127 Hours, he wrote the original screenplay, and now the second going over is supposedly being done by the man who wrote Little Miss Sunshine, Michael Arndt.  And then Francis Lawrence, he only does good work, and this project may be the first one that could be considered great, and that’s because of the story, and the people already on board. Also, they may be shooting the bulk of the scenes Finnick is featured in in Hawaii, and that has to be a little bit of a draw, right? So, Armie– please don’t write off this community of fans, and please don’t write off this project, and please don’t write off Finnick– he’s someone amazing in many people’s eyes, and if you decide to pursue portraying him, you will be seen that way as well. I guess the begging and the flattery stops here for now.

Best of luck finishing Lone Ranger, but lastly to your wife, Elizabeth, who I know will probably read this before you do, thank you.

All right boys and girls, that’s a wrap, go fold up your faces, and move it on out, I’m gonna go watch an old movie and pretend this never happened until something horrible or wonderful occurs!

Them There Eyes

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33 comments

  1. This letter seriously makes me want to cry. It’s so well written Rebekah!

    Armie if you see this- know that you have so many fans and have gained so many new fans from people spreading the word about you and it would mean so much to so many people if you took on this role. Read the books (if you haven’t already) and you will absolutely fall in love with this character. Whoever does end up getting to play him is a very lucky man. It is such a diverse and strong role- a dream for any actor. And you possess so many of Finnick Odair’s qualities.

    Just know there is a REASON so many people want this role to be played by you. But regardless of what happens we will always be your fans and we love you! Keep doing great work Armie, and I hope Finnick can be added to your list of amazing work.

  2. Armie, if you are reading this, please know that this is not the plea of one woman, this is the plea of many, many people. It is of the utmost importance to us that Finnick be played by someone who has your talent and experience.

    We want the younger audience to be able to look back as adults and think, wow, what fantastic acting! We do not want them to think, wow, why didn’t they cast an actor that was able to show the depth of the Finnick from the book? You, sir, fall into the former category.

    If it is true that you do not wish to be involved in this film then of course we will support your decision, however of you do wish to be involved, know that there are legions of people behind you 100%.

    Thanks for reading this, if you did in fact read this.

  3. Even if I don’t really agree with Armie Hammer as Finnick (sorry… :P) – I wouldn’t really care if he was chosen for the role (in fact I’d be happy as there’s a lot of really worse fan-favourites for it…) even if I preferred other people.

    The thing which I do find impressive, respectable and admirable is the determination you have for him to get the role. The facebook fan-page, those open letters. Amazing! Wish you luck.

  4. Fantastic letter! If only the fans could pick the actors life would be great! And another “like” for the page. I just went to FB and “liked” the page.

  5. You’re right about the gossip site that seems that broke the news about Armie being Lawrence’s choice – They (or some people) do seem to favor certain actors for the role. Jennifer Lawrence was favored by that site before so they made news that she got the role and they gush about her performance all the time. Josh Hutcherson wasn’t favored in their Peeta fancast so they are highly critical of his performance. Personally, I don’t think Armie is the type to shrug off something like this as hinted by that gossip site. He did Mirror Mirror didn’t he with a role which is in some ways similar to Finnick. I think he wouldn’t mind playing Finnick.

    1. Name of the game is, don’t rely on a site with the word Gossip in its header, right? I hope he’s not the type to shrug off this amount of people pulling for him, I mean… how often does this happen, really?

  6. One word: Amen. You said everything I had to say. I hope he sees this and considers the fact that there are 1,000 plus more who haven’t liked your page yet behind him. Assuming he’s overwhelmed by the support, who knows? This letter could make a world of difference and it’s from a real fan whose points were all valid. At the very least I pray he’s considering it.

    1. I have no idea what his impression of all this noise surrounding him and Finnick could possibly make him feel, but if it were me– I’d sit up and listen. Here’s to hoping!

  7. I can’t count the times that I have, by now, read this letter over and over again and I am still in awe because it has everything in it that I would want to say to him. And more. It’s simply put, perfect.

    There literally is no one better for me to portray Finnick than Armie and I have been on board with this idea for as long I can remember. And with that, I am still hoping that in some way or another, the odds will be entirely in favor of Armie playing Finnick making this all work out. And I am hoping until the very last minute.

  8. This was another wonderful letter, Rebekah, and much needed now that we’re into Finnick casting proper.

    Armie,

    Please know that fans of the Hunger Games series (at least those that I interact with on a daily basis) are so passionate because this isn’t one of *those* franchises. There’s no magic in this world, no mythical creatures, no miraculous anthropomorphic lion to swoop in and save the day.

    These are books about war and the consequences of war. About media consumption and media responsibility. About love and sacrifice. About the gray area between fighting for justice and fighting for revenge. They’re universal concepts that are being packaged into a mainstream vehicle for mass production. These topics, these characters (Finnick high among them) need, NEED, to be treated with the utmost respect and talent in order to ensure the messages of social justice, of equity, of accountability are brought to the audience in a way that doesn’t diminish their impact or potency.

    Armie, we believe that you are the man who can give Finnick the depth needed to portray his piece of the story. I know Rebekah didn’t go into all of the details of the role– and I hope that you’ve read the books or see a copy of the screenplay, but if you haven’t, here’s the details. Finnick is a survivor. He’s murdered children in the Hunger Games. He comes from an area of the country that celebrates it’s Victors and encourages children to volunteer for the Games. He’s charismatic and handsome which served him well in the Games. The same attributes became the catalyst for his own personal hell as, since his victory, he has been sold into prostitution in the Capitol. He wears a mask of confidence (even arrogance) to survive in the world. He must always be desirable, must always be available, because the moment he drops the act, the only person in the world he loves, his girlfriend Annie, will be killed.

    99% of the media reporting on casting Finnick is focusing on his abs or how *SEXY* he is– choosing to ignore the deeper, more important, more interesting facets of his character. Armie, there is no doubt you’re good looking- there are thousands of photos that prove that point; but handsome actors in Hollywood are a dime a dozen. We don’t want you for your body (though what a fine body it is!), we want your talent– that talent that’s put you in films like J. Edgar and The Social Network. That’s what has set you head and shoulders above anyone else the media is throwing around for the role. That’s why we need you to be our Finnick.

    Please give this franchise a chance. We wouldn’t be so ardent if we didn’t truly believe that this role merited someone of your talent.

    Shylah

    1. Shylah,

      Can I marry you?

      I know I usually leave out the prostitution bit, because I secretly hope that he’ll read the books on his own, and be shocked by Finnick’s revealing this horrible sordid fact about himself, and the way the Capital treats its Victor’s. You’re right on all counts about Finnick, and why so many people want Armie to take on the role. If only our words could move him to pick up that phone and get things rolling.

  9. Great letter – you touched on so many reasons why he’d be such a great fit for the role, and why the role is so compelling for an actor to play. Thanks for laying it all out there, on behalf of us.

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