Justifiable Casting

This week’s been an odd one in the magical land of Catching Fire Casting News! I think the majority of us got quite comfortable with getting one casting announcement per week, but not only did we get one casting announcement this week, nope– we got four. Are we satisfied with our Chaff, our Enobaria, our Brutus, and our Gloss, though? I am, but one particular casting is making me sort of nervous, and also making me question the yet to be confirmed, and announced casting of the most anticipated character yet to be revealed to us– Finnick Odair. And the particular casting that’s making me all twisty in my stomach in both good and bad ways, is the casting of Alan Ritchson, as the District One male tribute for the 75th Hunger Games, Gloss.

Just look at that man! That’s a man right there, the kind of man that gets sculpted into 10 foot tall marble statues, and envied, and drooled over by every man, woman, and child on the planet with one or two working eyeballs. And I have to say, Googling pictures of him for the last two plus days has both been a joy, and a mounting source of depression. I’ll just say it! How the hell are they going to top casting someone like Alan Ritchson as Gloss, and then go and cast someone potentially like Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair? I don’t like making any of this about looks, but it’s justifiable to cast a man with a body and a face like Ritchson’s as Gloss, because Gloss is for the most part a body and a face, but when Finnick Odair is supposed to be the most desired man in all of the country, and he’s standing in close proximity to a near perfect human specimen, like Mr. Ritchson as Gloss– the believability in Finnick’s mass appeal will go down astronomically I predict. So, yeah– I’m nervous, because all rumblings, twitterings, spewings of rumored castings that have been as heated as Mr. Claflin’s, usually turn out to be true. Just think back to the rumors about Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Jena Malone– those rumors were loud, and they weren’t just saying “they auditioned!” Nope, the words being printed were “offered the role.” and “In talks.”

A week ago I was all for Claflin, I like the guy, he’s a talented actor, and I know that he can handle the emotional performance aspects of Finnick, he can also handle the charm, the humor, and the intelligence. But, yes– when you stand him next to Mr. Ritchson, at 6 foot 2 inches tall, and reportedly almost 250 lbs– you’re not going to be staring at Claflin, who’s only about 5’11, and whose weight is unknown, but I’m going to guess he’s probably about 160 to 172 lbs. I’m baffled, I’m staring at Mr. Ritchson with his perfect teeth and abs, and then looking at Claflin and going– “I’m sorry, I don’t want to see you in a golden net tied at your hip, unless you go on a fish, chicken, and broccoli diet, start flipping a 600 lbs tire down a deserted beach, and basically become best friends with a retired Navy Seal who likes to yell at you, or y’know– in a pinch, Ryan Lochte, and Michael Phelps.” Which is not happening, because I follow the guy on Twitter, and he’s having beer and Olympic viewing nights with friends. Which brings me to the confusing information that Claflin is in South Africa right now filming a made for TV movie, and Catching Fire’s production schedule is starting this month as well. Color me totally and completely confused.

Consolation prize in all of this is seven tiny words, John C. Reilly, and Taylor Kitsch. And the non-consolation prize, why isn’t all 6 foot 5 inches, and 220 lbs of talented, intelligent, and charming Armie Hammer available?

Them There Eyes



  1. I have to admit that was my first thought when I heard about Alan. I saw him in Smallville and, even if he was surrounded by a lot of Justice League eye candy such as Tom Welling and Justin Hartley, he stood out with his very good looking phisical appearance, to put it in an hormone-controlled way. But, I have to admit, in his first appearance (in 2005) he didn’t stood out as a great actor…he improved, though, when he came back in other seasons. Either way, I think Alan can be described as “classically beautiful” in the sense that he is “swimsuit model” beautiful and Finnick should be more of a “natural beauty” (and a better actor, I hope xD) I’m sure, anyway, that Alan has improved now and what I’ll see in Gloss won’t be what I saw in 2005’s Aquaman. But, if Finnick ends up being Sam Claflin…I can see your point. But, would we want Finnick to look like a swimsuit model, exaggeratedly beautiful? Or would it be better for him to look more “effortless beautiful”, to put it in a way? That being said, it still am very nervous about who Finnick will be, now more than ever.

    1. To answer your questions, no I don’t picture Finnick as a swim suit model, but I do picture him to be one of the best looking men I have ever laid my eyes on, and unfortunately Claflin does not make that list. When you say effortless beautiful, I also don’t picture Claflin– I don’t picture almost all of the people who have even been mentioned to be supposedly up, or auditioned for the part. The margin is not wide for Finnick, they need both beauty and talent, and as much as people like to tote that Hollywood is chockablock full of that sort, they’re wrong.

  2. Oh dear, oh dear. Now that you put it like that, I’m worried too. But wouldn’t they take that into account? All the other casting has been so spot on…

    1. I hope so, god I hope so– ’cause frankly having someone like Claflin standing next to Ritchson, or even Liam Hemsworth is going to look ridiculous. And I hate saying that, because I LIKE SAM CLAFLIN.

  3. Thanks so much for posting this, since I saw Alan’s name announced I have felt nervous and unsure for an inexplicable reason, and I think you have just perfectly summed up why. I am pro-Claflin 100%, I have been trying to defend him against the mountain of hate he’s been getting. I do think Sam is gorgeous (probably not FINNICK ODAIR gorgeous, but I’m not sure I was expecting that from any actor) but putting him next to Alan is a big stretch and a move that was not particularly well-considered IMO. I guess we’ll have to wait and see but yeah, feeling a little nervous…

    1. Feeling a lot nervous here. I like Sam, been a fan of his for a few years now, and he’s an exceptionally talented bloke, but after casting Ritchson– I can’t justify casting him in the role of the most desired man in all of Panem, it’s just not believable anymore.

  4. But in the book, Gloss was also this way as well. He’s described as having “classic beauty”, and this man definitely looks like a Greek statue.

    Finnick is different. Finnick is handsome, yes. Charming, adorable, incredible eyes… He was the most handsome tribute in his games. He also was forced intro prostitution by Snow the pimp, but he wasn’t the only one. We know Cashmere was as well, so I’m assuming Gloss was too, but we don’t know about that (maybe some capitol citizens have a fetish for a trio with two brothers… eeew.)

    Finnick doesn’t need to be the most handsome, incredible man on Panem. He needs to be really handsome, though… and Sam Claflin is not fine for Finnick at the moment. Josh is already training, so whoever is Finnick should be training as well, sculpting a perfect body.

    1. I agree. Finnick is described as extremely handsome. I think the combination of his looks, his green eyes and his personality gave him his aura of “best looking guy ever.” He might not be the best looking but his natural combination of all elements makes him better and the most desired “Call Victor” in the Capitol.

    2. Agreed, greed, agreed, who ever who has been cast is likely already in incredible shape, or they’re doing suicide runs, lifting tires, and carrying around a cooler of cooked meat patties to each every 2 hours. Finnick needs to embody beauty and charm on all levels, and the physical needs to match the face, and the personality. If they don’t, it’s going to look and feel ridiculous.

  5. Ok so its looking less likely that Sam Claflin will be Finnick. If he is filming “Overdrive” right now it looks like he is tied up until atleast November. That leaves him with about a month and a half to work on Catching Fire. Its possible he can still be cast. Finnick is mostly in the Quarter Quell. They can film Finnick’s Capitol scenes in late November and still be on track for the rumored 3 weeks of Hawai’i filming that ends just before Christmas.
    Now that’s a busy schedule. I’m sure its possible, but in my opinion its highly unlikely.

    Now here come my conspiracy theory *puts tinfoil hat on head.* Taylor Kitsch will be cast as Finnick. Hey he has been denying it left and right and that’s a positive. Them There Eyes has been saying that if you talk about your interest in a part in Catching Fire your are not going to get it. What’s the best way to not be interested in a part? Deny it all day, every day.

    He has one film in Pre-Production and that’s a movie being directed with Peter “Battleship” Berg. I think its going to be pushed back while the studio evaluates the budget of this movie (and hopefully change the director). It also stars Marky Mark Wahlberg who is filming a movie right now. That leaves Taylor Kitsch with no work this fall.

    Know it Taylor Kitsch right for the part. I have no idea. I have seen two movies with him in it and he was just a minor character in each. I heard he was pretty good in John Cater and did a decent job in Battleship, or what was allowed with the awful script. Both movie may have bombed, but neither were his fault.Does he have the looks? I believe so. While Alan Ritchson (as a man its hard to put man looks into words without sounding weird) may be better looking or sculpture beautiful. Taylor to me has a different aura to him. When I look at his pictures he just seems different. He looks like someone who would lead you on and have a easy time pulling secrets from certain people.

    What he needs though is to have a breakout role in a sure fire hit. What better role would he need than to knock Finnick out of the park (and seduce a whole generation of teens like Rob Pattinson has done with Twilight).

    1. I really hope it’s not Kitsch, just for the fact that he’s denied his involvement in the franchise so vehemently, and also kind of dismissed being involved in it with almost a ere of disdain, which is disappointing considering the guy’s last three films have flopped at both the box office, and were panned by critics, whereas The Hunger Games was received more than favorably by critics, and made a record profit at the box office. I don’t want someone who’s disrespected the series involved, flat out.

  6. I’m glad someone else thought about this. Really, casting Alan Ritchson as Gloss means they will have to cast (although of course it’s already happened) someone with very strong acting ability for Finnick. Yes, Finnick has to be very good looking, but he has to sell the swagger and charm that makes women swoon. If he can do that and grab attention well enough, they won’t be looking at the other guy. After all, someone will be rendered even better looking if they have a winning personality. It happens all the time in the world of celebrities – people often think actors/singers are more attractive than supermodels who actually embody physical perfection better.

    And if I remember correctly Gloss seemed a bit dull and nonchalant, anyway.

    1. Gotta be said, I find people like Zachary Levi much more attractive than someone like Alan Ritchson– and it’s because of his personality that I feel this way. But I’m still nervous that if they cast a Claflin, or a Claflin-type, will they be able to draw the attention away from the former underwear model flaring his nostrils to his left? Time will tell and other cliches.

  7. I guess I’m a minority here, but I find Sam Claflin far more attractive than the Gloss guy. At least in the face. I haven’t seen Claflin with his shirt off, but yeah, he needs to get in the gym, get a spray tan and get a fabulous dye job to exude the godiness that is Finnick, especially with that muscleman next to him.

    1. My name is Megan B. and I approve of this message. Seriously though, I think you’ve hit it right on with my only misgivings about Claflin. I think he’s more attractive. Than Gloss. But he does need to be his A-game if he is going to LOOK more Finnick-esque.

      1. I’m glad I’m not the only one! I think he could work. But at this point, a confirmed announcement would make me feel elated and I’d only after the fact evaluate who they cast.

        I have faith in Lawrence. I just have this feeling that he GETS it, and that the rest of the casting has been so good, they know Finnick has to be incredible. The kind of actor who, even if there are naysayers originally (think our Jenn as Katniss and Anne Hathaway as Catwoman) gives a performance so compelling, so real, and embodies the character so well that everyone will have to eat crow.

    2. Sam’s attractive, don’t get me wrong– had a crush on him for a couple of years now, and I’ve seen pretty much all his work except one or two things. But, I really don’t think that casting him as Finnick is the way to go now, I don’t even really think any of the fan-castings that have been circulating are right now.

      Lemme just say this– I’d rather hang out with Sam than Alan anyway, even though both are very taken. One’s married, the other is reportedly engaged.

  8. Well, maybe they are going in a completely different direction with Finnick. If you think about it honestly it is not essential for his story that he be unbelievably handsome — he just has to be sufficiently good looking in Capitol style makeup to appeal to that crowd. If they play up the Finnick-as-Capitol-victim side of the story, it could make the body parts less important. But if they go that route they are going to have to show more of Finnick and Annie’s story than is actually in CF and MJ and whoever plays Finnick (are we sure about Claflin?) will have to have the acting chops to really pull off a few major tear-jerker/shocker scenes. I’m not sure I’m all that excited about Claflin either way.

    1. Sam has the acting chops, I know this without a doubt, but now… now that they’d cast a bevy of extremely above average looking people, Sam’s starting to look kind of well, milk-toast. Finnick is not supposed to be milk-toast. And you say that maybe with Capitol make-up him or someone like him can be made more Finnick– think on this, Finnick wasn’t made a favorite just because of how he looked in the Capitol, it was how he was in the Games… he did not have a stylist in the Games.

  9. I know this puts me in the minority, but I wanted to make out with Sam Claflin the first time I saw him. Okay, I take it back… More than that. I DON’T feel that way about Alan. Something about the squinty eyes/ “All-American” good looks irritates me and I don’t find him that attractive. Great body, to be sure, but… Not more than that. Sam Claflin exudes a certain charm that stereotypically attractive guys (including most of the guys people are screaming about for Finnick in my opinion) lack that. They may act, and they may be pretty, but they don’t have a strong sense of charm to me. I mean, ideally, it would be Armie. He’s too handsome and charming to NOT want him to play Finnick. But if he’s not available, I think Sam would be perfect. Yes, Finnick was described as Adonis-like. But given his personality as it comes out in the books, I think of him as someone with a lot of charisma that comes from more than his good looks.

    1. SO TRUE about Alan’s looks. Apparently guys who look like him drive most women wild, whereas all I think is “blech” and “boring” (and also “WARNING: PLAYER ALERT – DO NOT TRUST”). I’d rather have an interesting face like Claflin’s, even though he’s not what I’d call traditionally handsome.

      True about the lack of charm, too. I feel like so many of those Adonis-type guys rely on their looks when they try to play a character. Again I say, “blech.”

    2. I don’t mean to bring up personal facts but, Alan Ritchson is married, I know he looks like a player– but he’s not.

      I like Sam… do not get me wrong, but compared to the recently revealed cast, including Alan– Sam does not match-up, and is starting to look very average looking, which is not Finnick like by any stretch of the imagination. It wasn’t Finnick’s personality that got him praised in the Capitol, it was his looks, and his prowess.

  10. Would some refresh my memory: Did Armie Hammer have a scheduling conflict and could not do Catching fire or was there just no interest on his part?

  11. I think this article brings up a valid point and I have been thinking about it. I’m going to go out on a limb here and may be totally off base but I’m going to call it and hopefully say I beleive they will announce they cast Armie Hammer and they are saving it for last. Unless he has a scheduling conflict ( I must admit I’m not up on that). I read somewhere his agent was advising him not to take the role and he had little interest. I also read the director wanted him badly for the part. As Woody Harrelson put it “He would have been an idiot to not be part of the hunger games” Who would turn down The Hunger Games. What agent would tell their client to turn down a movie like the Hunger games. Makes no sense to me. As I said I could be totally wrong. I am one who believes he would be perfect

    1. Armie is currently still filming The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp, he is also lined up to film Cut Bank this fall with Michael Sheen, and John Malkovich. In the new year he’s also slated to film By Virtue Fall with Bradley Cooper. Yes, there are major scheduling conflicts, I have also been in touch with his wife and she has stated as much that scheduling in the biggest issue with taking or being interested in the role of Finnick.

      The report you’re thinking of came from a gossip site, Lainey Gossip, who also favors Garrett Hedlund in the role of Finnick. Unsubstantiated reports from her said that Lawrence’s 1st choice was Armie, but that Armie didn’t react favorably to this. I find this odd, because Armie knew about the role, and that many many many people want and/or wanted him to take it, well before Lawrence was made director. And you’re right, just like Woody Harrelson said, he’d be an idiot to turn down The Hunger Games. However, he’d only be an idiot if he didn’t think about the people he’d be working with, which is why he takes most roles. If he’s turned down the opportunity, the only reasons why he would is prior obligations… which he has.

  12. The more of these interesting posts I read, the more I think that they might be smart to go with Jesse Williams. He is alluring in a very different way from Ritchson; I always loved Jesse’s amazing green-blue eyes and he certainly is stacked. Also he has a look that could be smoothed out to be very, very Capitol. And with all those years of Grey’s Anatomy work behind him, he is as experienced an actor as you could want.

      1. I like Jesse Williams a lot. He isn’t my image of Finnick, but I wouldn’t riot if he were cast. I just don’t know how if I could get past his Jackson Avery character. Maybe if he grew his hair out and dyed it Finnick bronze? Maybe with more muscles? I just don’t know if I could forget Jackson, a great character in his own right, and see only Finnick.

  13. They should just time travel to December, grab Armie before another project like The Lone Ranger snatches him up, bring him to the present day and force him and Lionsgate to sign a three movie contract. Problem sorted! We just need Marty McFly’s car.

      1. I stand corrected, but yeah, at least in the Tardis we won’t need to hit 88 miles per hour, we just need an eccentric doctor!

    1. Granted that will solve the problem,how about for the next two film after catching fire, Finnick standing side by side with Gale? I don’t think Sam will have a chance giving justice with the line, “we just saw soldier odair in his underwear.”

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