That time again folks, yes, the time in which there’s nothing to report on having to do with our dear, beloved, wonderful, fantastic (how many more adjectives can I slip in here?), stupendous, shiny, franchise. And that means one thing for little ol’ me– fan-casting. I think I’ve said it before, but I’m never going to stop fan-casting this franchise, and truth be told, I’ll probably continue to fan-cast the series until they do a remake in about 15 to 20 years. In that case, I’ll say it now, Jake Gyllenhaal would be a fantastic Haymitch or Boggs in about 15 to 20 years, ’cause I don’t see that man losing his acting chops, or his ability to look good in a uniform for about 50 more years. Therefore, that inevitable zombie apocalypse better not happen. You hear me super germs? Gyllenhaal has to play one of those two roles in the remakes, throw in Maggie for good measure as well, she’d make an awesome President Coin! In reality though, or at least the portions of my mind that come up with all of this magic, there are only a few actors who are eligible to portray the remaining cast in this current go at The Hunger Games.
Role call of who is left to be cast! Captain (he doesn’t have a first name, because Suzanne Collins likes to leave that up to actors 80% of the time, apparently), Boggs, President Alma Coin, Annie Cresta, Fulvia Cardew, Doctor Aurelius, Tigris, Cressida, Leeg 1, and Leeg 2, Lyme, Pollux, and Castor. I know with all my intellectual capacity that when these roles are cast officially, that they’ll likely surpass our expectations, but until then we speculate, or I speculate–over, and over again. When I started this practice though, things we’re a bit different, i.e. the cast figurehead is now an Academy Award winner, and then there’s the whole Phillip Seymour Hoffman thing. All that tied up neat with a little bow is a pretty package, but who’s going to fill the gun hand of Captain Boggs, who’s going to fill the severe bob of President Coin, whose plump cheeks tattooed with silver vines will sit, and smirk in a judgmental manner at Katniss Everdeen all whilst in character as Fulvia Cardew? I have no clue, but man do I like to imagine some amazing people in those roles.
I’ve been thinking about putting this actors name into the hat for years, but I’ve kind of liked keeping it to myself, sort of as a little mental treat. His name is Michael Cudlitz, and he’s one of the stars of one of the best dramas on TV (at least in my opinion), Southland. I’ve watched his work for years, and I don’t just mean on Southland, I mean going back all the way to Band Of Brothers, or the first time I saw him– Six Feet Under. Don’t mind me though, I have a mind that picks up on people who were in one episode of a long time favorite series, see them 15 years later on something I watch regularly now, and end up flailing on the couch going “I know them, I know them!” However with Michael Cudlitz I was more than pleased to see him pop up on series’ like Nip/Tuck, Prison Break, and might I add that his performance on Prison Break was something I still think about today, and it happened over 5 years ago! He’s also had guest spots on Lost, Bones, and now finally he’s one of the stars of Southland. Southland has afforded him ample material for him to metaphorically sink his teeth into. About Cudlitz’s character, he’s a veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, a beat-cop who is content to remain a beat-cop until he retires. His character is layered, like one of those insane bean dips I’ve only ever heard about, or if you prefer– deep dish pizza. Maybe I should tell you his name while I’m at it, Officer John Cooper, I don’t even know where to start with this guy: For one, he’s a recovering addict (pain killers), he’s a training officer, or was– so he’s had to be an authority figure to those outside the squad car, and the poor sod sitting next to him in the squad car, he can be a massive dick, or basically the epitome of a-typical masculinity, and then turn a corner and be the most gentle soul since Babe all whilst consoling, or engaging an injured woman stuck under a tour bus, or a mentally impaired lady confused about where her husband has gone off to, oh, and he’s a closeted gay man. Everything Michael Cudlitz has had to do as Cooper, is like Jennifer Lawrence’s extended audition tape, aka Winter’s Bone. John Cooper isn’t Boggs though, much like how Ree Dolly isn’t Katniss Everdeen, but aspects of their character arcs, and personalities can be seen in Jennifer’s portrayal of Katniss, or for Cudlitz, be seen in his potential portrayal of Boggs. Physically Cudlitz is what Suzanne Collins described, tall, impeccable posture, blue eyes, middle-aged. People who have read the series have later tacked on that they imagined Boggs to be muscular as well, which I tend to agree with, luckily Cudlitz foots the bill in that manner. However, then there’s the matter of availability, which is frankly getting ahead of ourselves– fortunately I know that Southland just wrapped its 5th season, so he’s wide open until the next, or until he takes a role in something else during the hiatus.
There we go! Michael Cudlitz, number 8, or something, of over 100 people on my list for Boggs. It’s going be a long few months, prepare yourselves.