Campaigning for Coin: Alex Kingston

Welcome back to another edition of Campaigning for Coin! Today, we’re discussing an actress best known for her roles on ER and Doctor Who, two very different but very popular television shows. Everyone gather around to hear the fansites’ thoughts on Alex Kingston!

Alex Kingston

Alex Kingston

Rebekah (Them There Eyes): I’ll be honest, I’m a long time fan of Alex Kingston, starting with her work on the long running, critically acclaimed, award winning, and fan loved NBC series ER. She’ll always be the fish out of water Doctor Elizabeth Corday to me, which I think is a good way to think of Alex. Elizabeth allowed Alex as an actress to explore a multitude of feelings, and experiences to act out over the course of that characters 12 year run. Aside from her work on ER though, Alex has played a gamut of other characters, most famously she’s Doctor River Song on Doctor Who, where she’s really kind of a source of comic relief seemingly majority of the time. And then there’s her work on series’ like Upstairs Downstairs, and the CW’s Arrow. She’s definitely proven her self capable of embodying different kinds of women, therefore I say I wouldn’t kick up a fuss if she was cast as Coin. Her being cast might even bring in a whole slew of different kinds of audience members, because Alex is known from such a diverse collection of projects. She’d bring in the ER crowd, and the younger crowd from the Doctor Who side of things, and the PBS/BBC loving lot from being known for Upstairs Downstairs. Alex Kingston, I simply can’t find fault with this idea. Who’s next?

Savanna from Hunger Games Fireside Chat: I am a Doctor Who fanatic. And as such, I’d hate for my view of River Song to become tainted by seeing Alex Kingston play Alma Coin. However, setting my selfishness aside for a moment, I actually think that Kingston could potentially be a great choice. While her identity as a person is — unfortunately — closely linked to River for me and many others, Kingston is quite adept at slipping into her roles so well that you lose yourself in the character and the story. So with a different hairstyle and an American accent, I doubt Whovians would have trouble seeing Kingston as Coin and not River. I haven’t seen ER, so I can’t speak for her performance there, but Kingston was an absolutely phenomenal Mrs. Bennet in the miniseries Lost in Austen. While having nothing in common with Coin on the surface, if you’re familiar with Pride and Prejudice, then you know just how manipulative and scheming Mrs. Bennet can be. True, she’s simply a small-town meddler and not a political schemer, but after seeing Kingston so brilliantly portray this “ball-breaking” matriarch hell-bent on securing good marriages for her daughters, I would love to see her interpretation of Coin.

Doctor Who

Doctor Who

Colleen from HG Girl on Fire: In my mind, Alma Coin is cold & manipulative, but she had to have some quality to make everyone trust her. I can easily see Alex Kingston taking on that role. She’s just so versatile. Most people probably know her as a doctor on ER or as the charming (yet not completely trustworthy at times) River Song on Doctor Who. When I saw Kingston’s name on the list of possibilities for Coin, I thought of her role as Boudica in Warrior Queen. She rallies her people to rebel against the Roman Empire and goes down fighting. She’s believable as a leader, and it’s this role I first thought of that made me think she would be a good choice for Coin. But it’s her Doctor Who role that clinched it for me. She plays River Song with an air of authority, but with her own secrets & agenda. She’s all but mastered the ‘I can be your best friend or you worst enemy’ look, and, to me, that is the essence of Alma Coin. And I think the British accent would totally work for Coin.



Kelsey from My Hunger Games: Being a massive “Whovian”, I will forever and always see Alex Kingston as the lovable, sassy and adventurous Professor River Song. So upon first seeing her name among the list of actresses “Campaigning for Coin”, my initial reaction was to object. However, since I am a huge fan of Alex’s, she was worth looking into a bit more. That’s when I realized how amazing of an actress Kingston really is. Looking at her as Dr. Corday in ER, Mrs. Bennet in Lost in Austen all the way to Boudica in Warrior Queen and Dinah in Arrow. Every one of her characters is so different, yet Alex is able to bring them to life so vividly. That alone it is a huge testament to her ability. At this point, Kingston isn’t a household name – and that could definitely work in her favor. The fact that she isn’t incredibly well known could make her an easier choice for Lionsgate, considering their budget. But the fact that she is a very well rounded actress bodes well for the fans. I think she can easily bring Coin to life like she has with so many others!

Courtney & Tiffany from Welcome to District 12: We LOVE Alex Kingston! We are both crazy huge Doctor Who fans, and if there’s a character we love almost as much as The Doctor, it’s River Song. Of course this isn’t the only reason that we are in love with the idea of Kingston as Coin. We’ve seen the duality of her acting solely through the show, and her resume speaks for itself as well. We aren’t worried about her capabilities as an actor to handle Coin in the slightest. She would also be a perfect Coin candidate for the “lesser known actor” option.



  1. No, no, NO! River Song CANNOT be Alma Coin. Totally wrong in mannerisms, appearance, persona. Just no!

    OK I do accept that being a great arector can transcend a totally wrong appearance (I’ll be honest, I didn’t like the casting of Jennifer L till I saw the movie, and completely reversed my opinion) but despite Alex’s huge ability I can’t see her pulling this one off. Tilda S for me!

    1. But ‘mannerisms’ and ‘persona’ are CHARACTER traits. River Song is a character, and far from the only one Kingston has played. I’m not sure why you’re suggesting that an ACTOR is unable to alter their mannerisms and persona to suit a new character. I mean..that’s essentially the definition of what an actor does. As for her ‘look’, well, I don’t really remember any descriptions of Coin in the books that suggest that Kingston doesn’t have the right ‘look’. Especially since so much about one’s look can be easily altered. I mean, it’s cool to not want her to play the role- especially since you’ve obviously fancast Swinton already for yourself- but at least cite some kind of legitimate reason WHY you don’t like her in the role. Even just saying ‘I just can’t see her playing the part’ is more legitimate than the reasons you gave.

  2. God, I am SO on board with this. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I would love to see a legendary actress like Tilda Swinton tackle this role, but I’m also obsessed with the idea of someone bringing something unexpected to Coin, and maybe even slightly altering the general perception of her. And Alex Kingston is perfect for that. Most of her characters are not saints, but they tend to be more positive figures, so she could definitely mess with the audience’s head in that first ambigious period where we really don’t know where Coin stands. (Unless someone thinks that being Lord Voldemort’s ex-wife is a real indicator…)

    So yeah, I’m not sure it would happen, but I certainly approve. 😉

  3. Interesting choice, but not someone I can easily see in the role. I’ve only seen her in Moll Flanders and Dr Who (and Flashforward, but that was a small role and not very fleshed out character so I’m counting it), and in both of these she brilliantly played the female versions of the “lovable rogue” type of character, who’s tough and manipulative but in a sexy and funny way, so I just can’t imagine her as a dry, humorless character like Coin. (And before someone says that she had to be charming to win over the people in District 13: I don’t think that the people in District 13 go for “charming”, I think it’s a culture where people only want their leaders to be strong, efficient and authoritative, not to act like everyone’s best buddy.)

    Granted, I guess she could transform herself; she would have to change her accent (it would be completely ridiculous if Coin randomly started talking in a British accent in the midst of District 13 – like a parody calling attention to Hollywood’s habit of casting British actors as villains) and her hairstyle into straight, tidy grey hair. Before someone says that looks aren’t important: they are in some cases (or else Lionsgate wouldn’t have changed Jen’s, Josh’s, Liam’s and Sam’s hair colors) and Coin’s look with its greyness and tidiness visually represents her character and the District 13 highly ordered and dull way of life.

    So, yes, she may be able to transform herself into Coin, but she’s far from being one of the obvious choices.

  4. I agree with timetravellingbunny. I’ve only seen her play Dr. River Song, and while she did an excellent job, she does exude humor whereas Coin seems rather humorless. Also, she would definitely need to work on the accent – it would be very strange and would take me out of the story if all of a sudden a woman who’s spent her life in an isolated compound all of a sudden has a British accent. I wouldn’t be disappointed if she was cast, but she’s definitely not my top pick.

    I always imagined Jessica Walter (think early Arrested Development/Archer). But I also think Jodi Foster would be perfect for this – any plans to include her in this series?

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