In our earlier trailer reaction post, we didn’t touch on the first (non-paparazzi) glimpse at Cressida in all her green-vine tattooed glory. It was only a quick shot while in the hospital in 8, but the trailer did give us a hint at what to expect from this character.
Outside of Julianne Moore, casting Natalie Dormer as Cressida was Mockingjay’s only widely-known addition to the cast. And it was a smart move. While primarily known for her TV roles on Game of Thrones, Elementary, and The Tudors, the woman has a very strong fan following. Casting Dormer motivated me, at least, to pay more attention to this character.
In Mockingjay, Cressida is a Capitol rebel without much of a backstory. Maybe that’s why I never really paid much attention to her. But I’ve just finished another re-reading of Mockingjay, and there’s a lot for an actress like Dormer to work with. Cressida’s smart and committed to her work (she’ll go after the perfect shot even if it’s dangerous). She’s got the emotional intelligence to manage the competing ideas of Fulvia Cardew, while getting HER OWN project completed. And she sticks her neck out for Katniss more than a few times. So that gives her major points with me.
No casting of Fulvia was ever announced, so my hunch is that they gave Cressida a bit of a promotion, making her more of Plutarch’s right hand. But I also see some of Fulvia’s lines (see above) being given to Plutarch and Cressida having to work around that.
Going back to those few seconds in the trailer, you immediately notice Cressida’s hair and tattoos. The style gives her that nice mix of badass and sexy, which Dormer knows how to play so well. The concern playing on her face, as she presumably is watching Katniss walk through the hospital, clues you in that she’s a sympathetic character. Though I have to admit, even with the partially shaved head and tattoos, she looks a little more “normal” than I thought. Granted, she’s in the field, and while living in District 13, looking strongly “Capitol” would be discouraged. I imagine when she’s amongst the other residents of District 13 she stands out too much for their taste, but it’s not quite as strikingly Capitol as I had imagined.
Or maybe that’s the point. We don’t know much of anything about her life before District 13, but as a rebel from the Capitol, we know that there must be elements of that culture, that world, that she does not embrace. She probably never dressed or made herself up in the hyper-Capitol style of Effie. Maybe she did just enough to fit in, while trying to find a way out.
I’m happy I finally started paying attention.