Cressida Questions

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.

Cressida TeaserGoing 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.




  1. I was delighted to see Cressida’s vine tattoos since the early still of her left them out, I guess they may have been CGI’d in later. Anyway, I have been quite satisfied with Dormer’s acting in other work such as GOT; at first her take on Margaery seemed a little too close to her Anne Boleyn but she seems to have really put her own stamp on the character now.

    I especially like her take on Marg as ambitious and really wanting to rule, but also sincerely caring about the “smallfolk” and her pointing out that there’s no reason why she can’t be both. It seems both in RL and lit-crit analysis, people often try to simplify motivations into either “good person doing everything for altruistic reasons” or “bad person doing everything for evil or at least selfish reasons” when the truth is, most people are capable of both good and evil actions and have both selfless and selfish reasons for their actions.

    Now, we may not get as much of Cressida’s backstory in the movie itself but I’m sure Dormer has created a good one for her and the idea that she was never totally into “Capitol Couture” certainly makes sense. (I’m also sure SC named her for the mythical Cressida who was the lover of Troilus, a Trojan prince, but dumped him for a Greek guy once the Greeks won the Trojan war, but Cressida in the books seems quite sincere, not opportunistic like her mythical namesake.)

    Also, I’m not at all surprised that Fulvia was cut out; she was mostly comic relief in the books and since Effie will be in D13 in the movies, I think she may wind up picking up some of Fulvia’s comic role. Movie!Plutarch really is a more serious character than he was in the book, as well. So him NOT having a plump, pink-haired assistant makes sense.

  2. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Cressida was a field reporter when working for the Capitol. Remember that despite the severe disconnect between the Capitol and the districts, they still do send reporters out, be it for anything Games-related, possibly some big event, or just plain propaganda to that A) the districts are happy and/or B) the Capitol is just that much better than them.
    In any case, being out in the field would continuously expose her to the harsh reality of what goes on around her. Why many of the reporters would likely insulate themselves from the injustice, she saw it for what it was.
    Knowing what happened to Pollux would also be a likely factor.

  3. I am really excited to see Natalie Dormer in this role. It’s been something I have been looking forward to since they announced her as the character. I think she adds a certain edge to Cressida, and I hope we can see that in the movie. As we get closer to November, and as more teasers and trailers come out I get more and more excited for this movie. I think it’s going to blow the lid off of the first movie, and just continue to expand on the second one.

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