Chaff

What About Haymitch?

It’s come to my attention over time that some characters in The Hunger Games trilogy Haymitch-haymitch-abernathy-28166477-1024-768just don’t get as much attention, and face it, as much love as the rest of them. Sure, Peeta’s got the whole artist with a heart of gold thing going on, and Finnick is the heartthrob with the sensitive streak a mile long, and Katniss is the Mockingjay and the heroine, but what about the trilogies resident surly drunk Haymitch Abernathy? Doesn’t he deserve some intense love, and scrutiny just like the three mentioned above? Well, I sure as hell think he does!

Where to begin with Haymitch though? Yeah, he’s a surly drunk, and an all around ass-hat half the time, but he serves a purpose, and he’s far from lacking in the brains department. However, sometimes I feel like the characterization of him as simply the drunk detracts from the reasons why he’s been plying himself with alcohol for the better part of his life. Haymitch is a victor, hard to wrap your brain around the image of him winning anything when he’s alcohol soaked likely 90% of the time, vomiting on himself, vomiting in public, and being showered off, whilst fully clothed, by a teenage boy he’s just met. Wow, the-teenage-boy-he-just-met bit makes it sound kind of pervy, doesn’t it? But that’s the thing, so much of Haymitch is just… strange, and unexplained.

What we know about him is this: Haymitch won The Hunger Games when he was 16 years-old, and he didn’t win by accident, he won by cunning, drive, fortitude, physical strength, and agility. And then there’s that The Capitol likely systematically killed off everyone in his family, including his girlfriend after he won said games. He has very few friends, but he is friends with Chaff a victor from District 11. Me thinks that Chaff and his brand of friendship is likely drinking though, lots of drinking, like black-out-drinking-I-don’t-know-my-name-anymore drinking. Sadly, this drinking

Haymitch in Catching Fire

Haymitch in Catching Fire

buddy theory has also prompted other theories that Chaff and Haymitch were also fuck-buddies. Me, I–I’d rather not go there. Also, he’s unmarried, and apparently has no children, ’cause you know– you don’t have to be married to have children. He’s a slob, but that should already have been figured out from the whole vomiting-on-self-problem. Wow, this guy is just a mess, how is he still breathing by the time Katniss and Peeta are unceremoniously dumped in his lap?

So, that’s what we know, or what we think we know. Here’s what we think, or many of us think, aside from the people who believe Haymitch and Chaff are sometimes sex partners: He’s got a raging case of PTSD, which is untreated, undiagnosed, and therefore the effects of being in The Hunger Games are just as fresh as they were when he was 16 years old. Also, he’s quite literally destroying him self from the inside out, because he self medicates with copious amounts of alcohol, i.e. he’s not a drunk by the sheer luck of a horrible genetic proclivity for addiction. Although all bets are off if Suzanne Collins comes out with a prequel about Haymitch, and it turns out his family has a history of substance abuse. He isolates himself on purpose, because The Capitol kills anyone who seems to get close to him emotionally His sense of humor is another way in which he isolates himself, because it’s cutting, dry, and more often than not his jokes and/or quips are at another persons expense. What else can I say about Haymitch, other than that he sometimes gets the best lines in all three of the novels? Oh, I know! That Gary Ross’ directional choices vastly changed the layman’s view of Haymitch thanks to him taking most of his knock-out-drunk behavior out of The Hunger Games film?

Let’s all hope, and pray that the Haymitch of the novels shows up a bit, or a lot more in Francis Lawrence’s renditions of the rest of the series, am I right– or amiright?

Them There Eyes

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One Handed

Another day of not has passed us by, which of course means no casting news from The Powers That Be, and yep… we’re still hearing those crickets. They’re rather deafening at this point considering it’s been an agonizing one week and three days since Ms. Jena Malone was finally confirmed as our dear, feisty, ax wielding Johanna Mason. Oh well, we have got some semi firm news on extra casting-calls going on down in the Atlanta, Georgia metro area, as well as news that Henry Mill Village, as well as the site used for the original District 12 Reaping Scene will be recreated, and rebuilt in the Atlanta area. I wholly see the logic in this, the series has a much higher profile now, and being able to keep the sets as secure as possible from gawkers, and paparazzi seems like something that would be a top priority for Lionsgate. Also, ahem— apparently it’s cheaper to shoot in Georgia than it is to shoot in North Carolina. Other tid-bits to over analyze, is the almost news is that a crew is supposedly in the state of Hawaii shooting exterior shots sans any cast members. My take, and I’m sure others have come to the same conclusion, that if they were truly starting principal photography in Hawaii right now, we’d be grudgingly seeing paparazzi shots of Jennifer Lawrence eating her lunch in Hawaii, and some of us don’t want to see that. So, if they are in fact shooting exteriors in Hawaii right now, cool.

But alas, still nothing real to report, so what’s a girl to do when there’s nothing to over analyze to within an inch of its poor not-quite-a-life? Fantasy cast, bitches! And, wait– I don’t mean cast bitches, I mean just, oh whatever. I’m really used to doing this, and it should come as no surprise that I pretty much fantasy cast everything, hell– I’ve fantasy cast The Thorn Birds pretty much every five years, because I think they need to make a new film adaptation of that book like you wouldn’t believe. Saturday I said I’d try my hand at more articles about Boggs, but I also mentioned Coin, and I’ll get to both eventually– perhaps a little today, but right now I think I’d rather focus on a character who has probably already been cast, but we haven’t heard a damn thing about yet, Chaff. We’ll eventually know who the hell is playing this mischievous wretch, but for now let’s go with what we know, and by what we know, I mean we know that gauging from who they’ve already cast, whomever is deemed worthy enough to play the man is going to be just another person who will make us say “perfect cast is perfect.”

So, Chaff–here’s what we know about him for sure:

  • He won the 45th Games.
  • He’s from District 11.
  • We don’t know exactly how old he is, but we do know he’s in his 40s.
  • He’s chummy with Haymitch, which has made some people speculate that they were more than chums as one time or another (to each their own).
  • He’s tall.
  • He’s missing one hand, and he seemingly refused the Capitol’s urging to have a state of the art prosthetic hand made to replace the one he is missing.
  • He’s black.

Wasn’t that fun? Okay, fine— probably not. Let’s get this started, beginning with who gets

See, told ya’ people really want him in this role.

fantasy cast the most, or at least whose name I see when I do a handy Google search for Chaff–  Idris Elba. Well, not only does Idris Elba have a kick-ass name, but he’s got a kick-ass dossier. Most recently people probably saw him in Prometheus, but the more rounded of us probably first saw him in 28 Weeks Later or better yet, The Wire on HBO. The man’s British, but he’s made a few pennies playing North Americans, he also just this year won a Golden Globe Award for his work on the BBC crime drama series Luther, which puts him on the same level of prestige as Jennifer Lawrence – with her Oscar nomination, as well as Woody Harrelson – with his two Oscar nominations. Elba’s kind of perfect for a role like Chaff, he’s made a living at playing somewhat damaged, but intelligent souls, he’s above average in height at 6’2+, he’s 39– but actually looks a bit older, and he’s not opposed to taking small supporting roles in big budget films. Which, brings me to the sad fact that he’s currently filming Thor 2, where he’s reprising the role of Heimdall the Gate Keeper, so unless that project finishes out within the next month or so, Elba’s not going to nab the role of Chaff. Or maybe he already has! Wishful thinking, guys– wishful thinking.

Next up is another fine man who is also going to fall into the Wishful Thinking Category, actually, I think everyone I’m going to name is going in that box, unfortunately. Denzel Washington, he’s quite possibly the most recognizable, and successful black actor known for not doing sequels, in the entire world. I really like the idea of Denzel in this role for many reasons, but one of them is that the man hasn’t had a hit film in years, in fact he hasn’t had a hit since American Gangster in 2007, he also hasn’t been nominated or won a prestigious award since 2001 when he won Best Actor at the Oscar’s for Training Day. Aside from his career foibles of late, he’s still a force to be reckoned with, and I personally think that taking a supporting role where his acting abilities will be used, rather than just his name to get people into theater seats, would do good for his career, it would also put Catching Fire on a whole other level by having not one, but two Oscar-winning actors in the cast. One thing though, Denzel’s 57 years old, but if they cast him– which seems very unlikely, they could always attribute him looking slightly older than his years, by playing up the psychological affects of winning the games.

Come on down Mr. Jamie Foxx! I just keep naming Oscar winners, I’m sorry– I can’t help it, Philip Seymour Hoffman being cast has made me think they’ll go for the cream of the crop, and not the day players from network TV! Foxx, of course won an Oscar back in 2004 for Ray, where he played Ray Charles the beloved rock and roll pianist, who was also blind. I never saw Ray personally, but I have seen Foxx in Collateral, which was a pretty much just a two-man show with him and Tom Cruise in a taxi cab. Foxx was the taxi driver, Cruise was the hit-man who gets into Foxx’s cab, proceeds to threaten him into driving him around all night while he goes around doing, well– his job. After Collateral Foxx’s career blew up with Ray, and Jarhead, which I saw, and then Dreamgirls which I didn’t, and then he was The Soloist opposite Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr. Foxx could hopefully never be seen as a poor choice for the role of Chaff, he’s proven his acting chops, he’s the right age at 44, true he’s only 5’10, but sadly right now his IMDb page list three other projects in pre-production, so– he’s a wishful just like Elba and Washington.

Last but not least, in this sinking ship of hopes and dreams, is Don Cheadle. Ah ha, another Oscar nominee! Idris Elba is starting to look like small potatoes now, huh? Anyway, Cheadle’s one of those character actors who not afraid of making himself look ridiculous, as evidenced by the hilarious Funny or Die sketches he’s done, but he’s also not afraid of taking supporting roles even after being nominated for Best Actor for Hotel Rwanda back in 2005, which brings the waxing philosophic to a close on Cheadle, because he’s currently filming Iron Man 3! Why must all my hopes and dreams for this role be already taken by other roles?

Well, that’s that folks– whoever gets it is going to get to kiss Jennifer Lawrence, so let’s all hope (and those of us who pray), pray that they have good oral hygiene, y’know– for Jennifer’s sake.

Them There Eyes