Fan-casting

It’s All In The Accent

I should be writing about how Jennifer Lawrence has lost at the two most recent awards shows she’s attended, and how awful that is, and “poor Jen!”– but I’m not going to, because sometimes it’s not all about Jennifer Lawrence. Yes, even though it’s pretty much been scientifically proven that she is in fact awesome. Nope, today I’m going to wax philosophic over how much I am in hard like with IMDb, and all the amazing little nuggets of information it gives forth when I am quite honestly strapped for article ideas, ’cause there are only so many pieces that can be written about how awesome Jen is. Which she is, we’ve covered that, Jeez!

the_hunger_games__mockingjay_part_1__fan_art__by_phoenixpx-d6ul9fzToday I was perusing my crush object, AKA IMDb.com, reading through The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1’s full cast and crew list, because sometimes as proven in the past, there are nuggets of hidden information hiding in those lines of tiny, text. Like that time I found that Ripper had been cast and was for real in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, you’ll remember her, she was the woman Katniss helped during the raid aftermath at The Hob. However, this time around I spent an exorbitant amount of time looking at the technical and behind the scenes listings, searching out costumers names, and stunt people’s past and current projects, and then I found the name Francie Brown, and the annotation, “dialect coach: Mr. Cusack”. Now, I only know of one Mr. Cusack in the film business, I’m sure there are others, but most likely those Mr. Cusacks don’t require the employ of a dialect coach. So, if you’re on the same page as me, and I don’t mean webpage, I mean thought process, this particular Mr. Cusack is none other than John Cusack of Say Anything, Grosse Pointe Blank, Being John Malkovich, Serendipity (don’t lie, you saw it too!), High Fidelity, Anastasia, and about a million other known and semi known films– fame. I think I might be a little bit psychic, guys. Or, I don’t know what the hell is going on, but sometimes I have casting ideas that either do come true in full, or only in part. For instance I picked out Julianne Moore for Coin over 6 months before she was cast, I also secretly thought of Sam Claflin for Finnick a year before he was cast, I also thought that Stanley Tucci would have been a great President Snow way before he was cast in the role of Caesar Flickerman. Kind of glad he got Flickerman, actually.

Which brings me to Cusack being a rumored cast member, because I of course scrolled up on the page and saw that he was listed– but the pesky “rumored” annotation was there. Face it, if they’re hiring out a dialect coach for him though, and the said dialect coach is listed in the credits– I’m pretty damn sure he’s not a rumored cast member, but that he is one. And before anyone points out to me that anyone with an IMDb-pro account, can alter an IMDb page’s listings, the information that is more often than not altered, added, and retracted, is usually done by day-players trying to pad their resumes, not reputable dialect coaches who have been the coach to shocked_faceChristian Bale multiple times on multiple projects (like, all the Batman movies!)– she’s the real deal naysayers of the world. Almost a year ago in February I wrote this, an article fan-casting John and Joan Cusack in the roles of Boggs and Coin. Yep, so that didn’t happen, the casting of those specific actors in those specific roles that is, but John Cusack has magically shown up in the cast list for one of the Mockingjay films– and I’m just going to take that as a sign from the giant unicorn I worship, that something amazing is going on down at the casting offices for this film franchise.

Cusack is a boon– people, not quite as starry-eyed-amazing-and-shiny-fantastic as getting Hoffman, and Moore, but he comes with clout, and chops, and intelligence, and years, and years, and years of experience. There’s no information on what role he’s allegedly taken on, but judging from the whole dialect coach thing, I’m going to make an educated stab in the dark here, and say he’s playing someone from the Capitol– the only place in Panem with any discernible accent. However, if I had my way he’d be playing Doctor Aurelius, but unfortunately Aurelius is from District 13– an area of Panem that according to canon, has no noticeable accent. Cusack is a Name however, meaning his reputation precedes him, therefore I’ll posit that the role he’s allegedly taken is not a one liner– and that he’s going to pleasantly surprise us.

Let us wait and see! Until then, please check out The Paperboy— it’s one of those films that Cusack did that’s little known, but was seriously, seriously amazing in, Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman, and Zac Efron are in it as well. It’s a veritable feast for the senses, no lie.

Them There Eyes

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Campaigning for Coin: Helen Mirren

We’re back with one last edition of Campaigning for Coin, this one based off a “fan favorite” pick! Your suggestions were tallied up and the winner, by far, was Dame Helen Mirren!

I call this one “In which I get a bunch of somewhat angry rebuttals”! Come at me, bro!

Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren

Kait (The Girl With The Pearl): Helen Mirren is an extraordinary talent. There’s no doubt about it! But there’s one thing that she’s not… and that’s Alma Coin. Despite her talent, Mirren is significantly older than the middle-aged character described in the books at age 68. There are plenty of incidents in which we can put character vs. actor age aside, but this just isn’t one of them. She’s really great at playing hard-edged authority figures, so she gets suggested for all the roles of this nature and after a while, it feels like typecasting. And while she has a voice that commands authority, she has the type of on-screen presence that would likely make the audience guess that Coin’s intentions aren’t purely helpful and ruin the fun of the ambiguous character arc. We’re not dissing the Dame! We love her! Just not for this role.

Molly from Panem Propaganda: Helen Mirren has been bandied about all over this fandom as a top pick for President Coin. I didn’t have her in my mind as I was reading Mockingjay, and I have to admit that Jodie Foster is my One True Love for Coin. But ever since I saw the amazing “Mirren as Coin” edit by Nikola-Nikart on tumblr, I can’t get her out of my mind for the role. I think some roles would be genius with a newcomer (ahem, Annie). But this one, well, this one needs impact. We need someone in this role that can make us believe she could, with military precision, control a district for many years, underground, in secret while shepherding them through an epidemic and masterminding a rebellion, and then intimidate the crap out of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Woody Harrelson, and most importantly, Jennifer Lawrence. She’s too old, you say? Please. Jennifer Lawrence is supposed to be 17 years old in Mockingjay. I think we can all suspend disbelief long enough to put Helen Mirren in there as a 50-something. Have you seen the woman in a bikini? (No, seriously, the red bikini. Go Helen!!) And the woman can freaking ACT. She would be the perfect foil for Donald Sutherland as President Snow. Helen Mirren? Yes, please!!

Amanda from The Hob: I’m pretty sure Helen Mirren is one of those actresses who needs no introduction. Everyone knows who she is, what she looks like, and that she’s been nominated for more acting awards than seems humanly possible….even if you’ve somehow never seen one of her movies. Which is basically the boat I’m in. Almost embarrassingly, I think the only movie I’ve ever seen Helen in is Red. But you know what, I’d still be more than happy to have her as Coin! I don’t think anyone can argue against her acting ability and amazing reputation among her peers. She’s older than I pictured Coin, but I could get over that in a matter of minutes because I’m pretty sure she could masterfully pull off Coin’s cool, calm, determined, authoritative demeanor. I certainly wouldn’t be the casting director to tell her “no” if she wanted the role!

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Adam from Hunger Games Fireside Chat: Is Helen Mirren too old? That’s been the general complaint against one of England’s greatest dames, and it’s a valid one. But then — Mirren has fought off aging with nearly as much proficiency as Katniss against the Careers. Mirren is also an extraordinary acting talent, and she has a proven track record of delivering a variety of complex characters with benevolent and sinister intentions. I’ll admit, I have been a banner-waver for Mirren’s consideration, and I think, though there are other extremely talented and capable actresses, none could match the aura and majesty of this Academy Award winner. (And if you’re really concerned about age, you know these makeup people can shave off 20 years, right?)

Courtney/Tiffany of Welcome to District 12:
Helen Mirren is the first actress that immediately came to our mind when first reading about Coin in Mockingjay. Her look fits very well with Coin’s description, and she’s always been our number one pick. Some people say she’s too old, but we think that’s not a good enough reason to cut Helen Mirren out of the mix. First of all, casting for The Hunger Games has historically gone older than the book description (Lenny Kravitz, Donald Sutherland, etc.). Second, age in real life and age on the screen are not the same thing. We would prefer an older actress for Coin than a younger one. Nothing scares us more than a stern older lady with a too perfect haircut. We would also like to point out that many think Glenn Close is a great option for Coin. Guess what, friends?! She’s only TWO YEARS younger than Helen Mirren. Regarding age, if Glenn Close could be the next Coin, why not Mirren? Lastly, since casting has been older for the actors and actresses, we think that since they went so old with Snow, they’ll want a somewhat similar age range for Coin as the counterpart.
Now that we’ve gotten the age issue out of the way, Helen Mirren would be a spectacular choice on acting skills alone. She’s played a ton of women in power, and has a very commanding presence. I bet she’s got a whole closet devoted to all her acting awards, which goes with the casting trend of the adult actors. She would be a great match for Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, something we are dying to see. It’s no wonder she’s a fan favorite for President Coin.

Campaigning for Coin: Julianne Moore

The fansites are back with another round of Campaigning for Coin, a bi-weekly column in which we discuss possible actresses to play District 13’s President Alma Coin! Today, we’re discussing an actress with a lot of impressive work in her resume whose name is often throw around for the role: Julianne Moore!

Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore

Rebekah (Them There Eyes): If you follow my writing on Victor’s Village at all, you should know by now that Julianne Moore is one of a handful of actresses I’ve already written up about as a potential Alma Coin. Face it, Julianne is no slouch where it comes to acting talent, she has one of the more diverse, and critically embraced careers of an A-list who’s still regularly working actress out there. From her work in films like Benny & Joon, Short Cuts, Boogie Nights, The Big Lebowski, A Map of the World, The End of the Affair, Magnolia, Far from Heaven, The Hours, The Children of Men, A Single Man, The Kids Are All Right, Game Change, and the recently released What Maisie Knew, she’s proven herself as someone who 100 times over is capable of portraying every single kind of woman you can even remotely imagine. This woman is not afraid to take on even the most weird, the most despicable, the most shallow, and the most intense, and the most sad types of people. She’s an actors actor, and the thought of her taking on a role like Alma Coin gives me giddy shivers down my spine, because I know she would sink her teeth into Alma’s character like a juicy steak, and chew it slowly, precisely, and oddly beautifully. I’ve seen comments that some of the choices in this on going fan-casting series are too predictable, well– Julianne Moore has never taken on a predictable project in her entire career. She does big budget films like The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Evolution with David Duchovny, and tiny art house films like Chicago Cab, and Savage Grace with Eddie Redmayne, and then mixes it up by taking a recurring role on 30 Rock opposite Alec Baldwin. No one, and I mean no one can say that Julianne Moore being cast as Alma Coin is predictable. This is why she’s one of my top choices for Alma Coin, and also because I really really want to see her go head to head with Jennifer Lawrence.

The Kids are All Right

The Kids are All Right

Aldrin from Down With The Capitol: Now, I’ve seen Julianne Moore’s acting and it’s clear she knows what she’s doing. I can go on and on about how I loved her in Nine Months or The Kids Are All Right (also starring Josh Hutcherson), but let’s look at something very obvious that proves she’s good for Coin: she played Sarah Palin in Game Change. Trying not to sound too political here, but Sarah Palin was someone who was given lots of power, some might say more than she should have had. Some supported her, some hated her. Sound familiar? Granted, Palin and Coin are two entirely different people in so many ways, but the general principle applies. Julianne Moore has experience playing a woman in power, who had to put on a tough exterior despite the fact that many disagreed with her actions. Combine that with her impeccable acting skills in so many other roels, and I think you’ve got someone who could play Coin perfectly.

Adam from Hunger Games Fireside Chat:
Julianne Moore may not be quite as vicious and belligerent as some of the other candidates, but she certainly can act. In my view, she would excel at portraying the softer side of Coin, which could be extremely effective in fooling the populace — then, when she proves to be much worse, it will be as shocking as it was for Panem’s citizens. Moore is famous recently for The Kids Are All Right and Game Change, but I see a parallel with her role as a blood-to-the-bone revolutionary in Children of Men. There, she was good, but she had some of the same character traits as Coin, and she proved plenty competent in handling them. Moore would not be my top top choice, but I would still be fine with her selection.

Boogie Nights

Boogie Nights

Lindsay from HG Girl on Fire: I am a fan of Julianne Moore and I think she is a stellar actress. She has impressive range, and when I think of her, I think of both her big laughs, and her sad/angry expressions, all at once. Her previous characters that stick in my brain are from The Kids Are Alright, and her stint on 30 Rock (with that wicked awful Boston accent!). But for some reason she doesn’t jump out at me for Coin. While I think she could play the role with her hands tied behind her back (well, not really, obviously), I just almost feel like I have NO opinion about her. Which makes me think I don’t like her for the role. Would I be disappointed if she were cast? No way! She’s a superstar and has the Emmy Award and numerous Oscar nominations to prove it. But she’s not my first choice.

Jacqui from My Hunger Games: I am a big fan of Julianne Moore. She is quite a few of my favorite movies, including the Big Lebowski, The Hours, Far From Heaven and The Kids are All Right. Her performances are nuanced and compelling. She is one of those actresses that can balance drama and comedy with great effect; she can come across as completely empathetic, but also mysterious and remote. Her career is a mix of diverse and interesting roles and she’s definitely one of those onscreen people that you can’t take your eyes off. I think she would definitely bring something special to the role of Alma Coin.

Game Change

Game Change

Molly from Panem Propaganda: I admit Julianne Moore never crossed my mind as an option for Coin, but now that I’ve had it swirling around in my head for a while I’m starting to love the idea.She’s an amazingly versatile character actress, she’s the perfect age, and can’t you imagine her rocking a razor sharp grey wig? I can certainly see her as the icy Coin with her fair skin and (cue the contact lenses) grey, pale eyes the color of slush “you wish would melt away.” It could also be one great big reunion – She’s worked with Josh Hutcherson in The Kids Are All Right, Woody Harrelson in Game Change, and Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Big Lebowski, Boogie Nights, and Magnolia. And her upcoming film Seventh Son ALMOST had her working with both Jennifer Lawrence (she bowed out) and Sam Claflin (he auditioned for the lead).

Lee from The Hob: Julianne Moore is one of the more interesting choices to play President Coin. Her work is so diverse, it’s a challenge to view any single performance and point to determine her ability to play Coin. The characters she has portrayed have a level of intensity and her performances always exude tremendous energy. Many of the roles have been determined women, focused and willing to take risks to succeed. These are all qualities that President Coin has. Always a chameleon in her roles, Ms. Moore would be visually striking with snow-white hair, sparkling eyes, and a sense of invincibility in her portrayal.

Courtney and Tiffany from Welcome to District 12:
We are in agreement that Julianne Moore is one of our favorite actresses. She’s a solid actress and has had a very diverse career. I mean, she has Maude Lebowski, Clarice Starling and Sarah Palin on her resume, to name a few. Sarah Palin is a perfect example of a role that Julianne already has under her belt and could be very helpful to her playing Coin. However, we do think that her look isn’t as cold and calculating as we imagine President Coin to be. But then again, that can work in her favor because who is to suspect ulterior motives from someone like Julianne Moore? A plus for her is that she has worked with Josh Hutcherson before, playing his mother in The Kids Are All Right. Last but not least she seems to be a fan favorite among THG fans, so that’s a super bonus too!

Campaigning for Coin: Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett Campaigning for CoinAnother day, another edition of Campaigning for Coin. Today, we discuss Cate Blanchett for the role of President Coin.

Tiffany (Twiffidy): As a huge Lord of the Rings fan, I can’t help but be excited by the thought of Cate Blanchett as President Coin. She has played rulers before, from Elf Queen Galadriel to one of the greatest rulers in history Queen Elizabeth I. She has an expansive filmography with a wide range of roles, so I have no doubt she could pull off Alma Coin. I think she could play cold, calculating President Coin very well. She has a face that can go from warm and friendly to harsh and vengeful in an instant. My only hesitance is, does she need another high profile role in a book-to-movie franchise?

Tash from Mockingjay.net: Some illustrious actresses have already been discussed through the Campaigning for Coin series and Cate Blanchett is another. Of course being Australian I am going to be biased, but Blanchett’s achievements are remarkable and her filmography speaks for itself. Perhaps best known to many for her role as Galadriel in the ‘Lord of the Rings’, Blanchett is also one of a handful to have been nominated for both a Supporting and Best Actress Academy Award in the same year. We’re also talking about the woman who has portrayed Queen Elizabeth I, Katharine Hepburn and Bob Dylan (!) on screen. I think Blanchett would make a really interesting Coin and bring the multiple layers of Coin’s personality to screen really well. She can exude charisma and confidence when she needs to and I always imagined Coin as a woman who knew exactly how to manipulate the situation in her favour without making waves and making her intentions obvious. The audience needs to be slow to work this out like Katniss was and I think Blanchett would be perfect at throwing the audience off the scent by creeping up on us slowly. Another thing I find important about the role of Coin is that ultimately her tale was rather tragic as well, on some level you do sympathise with her despite her actions. I can see Blanchett perfectly portraying the subtle malice, fierce determination, ambition, fear and cunning that Coin possesses and would love to see her in the role.

Amie from HG Girl On Fire: Cate Blanchet is no stranger to science fiction and fantasy films, having played the beautiful Galadriel in Lord of the Rings. However to see exactly why miss Blanchet would be a perfect Coin, you must see her as Queen Elizabeth in the Elizabeth films. She brings a nation into it’s golden age, and is praised among her people. Her strength and solidarity in this role is stunning. Yet she is vulnerable, and afraid, and, when in the private of her room or few trusted friends, she will break down. We don’t have any moments in Mockingjay where we get to see Coin’s breakdowns and weaknesses, but we know they are there, and these are elemets that must be in the film. Coin is a layered character; Cate is a layered actress. Don’t let her beauty fool you, and she is gorgeous. I met her in person at a premiere and couldn’t stop staring. She is flawless. This is another incredible thing, with how beautiful she is, her talent as an actress can make you think her to look plain and frumpy if she wants you to see her this way. If Cate were Coin, she would be an asset to a talented and seasoned cast, and I would be jumping for joy.

Courtney from Welcome to District 12 : Cate Blanchett is my number one pick for Coin, guys. Not only is she a superb actress, but has had experience playing women in power. Elizabeth: The Golden Age earned Blanchett an Academy Award nominee and her portrayal of Galadriel has won over the hearts of Tolkien nerds everywhere. Talk about playing a women in power! Galadriel is so ancient, she’s probably the only elf left alive in Middle Earth during the War of the Ring who has seen the Light of Valinor with her own eyes.  All I’m getting at here is that Cate Blanchett is great at playing a women in power and playing it straight, whether her intentions are good or bad. She is also striking in the same way we gave a super thumbs up to Tilda Swinton. Cate Blanchett has the look I want for Coin, and it doubly helps she’s got the experience.

Megan from The Hob: Hands down Cate Blanchett is one of my favorite actresses. She just has a way about her that has “”Classic Hollywood Icon”” (as well as fashion icon) written all over it. She is graceful and so stunning. The list of films she’s been apart of goes on for miles. Cate has been nominated a total of 5 times for an Academy Award for her roles in Elizabeth, Notes on a Scandal, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, I’m Not There and The Aviator (which did win her an Oscar for Best Supporting Role). Cate also portrayed Galadriel in the “”Lord of the Rings”” series, which is at the top of my all time favorite flicks list. She was brilliant in the film! I honestly believe Cate could take on any role given to her. If she were cast as Coin she’d nail it. She would be an amazing addition to the Hunger Games cast, but with all of that said she is not my first choice. Her looks are a bit too youthful (which could be changed) and to me President Coin should be played by someone a bit older or lesser known. There are several others who cross my mind for Coin and she’s not one that particularly stands out.

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.

ER

ER

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.

Campaigning for Coin: Anjelica Huston

In today’s Campaigning for Coin, a debate sparks over candidate Anjelica Huston, best known for her roles in Ever After, The Addams Family, The Witches, and Smash. Who’s side are you on?

Anjelica Huston

Anjelica Huston

Kait (The Girl With The Pearl): Anjelica Huston’s talent is undoubtable. Whenever she gives a performance, you can bet it’s going to be a memorable one. We have no doubt that she’d work in the role of Alma Coin, but might she be too predictable? It’s really important that Coin is not a transparently “evil” character who’s up to no good. Audiences must question whether or not she is to be trusted. Despite some great performances in other genres, people expect Anjelica Huston to be a bit of a baddie, especially with Ever After and The Witches sticking out most to people in the film’s target audience. Anjelica has the air of authority about her and she looks like the type of woman who could firmly run District 13, but can she play the ambigious side of the Coin and keep everyone guessing?

Theresa from Down With The Capitol: I have admittedly been a huge fan of Sigourney Weaver for the role of Coin for quite some time. That is until I saw the name Anjelica Huston in our Campaign for Coin. My most vivid memory of her on screen is admittedly 15 years old, as the wicked step mother, Rodmilla De Ghent in ‘Ever After’. She was both regal and cunning, dead set on getting what she wanted at the expense of anyone, including her own daughters. Willing to do anything to gain power and respect in the kingdom. Someone who shows one face to the world, and another behind closed doors. Sound familiar? Yup, that’s our Coin, and Anjelica knows how to deliver her perfectly.

Savanna from Hunger Games Fireside Chat: While I wouldn’t be disappointed if Anjelica Huston were cast as President Coin, she’s definitely not one of my top picks. Yes, she’s absolutely an acting legend, and her talent is indisputable. As a big Wes Anderson fan, I especially enjoyed her performances in The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic. And you only need to see her as the wicked stepmother in Ever After to believe her capable of portraying a manipulative, power-hungry figure like Coin. But for me, she just doesn’t have the right “look.” Obviously this is a completely subjective thing and a matter of personal preference. But I always envisioned Coin as someone whose physical appearance somewhat belied her true nature, and Huston has played so many “evil” roles in the past that audiences might immediately assume she’s up to something. And where’s the fun in that?

Ever After

Ever After

Amanda from HG Girl on Fire: Angelica Huston is my top pick for this role. To me she just has the right demeanor; she can be perfectly “wicked” and cold. I loved her in Ever After, and I think that particular movie showcases just how good she would be in this role. She didn’t care about anyone but herself, her character was all about doing everything and anything to get ahead, and make herself look good while not caring what the consequences would be. All the while keeping Drew Barrymore’s character down and keeping her from getting ahead. Sound familiar? That is why I think she would have Coin down pat. To me she is also the best physical resemblance of President Coin; she is extremely good at looking cold and evil. I think she is also the right age as well. It will be very exciting to see who does end up playing President Coin and I really hope it is Angelica Huston.

Crystal from Mockingjay.net: While I love Angelica Huston, having recently seen her in 50/50, I don’t think I’d be all that thrilled if she was picked as Coin. I’m old enough to remember her as Morticia Addams and it’s tough to let a role like that go. Then there’s Witches, which I used to watch over and over as a kid. It’s hard to put into words really, but it just seems “predictable” to have someone like her cast.

The Addams Family

The Addams Family

Jacqui from My Hunger Games: Anjelica Huston is one of the most recognized faces in Hollywood. She spent most of her life in front of the camera. She has had some fantastic parts including playing Lilly Dillon in The Grifters, Gretta Conroy in The Dead and her Oscar winning performance as the vengeful girlfriend of hit man Jack Nicholson in Prizzi’s Honor. Many fans will also know her as Mortitia in three Addams Family films. However, for me, I love her best as the awkward mistress in Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanours, as the mother in The Royal Tenebaums and as Eileen Rand, the legendary Broadway producer, who will still throw a drink in someone’s face if need be, in Smash. She’s a real actress, with striking features. She’s statuesque and exudes a quiet confidence. She is a woman that knows how to portray strength and menacing. While she might not be my first choice for the Mockingjay movies, I believe she would bring something special to the role of Alma Coin.

Lee from The Hob: Anjelica Huston is an excellent candidate to portray President Coin. Physically striking and emotionally powerful in her previous performances, Ms. Huston could provide an emotional depth to Coin that many other actresses wouldn’t be able to approach. Since Coin embodies the rapacious need for power and control, Ms. Houston would no doubt deliver a performance that would enable the audience to see the resolve, calculation and power needed to make this character come alive.

Courtney & Tiffany from Welcome to District 12: Great choice! I love these actresses that are out there doing great work, yet not extremely famous or well known. Anjelica Huston in the role of Coin scares the crap out of me, but in a good way. When put in a powerful role like that, Anjelica Huston would do very well. She’s an actress known for her severe look and authoritative presence. Though known for playing Morticia Adams, she’s been in the biz for years, playing all types of roles, and her most current stint on Smash just ended with the show’s demise, which frees her up. She’s got the look, she’s got the hair, and without a doubt The Supreme Leader from Captain EO has my vote!

It’s My Movie! – The Joys and Tribulations of Fan Casting

Fan casting can be fun, but in some circles it can become some pretty serious business! We too are guilty of it, among many others.

In today’s guest post, Debbie is breaking down all the good and bad about fan casting that she’s noticed on recent months!

Note: Debbie sent this our way after originally posting it on her own blog, MOON IN GEMINI

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We’re dreaming away…

There was a scene in one of the last episodes of Sex And The City where Charlotte and Anthony are talking about their friendship. He tells her in the movie of his life she would be played by Barbara Parkins, circa Valley of The Dolls. (For those of you under the age of 40, look that up on the IMDB.) Then he said he would be played by Colin Farrell.

Charlotte: Do you think you look like Colin Farrell?

Anthony: It’s my movie!

This little snippet of a scene seems to sum up what many fans feel when they’re fan casting. Fan casting, of course, is when fans pick which actors they think are the best choices to play beloved characters from beloved books. It’s as if Hollywood is casting the story of their lives, there’s such a possessive feeling over who gets cast.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE to fan cast. I go on web sites or attend online chats to give my ideas and hear other people’s suggestions. It’s fun. At this point, the movie truly IS our movie. The one in our heads that only we can see.

Everyone does it while reading books. I’d venture to guess a lot of writers fan cast while writing their own books. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shown my work to someone and they suggest actors who they think would be perfect to play the characters in the movie version. People have the compulsion to fan cast even when something hasn’t been published yet.

Fan casting isn’t anything new. When the book Gone With The Wind came out in 1936, people all over the country had an opinion over who should be cast in the major roles. In that instance, one of the fan choices–Clark Gable as Rhett Butler–actually made it into the movie. But virtually no one wanted Vivien Leigh as Scarlett. She wasn’t well-known. She was BRITISH. How could she play the quintessential Southern belle?

We all know how that turned out.

This past week has been a busy one for fan casters. Finally, fans of The Hunger Games trilogy are starting to get official casting news for the second movie, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. (I could write a whole blog post about the studio giving the movie that clunky title.) The first two actors cast–Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee and Amanda Plummer as Wiress–are, almost everyone agrees, phenomenal choices.

That’s where agreement among fans pretty much ended. We started getting some not-so-official news. Sam Claflin (Snow White and The Huntsman) was announced as the choice for Finnick Odair, hands-down the most popular character in the series after the heroine Katniss. Mind you, there was only a “report” (i.e. this could be the real thing or a totally made-up story) saying he was going to be offered the role.

Many fans were pleased (myself included, I’ve seen him in a couple of things and he’s really good) but others were not so pleased. So much so that some of the fan sites had to try to calm people down, reminding them that this was only a rumor.

Now it seems it was just a rumor. Yet another entertainment news source reported he’s shooting a movie that would conflict with the shooting schedule of Catching Fire. The people who wanted Claflin are bereft. The people who didn’t want him are thrilled. So now we wait for the next rumor, or the official announcement. No matter who is chosen, it’s certain to spark another intense controversy.

Shylah at the Hunger Games fan site Down With The Capitol wrote this hilarious piece about how entertainment reporters have been yanking fans’ chains these past couple of months with casting rumors. She pretty much nails everyone’s frustration.

I would love to say that fan disagreements over casting are always completely harmless, but that’s not the case. Soon after the release of The Hunger Games, some Twitter users expressed disappointment that the characters Rue and Thresh were played by black actors, even though that’s how they were described in the book. Some of the comments were blatantly racist. This is the worst example of fan casting.

Fortunately, most of the time it is harmless–comments that so-and-so can’t play a part because his hair is the wrong color, or she’s too tall, or he’s just not how they pictured the character while reading the book. There were some people who even complained about the CAT cast in The Hunger Games. I was going to congratulate them for satirizing fan disappointment, then realized they weren’t kidding.

People are so reluctant to let go of the movie inside their heads. In the end, though, once the movie does come out, if the filmmakers have done their job, most of the controversy tends to fade away. When Jennifer Lawrence was cast as Katniss, there were a lot of naysayers. I’ll admit it right now, I was one of them. She didn’t fit the movie in my head.

It turns out, she didn’t have to. To me she is now and always will be Katniss. In the movie on the screen. Where it counts.

Debbie

So Many!

Safe to say that the casting of Johanna Mason is almost as gut wrenching to think about as the casting of Finnick Odair, so why not appease our souls a bit — and just look at the bevy of talented ladies out there who A. aren’t currently on any Fox series that appeals to both my mother and to teenage girls, or B. a former Disney Channel phenom.

First of all, I like this next person a lot — I’ve been a fan of hers for almost a decade now, and I see no problem with her being cast at all, because I’m one who believes that everyone has a chance (except in the case of Finnick Odair, that’s an entirely different ball game, if you get what I’m saying), I’m speaking of course of Kristen Bell. Some people I know have been very wary just of her name being connected with the Hunger Games franchise, because they’re under the impression that all she’s able to do are romantic comedies where Jason Segal shows the world his man parts, or Fergie’s husband falls in love with her whilst in Italy. Let’s get the record straight, Kristen Bell is an actress, she studied at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, and she graduated from the program with an emphasis in musical theatre. In 2004 she got her own series on the now defunct WB Network (now the CW), in the title role of Veronica Mars. Veronica Mars was not a romantic comedy, it was Nancy Drew meets the 2000’s, with a hell of an attitude and some very serious subject matter such as rape, murder, bigotry, sexism, feminism, love, drug use, sexuality, child abuse, gang violence and a few other things that were all entertaining and relevent. Kristen held her own as the title role, and she did it very well. She’s also played another equally formidable character on Heroes (Elle Bishop), where she was nothing like Veronica and honestly, at times she was down right scary. Sadly I have yet to see her new series on Showtime, House Of Lies, because I am a poor unfortunate soul who does not have cable, and I’m also trying to graduate before I am 30. Bottom line, Kristen’s entirely capable of playing someone as hard and yet as vulnerable as Johanna Mason, I know this because I’ve seen her play characters that display this kind duality, or “walk that fine line”. Also, it really shouldn’t be a detriment to her character that she’s a huge Hunger Games fan, like some people seem to keep holding fast to, and she’s already vying for the role. Personally, her love for the series just makes her relatable to me, and I think that those who are apposed to the idea of her on the principle that she doesn’t fit the physical description — take a good hard look at Lenny Kravitz and Woody Harrelson please — then get back to me on how physical descriptions of characters trump all. Also — she loves sloths, and likes Downton Abbey — I can never fault anyone for those things ever.

I don’t think anyone except me has thought of her for this role, which is sad — because so many people are adamant that Johanna be portrayed by someone who is noticeably ethnic looking, therefore I give you Zuleikha Robinson! Zuleikah is a British national with a career that spans from the short-lived X-Files spin-off, the Lone Gunman, Shakespeare adaptations with Al Pacino (The Merchant of Venice), period adventure films (Hidalgo), the HBO series Rome, and of course a recurring role on the ABC series Lost. She’s someone who’s known for playing women with courage, and women who will do what it takes to get the job done — I’m thinking of her roles in Rome and on The Lone Gunman, where she wasn’t anything you could term as sweet. She was flat-out intimidating actually, and someone you would not want to cross for fear of her killing you stealthily in your sleep. Oh, and to round all the bases, Zuleikah’s heritage boasts an interesting mix of Burmese, Indian, Iranian, Scottish and English. It’s gotta be said as well, Zuleikah is beautiful. So, that idea is out there now, glad I got that off my chest.

Last lady for today is Ruth Negga. You get major points if you know who she is, you get even more points if you can name at least one other role she’s had besides the one I think you’re likely thinking of her in. Okay, for those who have no clue who she is, here’s a little overview: Ruth Negga is an Irish actress, she’s probably best known amongst the young crowd for being a series regular for one season on the British E4 series called Misfits, where she played a character called Nikki. Her other claim to fame is actually most likely a supporting role in the critically acclaimed and award-winning Neil Jordan film, Breakfast On Pluto, where she played Charlie — Cillian Murphy’s childhood best friend. Ruth Negga may be little known in the States, but she’s no flash in the pan. Sadly though, the likelihood of her being noticed for the role of Johanna are slim to none — but it’s the thought that counts, right? Probably not in this case.

There are at least 10 more young ladies on my list of Johanna’s, but you’re probably tired of just these three — so I will leave you with this thought.

Johanna deserves better than the Disney channel or the Fox Network.

Them There Eyes