Patrick St. Esprit

Focusing on the Other

Do I have to reiterate that there’s nothing to do with the series this site is focused around, that has been released within the last several hours, or days that warrants a 1000 word dissection, or take down piece written about it? Well, that’s the case today, and probably tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, so what’s there to tell y’all about. JJ covered a myriad of other media material that might strike your fancy, I’d start there if you’re so inclined. But if you’re not, how about you try this one on for size.

Have you ever heard of the actor/ producer/ director Milo Ventimiglia? Yes, his last name is a mouthful and a half, but his face, and voice should be more recognizable to those that have been paying attention to several loved, and lost TV series’ of the last decade. Okay, okay, Milo’s best known for his roles on Gilmore Girls, and the Tim Kring superhero series Heroes. Yep, Jess Mariano, and Peter Petrelli– loved, and lost– am I right? Anyway, Milo’s been working pretty hard on behind the scenes career stuff for the last several years, built a production company, cultivated some interesting projects, and this last year one of those projects came to fruition on the cable channel Crackle. I know, I’ve never heard of it either, but talk gets around especially if you’re paying attention to Twitter feeds, and general Internet chatter. The project is called Chosen, and if you’re strong of will, heart, and a lover of good writing, performance, production design, and cinematography, it’s right up your alley. The premise is this: Average people are seemingly randomly selected, and are inducted into “The Game”. You’re inducted without invitation by receiving an innocuous, finely crafted wooden box usually left on your front door step, at your place of work, or in your car. You open it, ’cause why not?– inside the box is a photo of a person you’ve likely never met with their name, and a time stamp and date that hasn’t happened yet, along with the photo as well is an un registered firearm, and the game is on just like that. But what is the game? Easy peasy, you’re every move is being watched, and if you don’t kill who’s in that photo, someone

Not Jess, not Superman, and not One Tree Hill anymore

Not Jess, not Superman, and not One Tree Hill anymore

you care about is going to be in grave danger, oh– also people are trying to kill you now too! Hey, does that sound familiar to anyone? Anyone at all? Yeah, of course it does, ’cause it’s tres Hunger Games-y! Before anyone calls foul on me though, I’m gonna state it loud and clear, Chosen is not a rip-off of The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins does not hold the patent on the concept of Kill or Be Killed, true fact– ’cause I think cave men may have coined that one, or animals– not a former TV writer from Connecticut. Chosen is fast paced, intensely acted, and an acute examination on the limits human beings go to do survive, and protect loved ones. Milo plays the initial lead role in the series, his character is propelled swiftly from “what the hell is going on?” to “am I a man, or an animal?” Much like The Hunger Games, the characters on Chosen are put in the most impossible of situations, however– instead of the stories taking place in a far distant future in a post apocalyptic world, it takes place right now, and the audience instead of being an entire nation who unequally see the production as entertainment, and a punishment– the audience is a select, and anonymous über class of sickos who have become bored with the fast life of sex, drugs, buying expensive shit, and traveling to exotic locales. Nope, instead, because productive hobbies are so passe, they watch random, desperate people kill strangers, and sometimes not strangers, because “ha ha ha, isn’t this the best!?”

 

And you know what? It kind of is, because the show’s awesome, and you should watch it. However be forewarned, it’s no where near PG-13 at all, it’s R to the nth degree. Even better though, is spotting actors in it who’s careers we may have all thought had gone in completely different directions, including none other than Rider Strong, Chad Michael Murray, Rose McGowan, Brandon Routh, and a Catching Fire cast member himself– Patrick St. Esprit.

Them There Eyes

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The Bootlegger and the Inventive Chef

While we weren’t looking, or were preoccupied with banner reveals, and casting news for the Mockingjay films, two Catching Fire cast members went unnoticed on the IMDb page for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. If you’ve guessed who they are by the title of this article, smart cookie, ’cause they’re none other than Ripper and Greasy Sae. Ripper is, if you remember, the one armed woman who made, and sold white liquor at The Hob. And Greasy Sae is the inventive chef who sold food, also like Ripper, at The Hob.

Over the last few months I’ve covered several secondary cast member reveals here at Victor’s Village, including the reveal of Patrick St. Esprit being part of the cast as Romulus Thread. At the time of that particular reveal however, nothing was official, as even I know, and you know that IMDb pages can be altered by anyone with an IMDb Pro account. Patrick St. Esprit since then has shown his angular face in both the Catching Fire teaser trailer, and the first official full length trailer. So, that casting is official, full stop.

In the case of Greasy Sae, I’m a little more than confident that her casting is the real-deal, as, I wish I could have a drum roll here, but alas, the actress who’s listed with her name next to Sae’s, is the same actress who traded Katniss_the_hobKatniss’ Mockingjay pin to her in Gary Ross’ adaptation of The Hunger Games. Yep, it’s none other than Sandra Ellis Lafferty. To me this bodes well for the threads of continuity some people may be a little bit apprehensive about since this time around we have a new director, and a whole slew of new people taking part behind the scenes. I mean, yeah, Sae may now be simply a merchant who deals in buttons, trinkets, and other bits and bobs, but who’s to say that perhaps in Catching Fire they’ve wholly embraced her character background from the books, and made her the inventive chef we all love and remember her to be. Maybe we’ll even get a line from Gale or Katniss about how, “so you sell food now?” I’m cautiously optimistic, and I encourage others to be as well, because film-wise the Catching Fire team has yet to roll out any red flags that say “we messed up!”

As for Ripper, she’s being played by an actress who I’m gathering was found in the Atlanta area. She may only get a miniscule scene in the beginning of the film I’m also gathering, but if adhering to the books is Francis Lawrence’s true method, Taylor St. Clair will also show up in the Mockingjay films, one arm missing, and probably apologetically looking at Woody Harrelson as he pretends to go through The Shakes.

Sadly, Peeta’s brother whom I wrote about months ago, has not shown up on the IMDb cast list, and neither have many of the very expressive young hopeful actresses whose audition tapes showed up along with Issac King’s.

 

Here’s hoping Peeta gets a family this time!

Them There Eyes

Granny, Thread, and Cray

tumblr_mgsanp7wgn1qfqp8jo1_1280We got ’em guys. Yeah, that makes no sense! So, here’s the deal, I’m getting kind of tired of dealing in speculating on casting where it comes to this franchise, but low and behold real casting information has gone ignored for too long.

Remember a few months back when those audition tapes from CL Casting were leaked, and we learned that they were looking for people to fill the roles of Thresh’s, Rue’s and even Peeta’s family? Well, we have a grandma, Thresh’s grandma actually. I’m one of those sad lot of people who check The Hunger Games: Catching Fire IMDb page frequently, and I do it for several reasons. For one I tend to forget how to spell people’s names, and IMDb usually has the correct or most used spelling of people’s names. Two, the page’s information is in constant flux, i.e. people add them selves to the cast list, and then they get taken down,  as well as people getting added to the cast list by the proper channels. 99% of the time if a name has stayed up on there for longer than a month, they’re more than likely the real deal.

In the case of Thresh’s Grandmother she’s a regional actress with several small roles under her belt, and if I do say so myself, she totally looks like she could be part of Dayo Okeniyi’s (Thresh) family. Her name is Deena Beasley, which you can clearly see emblazoned across her head-shot, and you have got to admit that she looks like Dayo. Deena’s been in some higher profile projects that tote names like Nicholas Cage, and — actually Cage appears to be the most recognizable name connected to her. But, hey — now she can possibly say she’s connected to Jennifer Lawrence, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Woody Harrelson, and Donald Sutherland.

Everyone remembers Romulus Thread, right? I hope you do, ’cause he’s involved in one of the most intense scenes to take place in District 12, i.e. Gale’s arrest, and gruesome whipping.

Aside: God, I hope they don’t skimp on the intensity of that sequence. photo

I know that Thread’s casting was kinda sorta released, there was never a press release from The Powers That Be, but at this point press releases aren’t things that they’re that focused on, especially where it comes to secondary characters who aren’t Tributes, or semi high profile like Plutarch. Anyway, I have my own sources who have confirmed that Patrick St. Esprit’s casting is the real deal. But about St. Esprit, he’s best known for his recurring role on Sons of Anarchy– which I have to admit, I became a huge fan of a couple of months ago after marathoning all five seasons, I’m refraining from commenting on the ending of season five– which is really hard for me guys, really hard.  He’s good guys, we have nothing to worry about where it comes to Thread, unless of course they’ve decided that Thread’s a bleeding heart who likes kittens, and I don’t mean to eat. 

Next we’ve got Cray, which should not be confused with the colloquialism “crey crey“. Old Cray is how we know him, but according to IMDb he’s just Cray now– not a big deal. Big deal for me though is that the actor who’s playing the old lecher is a Prison Break alum! Confession: I’m a massive Prison Break fan, and do not ask me how I feel about the 4th season, I’ll just ignore you. Wilbur Fitzgerald played a small but important role on Prison Break several years ago, and no– he wasn’t the main characters’ father. Fitzgerald, like Beasley is a regional actor, he is in fact based out of Atlanta, and he’s represented by the same agency several of the other Atlanta based cast members are. Cray’s a departure for him though, as most of his work has been fatherly/grandfatherly types, but he’s also a played more than his fair share of law officials– I believe he was a lawyer in another life. Color me impressed.

So, that’s that, we’ve got Thresh’s granny, and two brutes from District 2. Now, where the hell is Annie!?

Them There Eyes