the hunger games. the brain version.

Yesterday morning, one of my besties Myrtle and I met up for coffee-lunch, which is what you get when you  meet at Starbucks after dropping off your kids at school then talk for so long that you end up having lunch as well.  It happens a lot with us.

During this latest edition of the ever-awesome coffee-lunch, we had our long awaited post-"Hunger Games Trilogy" recap and discussion.  Myrtle had already read the books.  As for me, from February 28 to March 6, I read all 3 books -- Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay -- unable to put them down to sleep, eat, or even go to the bathroom.  I also learned that sleeping on the corner of a hard cover book doesn't hurt that much and that I can do most things with one hand if I absolutely have to.

Anyway, Myrtle and I like to get together to discuss movies we've seen and books we've read, and finally it was time for our shot with the Hunger Games to share both big and seemingly-insignificant thoughts, why Peeta had to be The One, how we would've improved the ending, what the point of that scene was, how we couldn't wait to see the movie, and overall, feed our latest obsession.

One HUGE topic of conversation was casting.  You know how sometimes, when you read a book, your brain conjures up existing people, usually actors, for each character to give them a face while you read?  Yeah, that.

Well, Myrtle and I couldn't help but compare the actors we kept picturing in our heads while we read the books with the actors actually cast in the upcoming movie...

1:  Katniss, Gale, and Cinna.
We thought they were well cast.  Especially Gale.  Cute and capable of making a lasting impression that would last through the whole movie.
I still kinda think Jennifer Lawrence is a little tall as Katniss, because by Catching Fire, her 14-year-old sister Prim was supposed to be as tall as her, but having said that, Jennifer L. is Katniss.
And Lenny Kravitz as Cinna.  Inspired!  I have to confess that I couldn't picture a proper Cinna.  Lenny K as a Tom Ford-esque Cinna sounded perfect to me.

2:  Peeta.
At first, we were stunned by the choice of Josh Hutcherson because he's the same height as Jennifer Lawrence, and we always thought of Peeta as being tall and stocky, at least, enough to envelop Katniss and make her feel safe.  In fact, Myrtle pictured Gale as shorter and slimmer like Josh H, and Peeta as a blond Liam Hemsworth.  Which is why when I said that I thought of Liam's older brother and Thor star Chris Hemsworth as Peeta when I read the books, she totally agreed with me.
But after seeing the trailers, we knew Josh, no matter his height, was our Peeta.

3:  Haymitch.
I think Woody Harrelson is a great casting call.  However, he does seem too "cleaned" up in the trailers to be a convincing drunkard, so we'll see how he appears in the rest of the movie, during more drunky scenes, like when Haymitch falls down at the reaping.
When I was reading the books, the Haymitch of my mind was played by Gary Oldman.

4:  President Snow.
Donald Sutherland is and always will be Mr. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice.  Period.  He's too tall and kindly.  He's a sweet Canadian.
Snow is short and creepy, and in my mind, he looked like song-and-dance man Joel Grey.  Seriously, couldn't you imagine this man with a white rose in his lapel?!

5:  Seneca Crane.
Wes Bentley is probably the most surprising casting decision of the whole movie.  Seneca is supposed to be much older, right?  I couldn't picture him in my mind either, but he certainly wasn't THAT young.

6:  Caesar Flickerman.
I couldn't picture someone blue.  I really couldn't.  So when I saw how they made up Stanley Tucci and how he became Caesar, I was sold.  But Myrtle thought of someone more '70s gameshow host.  I suggested Will Ferrel in Anchorman.  I can see it.

7:  Effie Trinket.
Elizabeth Banks was my Effie.  But when Myrtle suggested that she be someone older, someone who'd been with the Games for years, I saw that she had a really good point.  Myrtle pictured Imelda Staunton -- who you may recall played Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix -- as Effie.  I can really see that!  Until I watch the movie, I think I'll be picturing Effie played by Imelda S.  Really, can't you just picture it?!

But really, let's face it, just watching the book come to life on the Big Screen is going to be phenomenal.  I felt that way about LOTR.   And judging by the trailers, it's going to be great.  I'm looking forward to it.

Who would you cast in *your* Hunger Games?


  1. Joel Grey! Yes, that's exactly how I pictured Snow.

    And Gary Oldman could be cast in any part and I'd agree with you! Sigh.

  2. @Myrtle: Totally, right?! And yeah, Gary Oldman -- swoon -- since Haymitch is taken, maybe we should campaign for him to be Plutarch! :)

  3. For Caesar Flickerman, I envision Richard Dawson after a teleporter accident merged him and Mimi from The Drew Carey Show.

  4. Love it! I'm too scared to read these books...! The whole premise is horrifying!

  5. Okay I promised I was going to finish the first book and comment on your post. Sorry it took longer, I was busy with books 2 and 3. Almost done with 3 now... ;-)

    Katniss: Molly C. Quinn (Alexis Castle, from Castle). She is a very beautiful actress, but has the ability to look unfriendly at the same time.
    Gale: Connor Paolo (Declan Porter, from Revenge). The gruff side, I also pictured that guy as a short black-haired guy.
    Cinna: I saw the preview of the movie before reading the book, so it was very hard not to imagine Lenny Kravitz in this role. He's the only one who made an impression on me after watching the preview.
    Peeta: Cory Monteith (Finn Hudson, from Glee). he does play a doofus jock madly in love with a difficult girl on Glee, so the link was easy to make for me. Plus, he has that "I'm a good guy and I look slightly dumb" attitude that Peeta has in the first book.
    Haymitch: Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid from HP). Ever since I saw in in "Cracker" I thought he had this "dark quality" that's required for the role of drunken mentor Haymitch.
    President Snow: Martin Short. He has the creepiness factor needed to play the role.
    Seneca Crane: Alan Tudyk (Wash, from Firefly). Honestly that character didn't make a big impression on me, I had to re-read part of the first book to get a mental picture.
    Caesar Flickerman: I imagined Robert Downey Jr. as the smarmy host. I figured he could balance the hamming it up for the cameras while looking like he cared for the interviewees. Plus he'd look the part with the different hair colors and all that stuff.
    Effie Trinket: Debra Jo Rupp (Kitty Forman from that 70's show). It's the voice. I couldn't hear any other voice but hers. Come on people, we're on a schedule!

    So there you go. I have not seen the movie yet, I'm waiting to be done with the third book.