I know I’m behind the curve, but let me just say that I am now a card-carrying member of The Hunger Games-OBSESSED fan club! If you haven’t read the distopian YA novel about teenagers from 12 districts competing to the death on live TV, you are seriously missing out.
Now that I’m going crazy waiting for the August 24th release of Mockingjay, I’m going to pull the dorky teenage pastime of “dream casting” the movie version, which is now in development with Lionsgate.
Here’s my perfect cast!
Katniss: Kaya Scodelario / Ideally, I’m rooting for an unknown to take the lead role – with olive skin and a complex personality, it really requires fresh (hopefully minority!) talent. But Scodelario, a fan favorite, was incredibly compelling in Skins (an AMAZING show) and she has the right intensity for Katniss. God forbid it’s a sweet-faced Disney princess. I’d love for Kaya to trade pill-popping for arrow-throwing. Plus, it’s fun to picture her with an American accent . . . and not bat-shit crazy.
Peeta: Liam Hemsworth / Oh, to be a blonde-haired pretty boy… there are just so many, but none of them quite like stocky, soulful Peeta. Michael Welch gets nixed just for being in the cast of Twilight, and William Moseley and Alex Pettyfer already are male leads for their own YA series (The Chronicles of Narnia and Alex Rider, respectively). So I was delighted to find Liam Hemsworth, a hunky male lead with the bigger build and love-struck eyes for Peeta.
Gale: Jake Sandvig / The actor for Gale doesn’t only have to be a male version of Katniss. He also has to play both a great District 12 underdog and a man the schoolyard girls would fawn over. Unlike Drew Roy or Adam Gregory, Jake has eyes that look like they’ve seen hardship in the coal mines, but it only adds to his tall-dark-handsome factor.
Haymitch: Jeff Bridges / I love entertaining the idea of a drunken Jack Nicholson or Philip Seymour Hoffman, but Robert Downey Jr. or Hugh Laurie, the fan-picked favorites, would have to let themselves go a LOT to ever be considered “paunchy”. Jeff Bridges could pull off both the pain and physical comedy for Haymitch fantastically, so he gets my vote.
Effie: Kristin Chenoweth / This was the easiest to pick – she would shine as the comedic and bubbly, but slightly annoying voice of District 12. I can just picture her announcing in that high-pitched voice of hers (perfect for the affected Capitol accent), “And may the odds be ever in your favor!”
Cinna: Hugh Dancy / Dancy’s a fan favorite as well, and he’s the right age, which is more important for Cinna because he can’t look the peer of the (sure to be older than 12-16 years) tributes. With well-groomed, almost effeminate looks, Hugh seems to be everyone’s picture of Katniss’s rookie stylist.
Prim: Elle Fanning / That little blonde’s got this one in the bag.
Mrs. Everdeen: Tea Leoni / Let’s eliminate the established blondes: Kate Hudson is too young, Michelle Pfeiffer too scary, Ali Larter too severe, Meg Ryan too chipper, and Jodie Foster too… done. Renee Zellweger plays a great depressive, but she looks nothing like Kaya or Elle. I’m loving Tea Leoni for the role – she’s exactly the right mix and very maternal, in a classy way.
Rue: Yara Shahidi / Has the same spirit as Prim, but let’s not whitewash District 11, shall we?
Who else? Sophie Anna Everhard has a good look for Foxface, and I’d put Chloe Moretz in the role of Clove because she kicks ass and actually wants to be in the Hunger Games. I haven’t found anyone close to Thresh or Cato, so if you see a great black teen actor or a “ruthless killing machine”. . . let me know!