I told myself I wouldn’t join this debate here on Professional Fan Girl if only because I feel like everyone’s opinion is so different and we all want different things out of the actor cast. I’ve also chosen not to pick a favorite among the list of actors named/rumored/suggested/etc. because I feel very strongly that Lionsgate and newly-picked director Francis Lawrence are going to Foxface us all by choosing someone never mentioned and completely unknown. At this point the stakes are so high for the Finnick Odair casting that I fear it may be their only choice. But, I’ve decided to break my silence and at least share who I have 100% ruled out.
Last night the latest on the internet was that Taylor Kitsch, Garrett Hedlund, and Armie Hammer were the three names being ‘thrown around’ by Lionsgate. To me, ‘thrown around’ means their publicists all decided to tell people they are being ‘thrown around’ and word spread too far (aka exactly where they wanted it to spread). But what do I know? The list of the names I’ve heard most frequently throughout the casting buzz is as follows:
- Hunter Parrish
- Grant Gustin
- Chace Crawford
- Zac Efron
- Trevor Donovan
- Chris Zylka
- Colton Haynes
- Alex Pettyfer
- Jesse Williams
- Armie Hammer
- Garrett Hedlund
Robert Pattinson(5/31 UPDATE: “My agent was like, ‘No,’ ” – Robert Pattinson 5/26/12.) Kellan Lutz(5/31 UPDATE: ‘Twilight’ stars banned from ‘The Hunger Games’.) Taylor Kitsch(5/31 UPDATE: “Not going to happen.” – Taylor Kitsch, 5/31/12)
Immediate and resounding “NO!” to: Robert Pattinson (Come ON people.), Zac Efron (Too big a name, I think…), and Chace Crawford (Really?). I know that Armie Hammer has been a fan favorite, and I will admit that I do absolutely adore him, but he is too old. Armie doesn’t look a day under 30 and my interpretation of Finnick from his original introduction to us is much younger than that, maybe mid-twenties at most. While we’re talking about people who are too old, let’s file Garrett Hedlund under that category as well. I hadn’t heard his name in the mix until last night but I quickly dismissed it. Taylor Kitsch is a curse. After the ill-fated back-to-back box office bombs ‘John Carter’ and ‘Battleship’ I think he is going to have a very hard time getting cast in anything, let alone something as big as a pivotal role in ‘The Hunger Games’ franchise. (Taylor dispelled rumors himself via email to the LA Times.) I don’t think Kellan Lutz could get casted in the film if he wanted to because it’s too close to go putting him in another franchise when the last one will barely be on DVD by the time ‘Catching Fire’ hits theaters. (Looks like I was right on the money with that one…) I like Jesse Williams on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, but I don’t think Lionsgate will take the risk of casting someone so ethnic looking. We all saw what happened on the internet over Amandla Stenberg being cast as Rue, and she was actually supposed to be ethnic. Off topic but while we’re at it, I thought Amanda Stenberg was a pretty flawless Rue.
As I already mentioned, I don’t have a personal favorite picked. I will admit that I do tend to lean towards the younger names: Trevor Donovan, Colton Haynes, Alex Pettyfer, Grant Gustin, Chris Zylka, and the original pre-casting fan favorite for Peeta Mellark: Hunter Parrish. I guess if Katniss Everdeen held an arrow to my head and forced me to choose, I would choose Chris Zylka. I think Chris perfectly embodies what I envisioned Finnick Odair to look like, and thanks to ‘The Secret Circle’ being cancelled he’s now got a completely free schedule to fill. But don’t hold me to that, PFG readers. I don’t have my heart set on anyone in particular because the official casting will be a blow much easier to take when it comes and it’s not who I got emotionally attached to.
Don’t even get me started on Johanna Mason though.