So it turns out that this morning’s casting hysteria about Catching Fire‘s Finnick Odair was just a rumor run wild. Zap2it reports that not only is Lionsgate not choosing among Armie Hammer, Garrett Hedlund, and (weirdly enough) Taylor Kitsch, but that the studio is considering a bunch of unknowns so as not to have any ego clashes on-set. Furthermore, Zap2it’s source has leaked which scenes from Catching Fire are being used as audition sides… and we fully support it!
Not surprisingly, the two scenes that the studio reportedly chose are fan favorite moments that include Katniss Everdeen. Seeing as whoever gets cast is gonna have to go toe-to-toe with Jennifer Lawrence in a lot of action and emotional scenes, it’s no surprise they picked these two: The sugar cube scene and when Finnick hears Annie Cresta‘s screams in the Arena.
I’ll be curious to see how much the Catching Fire producers play up Finnick’s charisma and sexiness. Especially when he and Katniss are first sizing each up in the Capitol pre-Games and he — wearing just a golden net knotted at the crotch, mind you — does things like this:
“Hello, Katniss,” he says, as if we’ve known each other for years, when in fact we’ve never met.
“Hello, Finnick,” I say, just as casually, although I’m feeling uncomfortable at his closeness, especially since he’s got so much bare skin exposed.
“Want a sugar cube?” he says, offering his hand, which is piled high. “They’re supposed to be for the horses, but who cares? They’ve got years to eat sugar, whereas you and I… well, if we see something sweet, we better grab it quick.”
What’s fantastic is that you can see how much Katniss and Finnick’s relationship has changed in the time between that scene and this famous moment from the Quarter Quell. (Spoilers abound!) As fans know, the Arena for the 75th Hunger Games is set up like a clock, with each of the twelve wedges featuring a different cruel torture. Partway into the Games, Katniss and Finnick get stuck in a section where she thinks she hears her little sister Prim screaming. Once she realizes that it’s a genetically-engineered jabberjay, another one starts up screaming as Finnick’s childhood love Annie. He takes off at a run; Katniss races after him, trying to explain, but he says:
“No, it’s not Annie. But the voice was hers. Jabberjays mimic what they hear. Where did they get those screams, Katniss?”
I can feel my own cheeks grow pale as I understand his meaning. “Oh, Finnick, you don’t think they…”
“Yes. I do. That’s exactly what I think,” he says.
This was one of the truly horrifying parts of Catching Fire, the realization that the Capitol could hurt your family even if you were in the Games. And only these two characters truly understood it. Even though Katniss has reasons pulling her back and forth between Peeta and Gale in Mockingjay, you can’t discount the fact that the only person to truly understand her fragile mental state was Finnick. And we need an actor who can play these polarizing sides to the character; even if he’s an unknown, we’ll take raw talent over a familiar face.
Photo: ratgirlstudios on deviantART