Buried in an article about his new Lifetime movie, Glee‘s Grant Gustin revealed some pretty big news: He’s in the running for the role of Finnick Odair in Catching Fire! ”I don’t think [the producers] know what they’re looking for just yet,” he said, “but yes, I auditioned for the role.” Maybe it’s just me, but this is not welcome news, because I simply cannot envision Grant in any other role than the smarmy Warbler Sebastian.
I’m not trying to be difficult and be one of those people who can’t cope with an actor playing different roles, but in my mind Grant just doesn’t quite stack up to what the fans need Finnick to be. Or, to be put it better, Grant can superbly tackle one facet of Finnick’s character—the vain, pampered Capitol pet that he first appears to be. With that smug smirk and some outdoor training — to build up muscle and get a serious tan — Grant could play the Finnick that Katniss and Peeta encounter at the beginning of the book.
But I’m not sure I could take him seriously when things start to get dark, when the Games turn twisted, when Finnick has to bring Peeta back from death, when he starts to hear his beloved Annie Cresta’s screams in the Arena. (Not to mention when we learn in Mockingjay just how President Snow rewarded Finnick for winning his Games.) Even though Sebastian redeemed himself on this past season of Glee after he threw that salt-laced slushie into Blaine’s eye, you never got the impression that it took too much effort to play that character arc. I’d rather see Grant do projects like the one that just got confirmed: Affluenza, a modern-day Great Gatsby where he’s a preppy alpha-male jock robbed of his trust fund in the 2008 financial crisis. Also, he’s only 22; I know that Finnick is in his mid-twenties, but I’d rather see an older actor with more experience skewed younger.
Of course, those of you who do see Sebastian as your Finnick will be tickled at this photo of him and Naya Rivera, who many Hunger Games fans wanted to get cast as Johanna Mason. Imagine, for a moment, that the two victor tributes are plotting their alliance in the Quarter Quell.