All the people saw The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games opened to a box-office devouring $155 million, making it the third-highest three day weekend opening of all time (behind Harry Potter 7-2 and The Dark Knight). It kicked Hollywood in the teeth and showed that child murder can, in fact, entertain the masses. It’s made Liam Hemsworth a thing, brought back Wes Bentley, launched Jennifer Lawrence into the stratosphere, and right now scores of twelve-year-old girls are drawing their name and Josh Hutcherson’s linked by hearts. For a generation of kids, Donald Sutherland will be best known as creepy President Snow, Lenny Kravitz will be an actor-turned-musician (not the other way around), and everyone will believe that’s Woody Harrelson’s real hair.

In other words, The Hunger Games just became the biggest thing in pop culture. But how is the movie? Continue reading “All the people saw The Hunger Games”

Umm…o…kay…

I have a friend who works in original content development for a cable network. She always tells me when it comes to casting that it’s better to provoke the “um, alright, if you say so” response than the “this is PERFECT” reaction. She says with ambivalence comes room to breathe, a space for the actors and director to work with less pressure. The problem with the “perfect” response is that it means that people have too specific of an idea of how that character will be, long before they see any real development on it from the actor. She’s been known to send the most awkward cuts from a screen test to her executives, just so they can’t fall in love with any one mannerism because you never know how much of what an actor does in an audition will end up in the final cut. She’s very reasonable and rational when it comes to casting decisions; she understands all the different nuances that go into it because she makes those decisions herself. Continue reading “Umm…o…kay…”

Teen franchise casting roulette

It’s casting roulette week I guess. There are two teen franchises casting right now. One is huge, poised to take over the pop culture landscape as Twilight and Harry Potter are winding down and making room for The Next Big Thing. The other is about incest.* Casting on these projects is a big deal as the young actors and actresses chosen to star stand to become instant A-listers if their projects take off. So let’s examine the candidates, both real and imagined, for the principal roles in The Hunger Games, pop culture’s next Moment, and The Mortal Instruments, The Hunger Games’ backwoods cousin who’s just happy to be invited to the party. Continue reading “Teen franchise casting roulette”