More Tributes and Effie Officially Cast as Real-World Reaping takes Place and More Extras are Sought!

If you are keeping track of the casting for the forthcoming Hunger Games film, we now have tributes for Districts 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 11 and, of course, 12. That means Foxface (District 5) has been chosen. Also, Elizabeth Banks has been confirmed in the role of Effie Trinket.  In addition, the local casting company here in Western NC is still searching for more extras, particularly folks who look like coal miners. The movie is being called “Artemis” in all  official correspondence, but there is not much other attempt at secrecy as additional casting calls commence this week and email applications are being accepted as well. As we’re following developments here, I’ve noticed that the irony is thicker than Flavius’ purple lipstick.

The tributes’ faces keep popping up on my handy Facebook graphic, much as they would on the Capitol television screens. Katniss notes that, during training scoring, the Tributes’ faces and their numbers are flashed up on the screen, without names. On the graphic, which is cleverly done, the actors’ names are not prominent, but their district numbers and faces are. Only a few of the tribute characters have names, of course. One of these, “Foxface” (which isn’t her real name, of course, but Katniss’s name for her) from 5, has just been cast. For a moment, I thought the actress was the charming young lady from  another dystopian film , City of Ember, Saoirse Ronan, who actually is the Foxface in my head, just as her co-star, Harry Treadway, is the Gale I saw in my first reading. The actress playing Foxface is, like many of the other Tributes, an unknown.  

Watching this process unfold at the same time as other entertainments that have been elevated to near-religious hysteria, I have been interested to see how boht the NFL draft and the Royal Wedding echo elements of Collins’s remarkable story.

As the draft for the new NFL players unfolds, young men who have been groomed, like Careers, since their earliest days, will find out where they are going to play professional  football. While they generally appear thrilled at the teams that select them (even if they know nothing of the town to which they will soon relocate), I can’t help but wonder how many of them will turn out like the Victors of the previous seventy-three Hunger Games: spoiled by celebrity, surgically altered to preserve their beauty and their “image,” or chattel used as bargaining chips like Finnick Odair.

If you’ll excuse another cynical observation, in the run-up to the Royal Wedding, the BBC was broadcasting some of Kate Middleton’s “princess training.” Most of it was charming, as is the newly minted Princess herself, as she learned the details of how to effortlessly perform the many public duties she will be expected to fulfill. But one moment really seemed fascinating; the perky blond etiquette coach was instructing Kate on how to gracefully accept the many bouquets she will be given, and how to pass them off to her ladies in waiting. I could not help thinking of Effie Trinket and of Katniss leaving her flowers on the balcony in District 11.

As the movie people continue to recruit people from my region to populate the movie versions of the Districts and the Capitol, I wonder how many of those involved recognize, as many readers have, the bizarre irony in our fascination with this story which reminds us of so much in our own world with the potential to make us into Capitol citizens. Judging by the comments on the Facebook page for the movie casting folks, most people just want to be a movie, no matter what game they have to play. Since it looks like the filming will primarily be over here on my side of the state (Wilmington seems to be out as a location, at least for extras), I’ll keep reporting from my hovercraft.


  1. Wonderful connect-the-dot observations about the Royal Wedding and the NFL Harvesting, I mean “draft,” Elizabeth! I never would have connected these dots myself, but having read your post, I’m left slapping my forehead (“duh!”) and laughing.

    It also makes me think of the spectacle and celebration of Osama bin Laden’s execution by a US Special Forces group. As a Marine Sergeant in a previous life and the son of a Marine Corps Reconnaissance officer, I admire and applaud what this operation involved in terms of skills, equipment, and straight up courage on the part of the men ‘on the ground.’ I was startled, though, by the remarkable outburst of something like joy in the Capitol crowds over what was, however justified, a violation of another country’s sovereignty and a political assassination. Just imagine if the Russian Federation flew into the United States, inserted a team of its Green Beret equivalents, and murdered a criminal both the US and Federation were looking for.

    That analogy is weak on several points, I know, but I make it only because our ‘news’ of late has us celebrating the death of a human being, an enemy of no little evil certainly, with something like joy in front of our video screens. However well justified, the operation. its presentation on our teevee screens, and our participation as eager, enthralled audience in this packaging as unquestioning celebrants is more than a little reminiscent of of the world Ms. Collins is calling into question in her dystopian satire.

    She seems to be saying something like: “We are the Capitol/District 13. We do what we want to the 12 Districts and cheer without question our ability to use force in those Districts to get what we want and to arrange life (and death) there as we will. And everyone involved, from the Gamesmakers and Tributes to the Guardians and teevee viewers are demeaned and diminished as human beings by our arrogance.”

    A very challenging narrative that the Arab Spring (the Districts in revolt?), bin Laden execution, and the Capitol follies of the Royal Wedding and NFL draft are only reminders…

  2. Louise M. Freeman says

    I thought of Hunger Games when I saw this picture.
    It’s supposed to be the Situation Room with Obama and Clinton et al., watching live video of the attack on Osama’s compound. Apparently a camera crew is as necessary today as it is in the Mockingjay war.

    I must say, though, the President andSecretary of State both look genuinely shocked at whatever they are seeing.

    I’m trying to talk my 14 year old into sending our pictures in for the extras casting. We look very much alike and I think we’d be convincing as a worried mother/daughter pair watching the Reaping. As long as I can be from the well-fed Merchanct district. I can’t pull off starving very well.

  3. Arabella Figg says

    Really, there is no way this could <i<not have played out as a deja-vu Capitol farce. And consider this: Suzanne Collins is Chief Gamemaker.

  4. Arabella Figg says

    Oops. Supposed to be: could not have played out….

  5. PotterMom05 says

    I know we are supposed to stay away from the political around here, but I also couldn’t help but think of the Games when hearing/seeing the comments from people who wish Osama was been taken alive. Surely not to watch a live execution, right? It makes me shudder, and I for one do not need to see the video of the raid, or his body, or even footage of a white shroud being plopped into the Indian Ocean. I just choose to believe. Call me naive, but now that I’ve read Hunger Games I can’t go back.

    Love the parallels to the Draft and the Wedding, btw. Too true, on both counts.

  6. Arabella Figg says

    Sheesh, this isn’t my day. In my comment above, let me be specific, I was referrng to the film being made and the casting/publicity accompanying it.

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