I wish I could talk about The Hunger Games with more knowledge. I need a method to simply inject these books into my brain while I fold laundry.
If I had such a method, I’d be able to comment more effectively on the casting of Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark and Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne.
I do know a few fans are screaming “Wrong!” on Twitter.
I do know, thanks to the Hunger Games Wikia, that Gale is supposed to be over six feet tall with olive skin, dark hair, and gray eyes. Due to his harsh and brutal upbringing, he already looks like a man despite that he’s only a teenager. Hemsworth certainly has “the man” bit down, and he certainly looks as though he could be related to Jennifer Lawrence (a key part of their story, as they are claiming to be cousins).
Peeta is a bit of a pin-up character — ashy blonde hair that “falls in waves over his forehead” , blue eyes, a stocky build and…wait, have they got their casting picks mixed up? It would appear they have, particularly since Peeta is set-up as a bit of a romantic interest for Katniss. (She uses their attachment largely for her own material gain, which makes her a very modern heroine indeed.)
I wish I knew more to comment. I haven’t been blown away by either young actor, as I have with Lawrence, so I can’t argue that they picked talent over looks. I don’t get too hung up on appearance — the talent should win over matching a vague description — but I do find it amusing that the casting directors went out of their way to avoid casting anyone remotely olive-skinned. I wouldn’t exactly call it white-washing (grey eyes and olive skin is could only be described as vaguely ethnic), but it is a little sad. Brunettes need work, too.
I’ll hand this one over to the fans.