CINNA UPDATE! Listen to #CINNAWATCH2011 on the Fireside Chat.
Hit PLAY below (Episode 7), and hold the right arrow key down until you get to 75:21, or CLICK HERE to get to 75:21 more easily.

Listen to internet radio with Fireside Chat on Blog Talk Radio

_
By Adam Spunberg and Savanna New

The Hunger Games world is abuzz with casting rumors. For those of you who don’t know, The Hunger Games is a futuristic trilogy set in a dystopian version of America, where children are forced to fight to the death on national television. The first in this immensely successful book series, by Suzanne Collins, is now being set to a highly anticipated film, which is expected to rival Harry Potter and Twilight.

We are extremely fortunate to have Gabby Vittoria and Pauline Hughes from The Hob to break down the leading contenders in this heated casting debate. In this installment, we shine our spotlight on the wind beneath Katniss’s handstitched mockingjay wings: her stylist, Cinna, who endears her to the public and becomes a most valuable friend.

Note: The Hob is one of the top fan sites on the web, and we strongly encourage that you visit their site for more information.

Part I: Katniss
Part II: Haymitch
Part III: Peeta
Part IV: Gale
Part V: Effie
Part VI: President Snow
Part VII: Prim
Part VIII: Cinna
Part IX: Rue
Part X: Tributes
Part XI: The Others

Related: Interview with Tanvi Berwah of Hunger Games Network on the international impact

Ewan McGregor

Gabby: Ewan McGregor could probably pull Cinna off, but there is something there that I cannot put my finger on that has me leaning towards no. Grade: B-

Pauline: I think he has a great look for Cinna.  I don’t necessarily picture Cinna to be extremely flamboyant, but a more sophisticated, classy guy, and I believe Ewan could pull this off.  Grade: B+

Adam: Ewan McGregor brings a wide-ranging arsenal to the table, and the interesting thing is that he could play Cinna in several different ways, each one effective. So much of Cinna’s personality will depend on the directing: should he be flamboyant and ostentatious, or more the dependable rock Katniss relies on, who appears “normal” and unleashes an unexpected talent for color? Cinna embodies many personas — all of them good — and Ewan would be a fantastic choice to represent all of them in nuanced kaleidoscope. Grade: A

Savanna: Let me preface this by saying that I am essentially in love with every actor on this list, so the majority of my commentary will probably consist of statements like “He’s so dreamy!” and “He’d be a great Cinna!” That being said, Ewan McGregor might be my least favorite of this bunch. I tend to think of him more as “romantic male lead,” though I know he’s very versatile and capable of much, much more — including a subversive stylist. Grade: B+

Jude Law

Gabby: My favorite of this bunch is Jude Law. He has a masculine flamboyance about him that I can see as Cinna. Grade: A

Pauline: I don’t really see Jude Law in this role.  I can’t really put into words why I feel this way, I just don’t feel like he screams “Cinna” to me.  Grade: D

Adam: First McGregor, now Jude Law. I guess everyone thinks Cinna’s British (although as we saw from Cold Mountain, Law can shed his nationality with relative ease). Even though Law has plenty of projects lined up, he could use a little boost to his career — which has dulled a bit after an electric start. Endearing himself to YA fans in such a likable role could do the trick, and we know he’s talented enough to seize the chance. Grade: A-

Savanna: While I can see him as Cinna, Jude Law always has such a smarmy look on his face, I’m afraid he might inject an inappropriate hint of arrogance into the character simply by being himself. He is adept at projecting a sort of enigmatic sophistication, though, which I think is one of Cinna’s more distinguishing qualities, so maybe it would work out. Grade: B+

Hugh Dancy

Gabby: Hugh Dancy is someone that I am not very familiar with, but he has an air about him that makes me think he could be good for the role of Cinna. Like Jude, I think he could bring flamboyance to the character without making it over the top and it being the focus. Grade: B+

Pauline: I really like him for the role.  I think he has a eloquent and attractive look to him that would tie well into Cinna’s overall appearance.  I also think he is a great actor and could pull it all off. Grade: B+

Adam: Another Brit! What are we suggesting here…I suppose the English do have a flair for fashion, though if we’re going to go that route, maybe we ought to look towards France. Where’s Gerard Depardieu? He’d be perfect! (A joke, in case anyone was in doubt). Dancy is an underrated actor, having deftly played an Asperger’s character in Adam and — in showcasing his ability to work with women — performing well as the man-among-ladies in The Jane Austen Book Club. If we want a more composed, mysterious character, Dancy would be superb. I just don’t know if he quite has the extremist range of McGregor and Law, which the director may want in smaller doses. Grade: B+

Savanna: After I finished reading the Hunger Games trilogy, I got sucked into the world of fan-made trailers and “dream cast” videos on YouTube. In video after video, fans were choosing Hugh Dancy as their Cinna, and I can completely see why. Dancy has a sort of quiet, kind way about him which would suit Cinna well. He also gets bonus points for being married to Claire Danes — a potential Portia (Peeta’s stylist), perhaps? Grade: A

James Marsden

Gabby: James Marsden is just not what I see when I think of Cinna. He is a bit too manly for the role. I think more of him being in a man-in-action role instead of in a behind-the-scenes role. I may just have Cyclops on the brain, but I just can’t get past it! Grade: C

Pauline: I honestly don’t know of anything that he has been in, so I am unsure about his acting abilities, but just going on looks, I think he has a nice, friendly looking face.  I think that is important for the role of Cinna because at first we are just presented with “another person from the Capitol that Katniss has to interact with,” but we all know from reading the books that Cinna is different from the rest of the “bad people” from the Capitol.  He doesn’t speak his opinions, but we see through his creativity for Katniss and Peeta’s costumes that he has a pure heart.  Grade: B

Adam: Of all of Marsden’s roles, the one that most impressed me (and don’t question my masculinity for saying this) was 27 Dresses. For once, he was loose and cool, discarding the pretty-boy typecast for an cynical-but-amiable male lead. He also showed some Renaissance in Enchanted. I like him a lot for Cinna’s character, but I also worry that it could go horribly awry if the wrong James Marsden shows up. What’s A+ averaged with C+? Grade: B+

Savanna: I like James Marsden a lot and wouldn’t be upset to see him as Cinna, but I prefer some of the other contenders here. Marsden is almost too handsome, his features too chiseled (a weak argument, I know). Grade: B

Adam Lambert

Gabby: Adam Lambert, stick to your day job!! No, just no. Grade: F

Pauline: I guess if we scrubbed all the makeup off of Adam and got to see him and his acting abilities raw, then perhaps my feelings for him in this role would change, but like I said before, I see Cinna as more of a strong, sophisticated, class act kind of a guy.  My initial feelings of Adam are that he is a bit more “showy” and “flamboyant” and that might encompass the flair that the people from the Capitol possess physically, but I see it as being too much for Cinna. Grade: D

Adam: District 12 is desperately hungry, but some crack dealers from District 10 pop by and get them hooked on something other than mining. All hell breaks loose. Our hero, Adam Lambert, emerges and saves the day like Captain EO in that old EPCOT ride (with Michael Jackson), by drenching himself in makeup and dancing like it’s High School Musical 24. Grade: F-

Savanna: Could The Hunger Games do for Adam Lambert what Precious did for Mariah Carey? That is, strip him unrecognizably free of makeup and hair products and expose a surprisingly adept actor below? Yeah, I don’t think so, either. I can only imagine the screaming histrionics that would color his interpretation of Cinna, including a gut-wrenching rendition of “Whataya Want from Me” on the sewing room floor. Grade: D

 

Picktainment’s Picks

Cillian Murphy

Adam: He’s the best choice. The others are great, and they could more than adequately succeed if needed, but I sincerely hope Cillian Murphy ends up on someone’s short list. There is such repressed fervor in his gaze, yet he carries himself with a calm, watery quality that could slip past the Capitol’s guard. A true artist and unheralded thespian, just give him the job. Grade: A+

Savanna: Ah, Cillian Murphy. He can do no wrong. He’s one of the best and most underrated actors out there, and I really can’t think of anyone more perfect for the role of Cinna. Like Cinna, Murphy has a subdued, halcyon demeanor, and his eyes are so piercing and mysterious, one could easily suspect thoughts of rebellion percolating within. Grade: A+

Logan Lerman

Adam: Most people probably know Logan Lerman from Percy Jackson, but he’s more than just the son of Poseidon. Okay, he is THE SON OF POSEIDON!!! But he’s also a pretty talented kid. I think he’d be surprisingly effective as Cinna, though if Katniss is Jennifer Lawrence, we may have to add Team Cinna to the list. Grade: B+

Savanna: Logan Lerman, at 19, is very young — probably younger than the Cinna you envisioned while reading the books, and much younger than the other possibilities we’ve explored, all of whom are in their 30s (Lambert is 29). In the books, however, Cinna’s age is never mentioned, so he might very well be in his early 20s. I think Lerman could be a compelling choice; he’s likable, self-assured, and his youth would automatically render Cinna a sympathetic figure. Grade: B

Adam Spunberg is a senior writer at Picktainment and founder of the Austen Twitter Project. Email him at adam@picktainment.com or tweet @AdamSpunberg.

Savanna New is an associate editor at Picktainment. Email her at savanna@picktainment.com.