In case you have not been following the Hunger Games movie casting news closely, you might not have heard that Lenny Kravitz was announced to be playing Cinna, Katniss’s stylist.
A lot of people have been reacting with surprise/negativity. I’m definitely disappointed, but only because I really wanted Christian Siriano (from Project Runway) to play Cinna.
Obvi, Christian Siriano is not an actor, and I have no idea whether or not he’d be any good as Cinna. And his persona is much more manic than the calm Cinna. Cinna is actually probably more like Tim Gunn. But a long time ago someone put the idea in my head that Christian Siriano should play Cinna, and I ran with it in my head. And I think that, based on his work on Project Runway, Christian could totally design an awesome outfit for Katniss, and I would in fact love for that to be a Project Runway challenge.
Lenny Kravitz does strike me as an odd choice. He’s not an actor, either–though apparently he had a role in Precious, which I have not seen. But, like, honestly I don’t care that much. I’ll definitely see the movie no matter who they put in it.I also think it’s a positive to have another person of color in the cast–I don’t remember if Cinna was described as being black, and I don’t really care if he wasn’t. I totally missed that Rue was described as being black, but I’m glad they’ve cast an actress of color for her part.
I’m not sure what it is about my imagination, but when I read a book I hardly ever have a clear mental image of what the characters look like, which is fine. I have a better idea of what they sound like and what they feel like. Whenever a book comes out as a movie, the movie actors instantly take over in my mind as what the character looks like. I do notice occasional things–like I know Harry Potter has green eyes, which J. K. Rowling mentioned, oh, seven thousand times, and which Daniel Radcliffe does not have. But, honestly, not the biggest deal to me. If they’d cast a sassy Latina as Harry Potter (for example), I would be intrigued, but might not have been on board with it. But I think Daniel Radcliffe did a fine job as Harry, and he is now my mental image of the character, green eyes or no.
Also, I was ambivalent about Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, but after reading her interview in Entertainment Weekly this week, I’m on board. (I can’t find the full interview online–I borrowed the magazine from a friend & don’t have it anymore to quote. But she talked a lot about her archery training and how important it is to her to be authentic as warrior-Katniss, and how she’s been working with the wardrobe people to make sure that her outfit for the Game is appropriately athletic. Here’s a link with the cover photo and part of the interview.)
Cool. So now that is how Katniss looks in my head, and that’s fine. Until I see the movie, though, Cinna will probably still look like Christian Siriano.
Finally, I’d like to say that when I was in junior high I thought this song was totally cool:
So, rock on, Cinna. Rock on.