It’s a Book, Not a Way of Life

Some fans just take their books WAY too seriously.

Fans of the popular series “The Hunger Games” were VERY vocal about the casting of Academy Award nominee Jennifer Lawrence as the story’s lead Katniss Everdeen. Citing everything from her age (Katniss is 16) to her skin tone (Katniss has an olive complexion and dark hair, prompting speculation that Katniss is biracial) as reasons, die hard fans are livid at the casting.

This isn’t the first time book fans have expressed discontent over casting when it’s brought to life. Fans of the defunct Legend of the Seeker (based on the book Wizards First Rule) were livid when Bridget Regan was cast as Kahlan despite not having green eyes. Twi-hards were equally as livid when Kristen Stewart was cast as their beloved Bella Swan and Robert Pattinson as her vampire lover Edward Cullen. When Daniel Radcliffe donned his Harry Potter glasses for the first time, fans were angry that his telltale scar was in the wrong place, thus ruining the franchise. Comic book fans have been ranting online for years about alleged miscasts, most recently Amy Adams as Lois Lane.

The thing about books is that we have the luxury of picturing the characters in our imaginations for so long, that we have trouble accepting a legit face for the characters we love. While in some cases, fans learn to accept the casting like Pattinson as Edward, most often fans stew in their bitterness that the physical appearance doesn’t match the character.

So, which is more important, the looks or the ability to play the character? One of my favourite books as a teen was The Vampire Diaries, so imagine my delight when it was turned into a small screen hit. However, (with the exception of Paul Wesley’s Stefan) none of the actors cast resemble their book counterparts and the town’s name was changed from Fell’s Church to Mystic Falls! The fair haired Elena Gilbert and her vampire doppleganger Katherine Von Swartzchild are portrayed to perfection by dark haired Nina Dobrev. Petite ginger Bonnie McCullough was tranformed into African American Bonnie Bennett (played by Kat Graham) and auburn haired model Caroline Forbes is played by bubbly blonde Candice Accola. However, the most glaring physical miscast would be Ian Somerhalder as Damon Salvatore. Damon is penned with hair and emotionless eyes as black as night. Somerhalder’s Damon has bright blue eyes that are characters of their own and medium brown hair. However, there’s no denying that Somerhalder’s portrayal of Damon is so entertaining, you can overlook his blue eyes.

While I can understand wanting to find an actor to look like your character, if they haven’t the range to play the character, it won’t work. Lawrence can dye her hair brown, but she can’t become a good actor if she isn’t. Could you imagine an actress like Vanessa Hudgens (who physically matches Katniss) playing a teenager fighting to survive a post apocalyptic war game? Not likely.

While it may not be what you were hoping for, save the venom until you see the finished product. It MAY surprise you.

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