There's no questioning how I feel about The Hunger Games. I read the whole trilogy twice through in five weeks. Remember that? Remember how often I gripped at my heart and stammered over my own words? And have you noticed how I still can't stop talking about it, six months later? How it invades my thoughts for days at a time? Maybe you haven't noticed that last one, but I sure have.
You'd think I'd have moved on by now, but it's only getting worse. I feel uneasy recommending the books to people, for fear that they'll hate them and I will take it personally. Because, likely, I will. Sheesh.
Well, if you've been following the buzz, you can see where this might be going. How they got it all wrong and ruined everything by casting a tall, blonde, 20-year-old as Katniss.
Not so, my friends. Not so. I'm here to tell you that they got it right.
And also maybe to jump up and down and scream in your face a little about how (ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh) it's Jennifer Lawrence!
Is there a not-stupid-sounding way to say that she and I are from the same town, and that I grew up going to church with her family, that my mom remembers when she was born? That all of Louisville is a-flutter with her, that I set aside my usual Oscar-grievances because there's no way not to watch, when you know a nominee?
How's that for an equation in self-destruction? The film version of your favorite book + an incredible actress you still think of as the twelve-year-old sister of a boy in your Sunday School class... as the main character. As Katniss...
And that equals my mind right now. Totally blown.
I spent the whole day at work yesterday telling every possible person about this. None of them had read the books or heard of Jennifer Lawrence. I told them anyway. I jumped up and down every time I went into the back. I started squealing while straightening clothes. I almost threw up a couple of times. Every thought was taken up by trying to wrap my mind around the fact that Jen Lawrence is going to be Katniss Everdeen, and that I used to know her. That I'm not making it up. And that this is going to be the best thing ever.
Around my lunch break, I calmed down enough to remember something: Jennifer looks nothing like how I'd pictured Katniss. Oh, no. People are going to hate this. They are going to hate me for being so excited. She's pale, she's blonde, she's got all the wrong features (though, there, I disagree). This could be a disaster.
I know this is how some people will feel, and I don't blame them. But to those people, I say: go watch an interview with Jennifer. Listen to her voice. Watch her eyes (which, indeed, are rather grey). No. No, it is definitely not a disaster. This girl is incredible. Have you read this announcement? Allow me to quote from the article what Suzanne had to say:
"'Jennifer’s just an incredible actress. So powerful, vulnerable, beautiful, unforgiving and brave... I never thought we’d find somebody this perfect for the role. And I can’t wait for everyone to see her play it.'”
There you have it, folks! If the author is behind the decision, how can I not be? Regardless of the fact that, you know, I sort of know the girl.
Jennifer, I am so proud of you. You represent home so well. You will be excellent, and you already shine. Go knock 'em dead. :)