The character of Johanna in the Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire has yet to be cast, and we began wondering, what if one of the three most famous actresses played the role.
The role of Johanna Mason will be a tough one to fill.
She is sarcastic and mean-spirited. Johanna’s first meeting with Katniss involves her stripping out of her tree costume in order to make Katniss uncomfortable.
She reveals that she has no friends or family in District 7, stating “there is no one left I care about.” She won her original Hunger Games by pretending she was a weakling and a coward, so no one regarded her as a threat, but when only a few tributes remained, she revealed herself as a vicious killer.
Johanna teams up with Katniss, Peeta, and Finnick in the Quarter Quell, bringing Beetee and Wiress with her, because that was the only way to ally with Katniss. Katniss describes her presence as being akin to having an older sister who hates you. Johanna takes part in the committee to keep Katniss and Peeta alive, and helps by protecting Katniss throughout the Games. Near the end of Catching Fire she removes the tracker in Katniss’ arm by cutting it out with a knife.
Johanna is captured by the Capitol at the end of Catching Fire.
Could Selena Gomez play the role of the hardened, sarcastic and sometimes mean District 7 tribute/victor?
Note: I am assuming who plays the role in Catching Fire will play it as well in Mockingjay.
There are a few reasons why I think she could pull of the role.
Firstly, we know from reading the series that she is beautiful enough that President Snow tries to force her into the prostitution ring of previous Victors. We know that Finnick was used as one, and much of it comes from how desirable the victor is. Selena is a very pretty young actress. It wouldn’t be unbelievable to accept that President Snow, the sponsors, and the wealthy citizens of the Capitol would find her desirable.
I also think that give the opportunity she could play the part of an “older sister who hates you but loves you” character, which is the type of relationship we see between Katniss and Johanna at the beginning of Mockingjay.
If they show it, I think it is believable that Selena could pull off the weakling persona that Johanna used to win her first Hunger Games.
The best reason Selena would fit in the role is her appearance. She matches the description of the characters appearance in the novel. In the novel she is described as having wide-set brown eyes and short brown hair, both of which match Selena pretty well. The only thing that could hinder this is whether or not she would be willing to shave her head/ or appear to have for Mockingjay.
There are a couple reasons, however, that I think she couldn’t play this role.
I have never seen her in a physical role, especially not as physical as series would require. She would have to train for months to wield an axe and I probably still wouldn’t find it believable that she is a warrior.
Selena as an actress and person, just seems to incredibly wholesome and nice to be able to transform into a mean, sarcastic young woman described as having a “wicked ability to murder.” It may be because we have never seen her in a role like this, but I don’t think she could pull it off.
Going back to the warrior thing, Selena is so petite, that I would have trouble believe she overpower Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss.
Also, I have a hard time seeing Selena being ok with playing a character who strips naked in one of the first scenes the Johanna appears in. Just saying.
The last thing is age. Selena is 19 years old and Johanna is described as being young twenties. Pretty close, but Selena doesn’t look at all young twenties. (I feel her pain, truly) I don’t think she would fit because she looks to young for the role.
Damon: Sarah does a great job with her thoughts of Selena Gomez as Johanna, but let me add a few of my own
You know we know that Johanna wins her first game by pretending to be a weakling and a coward. When I think of weakling in relation to the games I could also think petite, for which Selena could pull off. The problem is that Johanna is also from the lumber district and her weapon of choice is an axe. So I think she has to be pretty buff to pull that off so I get a bit confused on how they will portray that.
I agree with Sarah on the fact that I just don’t see Selena as a warrior, and Johanna was a warrior without a doubt. I think Selena could pull off the acting part of playing that roll of an older sibling or as Katniss describes it an older sister who hates you fine to Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss it is just the physical part that does not work for me. I would also have a tough time seeing Selena cut out a tracker from Jennifer’s arm. Selena is just too sweet (from her other roles) for me to buy in. Now maybe Spring Breakers changes that.
We will be looking at other actresses for this roll and other rolls going forward. So what are your thoughts on Selena Gomez playing Johanna in the next Hunger Games movie Catching Fire?