Calling all ‘Hunger Games’ fans! Does anyone else desperately want to see John C. Reilly as Katniss and Peeta’s drunk, endearing mentor Haymitch?
When Haymitch Abernathy was first introduced in The Hunger Games, the first of the popular three book series by Suzanne Collins, he was intoxicated, falling off on stage at the reaping and messing up Effie’s hair. When I pictured the “paunchy middle-aged man”, who was known as the town drunk of District 12 but ended up being so much more to Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), the mental image I had was someone resembling John C. Reilly. And Timothy Spall, but John works too!
The whispers of Robert Downey Jr. and Hugh Laurie made some sense too as they’d be great at playing drunk mentors (not in a mean way) and perhaps they would highlight an edgier side of Haymitch, the side that makes you hate him when he talks down to Katniss and says she lacks any charm or personality. But for me, I always felt empathetic to Haymitch who has had to endure years of mentoring children for the Games only to watch them die on screen. We instantly began to see more of his true character when Peeta and Katniss teamed up to try to stop him from drinking and he first had the realization that he “had some fighters” this time.
John C. Reilly has had plenty of experiences acting like a drunk whom people shrug off (anyone remember Talladega Nights?), and he sincerely pulled at my heartstrings in Chicago. I think he will be perfect at emphasizing the underlying sweetness to Haymitch, who can also sober up enough to help Katniss and communicate with her throughout the Games by withholding goods until she properly dotes on Peeta. Haymitch is such a tragic character, one whom you just wish would sober up but you can’t blame for needing to drown his misery after what he’s seen. And he really comes through when he’s most needed.
John reportedly wants the role, but his rep says no offers have been made as of now. I’d love to have Haymitch in my corner, especially if he was played by somebody as endearing as John C. Reilly. Do you guys agree that he should get the offer? Sound off below!