Casting Fire: Fancasting Brian Cox for Plutarch
You asked us to do more ‘Catching Fire’ cast predictions, and we answered! Each week up until official ‘Catching Fire’ castings are announced, the staff of Mockingjay.net will be running a series called ‘Casting Fire’, taking a look at potential casting choices for other ‘Catching Fire’ characters. Thursday brings us to our ideas for Plutarch Heavensbee, and to kick us off we are starting with Brian Cox.
I’m not sure how I feel about Brian Cox as Plutarch. I’m not openly against it, but I’m not convinced it would work either. He seems too cold to me. Maybe I’m unfairly judging because his character in The Ring creeped me out so badly, but I just don’t really see anything warm and fuzzy about him. I know Plutarch isn’t warm and fuzzy, but he’s not cold. He’s friendly with Katniss at the feast when he’s excited to show her his watch. Plus, I think he a lot older than I imagined Plutarch. Maybe I imagine someone younger because I was used to Seneca as the Head Gamemaker, and he’s a relatively young guy. I’m just not convinced with Brian Cox. My overall vote is no.
Brian Cox is such an incredible actor and there really is no debate that he’d be able to play any facet of Plutarch’s character (and he genuinely has one of the nicest, smoothest voices in Hollywood – just sayin) It’s true that perhaps due to the casting of the handsome Wes Bentley as Seneca Crane it might be a little more difficult to buy Cox as a product of the Capitol. But maybe Snow wanted someone a bit older and more reliable. We don’t know Plutarch’s age. He’d perfectly play the part of the powerful tactician and he has that look where you never really know where his loyalties lie. Plus with the caliber of adult acting talent they already have in place in The Hunger Games, Brian Cox would fit in nicely.
Brian Cox is immortalized in my mind as Uncle Argyle from Braveheart, so I have to admit I have a hard time disassociating him from that one role from almost 20 years ago. Silly, I know, but it gets in the way of me being able to see him as Plutarch! Acting wise there’s no question he could pull it off, but he’s also a little too old for the role in my opinion. Most importantly though, Plutarch Heavensbee was born and raised in the Capitol and Cox just has this haggard, been-through-hell look about him that makes him look more like he’s from the Districts. He just simply doesn’t look the part of a man who’s lived in luxury his whole life.
Brian Cox does not fit my idea of Plutarch at all. The only part I’ve seen him play is the bad guy in ‘X-Men 2′, so I know he could nail the arrogance and self-confidence that Plutarch has, but I don’t think he has the elegance that Plutarch needs. I also think that a Head Gamemaker will be a very attractive and likeable person (like Seneca) because of all the TV exposure he’ll have in the Capitol, and Cox doesn’t seem to fit into what I think a Head Gamemaker should be.
Since Plutarch had little physical description, this role could be taken anywhere. I think it’s important to choose an actor who is physically distinct from Wes Bentley (and his Seneca Crane beard), which suits Brian Cox well. But other than the physical distinction, I’m not crazy about him for a choice. I pictured this character a little smoother, hipper, and glossier – and I guess younger. There was a certain amount of creep-factor in the dance scene where Plutarch hints to Katniss about his watch, and I’d rather see it pulled off by a younger character who carries a little more vain capitol vapidity.
I think that Brian certainly looks the part… if they’re going for the Seneca Crane-style approach to what a Head Gamemaker should look like. His acting is good in what little I’ve seen of him, but Plutarch is a really huge part of Mockingjay and I’m not sure whether Cox could show that much of a depth to this character. However, he does have some great things he could bring to this character so I think that I’m pretty neutral on this one, I pictured him slightly differently; yet I would have never picked Wes Bentley as Seneca yet he did a better job than anyone I could have imagined. I think as long as he is able to show the kind of detachment from the situations and the complete aura that comes with a Head Gamemaker then he could be my Plutarch.
I have loved Brian Cox’s action-orientated roles (think X-Men, Bourne flicks & Red) and really think he could bring some great qualities to Plutarch. He has the sophistication and arrogance down pat, and he was rather sauve in Red, so I think he could portray that weasle like charm Plutarch displays. My only concern is that I think he is perhaps a little too old for Plutarch, as I imagined Plutarch to be in about the mid-40′s, and I have to agree with Erin that he doesn’t quite have the “look” of a head game maker.