Dear Jena Malone,
This is pretty awkward. I've said a lot of things about you since the July 2012 announcement that you were cast as Johanna Mason in the second through fourth Hunger Games films. Most of those things were said on Twitter, which I know is pretty shitty, because the whole world was able to see them there. Or at least the parts of the whole world that follow me on Twitter. Which is admittedly not very much of the whole world, but ultimately too much when it comes to saying mean and -- it turns out, undeserved -- things about an actress. Oh, it's not like I said anything personally offensive. Career-based stuff, really. I believe it started by tweeting a link to an article announcing that you'd been cast as Johanna and using the hashtag #STUPID. Twice. I kept going:
I swear to God nobody better cite "Sucker Punch" as a reason they thought Jena Malone could do Johanna Mason I SWEAR TO GOD.— joereid (@joereid) July 3, 2012
Bringing up Sucker Punch, the 2011 Zack Snyder girlsploitation adventure of which you were not even the lead, was a low blow. It's a terrible film to be sure, Ms. Malone, but not because of you.
Just go and cast Paul Dano as Finnick at this point, the fuck do I care? #OUTRAGE2012— joereid (@joereid) July 3, 2012
And here I went bringing Paul Dano into things. I probably owe him a letter too, but that's for another day.
You have to understand, Ms. Malone: Johanna Mason is my absolute favorite character in the Hunger Games novels. She's sarcastic and mean and uses her sexuality as a weapon. She's nearly as charismatic as her 75th Hunger Games counterpart, Finnick Odair, The Panem Panty-Dropper (that's not really his nickname, but it should have been; I'll draft an open letter to Suzanne Collins soon enough, and that one will be far less apologetic in tone). When it came time to cast Catching Fire, Finnick and Johanna were the two most crucial roles, but while Finnick could ultimately be played by any sufficiently hot blond with a swimmer's build (initially maligned by fans, Sam Claflin does a very fine job in the film), Johanna was different. Johanna wasn't just a posture, she was an attitude and a jolt of energy and excitement when Katniss threatened to get a bit too morose about their awful circumstances. In the parlance of our Twitter times, Johanna is a #FlawlessQueen, and here I was calling the casting of her role #STUPID.