Jena Malone is Johanna Mason?

Lainey Posted by Lainey at July 5, 2012 19:36:57 July 5, 2012 19:36:57

The Hollywood Reporter reported exclusively the other day that Jena Malone will play Johanna Mason in Catching Fire. Or, rather, they reported that:

“Malone has the offer and is in early negotiations for the part, according to sources.”

Something about the way this was worded...

It reminded me of a similar situation that went down a few years ago surrounding the casting process for a superhero movie. Several actresses were up for the part including one with a demonic reputation, and the other a small town un-American girl who’d quickly become a fan sweetheart. The sweetheart had the edge, and she was on her way to LA to close the deal. At the airport, her phone goes off. It’s her agents. They told her not to get on the plane. Demonic leaked a story to Variety that she’d confirmed the role when she hadn’t. It was a bold move to throw off the other candidates. And it worked. (But both movies sucked and really didn’t do anything for her in the long run.)

This is not an uncommon tactic. Jessica Biel has been known to do it - with much less success; same goes for Blake Lively. Sometimes they just want to get it out there that they’re being considered for some so that they might be considered for others. I don’t have to tell you what Hollywood is like. You do what you can. You do whatever it takes. You step on whoever needs to be stepped on. There’s a great Julia Robert’s story about this very thing for another time. Julia Roberts didn’t get to be Julia Roberts by being nice, you know. As for Jena Malone...

She was indeed a frontrunner for Johanna Mason. One of them. But for what it’s worth, some people I’ve talked to think that she leaked that story to THR herself before there was even a decision made. She knew the fans were into her, that they’d be all over it online. And she did it to prove to the director and the studio that people were excited and she’d be well received. Risky move and it could pay off. And if it does...


That’s very Johanna Mason, isn’t it?

She might just be perfect for it after all. There it is - Jena has my vote too.

Attached - Malone at the premiere of Hatfields & McCoys in May.

Mark Davis/Kevin Winter/Tommaso Boddi/Getty

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