Happy Hunger Games, Tributes!
You shall be happy to know that my AnachroCon and trip to Orlando went splendidly! Plenty of fun times were had by all and some were more inebriated than others. I almost made a return trip to my blog though to make a very angry post about how Patrick Stump has been mistreated by his “fans”, but I guess now is not the time for that.
Instead, I am here to start my official month of posts leading up to The Hunger Games! If you have been here since the beginning, you know that my very first post was on the recently released theatrical trailer and my excitement for what was to come.
Well everyone, the film is almost upon us! In fact, you might say that we’re in… The Final Countdown.
Okay, I apologize for that remark, but how great was it that I found an official countdown clock in Downtown Disney?!
Anyway, it was quite exciting earlier this week for Hunger Games fans in Atlanta. For on Tuesday, we were visited by The Hunger Games mall tour! Starting last weekend in Los Angeles, cast members from the film have been traveling cross country this week to help promote the film in its final weeks before release. Atlanta was the second stop on the tour and featured appearances from Jack Quaid (Marvel), Leven Rambin (Glimmer), Dayo Okeniyi (Thresh), Amandla Stenberg (Rue), and Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne).
I managed to get to Lenox Square Mall around 4, due to some time displacement issues. By the time I got there, Q100 had run out of wristbands, so I was unable to meet the cast. So was the rude mother who pushed me aside to try and get one. Still, members of the radio station staff were very nice and cordial for the whole thing, giving out free bottles of water and politely explaining how to fill out the question cards. And bless the staff for dealing with the fans trying to get the exclusive mall tour posters.
However, I don’t bless the person who gave me a papercut with one of them…
Before the Q&A started, I had a weird jumbling of what I expected to happen actually happening and the reality of the fandom actually setting in. Much of the audience were young girls with their parents or teenage girls, but there was also a fair amount of women my age or slightly older, and not a lot of fangirl mothers. There were some rude and obnoxious younger girls, like the one next to me who thought that the fact that she had read the series more times than Amandla was a big deal and made her better than her, but that wasn’t always the case. In fact, I struck up quite a polite and intelligent conversation with two girls from Stone Mountain, the oldest of which couldn’t have been more than 15. Also, I applaud Jen Hobby from the Burt Show for not trying to act like the series was about the love triangle. I didn’t realize she was a fan of the series until she was there, and her reference to District 13 was lovely. It was actually quite refreshing to have some of my expectations skewed.
Still, once the cast got there, it got to be a bit hard. The crowds got pushy, my ears were ringing from all the screaming Liam Hemsworth fangirls, and I found the chanting of “GET ON STAGE!” while the cast was taking care of press to be extremely rude. Though props to the few people who tagged that chant with “Please!”
Even in these moments, the crowd singing ‘Safe and Sound’ in unison and giving the 3-fingered District 12 salute throughout the event was amazing to behold. It was nice to surround myself with people who got that.
The screaming for Liam continued once the cast was on stage, sometimes to the point of obnoxiousness (there’s only so much one can take requests of taking a shirt off or going to prom), but Liam seemed to handle it pretty well. In fact, he called the fans the nicest people he’s ever met. Well, one can never put down Southern Hospitality. As for the rest of the cast and Q&A, the questions were very respectful and the cast was an absolute delight to listen to. Liam admitted to his brother Chris living up to his character of Thor by telling him before shooting that the film is “The Hunger Games, not The Eating Games.”
Amandla was quite adorable when she told the story of coming into the audition covered in mud and twigs because she was determined to get the part, and that hanging out with the cast was like being around a bunch of 13 year olds. Dayo was lovely to the fans, giving us the District 12 salute before starting the Q&A, and Leven says that she got pretty good at archery during her time on set. The one who completely stole my heart though was Jack Quaid, who said that he made Marvel into a complete geek and felt like this whole experience was outside reality.
And his favorite movie? The Big Lebowski.
Is it inappropriate to ask an actor over a blog post to be my new best friend? It probably is.
After the Q&A had let out, I began to wander through Lenox in hopes of finding an exit, but quickly came across the Microsoft Store, where the signing had taken place earlier. I quickly hid my Apple products and went in to take a look at the Hunger Games related technology that they had on display. The staff was very polite and let me take pictures for this entry.
I then tried to take a picture of the banner in front of the store, when yet another employee asked me if I wanted my picture in front of it. Well, how could I resist. Again, thank you Microsoft Store for being so cordial. I’m sure you’ve probably dealt with rabid Hunger Games fans the whole day, so the fact you were nice to this straggler was awesome.
At this point, there’s really only one stop left in Seattle, so any Seattle fans (and any readers in the future if they do this again), please remember to be polite when going to these types of things! It’s the least you can do for your fellow fans who are here for the exact same reasons you are! Welcome To District 12 has already covered that point, but it bears repeating! (By the way, if you haven’t visited Welcome To District 12, you totally should! They’re my favorite Hunger Games fansite out there!)
Hunger Games month continues next week with my love for Effie Trinket and an appeal to my fellow retrofuturists!