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Who Should Play Beetee?

Which actor do you like for the geeky champion?

For those who don’t know him, Beetee is a Hunger Games character from book two, Catching Fire. To avoid any spoilers, we’ll just say that he is a former Games champion who is known for his superior intellect and ability to invent cool new gadgets. Beetee is very clever, a science geek to the core, and described as being middle-aged (I think—that detail seems a little fuzzy!). Other than that, we have no idea what he looks like (though he does wear glasses).

My Hunger Games has posted several of their favorite choices for the character, including seasoned actors like Jeff Goldblum, Steve Buscemi, and Jackie Earle Healey. A few other favorites include Hank Azaria, Andy Dick, and William H. Macy, among others. I like a few of these—I’d love to see Healey as another character called Chaff—but I don’t really love them as Beetee. Why are they all white, for one? I don’t remember what color Beetee is in the book, but we have a heavily white cast already. I’d love to see some more color in terms of the main characters.

My pick for Beetee is Jaleel White. You probably remember him best as Steve Urkel on Family Matters, but recently he has proven he has acting chops as an adult in other films, such as Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer. Scoff if you like, but White has always impressed me; he’s pretty good looking when not being Urkel-ized. He played a teacher in the previously mentioned film and was pretty entertaining—clever and fun with a sense of humor and a light-heartedness that I think would really work for Beetee. Okay, the Urkel factor would probably come in handy, too, but only lightly.

We all know that my picks are pretty much ignored (damn you, Hollywood, call a girl back!)—if they weren’t, Bill Nye would be a much creepier, more effective President Snow (no offense to Donald Sutherland, who is fantastic) and Jensen Ackles would already be signed on for a completely hunky and haunted Finnick Odair—but I really think White would do Beetee justice.

That said, I have to admit that I love Buscemi in anything and that would be pretty damn funny—though funniness isn’t exactly a requirement in this role, is it?

Who would you cast as Beetee if the choice were yours? For that matter, who would you pick for the rest of the characters in the next Hunger Games film, Catching Fire?