“Why did it take you three days!”

I’m a big fan of the Hunger Games. A really big fan! It’s a great story, a great cast and a great production. But most of all – it provides a basis for discussion about what could happen to this country of ours (and others) if we don’t get off our naive narcissistic soapboxes long enough to realize we have issues that have to be dealt with. But enough of that.

For those of you who don’t know – the Hunger Games is huge, no really huge, blockbuster movie that came out March this year and has already grossed $400 million in the United States alone. The Hunger Games is based on the bestselling book of the same name, the first of a trilogy written by Suzanne Collins. It is written in the voice of sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen who lives in a post-apocalyptic world in the country of Panem where the countries of North America once existed. The Capitol, a highly advanced metropolis (home of the 1%), holds absolute power over the rest of the nation. The Hunger Games are an annual event in which one boy and one girl aged 12 to 18 from each of the 12 districts surrounding the Capitol are selected by lottery to compete in a televised battle in which only one child can survive.

Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence)

Katniss is played by the young actress Jennifer Lawrence, who was twenty at the time of filming. Now Lawrence, while not a household name, is very  accomplished. In addition to playing one of the lead roles in “X-Men: First Class,” was nominated for an Oscar for her lead role in the film “Winters Bone” (which you should definitely see). She does well, but she can still walk the street without normally being noticed.

When the word got out there was going to be a Hunger Games movie, Hollywood went into a frenzy. This was going to be the next mega-huge franchise with three if not four films in total. Predictions were it would rival “Twilight” and ‘Harry Potter” at the box office. Every young actress on the planet wanted the role of Katniss. She carries the entire story, appearing in nearly every scene though out all three books.

Lawrence auditioned and immediately afterwards the director, Gary Ross, said: “I don’t know if I even want to do this without Jennifer in it.” She was Katniss! Within two days, she was offered the job.

Her response was: “I’d like to take three days to decide.” “WHAT” – was the silent response on the other end of the phone.

I saw an interview Lawrence did on Good Morning America with Robin Roberts. After the screams of euphoria from the outdoor crowd of teenage girls died down, Roberts asked Lawrence: “Why did it take you three days to make the decision to do this movie, this opportunity of a lifetime that everybody wants.”

Her answer: “I didn’t know if I wanted my life to go in that direction. I’m pretty happy right now, and I knew if I signed up for this … my life would never be the same. I could never go back.”

The role of Katniss, in possibly biggest movie franchise ever, led by a female heroine – would include enormous wealth, stature as young girls role model, as well as 24/7 scrutiny. Now after three days, Lawrence did accept the role, did the movie and nailed it. In fact she’ll probably receive another Oscar nomination if not a win.

Now here’s my question to you – and the reason for this post. If the same type of question was posed to you, and you were given the chance to forever leave behind your life in this fashion … would it take you three to decide? And on top of that, given your current life, would you trade it in for a new one?

I plead with you to please comment and lend your insight. I believe blog comments not only add but can actual make the piece. This piece is one of those.

Please help me out.

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6 thoughts on ““Why did it take you three days!”

  1. Three days doesn’t seem so long to ponder potential regret. While I have not been offered fame and fortune I have turned down a position that would have forever changed my life and family. I am still pondering what if any difference it would have made on my long term goals in doing so. It is however strange to think about because I gave up great money and a mondo superb title for fear the decision would set me down a path I could not get out of… As in becoming accustomed to a certain lifestyle or economic strata that would no doubt be good for my kids future stability yet might make it hard if not impossible to give up while charting a riskier path of entrepreneurship.

    I am already comfortable and feel blessed for all the luck I have experienced or created. My family doesn’t lack for food or clothes or stability. We are lucky I think. But I was not sure the position aligned with my heart’s desires. I asked for a few days to consider and later turned them down. This all leaves me questioning if whether or not I made a selfish decision with regard to my kids future. I am positive I made the right decision for me given the time and context and experiences I have since turning down the offer.

    Regardless, no one seems to like to hear another person asking for “time to think about” especially when the “offer” seems so seemingly positive in the context of American capitalism where the expected norm is take and win. Perhaps values are changing? …mine anyway?

    That said if someone offered a pile of cash, no strings attached, to start my own business or nonprofit you bet I would take it no questions or time to think it over.

    1. First thanks for your comment Chad. I find it interesting that you would consider yourself “selfish” in regards to your kids for not taking the position even though you turned it down in part for security (especially for your kids).

      Money does not make better children. The hardest times my daughter and I had were some of the most beneficial for her in building who she is.

      Again, thanks for being part of this.

  2. I am not sure how long it would take me. It seems so simple to think, sure, give me super fame and fortune and of course, I will say yes. I am impressed that someone who is already in the somewhat superficial Hollywood life would have the introspection and perspective to think about it. I have had my 10 minutes of fame and I can tell you now I would never go back-that is why I left. But it was not a drastic life change for me, those things happened more gradually, so it is easier not to get caught up in the whole thing and just go with it. Remembering your purpose or values is hard when everyone else seems to be doing it. I think about this recently as I watch one particular presidential candidate who has a very lavish life style and presumes entitlement to it. What would I do if that were me? Would that ever be me? Would I have done what he did to make so much money (especially at the cost of others)? It is relevant because most of us think about our life changing in terms of success, fame or money. We admire and value success and money. Do we admire and value a good person who doesn’t have status and money?

    Life can change in a heartbeat in other ways, many not of fortune. But, I think your question Clay, relates to life changing in that way – through money and fame, not the onset of a devastating illness. The thing to do is to try to imagine what it would be like (you can never completely know this) and if the choice is really your dream. You will never know the other road and as we all know, every choice we make affects what happens next. We become the sum total of our experiences. Robert Frost’s infamous poem “The Road Less Traveled” comes to mind. I would like to think I have always taken the road less traveled and that it has made a difference. But then again, I have no idea what the other road would bring.

    I suppose my thoughts on this subject ramble a bit. It is a big question. I would take time to think about any change in my life, as I have made some choices in the past too quickly with not the best results. It is important to hear everything, not just what you want to hear. That is the hard part.

    1. Thanks Ruth … as always 🙂 It’s interesting you bring up Romney as an example. I would hope that we could at Jennifer Lawrence in a bit better light than “silver spoon Mitt.”

      Your other point “taking the road less traveled,” resonates directly with me. Just take look at my bio, “contrarian” kind of says at. However, I’ve never looked back, even when Alex and I lived in tent. Now other people – that’s a whole another story.

      I had no idea when i woke in the morning I was going write this piece. It just of happened. I just find it an interesting discussion that gets people thinking. And when people think … you never where it’s going to go.

  3. I think I would still take the three days, despite my eagerness to move on to the next chapter of my life. Being deliberate and thinking ramifications is wise.

    1. Sandy, knowing what I know of you – I can see this dichotomy of being deliberate (as you say) yet being all over. For some reason, though … I think you’d be all over it. 🙂

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