Viewpoint: Fans need to stop freaking out about books and movies

By Maegan Rocio

The glitz, the glamour, the fame, the scrutiny.

What makes a big-name actor so popular is their fan base. They happen to perform that one role in just the right way and garners accolades and attention from the public. But sometimes that role can blind-side the thespian and force them to face the ugly side of their admirers.

The very ugly fanatical side.

The controversial topic surrounding Amandla Stenberg and Dayo Okeniyi’s roles in the movie adaptation of “The Hunger Games” is one of the many examples of how rabid fan bases can be. Despite the fact that the series’ author, Suzanne Collins, describes both Rue and Thresh having “dark brown skin and eyes,” a select few still voiced their displeasure over the casting choice.

In this case, some of the fans wanted to see the story and its elements as they wished instead of how the author intended them to be seen. There’s just one problem with this: They aren’t Suzanne Collins.

It seems the more fans delve into their favorite book, movie, etc., the more some forget their main role as the audience. The audience is meant to be entertained by the material presented to them, not to take part in its creation unless the creator wishes. Most of the time, the creators do take the time to hear out general suggestions, but some fans still overstep their boundaries.

Another recent and long-lived example of this phenomena is the fan base of the “Twilight” movie series. Over the course of the series’ growing popularity, many fans quickly compared the two lead actors, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, to the main fictional characters. Even worse, those fans have “turned” the two into their fictional counterparts and judged them harshly if they deviate from their “roles.”

Fans were ecstatic when the two got together, but just as quickly decried them when they broke up. Fingers were pointed, online voices were raised, sides were taken, and the paparazzi had a field day with the gossip and that gushed forth from nearly everywhere. And now, since the two are back together, things have died down ever so slightly.

I can understand greatly admiring and loving a fictional work, but only to a certain extent. After that, you edge into obsessive and fanatic territory. Sometimes, it’s nice to take a step back and remember that despite the immersive world and real-life portrayals , the work is still fiction. The actors and actresses are simply doing what they love, but they themselves are not the characters.

Also, since the creators made their work in the first place, they decide what happens in the work‘s adaptations, or at the very least, offer up suggestions to stay as close to the source material as possible. But if you really want to see a concept developed in a fictional work, try creating it yourself.

You may just end up creating “the next big thing” and hearing your name everywhere you go.

Maegan Rocio is a sophomore professional writing major from Beaumont. She is a staff writer at The Baylor Lariat.