When it all came down to casting the pivotal role of Katniss Everdeen, the female lead in Suzanne Collins’ popular book The Hunger Games, it came down to three Academy Award-nominated actresses — not a bad decision to be faced with as a filmmaker.
The final three hopefuls were Abigail Breslin (nominated for Little Miss Sunshine), Jennifer Lawrence (just nominated for Winter’s Bone), and Hailee Steinfeld (also just nominated for her performance in True Grit), but now only one remains. Lionsgate Entertainment has officially announced that Miss Lawrence will be playing the role of Katniss, a 16-year-old girl who participates in an annual event among 12 districts where teenage boys and girls from each district are forced to fight to the death on live TV.
The choice of Lawrence is an interesting one in the fact that the actress is currently 20 years old, while her two competitors, Breslin and Steinfeld, are both 14 years of age. Going older for a teen role is no new thing, though: Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield were both right around 27 when cast as high school student Peter Parker in their Spider-Man movies, for one example.
Collins, when talking about the actress who will play the character she created in her books, said “Jennifer’s just an incredible actress. So powerful, vulnerable, beautiful, unforgiving and brave. I never thought we’d find somebody this perfect for the role. And I can’t wait for everyone to see her play it.”
The movie will be directed by Gary Ross (Seabiscuit, Pleasantville), who also added “I’m so excited work with Jen and see her bring this character to life. Katniss requires a young actress with strength, depth, complexity, tenderness, and power. There are very few people alive who can bring that to a role. Jen brings it in spades. She’s going to be an amazing Katniss.”
Lawrence can next be seen playing Mystique in Matthew Vaughn’s upcoming comic book adaptation, X-Men: First Class.
What do all of you Hunger Games fanatics think about Lawrence as Katniss?