Hailee Steinfeld Confirms Her Contention for ‘The Hunger Games’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 24th, 2013 at 10:42 am,

The idea of having Hailee Steinfeld play 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen in Lionsgate’s adaptation of The Hunger Games is a no-brainer for anyone who’s seen her performance in the Coen Brothers’ True Grit, but before now her potential involvement was largely considered to be the result of little more than rumor mongering.

While attending last night’s Oscar ceremony, Steinfeld took a moment to address said speculation and has confirmed that she is officially a contender for the starring role in the cinematic version of the popular Young Adult futuristic adventure novel.

Steinfeld informed MTV that she has in fact met with Hunger Games director Gary Ross about her playing the role of Katniss, saying “It’s definitely something that we’re taking one day at a time and making sure that everything is in place.” Production on Ross’ adaptation will commence in a few months time, so that the flick can make its spring 2012 release date – which means there should be some official casting news arriving in the near future.

That’s not to say that Steinfeld is the only up-and-coming young actress in contention to headline the Hunger Games movie. Her competition for the lead role includes the likes of Malese Jow (The Social Network), Kaya Scodelario (Clash of the Titans), as well as Kick-Ass alumni Chloe Moretz and Lyndsy Fonseca.

Author Suzanne Collins painted a fairly detailed picture of Katniss in the original Hunger Games novel, and described the teenager as being of small build, with long, black hair, olive skin, and gray eyes. All of the actresses listed as being legitimate contenders to portray the character in the film adaptation fit that description to a certain extent, but Steinfeld arguably comes closer than any of them to matching that look perfectly.

But of course the ability to convincingly play Katniss onscreen is more important than being able to match her appearance, and that’s where Steinfeld really leaps ahead of the others. She really rose to the occasion as Mattie Ross in True Grit, aptly playing a young woman with a steely will, no-nonsense attitude, and cunning sense – while still showing enough vulnerability to remind everyone that she was still a teenage girl on her own, doing her best to navigate rather dangerous circumstances.

The Hunger Games movie image Hailee Steinfeld Confirms Her Contention for The Hunger Games

Katniss is a character cut from the same cloth as Mattie and her quest to survive the Battle Royale breed of competition that are The Hunger Games could make for very engaging entertainment. It should also (fingers crossed) make for a solid change of pace from another recent popular YA literary series that was adapted to the film medium (three guesses as to which franchise that comment refers to…).

The Hunger Games is scheduled to hit theaters on March 23rd, 2012 – in the meantime, feel free to share your own thoughts about who should play Katniss in the comments section below.

Source: MTV

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  1. I think out of all those girls, Hailee would be my first choice for Katniss, with Chloe Moretz running a really close second. Hailee has obvs proven the depth of her acting abilities in True Grit and appearance-wise, does look the closest to Katniss as previously stated, but Katniss is more than just looks. She’s a fighter, through and through and for that sole reason, even tho she’s younger, I like Chloe for the role as well. She completely blew me away in Kick-Ass and I believe she also has the talent and determination to bring Katniss to life on the big screen, if given the chance. Another actress I like for this role is Ella Purnell (young Keira Knightley/Ruth in Never Let Me Go). She’s British and 14 years old, so again, a bit younger, but judging by her performance in that movie, she was a knockout therefore becoming my number three choice.

    • I totally agree, I’d rather see Hailee take over Katniss than any of the others, but Chloe could probably do a very good job as well. As far as acting chops go though, Hailee has definitely shown better acting than Chloe, but Kick-ass didn’t ask for GREAT acting, True Grit did.

      • Hailee is my frist choice as well, she looks older than Chloe. But Chloe was obviously in Kick-Ass and showed her tough strong side, but she was also damn great and voulnerable in the little seen Let Me In. So they are pretty neck in neck, I would personally feel overly satisfied with either of them stepping into the role.

  2. Yeah exactly! Kick-Ass was obvs a completely different kind of story than True Grit so it’s not fair to say that Chloe couldn’t be GREAT bc we haven’t seen her in a role that would compare her to Hailee’s acting to date. I’m just excited that Chloe’s in the running bc I have no doubt that she will be able to handle the fight training required for Katniss in THG; I’m just hoping she can pull off the rest!

  3. I only need one guess about the ‘other’ franchise.

    • I prefer Kaya Scodelario!! Or that Katie Royer I took my time reading her info :) Good luck! :)

  4. I say Chloe Moretz. As far as acting goes, I think Chloe Moretz is far superior than Hailee Steinfeld. She is fantastic in Let Me In. Chloe also has the skills to “kick ass.”

    • Pete,

      Hailee was awesome in True Grit.


  5. Still not sure who “my” Katniss is. I think I’d be more open to Hailee if I knew who they were looking to for Peeta. Most of the actors who have been mentioned are in their 20’s and thus could not be kissing on a 14 year old. Can we say Ewww? And the only younger one that’s really been mentioned is Callan McAullife and I’m not to gung ho on him.

    The one actress mentioned I do not want is Chloe Moretz. I’ve never been a big fan of her, and she looks way to young for the role to me.

    And as to the other YA series…yeah well I don’t need more than one guess.

  6. I don’t know, I just can’t see hailee as Katniss. She seems to inocent. And no, I have not seen True Grit yet, but I’ve read the Hunger Games series(AWSOMENESS) enough to think that Hailee dosn’t look like her. Lyndsy Fonseca is my choice out of these girls. I could defenetly see her shooting an arrow through some jerk-offs neck. Sorry if some people don’t agree with me, but to be honest, Katniss seemed diffrent then all these people :(

  7. Personally, Hailee would be great but it would kind of ruin her innocent look since she’s going to be all dirty and she should have a tough face and she has that little girl face. She’d be great, she just doesn’t look as tough. I don’t know if you guys will agree with me though :(

    • mmmm actually I know what you mean however I think she can completely pull it off, I mean she’s a great actress, and I assume she can be and look tough… So for me Hailee is my first choice

  8. Their not going to be able to get Chole, because she’ll be doing Kick-Ass 2 during the time of filming. For the role I have to go with Steinfeld

  9. I haven’t seen true grit yet, though I hear Hailee did a fantastic job with that. I have to say, though, she is a little younger and more innocent-looking than I imagined Katniss. The heroine of the HG Trilogy has a sharp angled bone structure, while Steinfeld has a younger, cuter face. And I also agree about the not-sure-about-Katniss-until-we-know-Peeta thing. I will be thoroughly angered if I end up being too distracted by the age problem to enjoy the most romantic parts between the two. And what about Gale? I think we have to see who he is, too, before Hailee Steinfeld is really considered.

  10. I think that Hailee is the perfect choice. Some people are saying she may look a bit innocent but in True Grit she didn’t look like some innocent young girl. I think she will do a superb job as Katniss and I really hope that she makes the roll.

  11. After seeing True Grit I could really see Hailee playing Katniss. Although I also like Chloe in the role. Maybe Hailee could play Katniss and Chloe as her sister Prim.

    • what about as Rue? that could work too right? ‘cuz after seeing Kick-ass, i just see her violent

  12. I thought Hailee did a great job in True Grit, but I just can’t see her doing justice to Katniss. She seems too young to portray a girl older than she is who has also matured beyond her 16 years.

  13. I think Hailee would be great… but she really does look too young. I always picture Alex Pettyfer as Peeta, and picturing her with him… it is creepy, to say the least. If they won’t cast her love interests as someone younger, I’d go with Kaya Scoledario. She looks tough, and is certainly old enough.

  14. At least Hailee looks like Katniss to some degree. Chloe Moretz looks absolutely nothing like her. She’s supposed to be from The Seam, the poor coal mining area of District 12 and they have a specific look in the book.

    If not Hailee then I don’t see why they cannot cast an unknown. Harry Potter was cast with unknowns for the three leads and Steinfeld was chosen from 15,000 inexperienced young girls that auditioned for True Grit. Also what’s wrong with casting a 16 year old actor for Peeta? Why does he have to be in his mid 20s?

  15. Halle is good but way way way too young. 14 is just wrong. I want older girl, 14 is a baby. Katniss is 16 going on 40. Halle is a big PASS. She will have several opportunities, please choose an older actress.

  16. Hailee is THE PERFECT Katniss! I think her acting far overshadows any of the other candidates. Plus, her looks match closest. I like Kaya too, but she isn’t exactly right for me. Too old, almost. Remember that Katniss is only 16 – and yes, while she is mature and cynical, she also hasn’t ever kissed a boy and so she should have a certain innocence about her. TEAM HAILEE ALL THE WAY!

  17. hailee has to get the part!!!!

  18. I think Chloe is too small to play Katniss, she just doesnt fit for all this romance and stuff.

    She could go as Rue though, that way she’s small and still have a fighting scene.

  19. I think Jennifer Lawrence should play katniss and she got the part over all those girls , I’m so happy.