‘Hunger Games’ Author ‘Thrilled’ Over Jennifer Lawrence Casting

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 5:03 pm,

Last week, Academy Award nominee Jennifer Lawrence won the coveted role of Katniss Everdeen in the big screen adaptation of the teen sci-fi series The Hunger Games. While you would think fans of the series would be happy that an Oscar-nominated actress won the part, many commenters here on Screen Rant and across the web were less than enthusiastic about the news.

One issue that fans kept bringing up was Lawrence’s look (particularly her blonde hair), with many arguing that fellow Oscar nominee Hailee Stienfeld (True Grit) was a better fit for Katniss. Fans also complained that Lawrence, who is 20, was too old to play Katniss, who is 16 in the first book.

Hunger Games director Gary Ross addressed each of those concerns in an interview with Entertainment Weekly last week, describing how he was “knocked out” by Lawrence’s audition. Ross also said that Suzanne Collins, the author of The Hunger Games series, was at every audition and also was impressed by Lawrence.

For the most part, Ross’ comments satisfied the fans. But for those who are still fighting tooth and nail against Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, there’s still one thing that might change your mind: In a new letter to Entertainment Weekly, Suzanne Collins has gone on record to explain exactly why she thinks Lawrence is great for the role.

katniss everdeen Hunger Games Author Thrilled Over Jennifer Lawrence Casting

Describing Lawrence’s “remarkable audition piece, Collins praised the young actress, effusively writing:

“I watched Jennifer embody every essential quality necessary to play Katniss. I saw a girl who has the potential rage to send an arrow into the Gamemakers and the protectiveness to make Rue her ally. Who has conquered both Peeta and Gale’s hearts even though she’s done her best to wall herself off emotionally from anything that would lead to romance. Most of all, I believed that this was a girl who could hold out that handful of berries and incite the beaten down districts of Panem to rebel. I think that was the essential question for me. Could she believably inspire a rebellion? Did she project the strength, defiance and intellect you would need to follow her into certain war? For me, she did.”

If that’s not a vote of confidence than I don’t know what is. In the full letter, Suzanne Collins heaps even more praise on Jennifer Lawrence (so much so, in fact, that I actually feel a little badly for the other girls who auditioned).

While there might still be those who complain that Lawrence isn’t right for the role, I think that all things considered, fans should be pretty happy with this casting. Considering the glut of teen sci-fi and fantasy films hitting theaters, it’s a pretty big win to get an actor of Lawrence’s talents to commit to your franchise.

Frankly, the fact that Lawrence won the part over another Oscar-caliber actress is the best indication for the movie yet. Clearly, this was a hot project in Hollywood, and it seems like Gary Ross and his team have the best and brightest at their disposable to make a really special film. If I was a Hunger Games fan, I would just sit back and wait for the magic to happen. Once a trailer comes out, feel free to start complaining again.

Source: EW

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  1. I finally got around to reading the entire series after so much mention on this website… in the last three days. Incredible books, I’m excited for this movie

  2. Did Hailee Stienfeld audition for the role?

    • Yes she did.

      I’m glad Jennifer Lawrence got the role, she could definitely pull this off.

    • Yes, and thats really why fans are upset is because they wanted her. I personally think Jennifer will be great.

  3. yep .
    Seemed close to getting it at one point too.
    Who Knows?
    Maybe there is a part for her in the sequels.

  4. Wow, so all they have to b*tch about is that she is blonde, (as if there is no such thing as hair-dye in Hollywood) and that she is 4 years older than the character. Really. She’s not 30 playing 16, she is 20 playing 16. That’s all they’ve got and they are clinging to it? Wow. The studio also wanted an actress who is more attractive than the True Grit girl, and that’s just cold reality folks. And besides, SHE LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE THE ILLUSTRATION, so add hair-dye and you have your character. Move on.

    • To be fair to those people, the illustration barely looks like Katniss.

    • Dude, I totally agree with you. To me, she seems perfect for the role of Katniss. I guess there’s always people nagging about things like this. If Susan said Jennifer’s the best for the role of Katniss, I believe her. After all, she is the writer of these amazing books.

  5. It seems that a lot of fans for this series are just as hardcore as most Twilight fans.

    I am a fan of both series, The Hunger Games moreso than Twilight. I though the casting of Jennifer Lawrence was perfect, she’s a fantastic actress, and lot of what we saw in her in Winter’s Bone is present in the character of Katniss.

    I don’t see where everyone is coming from with the age thing, college age students play younger characters all the time, it’s definitely not unheard of in Hollywood.

  6. She’s only 4 years older than Katniss. They have thirty-year-olds playing high-school students all the time. She can dye her hair. I don’t get why people care more about looks that can change easily compared to talent that would take most people years to get. If Suzanne Collins thinks she fits the part well, then that is good enough for me.

  7. ive come round to the idea of this 1 playing katniss not just because of the letter by the author but also by seeing her in other roles she has the guts but the sensitivity cant wait for the tralor

  8. If you were a THG fan, you would want the movie to be perfect, not wait around and let stuff happen. :P I love the fact that they got an actress that’s talented and one that satisfied Suzanne. I can’t wait for the movie!!!

  9. I am a huge fan of this series, and i was skeptical at first, but after that oscar nominating performance in ‘Winter’s Bone’, I would follow this girl in rebellion no problem.
    An excellent choice.
    I don’t see the point of all the scrutiny. She is dedicated and hard working with the skill and soul to bring our beloved Katniss to live with the prowess and drive that will knock audiences dead.

  10. I think casting Jenifer Lawrence was the BEST decision LIONS GATE has made. This is post apocalyptic America and Katniss needs to be strong, beautiful, and I am sure all of the children in this story look older due to the hardships they encounter in their daily lives. I think she is going to be great. Winters Bone was a griping story and she was so good. Suzanne Collins is writing the screen play and she personally hand picked Jenifer so who can argue with this selection. I have the utmost respect for Suzanne’s selection. Really anything Suzanne does. She is the creator of our favorite heroine Katniss so how could we possible doubt her genius. I am already picturing Jenifer in the Girl on Fire outfit.

  11. well at least suzanne collins likes who got cast

  12. I love how you say “When the trailer comes out feel free to start complaining again.” We probably will. I highly doubt it will be much like the books.Also, sorry Collins but seriously I think next time let the fans vote because you just like to disapoint. Like in Mockingjay? Goshh1

  13. I agree with you. Most movies aren’t like their books. But I bet Suzanne and the directors can pull it off.

  14. I think that Jennifer Lawrence will make an excellent Katniss as long as they color her hair to stay true to the way she was described in the books. At first, I didn’t think she would make a good Katniss, mostly because of her hair color, and because she doesn’t look 16, after learning more about her, I think she will do well if they make her look a little less glamorous, and color her hair.

  15. if Suzanne Collins thinks Jennifer is right for the roll, then i trust suzanne that she is! i think this movie is going to be great, but i would like it to play with your emotions a lot, especially with Rue and Prim in the 3rd movie ;) and when there is fighting in the games, not run through it fast that the viewer cant focus on the details peoperly, but slow enough that the viewer can watch that arrow fly past, and the fight without it being a blur. I would love it if the makeup and stylists can make jeniffer up to look like Katniss, because that would be a great effect. Also I dont think the actress for Rue is right. I dont imagine Rue to look like the actress who was chosen. Rue needs a look of innocence, pure, small and weak looking but has to be fast, strong and hard to catch. I’m also not too sure on Peeta… the actress doesnt look like a boy who bakes bread in his families bakery. And Suzanne, what happens to Gale? In the end of the Mockingjay, he is not mentioned. It only says he goes to district two because he got a fancy job. I would of liked to know if he and katniss were still best friends. It kind of made me cry even more when Gale wasnt mentioned! i thought she lost Prim, Gale, her mother and her happiness. In the Epilogue it would of been nice to mention Gale, maybe him coming around to see the children. Overall i thought it was a great book and i encourage everyone to read it! my best friend introduced me to this series and i look forward to other books you write because that was one of the best series i have read. I’m making my mum read it!! and in school im doing a ‘heroes assignment’ and it can be factual or fitional. I’m doing my hero on Katniss Everdeen, the Girl who was on fire. The mockingjay :) Fantastic work Suzanne! May the odds be ever in your favour!