Largely true to the book and built with an all-star cast, The Hunger Games series proved to be popular among both readers and viewers. While Jennifer Lawrence, the actress who portrayed Katniss Everdeen, shot into super stardom, not every actor enjoyed as much success. Some actors, like Liam Hemsworth and Joshua Hutcherson, went on to other projects, remaining in the running for big roles but not nearly at the same level, while others disappeared from view.
Viewers likely remember that huge names like Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, and Julianne Moore starred in The Hunger Games films, from the original to the sequels: Catching Fire and Mockingjay parts 1 and 2. Lenny Kravitz, Amanda Plummer, and Stanley Tucci are also pretty unforgettable due to both their star power as well providing as some of the best performances in the movies. But there are many familiar faces that might have forgotten, or not even noticed, because they're more famous now than they were when The Hunger Games.
See how many names and faces you can recall from these 17 Stars You Forgot Were In The Hunger Games Series.
17 Robert Knepper
Robert Knepper of Prison Break? Yep, he was in The Hunger Games films-- he played Antonius in Mockingjay. It was a small role, which is why we forget he was even there alongside Donald Sutherland. He was the Defense Minister of Panem, serving as a member of the Presidential Cabinet and pretty much portrayed being chummy with President Snow. He is in both parts 1 and 2, but his most memorable moment is probably informing Snow that Katniss is in District 8.
After the film, we've seen Knepper in everything from iZombie to Homeland to Twin Peaks. Knepper is no stranger to science fiction or teen movies, either; remember when he was Kronos in Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters? He's even had spots on Heroes, Arrow, and SGU Stargate Universe.
16 Wes Bentley
After Wes Bentley starred in American Beauty and suddenly disappeared, Hollywood seemed to forget about him. As Seneca Crane (the one with the crazy beard), Bentley took the spotlight once again as people noticed not only his facial hair but his jovial spirit while watching children die. He got his own comeuppance in the end when he, too, had to die from the same berries that Katniss and Peeta nearly ate.
During his Hunger Games fame as Seneca Crane, Bentley became much more sought out. American Horror Story: Freak Show featured Bentley as a circus ringleader with an extra face on his head, which led to more recurring roles on the series. He has also been in Yellowstone, Pete's Dragon, Interstellar, and many other projects since.
15 Natalie Dormer
Most people know Natalie Dormer by her trademark wry half-smirk, but that head of half-shaved hair, complete with cool tattooed scalp, and a take-no-prisoners glare, came courtesy of both Mockingjay films. Dormer played Cressida, the rebel film director from the Capitol who worked to ensure Katniss's likeness was adroitly captured and displayed on every screen in Panem. Dormer brought a warmth to the character that wasn't as evident in the book.
Dormer may be most well-known for her role as Margaery Tyrell in HBO's Game of Thrones series, but she's also starred in The Forest, Silk, The Tudors, and even the first Captain America film - another role that often goes unnoticed. Dormer even played the iconic Moriarty in TV's modern Sherlock Holmes adaptation, Elementary.
14 Isabelle Fuhrman
Isabelle Fuhrman terrified us as Esther in The Orphan before she performed as Clove, a District 2 tribute who proved to be just as horrifying in other ways. Clove proved to be one of the most sadistic tributes, likely due to her upbringing as a Career who believed she was born to be in the games. She's best known for her promise to torture Katniss before Thresh charged out of nowhere to bludgeon her to death, saving Katniss as a thanks for protecting Rue.
Fuhrman has had a number of guest spots and voiced characters in both productions and video games, but she's kept herself busy with steady work since the games. She was famously in Masters of Sex and her most recent films include Down a Dark Hall, Hellbent, and Good Girls Get High, all of which release this year.
13 Gwendoline Christie
Before Captain Phasma rocked our world as the first woman Stormtrooper leader, Gwendoline Christie took over a role originally meant for Lily Rabe in Mockingjay Part 2, Commander Lyme. The rebel commander of District 2, Lyme was a former victor who wanted nothing more than to be rid of the Capitol's corruption and cruelty. Unfortunately she died before the rebellion came to its costly victory, as she wasn't present in the final meeting of victors that Coin called.
Do we even need to list Christie's amazing CV? From the indomitable Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones to her three films of 2018, In Fabric, The Women of Marwen and The Darkest Minds, she is a crowd favorite, here at Screen Rant as well as just about everywhere.
12 Jeffrey Wright
An incredible yet underused actor, Jeffrey Wright is currently known as Bernard Lowe on the popular TV series Westworld. Due to Wright's transformation skills into various characters, fans may have missed that he also portrayed the scientist Beetee Latier in Catching Fire and both Mockingjay films.
Beetee's brilliance became an instrument of war once he survived the games in Catching Fire and District 13 rescued him to use in their plans. One of the few surviving victors at the end of the series, Beetee voted no when President Coin put a possible Capitol Hunger Games to a vote, proving that he was against violence.
Some of Wright's credits include The Good Dinosaur, She's Gotta Have It, and BoJack Horseman. Wright will be in the upcoming films Monster, Hold the Dark, and Friday's Child.
11 Michelle Forbes
If you missed fan favorite Michelle Forbes in Mockingjay Part 2, you're not alone. Her part was small and understated, particularly of an actress of her caliber. Forbes played Lieutenant Jackson, second in command of Katniss's Star Squad and a District 13 soldier sworn to her duty.
When Boggs left the Halo in Katniss's hands, fully knowing that she intended to murder Snow on her own without President Coin's knowledge, Jackson protested, knowing the mission was doomed to fail. Still, Jackson sacrificed her own life to give Katniss more time to complete her "secret mission."
Forbes is obviously well known for dozens of incredible TV shows. Some of these include Chicago Fire, Orphan Black, The Killing, True Blood, 24, Battlestar Galactica, Prison Break, The Returned, and of course, Star Trek: The Next Generation.
10 Mahershala Ali
Years before he would play the ruthless Cottonmouth on Luke Cage, Mahershala Ali was briefly Katniss' father figure, Boggs. Second in command to President Coin, Boggs may have been entreated with the keeping and care of Katniss, but he grew to truly care about her and either trusted her to kill Snow or wanted to give her the chance as his dying wish. In the book, he has one of the best lines; when told that Gale is handsome, he wryly says, "Don't expect us to be too impressed. We just saw Finnick Odair in his underwear."
While fans were disappointed the line was cut, no one has been disappointed with Ali's acting. He has been an incredible force in not only Luke Cage but also House of Cards, True Detective, Hidden Figures, and Moonlight - the last of which he won an Oscar for.
9 Elden Hensen
Foggy Nelson was in the Mockingjay films? It's easy to miss him since he doesn't have a speaking role, but the answer is yes! Elden Henson played Pollux, the Avox cameraman whom the Capitol punished for bad behavior by removing his tongue. A former pipes worker, Pollux helps the Star Squad navigate through the Capitol underground. Unfortunately his brother, Castor, is killed by Capitol mutants, but Pollux travels with Cressida after the war as correspondents. His most tender movie moment is when he requests Katniss to sing a song, and she begrudgingly sings "The Hanging Tree" for him.
Henson is much more talkative these days as the opinionated lawyer Foggy Nelson in Mavel's adaptations of Daredevil and The Defenders. He has also been in Workaholics and Spivak.
8 Alexander Ludwig
One of the most brutal members of the young Careers group, Cato came from District 2 where he trained his whole life to become a fearsome tribute. His sadistic nature and massive strength may have helped him kill the large tribute Thresh and remain in the games until the very end, but it didn't save him from the most horrific, drawn-out death in the series when he was slowly consumed by the terrible mutts orchestrated to look like the fallen tributes, some of whom he'd killed.
Alexander Ludwig, who skillfully portrayed the character, is even more well-known as Bjorn on the hit TV series Vikings. Ludwig didn't get his start in the Panem series, however; prior to The Hunger Games, he was the main character in the films The Seeker: The Dark is Rising and the rebooted Race to Witch Mountain alongside Dwayne Johnson and AnnaSophia Robb.
7 Alan Ritchson
He may be Raphael of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows fame now, but once upon a time Alan Ritchson was the tribute Gloss from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. A tribute from District 1 in the 63rd Hunger Games, Gloss grew up preparing for the "honor" of competing. Even so, like the other victors called back for an unfair second round of Games, he voiced his opposition in the interviews, saying, "We're not going by choice."
Ritchson has worn a number of hats since. From Arthur Bailey in Blood Drive to Hawk in the upcoming Titans series, he's pretty much become a star. He was a known name prior to his time in the arena, particularly as Aquaman in Smallville long before Jason Momoa took the role, but now he's much more recognizable.
6 Leven Rambin
She was the "looker" of Katniss Everdeen's first Hunger Games, a tribute from District 1 who joined "The Careers" pack. Glimmer, played by Leven Rambin, was known for the prettiest dress in the Capitol interviews, a brief romance with the deadly Cato, and one of the most grisly deaths in the movie. When Katniss knocked the hive of tracker jackers down onto the careers who had her trapped, they destroyed Glimmer's lovely face and body, demonstrating the ruthlessness of the inventions of the Capitol.
Today most people know Rambin from multiple TV series, like Gone, The Path and True Detective. She's also been in films like I Am Michael and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. Prior to her Hunger Games fame, Rambin's works included One Tree Hill, Grey's Anatomy, Wizards of Waverly Place, and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
5 Jack Quaid
The Hunger Games featured Jack Quaid in his first role as Marvel, the District 1 Career who murdered Rue and was immediately killed by Katniss after. While he wasn't a major character, he was present in several scenes, providing a threatening smirk and the promise of violence toward the weaker tributes.
The son of actors Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan, Jack Quaid was born with major star power in his veins. It often takes more than that to become a star yourself, however, and while the young man has had a steady stream of roles since his days as a tribute, he still isn't on the Hollywood level of some of the larger names of the series. He has provided several video game character voices and can be seen in the Sasquatch Sketch Comedy, Vinyl, and the upcoming films Rampage and Plus One.
4 Evan Ross
Evan Ross played Messalla, a person in Katniss's film crew who not only helped her shine on Capitol TV but also kept her alive by helping her Star Squad find food as they attempted to make it through a number of booby traps throughout the Capitol. Unfortunately his heroics ended when he was killed but an unknown "pod," or high tech trap, that went off on the team.
Since Ross's roles in both parts 1 and 2 of Mockingjay, he has been seen fairly regularly in projects like Wicked City, last year's TV series Star and films like Buckout Road. He will be in this year's She Ball, HeadShop, and Skate God. Ross was also known for his portrayal of Charlie Shelby in the 2010-2011 TV series, 90210.
3 Eugenie Bondurant
Eugenie Bondurant isn't recognizable as a character in the Hunger Games series because it's difficult to see her face. She portrayed Tigris, the sympathetic Capitol citizen and formerly sought-after stylist for the games who assists Katniss and what's left of the Star Squad. She feeds, clothes and disguises them, which is largely lost-- not because Bondurant's work isn't stellar but because the makeup part of the disguising was cut.
Those who think that Tigris was a bizarre role for an actress to play may not be familiar with Bondurant's work. The versatile and talented actress is known for her off the wall characters, such as Ursula in Something Wilder and the Weeping Woman in Fight Club. Although she hasn't done a lot of work since her days as a feline co-conspirator, she is still acting in shorts and as a guest in TV series like NCIS.
2 Willow Shields
Primrose Everdeen: the name that started it all. It was the life of Katniss's little sister, whom she fondly referred to as Little Duck, that launched Katniss into the games in the first place. The horrific irony, of course, is that sweet, innocent Prim, who becomes a pretty strong doctor's apprentice by the final book, is killed in an attack that may or may not have been orchestrated by the rebels themselves, prompting Katniss to hate Gale, kill President Coin, and continue to distrust everyone on the planet.
Willow Shields did well in the role and has the face and ability to pull off a great number of parts, so it's a shame that we haven't seen her in much since the films. Last year she was in Into the Rainbow and she'll be in two films this year, A Fall From Grace and Woodstock or Bust.
1 Amandla Stenberg
She's a national treasure these days, so it's sometimes hard to remember that activist force and creative visionary Amandla Stenberg started out as little Rue in Katniss's first Hunger Games. Aside from those who managed to whitewash the book in their minds and loudly opposed any non-white casting, most fans and critics agree the role couldn't have been better cast due to Stenberg's talent and spot-on image of Rue. Her death was, in both the film and book, the hardest on many fans.
Stenberg is a prominent activist and has had roles in Sleepy Hollow, Mrs. Robinson, and Everything, Everything since her days in the games. She will be in the upcoming The Hate U Give film, based on the popular book.
Did we miss any other stars from The Hunger Games? Let us know in the comments!