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Casting News: ‘The Hunger Games’

March 3, 2011

Several of us here at Frothygirlz are big fans of The Hunger Games book trilogy, and we have been eagerly anticipating the movie adaptation of the first book. There have been rumors for months over who will be cast as heroine Katniss Everdeen. Almost every young starlet’s name has been tossed around as a possibility, but it has all been conjecture.

Entertainment Weekly has an exclusive from Lionsgate Films that no one has been cast yet.  However, they did drop a few names for us to ponder. Here are some of the actresses who have read for the role, and what I think about them.  Feel free to weigh in with your two cents.

  • Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone)  Although I adore Lawrence, she is all wrong for this role.  She is too old (Katniss is 16) and too conventional looking.  Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) This is my current front-runner. I think she is perfect. She is petite, spunky, dark-haired, and age appropriate.
  • Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) No, No, No. Breslin is a fine actress, but I can’t buy her as a badass.
  • Chloe Moretz (Kick Ass) I like Chloe’s chances, and if they dyed her hair, I think she could be convincing as the physical manifestation of our beloved Katniss. She was spectacular with all the stunts and choreography in Kick Ass, so I have no doubt she could handle the role.  I would not be disappointed in this choice.
  • Lyndsy Fonseca (Nikita)  I haven’t seen her in Nikita, but I just find her a bit too girly for the role. Also, though she looks young, at 24 I think she is too old for the role.
  • Emma Roberts (Aquamarine) I’m not too familiar with most of her stuff, because she stars in a lot of teenage fare. Anyone have thoughts on her?  She seems to be the right age and build.
  • Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones)  She’s a good actress, but I don’t know if she can carry a franchise.  Plus, her look is all wrong-pale eyes, pale skin, etc. She does look pretty fierce in the trailer for Hanna, though.
  • Kaya Scodelario (Skins UK) The right age, dark hair, but I have never seen her act. Any thoughts?
  • Emily Browning (The Uninvited, Sucker Punch)  I absolutely love this girl’s look. She is also the principal star in the upcoming Sucker Punch, which is an action film featuring a lot of hot chicks. Can’t wait to see what she can do.
  • Shailene Woodley (The Secret Life of an American Teenager) She is unproven in the action department, whereas most of these women have already demonstrated their action chops.

So, those of you who have read the books, what do you think?  Do any of these actresses appeal to you?  Is it disappointing that they seem to be bent on white-washing Katniss’s ethnicity?


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16 Responses to “ Casting News: ‘The Hunger Games’ ”

  1. SP on March 3, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    I am a HUGE fan of these books and honestly don’t see Hailee in the role of Katniss. When i read (the whole series twice already) i see Katniss as much tougher and like one of the boys. Hailee just doesn’t seem like that for me. Cloe Moretz was tough in Kick Ass, but she’s only 13 i think. Which leads me to my number one choice: Jennifer Lawrence.

  2. Shannon Hood on March 3, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    @SP, but did you see Hailee in True Grit? Total tomboy and tough as nails! Chloe is young, but by the time the film wrapped she would be 14. She could grow with the series.

  3. m. on March 3, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    I’m curious as to exacxtly what ethnicity you believe Katniss to be (seriously not trying to start an argument here just asking) because dark hair, olive skin and gray eyes could mean Italian, French, Slavic or Greek….my family is Irish and ALL of us have dark hair, olive skin and gray to blue eyes. Anyway, I love Hailee but, I think she may be too young…there are some parts in the book (the cave parts) that might make it uncomfortable if Hailee is cast with an actor to play Peeta who is in his 20′s. Really, it should be Lawrence. Ree Dolly is a character very close to that of Katniss Everdeen.

  4. Brandy on March 3, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    The Jennifer Lawrence rumors scare the crap out of me. I totally agree she would be all wrong. It’s not just that she’s too blond. She’s too curvy. Katniss is suppose to have an athletic build. Plus she’s 20 and seems older than that to me. She also has 3 movies coming out in the next 12 months.

    I’m definitely on the Hailee bandwagon although I do understand the concern about casting the male leads if they cast a 14 year old.

  5. Amanda on March 3, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Chloe and Hailee are both great actresses, but they’re both too young. I would rather an older actress who can play younger be cast. Those makeout scenes with Peeta would be uncomfortable to watch if the actress were 14 years old, especially if the actor they cast as Peeta is older. (God, can you imagine Hailee Steinfeld playing Katniss with Alex Pettyfer as Peeta? Holy statutory rape, Batman!) Katniss is mature beyond her years, so I’d rather the casting director err on the side of too old.

    Also, Emma Roberts and Jennifer Lawrence are the same age. How is the former “the right age” and the latter “too old”? And Emily Browning is two years OLDER than Lawrence. Twenty-somethings play high schoolers in Hollywood all the time–Lawrence’s age shouldn’t count her out. I’m not sure what you mean by “conventional looking,” but I think Lawrence would be great as Katniss.

  6. sek on March 3, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Kaya has been my one and only choice for Katniss. Hailee is too young looking, imo. Kaya has what it takes to be vulnerable and a badass at the same time.

  7. Naomi on March 3, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Hailee Steinfeld ,she can pull it off

  8. amh on March 3, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    I just watched the Skins where Effy (Kaya) is abducted and after seeing that, I believe she has the ability to hold her own as Katniss. I saw True Grit and think that Hailee proved she has the gumption to play Katniss, but she may be a little on the young side. Could be wrong, though. She’s a strong actress!

  9. Shannon Hood on March 3, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    @ Amanda,

    I didn’t realize that Emma and Jennifer are the same age, Jennifer just seems so much older to me (not a knock, I love her and I think she is gorgeous). I also think Lawrence is waaaaay too curvy to play Katniss. Can’t shake her va-va-voom red dress from the Oscars the other night. By conventional looking, I mean blonde, the typical Hollywood starlet prototype.

  10. Shannon Hood on March 3, 2011 at 4:17 pm


    It’s been a while since I read The Hunger Games, but I got the distinct feeling that Katniss was not a blonde haired, blue-eyed, fair skinned girl. I think it was implied that she had some exotic quality to her. Any of the nationalities you mention would work.

    I did read on some message boards a few months ago that a lot of people thought that Katniss is African American in the book. Personally, I did not take that away, but I suppose it is possible. If you did believe that she was African American, I can see how it would be upsetting to see all these light skinned blondes being courted for the role.

  11. sarah on March 3, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    to b honest im not as worried as to who will play katniss im just worried about how the movie will play out and hope it goes by the book but if i was to choose it would have to b hailee yes i agree she is 14 but she looks olders and she proved her skills in true grit chloe is to young and i just hope they dont screw up the movie

  12. kelly on March 3, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Hailee Steinfeld is perfect, I hope she gets it. When I saw her all dressed up for the Oscars, I just could see it. She can look glamourous and dressed down as well. She also looks and acts older than 14 but she can still grow into the role.

  13. kelly on March 3, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Oh yes Sarah I agree with you!

  14. m. on March 4, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Shannon, it’s an interesting thing because I’ve read some of the comments on the message boards that claim that without a doubt, Katniss is an African American and I’m just perplexed as to how they came to that conclusion…from the way I understood the story, District 12 seemed to be (bear with me here) Western European (hence Katniss sister and mother and all of the merchant kids with blonde hair and blue eyes) to Mediterranean(straight black hair and gray eyes) District 11 where Rue and Thresh hail from was distinctly African American and they should be played by Black actors. I just don’t see how you can flat out accuse someone of whitewashing when it’s a subject that is really only debatable. If Collins wrote Katniss as specifically Black or half Black or Asian or Indian, Latina then yes, absolutely hire an Asian, Black, Indian, Latina actress but it wasn’t clear so there is no real basis for accusing them of whitewashing. Maybe we could ask Suzanne Collins and have the author herself settle it for everyone!.

  15. Shannon Hood on March 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    I am definitely not trying to accuse them of whitewashing it, I just think it is a typical hollywood treatment of a book.

  16. Katniss on March 9, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    I would love to play Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games movie. Really would!
    What do you think?

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