When it came to deciding who should play Cinna in The Hunger Games movie, Gary Ross said it was Lenny Kravitz playing Nurse John in the movie Precious that won him over. In making the announcement, Ross said “I was just knocked out…it was quiet and strong and understated and open-hearted: all qualities which define this character.”
So I guess it doesn’t come as any real suprise that Lenny Kravitz didn’t have to audition for the part. He spoke to Details.com in a pretty comprehensive Q&A, mostly about his new album, a bit about the success of his daughter Zoe, but also about landing the role of Cinna.
DETAILS: Your acting career has been notable too. You had a well-received part in Precious and were just cast in The Hunger Games. Had you read the books?
Lenny Kravitz: I honestly hadn’t heard of them before the director called me. I hope the fans don’t hate me for that. He had seen my work in Precious and called and offered me the part of Cinna, who is the stylist for the main character, Katniss. He saw how I played a caregiver in Precious and figured I might be good for Cinna. I didn’t have to audition, so I’m lucky.
Lenny has also had an interview with CNN where they had quite an extensive chat about The Hunger Games. You can check the full interview here… but here’s the stuff about Hunger Games:
CNN: And speaking of your acting experiences, you’ve been cast as Cinna in “The Hunger Games.” Have you read the books?
Kravitz: Of course. I’m really excited to be in it. I’m really anxious to see how they put this whole world together because if you’ve read the books you know the world is quite fantastical and amazing, the Capitol and the Arena.
CNN: I am a Katniss fan, of course, but Cinna feels like the heart of the series.
Kravitz: It’s funny, a lot of people say that. Why do you say that?
CNN: Because he’s got Katniss’ back. He’s very supportive, but he’s also really subversive.
Kravitz: That’s why ["Hunger Games" director] Gary Ross called me; because he said he’d seen Precious and he liked how I underplayed the character. It’s not a similar role, but in a sense it’s got a similar quality because [Nurse John] was the only backup for ["Precious"].
CNN: Have you seen costume sketches or anything?
Kravitz: Not a thing! Not a thing! That’s why I’m just as curious as you.
CNN: But Cinna’s not that crazy looking. He wears all black and gold eyeliner.
Kravitz: He’s kinda slick, right?
CNN: Have you met Jennifer Lawrence?
Kravitz: Yes, I know her actually because she did “X-Men: First Class” with my daughter, [Zoë Kravitz], so she spent a lot of time in my house in Paris when they were filming in London. That was another thing about casting me: [Ross] said, I heard that Jennifer was in your house all summer and that you were taking care of the kids and they were cooking. I had the whole cast, like six, seven kids in my house on the movie so I got to know all of them before I had even seen them in action. So Jennifer and I ended up becoming friendly. She’s really sweet. And then I saw her in “Winter’s Bone” and I was like, “Oh, wow. This girl is for real.”
CNN: The Hunger Games casting has been so anticipated and controversial to some extent…
Kravitz: I didn’t see any online stuff, but, yeah, the fans don’t play. What do you think about Woody [Harrelson] as Haymitch?
CNN: I love it!
Kravitz: It’s great, right?
CNN: The casting has been pretty terrific, but also really unexpected.
Kravitz: I know I was unexpected!
We’ve posted this before…but in case you missed it… here’s Lenny as Nurse John in Precious.
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire