It’s only been a day since Lionsgate announced that Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence will play Katniss Everdeen in the upcoming The Hunger Games movie and many fans are already asking if she’s the right person for the role. Director Gary Ross certainly thinks so, along with The Hunger Games author, Suzanne Collins.
Ms Collins has given her blessing in a statement put out by Liosnsgate calling Jennifer Lawrence an “incredible actress, adding that she’s “powerful, vulnerable, beautiful, unforgiving and brave. I never thought we’d find somebody this perfect for the role. And I can’t wait for everyone to see her play it.”
Gary Ross added:
“I’m so excited work with Jen and see her bring this character to life. Katniss requires a young actress with strength, depth, complexity, tenderness, and power. There are very few people alive who can bring that to a role. Jen brings it in spades. She’s going to be an amazing Katniss.”
Ross also spoke at length to Entertainment Weekly about Jennifer Lawrence and the concerns many fans have voiced about her taking on the role of Katniss.
He explains that when he saw Winter’s Bone he thought Lawrence was riveting and amazing, and that when she came in to read for the part that he was knocked out by her performance.
On the fact that she’s 20 and possibly too old for the role, he explained that Suzanne Collins didn’t have an issue with Jennifer Lawrence’s age, and that they felt they needed someone of a certain maturity and power to be Katniss, explaining that this is a girl who needs to incite a revolution.
He went on to say:
We can’t have an insubstantial person play her, and we can’t have someone who’s too young to play this. Suzanne was incredibly adamant about this. Far from being too old, she was very concerned that we would cast someone who was too young. In Suzanne’s mind, and in mine, Katniss is not a young girl. It’s important for her to be a young woman. She’s a maternal figure in her family. She’s had to take care of Prim and in many ways her mother since her father’s death. She’s had to grow up pretty quick.
Ross also talks about the implications of casting a blonde girl as the dark-haired olive-skinned Katniss.
Suzanne and I talked about that as well. There are certain things that are very clear in the book. Rue is African-American. Thresh is African-American. Suzanne had no issues with Jen playing the role. And she thought there was a tremendous amount of flexibility. It wasn’t doctrine to her. Jen will have dark hair in the role, but that’s something movies can easily achieve. [Laughs] I promise all the avid fans of The Hunger Games that we can easily deal with Jennifer’s hair color.
And for fans waiting to hear who will be playing Peeta and Gale, it seems we’ll be finding out pretty soon.
Ross told EW “we’re very close. I have very, very good ideas about who I want in a lot of other roles. So I think there’ll be a lot of stuff coming pretty quickly.”
So, whether you are happy with the decision of Jennifer Lawrence or not, I think most of us would agree that it’s very exciting that the book we all love so much is one step closer to making it to the big screen.