Gary Ross on Jennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games Movie

| March 18, 2011 | 26 Comments More

My Hunger Games - Gary Ross & Jennifer Lawrence

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.

You can read the Entertainment Weekly interview here

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Category: Movie, News

Comments (26)

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  1. Erica says:

    Well I’m not gonna lie, the interview definitely helped me reconsider. At first I was furious with the casting choice but if Suzanne is very confident with Jennifer then I’ll give her a shot. Plus she was nominated for an Oscar so we all know she’s already talented! I’m just still skeptical with her age… by the third movie she will look even older. Ahh now I’m nervous to see who the rest of the cast will be!

  2. Shannon says:

    Everyone should relax, she’s not going to look old. Make up artists and everyone who beautifies actors can make her look young and just like Katniss in a second. They can’t do that with acting skills though, which Jennifer Lawrence has.

    I’m so excited that they picked someone on how they could portray Katniss, with amazing acting skills, rather than just on how she looks.

    Now I know the movie won’t suck.

  3. Ewa says:

    She’s gonna be AWESOME. We should all support her.

  4. KittenPoker says:

    If Ms. Collins is as involved in the casting as J.K. Rowlings was with “Harry Potter” then I’m fine with Jennifer. Casting was/is the major downfall of “Percy Jackson.” He was 12 in the first book but 17 in the movie? Give me a break! I don’t believe Rick Riordan had any say in the casting.

    And keep Chris Columbus FAR AWAY from the trilogy. He did fine with HP1, dumbed down HP2, and totally hosed Percy Jackson.

  5. Francheska says:

    I’m not convince about her apparience, but if she’s an academy award nominee, she must be good. My comment is:
    Gary Ross, you BETTER make her look like Katniss not only portrait her attitude.

  6. meg says:

    Well at least they r doing something about her hair :) oh an also this is to all the people that though rue and thresh wernt african american……….. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA I TOLLD U I TOLLD U I TOLLD U I TOLLD U I TOLLD U!!!!! 😛 :0 😀

  7. HGFAN says:

    seee thats good now we all agree.. with makeup she can play the part.. hopefully they dont take a long time span between each movie though but im excited…and remember tron? for the villian they used something that made jeff bridges look younger which probaly wont be the case here but still

  8. Dez says:

    I think Jennifer will be great. For anyone who thinks she’s too old look at the pictures from Winter’s Bone. She looks like a teenager in that movie. I’ll admit I was angry at first too, but if Suzanne thinks she is a good choice then I do too at this point. It could always be worse.

    And on Rue and Thresh. The book did not flat out say African American therefore people saying they’re not African American, but just really tan is perfectly valid. However, I am glad they cleared that up for all of us.

  9. Elly says:

    I think that this is a good decision. I hope they do the same with the other characters.

  10. Nick says:

    THose pictures made me ok with her.

  11. callie says:

    ill survive. she’ll be ok…..iguess

  12. Nathalie says:

    How can anyone argue if the author thinks she is ‘perfect for the role’. I must admit I hadn’t heard of her before but I just saw her in an interview on youtube and apparently she skinned a squirrel for her role in Winters Bone…I think I’m going to like her

  13. Bettina says:

    Wow I really like all this comments it´s nice to read all this normal and mature opinions. all this comments in the last article were so childish! In fact I´m sure all this ones who wrote “NO, I won´t watch the movie!” They will do it and they will love it! And if not, who cares?!?!
    I´m very excited about the movie and I´m happy that there some more normal people who are also happy and can´t wait to see the movie!!! 😉

  14. starsky says:

    I agree whit everyone. Seriously, first I think that Jennifer would be suck, but now, when I read the text, I belive, that Jennifer will do great job. I can’t wait that I see the another actors and the movie!

  15. KC says:

    I think that as long as Suzanne Collins was right there when Gary Ross made his decision, I am okay. It is really her job to tell whether the actress can portray the character she had created in HER mind, as well as the other characters in the novel. And I was a little put down when I noticed her hair color, but that is an easy fix. She looks great.
    And as for Rue and Thresh, did it ever really say in the novel that they were African American? I think that each character portrayed with very tan skin will do just fine.

  16. Morgan H says:

    i think jennifer will do amazing, shes been nominated for an oscar, so i know she’ll do great. as for looks, anyone looks younger with make up, and hair can by dyed or a wig can be used. mrs. collins says she’s perfect so we will find out when the movie comes out

  17. moodys13 says:

    cant wait

  18. marissa B says:

    I’m liking the comments too. i’m sick of people complaining for all the wrong reasons. everyone’s entiltled to thier opinions but please keep an open mind sheesh.

    I was skeptical at first about her, but after reading the interview, i’m pleased with the casting choice. I put my faith in Gary Ross and so far he hasn’t let me down. and if Collins is happy with her than SO AM I!!! 😀

  19. Lucas says:

    I’m hoping that she really looks like Katniss and that she does a good job. But for me, Kaya Scodelario will be Katniss. I hope that changes will be made​​.
    But if Jennifer will be Katniss in the movie, I will attend. It would be unfair if I didn’t see because of the choice of director.
    Hopefully, Scodelario will take this role. Praying for this. But, if not, we can’t do anything. Just wait and see how will be with Jennifer Lawrence playing Katniss.

  20. I says:

    I agree Lucas. I really want Kaya to be Katniss. She is perfect. :)

    Still trying to accept Jen though. . .(and boy is that going to be tuff)

  21. Me says:

    not too please tbh

    i still think she’ll be too old

    and the whole point is that its children killing children

    at least she’ll have the acting quality.

  22. pedro says:

    meg, thresh is NOT african american, rue is, and ARY ROSS IS AN IDIOT.

  23. pedro says:

    collins obviously doesn’t have as much power a gary, therefore she has to agree to the terrible casting choices.

  24. Eva says:

    To: Pedro.
    I don’t think so! Suzanne wrote the whole story, she knows what is she choosing and if she chooses Jennifer than it means that Suzanne saw Katniss Everdeen in her!

    There are many fans in this world and we all imagined Katniss in a bit diffrent way! But they have to choose ONLY ONE person who will play Katniss. And this time IT IS Jennifer Lawrence!

    Do you remember – what kind of reaction was of all Twilight fans when they find out that Robert Pattinson will play Edward Cullen?!
    They were shocked and really angry!!! But now the whole world lose consciousness only seeing him.

    Im just trying to say that if Jennifer is choosed then she will be the greatest Katniss ever!

    Eva :)

  25. PEETA! says:

    I agree with @Ewa, she’s already been cast and there’s nothing we can do about it. I like her alot and we should all support her just like what @Ewa said

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