Mar 18 2011 12:23pm

Jennifer Lawrence Is Katniss Everdeen, Has Already Been Katniss Everdeen

Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone

Jennifer Lawrence has landed the hotly contested role of Katniss Everdeen in the forthcoming movie adaptation of The Hunger Games.

The 20 year old actor has had an extremely high profile year, landing an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for the lead role of Ree in 2010 rural noir film Winter’s Bone. In the film, Lawrence plays a young teenager in the Ozark mountains, forced to raise her family in lieu of a mentally absent mother (*erhem!*), in a cloistered rural industrial environment where everything is rusting (*ERHEM*), and trying to find the whereabouts of her bail-jumping, meth-cooking father before their land is seized by the county sheriff.

Based on those chops alone, the office thinks Lawrence is an excellent choice to tackle the role of Katniss. Lawrence’s character in Winter’s Bone is tough but nuanced, scared s#%*less one second and naively determined the next. (And she’s no stranger to survival skills, as this squirrel-skinning scene can attest.) Her transformation from that movie to the Oscar red carpet echoes Katniss’s similar glamming in The Hunger Games, as well.

Lawrence is also set to play Mystique in the upcoming X-Men: First Class film. With the role of Katniss now confirmed, her presence in genre films is bound to be long-lasting.

We do have one request to make of The Hunger Games casting. As long as we’re poaching from Winter’s Bone, how about fellow cast member (and former Sol Star) John Hawkes as Katniss’s drunken mentor Haymitch?

Stubby the Rocket is the mascot and sometimes random voice of the staff. It's quietly hoping Ian McShane can be squeezed into The Hunger Games somewhere, as well.

1. DannyBowes
Good casting instincts, Stubbs. John Hawkes is awesome.
2. the zedmeister
The problem with casting Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss is that it's yet another instance of a blonde blue-eyed white actress getting a role that should be filled by a POC, or at the very least by a darker-complexioned white actress.

How good she is doesn't matter. There are scores of equally talented young actresses who never had a shot at his role because they were darker skinned.

The fact that Katniss's appearance will be changed to pander to a racist audience (or studio execs) taints the whole film IMHO.

For a good discussion of this issue, see this post:
Rich Bennett
3. Neuralnet
liked the books... but I just dont see how they will pull off a movie
Chuk Goodin
4. Chuk
I think the movies could be great, but I don't know how they'll make them without getting an R rating or changing them way too much.

I'm a little disappointed but not surprised that she's so physically unlike Katniss, but honestly I don't think the books made that big a deal about her appearance. (I don't know what counts as POC, but in the books she seems like a dark-complexioned white girl, like Mediterranean, maybe. Certainly doesn't sound black or Asian.)

She's a little old but 20 playing 17 isn't too bad. Not like when they got 18 year and 20+ year olds to play 12 and 13 year olds in Percy Jackson. (Okay, they changed the characters' ages there, too.)
5. taby tom
So, let me get this. A sexy, voluptuous , blond woman plays an ethnic,
brown skinned, hungry, skinny child. Wow, is that lame or what? I would
say that is racist at best. Just cast the real character. Why is
Hollywood such a racist industry? This is bad. They need to do a better
6. lauren skye
I had hoped that they would cast someone with a slightly darker complexion, and body type similar to that of Katniss in the books. Jennifer Lawrence is rather voluptuous, extremely blonde, and very pale. While I have no doubt that she will be an excellent Katniss acting wise, I'm sorry that she won't really look the part. Hopefully some of that Hollywood Magic gets put into play. Maybe if she drops some weight, gets a tan, dyes her hair, and uses contacts, she'll look like Katniss.

Honestly I thought that Hailee Steinfeld had both the looks and the acting chops to be Katniss. Sure she was a little younger than the character should be . . . but wouldn't it be easier to age her a few years, than have to completely make-over Jennifer Lawrence?
Teresa Jusino
7. TeresaJusino
I, too, was pulling for Hailee Steinfeld for this role:

@lauren skye - Actually, Steinfeld would've been the perfect age for Katniss. She was 14 when she shot True Grit, but she's 15 now, and will probably turn 16 during filming, which is the age Katniss is in the book to start. It would've been nice to see her age in this role naturally. Instead, Lawrence will be a 20-something "remembering what it was like" to be that age. I'm sure she'll do a great job, but having an actual 16 year old going through the stuff that Katniss goes through in The Hunger Games would've made it a bit more poignant.

@thezedmeister, Chuk, and taby tom - the character is described as having an "olive complexion," which can be a white person from a certain region or a biracial person, and can be anything from Hispanic, to Asian, to Black. That's another reason why I thought Steinfeld was perfect. She has a non-distinct biracial look that would've been appropriate.
8. juandiegomez
you'll have to shed some pounds from her. Katniss lived in hunger all her life before she went to the games. If you are looking for a young actress who can play teenager parts, why not Ellen Page?

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