Jennifer Lawrence Lands 'Hunger Games' Role
Fans of the popular book 'The Hunger Games' can stop playing the guessing game when it comes to the film version's leading lady. Lionsgate has confirmed the casting of 'Winter's Bone' actress Jennifer Lawrence for the lead role, according to Entertainment Weekly.
The Academy Award-nominated actress had been rumored to be the front-runner for the coveted part of Katniss Everdeen. Lawrence reportedly beat out other younger actresses, including 'True Grit' star Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin and Emma Roberts, for the part.
The 'Hunger Games' trilogy is set in a dystopian future where teenagers are forced to fight to their deaths as sport. The young adult trilogy by Suzanne Collins have sold millions of copies.
Many fans have expressed concern that Lawrence, 20, is too old to play the part of an malnourished teenager in the film series, but director Gary Ross called casting Lawrence "the easiest casting decision I ever made in my life."
"We had a meeting and I found her to be just a completely compelling, intelligent person. But then she came in and read for me and it just knocked me out," Ross told EW.
Ross made sure that Collins was involved with the casting as well.
"Suzanne saw every single audition," he said. "And not only did Suzanne not have an issue with Jen's age, she felt you need someone of a certain maturity and power to be Katniss. This is a girl who needs to incite a revolution. We can't have an insubstantial person play her, and we can't have someone who's too young to play this."
Now it's time to find the leading man to Lawrence's Katniss. 'Beastly' star Alex Pettyfer is rumored to have spoken with producers about the role of Peeta Mellark, as have 'Weeds' star Hunter Parrish and 'The Kid's Are All Right' star Josh Hutcherson.
'The Hunger Games' is set for release March 23, 2012.
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