Kristin Chenoweth obsessed with 'The Hunger Games': Cast her, please!

Kristen-Chenoweth_240.jpg Image Credit: Sylvain Gaboury/PR PhotoYesterday, big-voiced, gum-drop-sized Kristin Chenoweth tweeted that someone had given her a copy of Suzanne Collins’ YA novel The Hunger Games, and she was now obsessed with all things Panem. Sing it! Well, this seems as good a time as any to say that I am obsessed with the idea of Chenoweth playing the role of Effie Trinket in Gary Ross’ adaptation. Pink-haired Effie, who leads with brisk efficiency and an almost false cheer, is District 12’s escort to the Hunger Games. The role, three-fourths broad comedy, a quarter wistful tenderness, seems right up Chenoweth’s sparkly-eyed street. Add Chenoweth to my dream cast of True Grit‘s dazzler Hallie Steinfeld — she’s young, I know, but that girl’s got some real steel to her — in the role of Katniss, and Cillian “Mr. Eyelashes” Murphy (circa 28 Days Later) as Cinna. Haymitch is my favorite of the bunch, despite and because of the fact that he’s such a wreck of as man, and the one character it will be hardest to see brought to the screen. I have such a crystallized view of him in my head already, it’s hard to picture an actor doing him justice. And I’m not up on the latest teen hunks, so I’m putting my faith in the casting director’s hands when it comes to Peeta and Gale.

Well, team, what do you think of Chenoweth as Effie? What actor can you not get out of your head as one of the various roles? Have you, too, had that experience where a literary character takes such full shape in the pages and in your mind that it’s disorienting seeing someone in real life play him or her?

Read more:
What ‘Hunger Games’ will be rated, and how it feels to be called the next ‘Twilight’
‘Hunger Games’ exclusive: Why Gary Ross got the coveted job, and who suggested Megan Fox for the lead role
‘Hunger Games’ exclusive: Director Gary Ross talks about casting Katniss
More of EW’s ‘Hunger Games’ coverage

Comments (209 total) Add your comment
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  • Elaine

    Kristen Chenoweth as Effie is perfect! ..and I’d never thought of Hallie Steinfeld as Katniss, but I could see that. For Haymitch, however, I know exactly who I want cast: either Robert Downey Jr or Hugh Laurie. What do you think of those choices?

    • Molly

      I’ve always thought of Effie as Kristin Chenoweth while reading… and while RDJ would be amazing as Haymitch, my vote is for Philip Seymour Hoffman.

      • Veronika

        Philip Seymour Hoffman! Yes!!! I totally agree with you 100%
        While I love the idea of both RDJ and Hugh Laurie as Haymitch, I just always pictured him with blond hair and being a little chubby. I don’t think RDJ or Hugh could pull of blond hair and a fat suit lol!

      • Rachel

        Agree! He is not always my favorite actor, but I picture him as chubby also and he could pull off Haymitch well.

      • abbyd

        I always pictured Jackie Haley (Rorschach in watchmen) as Haymitch

      • pastafarian

        I imagined Haymitch as a bit Stellan Skarsgård-y.
        Or maybe Brendon Gleeson.

      • Megan

        Um brendon gleeson? Never heard of him…minus the kid at my school… :) who wrote that?

      • Charlotte

        Oh, I like the idea of Philip Hoffman Seymour as Haymitch. I can’t picture him as skinny as Laurie or Downey Jr. He’s about the right age too. I love Chenoweth as Effie. That would be perfect. Another one I just thought of, considering that Ross has worked with her before is Reese Witherspoon.

      • Monica

        Veronika- no, Haymitch has to have black hair! If you want, read the description of him in Catching Fire when they’re watching his Hunger Games. He’s Seam, through and through, and it would completely ruin it for me if he was blond. Sorry to conradict.

      • jk

        HOFFMAN!!!!!! BRILLIANT IDEA!!!! I hope they cast chenoweth and cillian murphy!!!

      • Brenda

        I read the Hunger Games trilogy over Christmas when we were on voaitcan and I LOVED them! The premise sounded incredibly stupid when people described them to me, but when we saw the Hunger Games trailer at the last Twilight movie all my girlfriends got really excited. So I figured why not, and they were so right with the recommendation. I’ve heard the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series is also excellent. I started the first one last summer but never got a chance to finish it. I’ll have to give them another shot.

    • HallieS86

      I saw True Grit yesterday, and all I could think was that Hallie would be great as Katniss. I really think she could fill that role very well.

    • cpchevi

      Hallie Steinfeld IS WHITE Katniss is of Native American/Latino decent (read her description in the book) I’M tell you right now that if they whitewash this movie and make Katniss some pretty white girl I am going to boycott it FOR SURE!

      • Kiddo

        It never specifically said she was Native American or Latino. It said she has olive skin. She can’t be full blooded Native American or Latino because her mother and her sister both have blond hair and blue eyes. Since her mother is pale and her father had olive skin it is possible that Katniss has PALE olvie skin rather than DEEP olive skin. She could have either. I’m not being racist, but I say give the role to the girl who can act best, not the girl who has the deepest olive skin.

      • Jason

        Olive skin is more Mediterranean than Native American. Native American is mostly brown skin.

      • Chaplin

        Plus, not that it matters, but Hailee is of Filipino, African-American and European-American (which could mean white or Mediterranean) descent. I agree with Kiddo, go by acting skill. This isn’t like The Last Airbender where the races of the characters are obvious. Its quite ambiguous here.

      • meggie

        Haliee is too tall. She’s 5’7″. Katniss is supposed to be short (about 5’2″-5’4″ range). As much as I’d love her to be Katniss, I just feel the height would mess with casting Peeta who is supposed to be around 5’7″ or so

      • Jenn

        Oh good grief. HEIGHT complaints?! Have you ever seen a Tom Cruise movie? Hailee is perfect.

      • Anje

        Books never said that Katniss was Latina/Native America. It was described that she had olive skin, and that tends to be more Mediterranean. Latina/NA is more of a brown darker color. Katniss isn’t exactly brown; she’s just olive toned.

      • Raina

        shes not white! shes obviously of another decent.She has The PERFECT demeanor for Katniss!

    • court

      They all sound like great choices!

    • steph

      I pictured Effie as Kristin Chenoweth as well! I read a suggestion that Jeremy Irons would be a good Haymitch. I’m not really feeling RDJ though.

    • Heather

      Kristin Chenoweth would be perfect as Effie!! I can just see her prancing around despite everything around her from the beginning of the hunger games to the end of mockingjay. The second i saw the title of this post I automatically thought she’d be perfect for Effie…

    • Effy

      I totally agree with Kristen as Effie – anyone seen that picture of her sittng on that random grass place with pink hair?

    • Meredith

      I totally think Kristin should play Effie! Especially now that she loves the Hunger Games!

  • GooGoo

    Ian McShane of Deadwood fan as Haymitch. He’s a little old for the role but the minute I read the books I thought “Ian McShane!.”

    • Micah

      I like the idea of McShane as Haymitch. I think he could play it perfectly!

    • Shannon GB

      I totally agree Goo Goo. I pictured Haymitch as Ian McShane. I think his age would be fine…he needs to be a little burley and husky. He’d be perfectly cast!

  • GooGoo

    I meant Deadwood fame. Maybe Downey for Haymitch, definitely not Laurie — maybe Laurie as President Snow.

    • Rizco

      My wife and I have thought Kristen Chenowith since the Hunger Games came out. I think Christoph Waltz would be the perfect Snow

  • Mel

    I love Kristin Chenowith as Effie! I would also love Robert Downey Jr. or Johnny Depp as Haymitch.

    • Rachel

      Why why /why/ would you want /Johnny Depp/ to be Haymitch? Terrible idea is terrible.

    • Jamie

      No way! Johnny Depp would be the worst Haymitch ever!

      • ariel

        thats right Johnny Depp would make a horrible Haymitch! no way! just as much as trying to put Jack Black as Haymitch! I wont watch it!

  • Silly B

    No way!!! That role belongs to Elizabeth Banks!!

    • jodipo

      I love Elizabeth Banks, but not for Effie. Maybe Portia, or maybe save her for Catching Fire and she could play Johanna Mason!!
      Kristen is perfect for Effie

      • Molly

        ooh Elizabeth Banks as Johanna Mason is very interesting. I don’t see her as Effie at all.

      • Sarah

        Eh, i’m not digging her for Johanna Mason.

    • bruno


  • Mandy P

    Yes yes yes Kristin as Effie PLEASE! I had not even thought of Hallie Steinfeld for Katniss, but I think she might be perfect. I kind of saw Philip Seymmour Hoffman as Haymitch in my head as I read the books.

    • Eric P

      Thank you! people keep pushing for Downey even though he doesnt look anything like he is described in the books. Casting Downey or House is so unimaginative. Personally i thought Timothy Spall who played the bad guy in “Enchanted”

      • Vick

        How is Downey “unimaginative” , and casting Timothy Spall isn’t?
        Timothy is NOTHING like Haymitch. Haymitch is said to be in his late thirties, and he’s supposed to have a trace of faded good looks. Honey, stop watching Disney movies and get a wider span of choices before you call anyone else unimaginative. Thanks.

      • Eric P

        Actually “honey” Haymitchs’ age was indeciphrable until Catching Fire when it was revealed his age at the time of the games and that he used to be good looking implying he no longer was. So excuse me for skewing older and uglier. As for unimaginative hollywood always casts the same people there’s very little variety. I’d prefer to see fresh talent. And as for “a wider span of choices” some of us can see Black Swan AND Enchanted its called diversity.

      • jamie

        I can sort of see him as Haymitch, but NOT RDJ!!! i agree… stop watching DISNEY MOVIES. THE HUNGER GAMES IS FOR YOUNG ADULTS. But I can see HOUSE as it….ACTUALLY I WOULD LOVE HOUSE AS PLEASE stop talking. Oh and it would be mean to say something back…since i am 12 years old…

        TEAM PEETA!!!

    • hungergamesRscary

      no no no hailey is to young to be katniss has no one even noticed that is supposed to be 16 in the books and in catching fire shes about to get married and hailey looks 10 or something plz pick some one who is older

      • Ummm….

        Are you thinking of the right girl? Hailee Steinfeld is 14 and about 5’7″. I think she can pass for 16. She’s a great actress and would make a great Katniss.

  • Jason

    Kristin is PERFECT for Effie. Bruce Campbell IS Haymitch though – I saw him through the books in the roll the whole time!

    • Jess

      Hah! Me too.

    • Charlotte

      Oh, I love Bruce Campbell. He may be a little too old for the part now though.

    • court

      Bruce would be great!

      • ashley

        HAHAHAHA yes i never thought of that haha i luv that guy

  • Kelsi

    I’m for Kirsten as Effie.
    But I’m most worried about Peeta. I can’t see anyone but Landon Liboiron playing him. No one has mentioned him yet but, based on his stint in Degrassi, he’s the perfect choice.

    • cheri

      I had to Google Landon because I have not heard of him, but now that I have…great idea. He would have to lighten his hair, but no biggie there.

    • Peng9803

      And he’ll be on Terra Nova and did a stint on Life Unexpected. So more exposure for Landon.

      I just started the books. I totally see Kristin for Effie and RDJ as Haymitch. But Bruce Campbell is a good call too! Hailee is too young but the girl from the original Skins is who I’ve been imagining.

      Gale & Peeta are the ones I’m having trouble casting in my head. I’m hoping for some unknowns that really embody the characters because I don’t want any Zac Efrons or Chase Crawfords that already have images that could take away from their effectiveness as the characters.

      • GooGoo

        I’m having trouble with Gale and Peeta because I’m not up on who has talent among male teens in Hollywood. But definitately the girl from True Grit or the girl from Atonement.

    • David77

      Kaya Scodelario who was Effie in the UK skins would be perfect as Katniss! Yes to the Cheno!

      • Maddie

        I extremely agree, Kaya is perfect!
        only she needs to sing, and be good with a bow and arrow but other wise
        99% of the youtube videos of fan made trailers have her

      • GooGoo

        No she wouldn’t. Effie was narcissistic, spoiled and manipulative. Katniss is unpretentious, reserved yet with a little bite. Boo Kaya!

      • Gaby

        I LOVE Kaya! And HEY! For @GooGoo, it doesnt matter what are the differences between Effy and Katniss. A lot of actor’s characters have been WAY different, an no one is complaining about it.

      • Aya

        YES!!! Kaya was the first actress that came into my mind when I tried to visualize how Katniss looks. Hailey’s okay too, I guess. Still, I’ll keep on cheering for Kaya.
        @GooGoo: have you ever heard of versatility? That’s when(in acting terms)an actor or actress is able to play multiple parts with ease. And seriously, it doesn’t really matter if she’s played as a ‘narcissistic, spoiled and manipulative’ character, what matters is if she could play as Katniss right. And I think she could.

    • Yvette

      When I read the books I always saw Landon as Gale. And I love the idea of Bruce Campbell as Haymitch.

    • ariel

      wow yeah I had to google him to but wow I say yes!

  • Kate

    I like the idea of her for Effie (and a slight spoiler) the idea of her being such this figure of innocence that works for the Capitol that she turns a blind eye and then is protected from the revolution. I have pictured Cillian Murphy as Cinna for quite awhile. I recently watched the Kids are Alright and had heard the kid who plays Laser being a good choice for Peeta, maybe, he actually seems too young for Peeta to me.

  • Briana

    I can’t wait until casting officially starts!

  • Kiki

    I LOVE the idea of Cillian Murphy as Cinna, and Chenoweth would make a great Effie, but I really hope they DON’T cast Hallie Steinfeld as Katniss. She was absolutely amazing in True Grit, but she is not Katniss to me. Katniss needs to be skinnier (they are starving, after all), and a little prettier and sexier (even though she doesn’t think of herself this way, two men and thousands of citizens are supposed to fall in love with her). Physically, I think Lyndsy Fonseca is perfect, though she is a little too old, and I’m not sure she quite has the talent to carry a movie. I just can’t see Hallie Steinfeld in all those cuddly scenes with Peeta, nor kissing anyone.

    • Sherry

      Sarah Hyland (oldest daughter in Modern Family) looks like my image of Katniss!

      • Sadie

        I had always pictured someone different as Katniss, but now that you bring up that point, that’s a good point.

      • michelle


      • kyle

        I really like the idea of Sarah Hyland as Katniss. She could pull off the seductive scenes as well as kick some tushy.

        While reading, I pictured Chord Overstreet as Peeta, he is still relatively unknown even though he is on one of the most watched shows right now. He fits the description perfectly.

      • Mirte

        Chord looks like Peeta..

        And I am a great fan of Glee but Chord is not that good in speaking. The way he announce sentences is annoying because it makes it hard to understand what he is saying. ( And I am not the only one who thinks that :P )

        And i don’t know if he can play all that emotions, Peeta is a difficult part I guess.
        I am wondering if Chord would be good enough for the role of Peeta.

        (Sorry for my bad English, I am from the Netherlands)

    • Jenn

      Have you seen her premiere look, though? I think she’s quite pretty.

  • Matt

    Wow, that really would be perfect. She could even sing here and there, with that “almost false cheer.” But I always saw Haymitch as more a Brendan Gleeson type. He’s lived a hard, drunk life and doesn’t take care of himself – he wouldn’t look like Robert Downey, Jr. or Johnny Depp or Bruce Campbell.

    • Tamara

      I totally am with you on that. I see Haymitch as kind of a rounder, more British drunkard.

    • Dee

      Yes! That is EXACTLY what I picture Haymitch to be like.

    • Christie

      I totally thought of Brendan Gleeson, until Mockingjay when Plutarch became prominent (he’d work for him too), and we discovered Haymitch is in his early 40s.
      I also thought of Hailee Steinfeld and would love that – by the time they film she’ll be almost 15, so I don’t think she’s too young. Unless they cast some guy in his 20’s (Hunter Parrish?) as Peeta, then it’d be weird with all the kissing. Though she’d probably be about 16 when they film Catching Fire.
      Kristen Chenowith IS Effie, I’m so glad she’s slyly lobbying for the role!
      Finally, I kept seeing Ian Somerhalder as Finnick, and weirdly enough his new Vampire Diaries costar Michaela McManus (who was also on SVU) as Johanna – and I didn’t even know her name, I had to do some Googling to place her name to the face I was picturing!

      • Kenzie

        Ooh! If you’re talking about the woman who plays Rose on VD, I could totally see her as Johanna! Although I don’t agree with casting Damon as Finnick. :/

    • emma89

      I agree! I kept picturing Mad-Eye Moody as Haymitch.

    • Andrea

      Brendan Gleeson is exactly what I pictured! Good call!

  • Heather

    Kristin would make a perfect Effie!! And since she is a fan, she will work hard to do it justice.

  • starinacasket

    FULLY AGREE with hailee steinfeld as katniss. i’m not against someone else necessarily, but she seriously IS katniss everdeen in true grit! she has a brilliant scowl. not to mention she steal’s every scene in true grit; with stars like jeff bridges and matt damon surrounding her no less.
    i could see kristin or really anyone as effie… she’ll probably be the easiest to cast.
    i think hugh laurie as haymitch would be hilarious and perfect, but perhaps he is a little old.
    i also personally see nestor carbonell (richard from LOST) as cinna in my head. (EPIC EYELINER!)
    and i think gene hackman would be a pretty amazing president snow.
    i can’t picture particular actors for peeta or gale, i just hope they aren’t TOO pretty.

  • Tracy

    As much as I agree that Cheno needs to be cast in this role, I was more excited to read that someone else – besides me – agrees that Hailee Steinfeld needs to be Katniss!

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