'Hunger Games' casting: Who should play Katniss? (I've got a suggestion...)

Hunger-GamesImage Credit: Bob Charlotte/PR PhotosAs EW exclusively reported earlier today, there may not be any one frontrunner for the role of Katniss Everdeen in the upcoming Hunger Games movie, but there are many, many, many names in contention. Essentially every young actress in Hollywood — both actual teenagers and lovely young woman who can still pass for teenagers — are competing to play the lead role in the Suzanne Collins adaptation. All of the names are impressive, and it’s easy to see how any of the actresses in contention could put their own intriguing spin on the role. Tell us your pick in the poll after the jump. Personally, I already know who my number one pick is: Hailee Steinfeld, star of True Grit.

At 14, Steinfeld is on the low age range of the actresses being discussed for the role: Fellow Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence is 20, and Nikita star Lyndsy Fonseca is 24. You could argue that Steinfeld is even a bit too young to play the 16-year-old Katniss. But to me, Steinfeld’s role in True Grit captured a quality that’s central to Katniss’ character: a proud, even brave disinterest in other people’s bullplop. In the Hunger Games books, Katniss is perpetually surrounded by schemers and dreamers — Capitol zealots, rebel ideologues, politicians — and the most heroic thing about her is how dramatically unwilling she is to buy into any one belief system.

That’s even true of the trilogy’s “romantic” triangle, which is actually adorably anti-romantic: Katniss is besieged on either side by a naive fellow who fancies himself a romantic hero and a stern survivalist who considers himself a lone-wolf freedom fighter, and most of the time she just finds them both exasperating. If you think about it, that’s not too far away from the central triangle of True Grit, which saw Steinfeld’s Mattie Ross as the irritated voice of reason mediating between the dueling narcissists played by Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon.

That’s my two cents, PopWatchers. Now tell us which actress currently in contention you’d like to see in the Hunger Games movie. Have another preference? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Comments (164 total) Add your comment
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  • K

    100% AGREE!! She was amazing in True Grit and I think she could pull off Katniss with a sweetness and toughness at the same time.

    • anonymous

      I agree. She’s very talented and she proved she can play a character who’s tough, smart, and even a little vulnerable. She gets my vote.

      • For An Angel

        Hailee Steinfeld is 14 now and was 13 when she filmed True Grit. Her birthday is December 11, 1996 and the NYC premier of TG was 3 days after her 14th birthday.

    • Snseblaze

      And she fits the book’s description. She also is older now than when she filmed True Grit. She was 14 but looked and seemed older. Now its likely she’s 15 and by the time they get all this together, she might just be shy of 16, the age in the book. Jennifer Lawrence — too old – better for another role (Glimmer/Clovis or JOhanna in a later novel). Saorse Ronin would be my second choice but also she might work in another role. I’d say go with an unknown actress for Prim whose part is very small (perhaps using the same one for Rue with a hair color change or something like that).

      • Sal

        “with a hair color change, or something like that.”

        Umm, Rue is black. Goes to show how little a lot of people care about ethnic integrity in Hollywood or fiction.

      • Jayne

        Hailee has been 14 for less than three months, and Hunger Games goes into production in just a couple of months. If they weren’t starting production for a year or two then I’d agree that Hailee would be perfect but as it is she’s just too young. Katniss spends half the book making out with Peeta and it would just be creepy for a 14-year-old to do that (especially if the actor they get to play Peeta is older).

      • sarah

        jennifer would be an amazing katniss. before you even start to judge watch at least part of winter’s bone. her character there could so easily be translated into the role of katniss, and she can absolutely play the part. and this article is right. she can easily be transformed into the role of katniss. she’d be great. and this “blonde bombshell” look will totally work for the post-cinna scenes where she’s all glamified. definite, definite yes.
        and hailee and abigail breslin and chloe moretz are all way too young! even if that have the emotional capacity to act like katniss, they have baby faces and the bodies of 12 year olds. there’s no way that could work. they’re two years younger than katniss, and jennifer lawrence is four years older. not a big difference, and 16 year olds don’t look so much different from 20 year olds. actors act down all the time, but it usually doesn’t work out so well in reverse.

    • LOL

      No fatties!

    • Elizabeth

      Agreed, Darren, 100%

    • An

      I don’t think Haille has the tough looks sort of thing..lyndsy fonseca does though..she can act too!

    • An

      I can’t imagine Haille as a girl who will be able to pull off the toughness of the story…her age just deters me from taking katniss as seriously as i did in the book…but a good actress would be LYNDSY FONSECA..she even got the script…we’ll see what happens…

  • jordan

    I’m fine with any of these actresses, I really like all of them, but please, PLEASE, not the girl from the secret life; she’s awful on the show, and it is awful and really shouldn’t be on tv, but any others are great!

  • Suua P.

    Hailee should star as Katniss. I mean after watching ‘True Grit’, I knew from then on that this is our Katniss Everdeen. So what if she’s fourteen. She’ll be probably be around seventeen when they do ‘Mockingjay’. Besides, I believe her performance could really bring the character to life.

    • Terri

      I think Alan Hyde (Godrick in True Blood) would make an excellent Peeta!!

  • Julia

    I see Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss. We already know that she can play that role in Winter’s Bone. I think that Hailee Steinfeld is also excellent, I can just picture Jennifer more, I suppose. Why Shailene Woodly is up there, I can’t imagine.

    • lete

      If only Jennifer Lawrence didn’t look WAY older than 16. She’s beautiful, but she doesn’t look like a young girl.

      • Mel

        Jennifer Lawrene ALL THE WAY! Hailee just looks toooo young. I mean the guys who they are throwing out are all like 20. How gross will it be to see her making out with some older guy?!

        Also, Katniss is weathered and worn from her years of providing for her family. She’ll look older than 16.

    • D. Marie

      I totally agree with Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss. She’s tough enough to pull it off.

      • D. Marie

        Oh, and Chloe Moretz as Prim.

  • Alexis

    Please let it be Hailee!

  • zozo

    Hailee Steinfeld…she can grow with the franchise but most important…she is a hell of a good actress.

  • Aimee

    I would really be happy with a new face – someone not associated with other well-known films.

  • Charlotte

    I loved her in True Grit, and she definitely has some Katniss qualities. But I think she is just a little too young to play the romance part. I really don’t want to see anyone younger than 16 cast. Probably can’t push more than 20 on the other end of the spectrum.

  • Lia

    I think she’s a pretty good choice – she may be a little younger than the character but she’ll be able to grow with the franchise, unlike some of the older actresses who will probably be much too old by the time it’s over.

  • MikeMagpuyo

    Exactly. And Katniss is supposed to be new and unfamiliar with romance, right? All she’s ever thought about is feeding her family and surviving. Anyway the main point of books is not to see whether she ends up with the best friend or the obvious male lead, it’s to do with war and tragedy and violence. So, definitely Hailee Steinfeld.

    • Clarabela

      I totally agree. The Hunger Game series is not about the romance. It is about an spirited and independent young girl who survived a violent battle.

      Hailee would be the perfect Katniss. And she can grow with the series. It will be 5+ years before they finish filming all 3 books. Look at what happened to the boy in Harry Potter. After a few movies, he is now too old to continue in that role.

  • Lo

    Oooo, I like the sound of Kaya Scodelario.

  • hs

    i just read ‘the hunger games’ a couple months ago, and I TOTALLY thought Hailee Steinfeld as Katniss!!! That would be amazing!! (i really hope the movie is good)!

  • annie the mouse

    I don’t know who will end up as Katniss, but there sure are a good number of excellent young actresses out there now with promising futures. I also thought at least one of the Fanning sisters would be up for this role.

    • Snseblaze

      The younger fanning might work for Prim or Rue (though she might already be too old). The older one might work for one of the other roles.

  • alie374@hotmail.com

    Jennifer Lawrence all the way. SHe’s not THAT old and everyone knows that in Hollywood a 20-year-old can perfectly fit the role of a 16-year old. She’s a rare talent and a serious actress. (Spoiler)And I don’t see Hailee pretending she is pregnant if they make a second movie. Plus I don’t want Peeta or Gale to be 14-year old. If they take Hailee, the world will considered Hunger Games as a teen-only movie while really it’s not. It’s very mature content actually. However, they are both talented enough to put out a great performance as Katniss. It’s just that there are issues more important than looks to look at.

  • Samantha

    I’m not sure who could play Katniss, but I’ll tell you one thing. If they don’t cast Hugh Laurie as Haymitch, I’ll throw a fit! I could practically hear his voice saying the words when I read the books!

    • FelicityPortland

      I would rather it be RDJ

    • Corrine

      I’m pretty sure Hugh Laurie’s team said he wouldn’t be available for it.

    • Snseblaze

      I’m thinking Haymitch has to be more of a character actor. I got the impression he was a bit older and in poor shape. My first thought was Brendan Gleeson (from 28 Days Later and the Harry Potter movies). Second (though he may not be old enough) was Robert Carlyle.

      I picture Cillian Murphy as Cinna and Emily Watson (my first thought) or Imogene Staunton as Effie for some reason.

      • steph

        Effie HAS to be Kristen Chenoweth.

    • Lisa

      Haymitch was 16 when he was in the Games. In the second book, at the Quarter Quell, he would be 25 years older. This puts him at 41. Hugh Laurie, Brendan Gleeson, Robert Carlyle, and many others being offered up are simply too old for the part.

      • Heather P

        I disagree. Haymitch had also been drinking for 25 years. Heavy drinking has a tendancy to age you faster.

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