'The Hunger Games': Why Kristen Bell should absolutely play Johanna Mason.


Image Credit: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic.com

I never thought I’d say this, but I so want to hear Kristen Bell’s name called for the reaping.

When SlashFilm.com reported on Tuesday that the actress — currently seen cutting it up in Scream 4 — has started campaigning for a part in the eagerly anticipated adaptation of The Hunger Games, my immediate thought was: Isn’t the part of Effie Trinket supposed to go to Elizabeth Banks? Both would be perfect! How would could I possibly decide between the two?! Thankfully, the Veronica Mars star has made my life uncomplicated, as she’s setting her sights set elsewhere. Apparently, Bell, who is a self-proclaimed Hunger Games super fan, wants to play Johanna Mason, the cunning former Games victor and District 7 tribute. (Bell has not yet responded to EW’s request for comment.) The no-nonsense Johanna finds herself in the Quarter Quell alongside HG heroine Katniss Everdeen, where the two flip-flop between their trust — or lack thereof — for one another.

Well, you don’t have to convince me, Kristen. We’ve seen the actress play a character you don’t know whether to love or hate on the big screen before (see: Forgetting Sarah Marshall), and now that I’ve imagined her as Johanna, I honestly can’t see anyone else playing the role. After all, she already knows how to kick ass on-screen (hello Veronica Mars!) and would look damn good stripping down to her skivvies (as Johanna so memorably did in Catching Fire). And for those of you Hunger Games loyalists who might point to the fact that the 30-year-old Bell is older than the book’s Johanna — who is in her late teens or early 20s — remember that 20-year-old Jennifer Lawrence also has a few years on the 16-year-old Katniss.

So, while I hope to see director Gary Ross continue to cast up-and-comers as the young tributes, I’m all for the film incorporating Bell’s star power. Plus, it certainly can’t hurt to have a Hunger Games fan in your cast.

Kristen, you’ve got my vote.

What do you think PopWatchers? Would Kristen Bell make for a good Johanna Mason in The Hunger Games?

Read more:
‘Hunger Games’ Central
‘Hunger Games': Meet the Cast

Comments (212 total) Add your comment
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  • JC

    perfect choice!

    • Cygnus

      The ages of actors and actresses for this movie are so all over the place. I’m wondering how a 12 year old Prim will look next to a 30 year old Johanna.

    • HC

      omg never even thought of her but HELL YES awesome idea! loooooove KrIsten Bell!!!

    • Gabe

      Kristen Bell is a little bit too early… Johanna isn’t even in the Hunger Games, and they haven’t even finished casting and filming it yet, let alone the second movie. It’s a good choice, but they might wanna see how The Hunger Games does at the box office first.

    • beetee

      She looks nothing like Johanna Mason who is: early 20’s, brown hair, brown eyes, mean, shaved head, brutal but emotional too. Kristen Bell is nice as a rom-com star but she is not good enough an actress to play Johanna. Get someone with the acting chops to match JLaw and younger.

      • Amy

        have you seen her in Veronica Mars? Anything BUT Rom Com. She would be amazing for that part!

      • jordan

        Not a good enough actress? She graduated from Tisch School of the Arts, and you obviously have not seen Veronica Mars. Plus, she played a baddie in Heroes.

      • Rachel

        She is a good enough actress and I’m sure she would let them shave her head if she got the part.

      • S.

        Johanna won the games by pretending to be weak, so she’s not exactly supposed to be all tough looking…

      • ZmaXcharmvill3

        Yeah, you NEED to watch veronica Mars to see how great of an actress Kristen Bell is, especially in dramas. She can totally play a bad a$$

      • Gabi

        Have you seen Veronica Mars? Kristen may enjoy a nice paycheck for uninteresting movies, or maybe she just enjoys making them, but that doesn’t mean she’s not a good actress. You’re entitled to your own picture of Johanna, but don’t insult Bell’s acting skills.

      • M.

        Two words for you: Veronica Mars. Kristen Bell has played a badass girl with innoccent looks before,and she was great at it.

    • Christine

      I’m not sure about Kristen, I think Naya might be a better choice though not a perfect one. I imagined Johanna to be tougher, like a younger version of Noomi Rapace from the Dragon Tattoo series.

    • Miranda

      NO WAY!!! Gemma Arterton would be PERFECT. She looks the part, great actress, has a more appropriate age, and fits the description of Johanna. :)

    • Sarsoori14

      No. Phoebe Tonkin. I think she would make a great Johanna. She’s Australian and has the accent but her American accent on The Secret Circle (The CW) is great.

  • Sean

    Yes Yes Yes! I love this idea!

    • gv

      I concur!! LOVE her as Johanna Mason. I just read Catching Fire and can totally picture it. I know everyone wanted Ben Barnes for Gale, but I think he’d make a great Finnick. And I’m starting a campaign for Richard Jenkins for Haymitch (I know, he’s probably too old, but this is my dream cast so I’ll cast who I want!)

  • Jun

    She will be perfect as Johanna.

    • MeMe

      I’d take her or even Naya. For Finnick I submit to you: JENSEN ACKLES. PLEASE. He is beautiful and can totally pull of the arrogant-yet-still-super-charming thing.

      • FIA

        PERFECT choice for Finnick, when I was reading the books that is who I thought of the whole time being a big supernatural fan.

      • adycen


  • brandinb

    I’m all for Kristen as Johanna. I love her and she needs a good movie role for once.

    • Absolutely

      Kristen Bell gets my vote too. I think she would be terrific!

  • Jeanine

    Ew, horrible choice … It’s way too early to be thinking about Johanna, what with Haymitch and Effie yet to be announced (though it sounds like they have already been cast from what some blogs are saying) but, if we are gonna go there, I’m with Naya Rivera, all the way …

    • AAA

      Yes for Naya Rivera!!! She wants it too.

    • Matt

      I agree Naya would be a perfect Johanna.

    • Laura

      I vote yes to Naya Rivera. She’d be perfect!

    • chris c

      shut up nerds!!!! kirstin bell got this in the bag

      • Cis

        NAYA RIVERA IS!~~

  • SLT

    I agree, she is perfect choice! I hope they pick her!!

  • Lois

    So are they casting for the whole trilogy already? If so, YES on K. Bell! Love me some Veronica Mars…and now I want someone equally as awesome for FINNICK!

    • katie

      No, I don’t believe they are casting for the next movies yet. I am really looking forward to Finnick when that comes though – he is my favorite character. I am thinking Ian Somerhalder or perhaps Hunter Parrish for Finnick when the time comes.

      • lefty

        I don’t think Hunter quite has the charm Finnick needs. Ian would be pretttttty darn good.

      • allie

        i think jeremy sumpter would be a good finnick!!

      • katie

        Yeah, I think Ian would be my first choice. I know fans were upset Hunter wasn’t Peeta, and I think he has that prettyboy look (granted, I’ve never seen Weeds so I don’t know his acting). Jeremy Sumpter is too young for Finnick IMO. He would have been alright for Peeta perhaps.

      • Sam

        I would love to see Brandon Routh as Finnick! And Kristen is a perfect Johanna for me!

      • Rachael

        My vote is for Kellan Lutz as Finnick! He is physically like Finnick, loves to do his own stunts and is playing in a movie with a trident. Plus he shouldn’t always be known as Emmett from Twilight!

      • iggy

        I like Sam Witwer for Finnick.

      • chris c

        the blonde guy from I am number 4 would be a perfect finnick

      • Mel

        No to all. JENSEN ACKLES. Come on people. He won E!’s Alpha Male Madness contest! That’s how BEAUTIFUL he is and yet still manly enough to take on The Hunger Games!

      • Miranda

        GARRETT HEDLUND FOR FINNICK! Hes a spitting image of him!

  • Mia

    Yes!!! She would be perfect. Bell still looks very young!

  • AB

    Would much rather see her play someone who dies. Can’t stand Bell.

  • Kris

    I would love for Kristen to be in the movie but I’m pretty sure you meant to say it “CAN help to have a Hunger Games fan in your cast”

    • Ace

      …or “it can’t hurt…”

  • Meg

    I had the same reaction you did. When I read this headline I thought isn’t Effie already cast, but when I saw Joanna’s name I realized Bell would be perfect. I too, can’t think of anyone else more perfect for the part

    and to add to your list of previous roles that show she’d be a great joanna, I think her role in heroes (when it was still good) is similar to joanna’s a**-kicking ways

    • Brandy

      I forgot about Kristen’s role in Heroes. Definitely shows off her ability to play damaged.

    • tara

      funny enough I thought that elizabeth banks, if younger, would be a really good joanna mason. but i could totally see kirsten bell! consider me on board!!

  • Kath (@gmmrtv)

    Perfect choice! Please Please cast Kristen Bell!

  • Kate

    But they haven’t even filmed the Hunger Game movie yet, let alone the second movie. Yes, she would be perfect for the role and we all kind of respect Joanna.

  • Ruth

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Cinna? I mean, the hair color’s not right, but that hasn’t been a problem previously (see: Gale and Peeta)

    • Liz

      My first thought was that JGL would go nowhere near a Hunger Games movie, but my second thought was, yes, that would absolutely fit. I wouldn’t have thought it on my own but now that you mention it I can picture him as book-Cinna. I don’t know about movie-Cinna, though, since they’ve aged up the main characters and he would look more like a romantic interest than a mentor next to J. Lawrence.

      • Ruth

        True, but Cinna was only a few years older than Katniss in the book anyway, right?
        Although mostly I just want JGL in everything I watch…

      • Jeanine

        I love JGL, but I doubt he can do it. He’s gotta film Batman!

      • katie

        Yeah, I don’t think he would do it or could do it with Batman coming up. I really like Lee Pace for Cinna.

      • Dena to Ruth

        who WOULDN’T want JGL in anything?

      • Rachel

        I love JGL!

    • Rach

      Hey, I like that one. Good choice.

    • iggy

      Maybe it’s because he’s a stylist in real life, but I always pictured George Kotsiopoulos from E’s Fashion Police as Cinna.

  • j2talk

    I’d watch Kristen Bell in ANYTHING…..

    • Jeannie

      I used to think I’d watch her in anything too, until I saw When in Rome.

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