Suzanne Collins extraordinarily dark trilogy “The Hunger Games” – a beloved book series with fiercely loyal fans, is a tale of children forced to battle to the death, a 16-year-old heroine named Katniss Everdeen, at the helm of the series . When Lionsgate and director Gary Ross announced 20-year-old Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence would take on the role of Katniss, Games fan base took to the social networks to voice their concern with the casting choice. Lawrence was voted too old, too blonde, too pale, too pretty to believably embody their warrior girl. Lawrence herself hesitated when first offered the role, concerned she would not do justice to Katniss. But her passion for the part won out and now newly brunette and diligently training every day on the North Carolina set, Lawrence feels she made the right decision.
The actress says Ross approached her about the role at the height of her Oscar whirlwind. “He was asking me what the experience was like,” she recalls, “and I just kind of opened up and said, ‘I feel like a rag doll. I have hair and makeup people coming to my house every day and putting me in new, uncomfortable, weird dresses and expensive shoes, and I just shut down and raise my arms up for them to get the dress on, and pout my lips when they need to put the lipstick on.’ And we both started laughing because that’s exactly what it’s like for Katniss in the Capitol. She was a girl who’s all of a sudden being introduced to fame. I know what that feels like to have all this flurry around you and feel like, ‘Oh, no, I don’t belong here.’”
When Lawrence was offered the role, a mixture of excitement and desperate anxiety kicked in. “I knew that as soon as I said yes, my life would change,” she says. “And I walked around an entire day thinking ‘It’s not too late, I could still go back and do indies, I haven’t said yes yet, it’s not too late.’”
“I love this story,” she insists, “and if I had said no, I would regret it every day.” After Lawrence signed on, author Suzanne Collins called the actress to offer her hearty congratulations. “I feel like when you said yes,” she told Lawrence, “the world got lifted off my shoulders.”
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