As I’m sure most people are aware of by now, The Hunger Games will soon be arriving at a theatre near you. As a fan of the books, I am looking forward to the film. I just saw the extended trailer, which you can see if you click here.
Watching the trailer made me think about how perfect I think the casting is. Obviously, I haven’t seen the film yet, but the characters look a great deal like I pictured them when reading the book. In particular, I think Jennifer Lawrence is the perfect choice to play Katniss Everdeen. I was surprised to hear that some fans questioned her ability to play the role. If you haven’t seen it already, you should check out her Academy Award nominated performance in Winter’s Bone (which is a fantastic film in its own right). There are a lot of similarities between the character Katniss and that of Ree.
First, the two characters come from similar backgrounds. They are both from underprivileged families, in which the father is missing/dead. If you ignore the politics of The Hunger Games, they are even living in poverty in basically the same region, the American South. In The Hunger Games, Katniss is from District 12; most guesses put this district in roughly the area of West Virginia. Winter’s Bone is set in the Missouri Ozarks.
More than a similarity of situation and location, are teenagers who are responsible for taking care of their mother and younger siblings. Both characters have taken on the burden of supporting their family, no matter what it costs them. They put themselves at risk, rather than risk anything happening to their loved ones. This additional responsibility that they take on prevents them from having the opportunity of acting like normal teenagers. They are both basically living the life of an adult.
As I referenced above, Katniss and Ree are tough and share a determination and selflessness. They are both willing to do whatever it takes to protect and provide for their families. Ree’s resolve to save her family from eviction puts her on a dangerous path, but she never backs down. The same goes for Katniss. She volunteers for the games to protect her sister and it is her desire to survive and return home to the family that needs her that helps her continue.
All of these things have convinced me that Jennifer Lawrence could be a perfect Katniss. I believe that she can bring out both Katniss’ strength and humanity, and bring to life the character that so many people have grown attached to in the novels.