Readersforum's Blog

March 22, 2012

The Cross-Generational Pull of ‘The Hunger Games’


Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in 'The Hunger Games'/Photo: Murray Close

By Kate Bussmann

When Jennifer Lawrence appeared from nowhere in “Winter’s Bone,” the makers of “The Hunger Games” must have done a double take. Although one is contemporary realism and the other is dystopian fantasy, the roles themselves are strikingly similar. In each, a stoical teenager steps up to save her family from destitution, with her mother incapable and father absent. There are even parallel scenes where she kills and skins a squirrel.

Although she was Oscar-nominated for the role, from the moment Lawrence’s name was connected to Katniss Everdeen, the flawed but fierce heroine at the heart of Suzanne Collins’ trilogy, fans began to revolt. They complained that the now twenty-one-year-old was too old to play sixteen, that she wasn’t dark or gaunt enough, even that her hair was too short. They wanted Hailee Steinfeld from “True Grit,” Saoirse Ronan from “Hanna,” or Chloe Grace Moretz from “Kick-Ass” – all roles that put young girls in extreme situations. There were even some who wanted Harry Potter’s Emma Watson.

Collins, however, was delighted. “We have found Katniss,” she told Entertainment Weekly. “I never thought we’d find somebody this amazing for the role. And I can’t wait for everyone to see her play it.”

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