As is the case with all attempts of film adaptation, 'The Hunger Games' project has also been swarmed with fears of the lovers of the Suzanne Collins book. The concerns escalated with the news of Jennifer Lawrence being cast for the role of Katniss Everdeen. In a recent interview, director Gary Ross allayed all questions regarding the choices made to bring Suzanne Collins' best-selling trilogy into the big screen.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Ross asserted Lawrence is the right actress, at the right age, to portray Katniss.
Using words such as completely compelling, intelligent person to describe the actress and recalling amazingly powerful work experience with her, the director hoped to convince the audiences not only of the casting choice but also inform that the writer Suzanne is completely on board with the decisions made.
There have been concerns of ages of the actor and the character. While Jennifer Lawrence is 20, Katnis is 16 in the book.
Suzanne saw every single audition. And not only did Suzanne not have an issue with Jen's age, she felt you need someone of a certain maturity and power to be Katniss. This is a girl who needs to incite a revolution, Ross told Entertainment Weekly.
We can't have an insubstantial person play her, and we can't have someone who's too young to play this. Suzanne was incredibly adamant about this. Far from being too old, she was very concerned that we would cast someone who was too young.
When asked if this was also considered as an opportunity to side step any child labor laws, Ross replied in negative stating, I absolutely cast the right person for the role and in my view there wasn't even a question who the best Katniss was. It was the easiest casting decision I ever made in my life.
Besides age, there has also been questions on the mismatch of race. Katniss is portrayed is an olive-skinned, dark-haired, possibly biracial character in the book while Lawrence is a blonde, caucasian girl.
She (Suzanne) thought there was a tremendous amount of flexibility. It wasn't doctrine to her. Jen will have dark hair in the role, but that's something movies can easily achieve. I promise all the avid fans of The Hunger Games that we can easily deal with Jennifer's hair color, he said.
Ross, however, did not seem fazed by the reaction the casting news has elicited. On the contrary, he expressed happiness over the personal relationship that the people had with the material.
I think a lot of the debate that has gone on about who Katniss is is fantastic, because people feel very passionately that their take on the character is unique and correct, Ross said.
But the one that I've honestly listened to the most has been Suzanne, who conjured this girl out of her own imagination. To Suzanne, Jen is the perfect realization of the character who is in her head, he added.