Amandla Stenberg, one of the youngest stars of the box office smash hit The Hunger Games, revealed her truly admirable character at the 2012 Kids' Choice Awards. The 14-year-old African American actress has been at the center of a storm of racist comments from critics angry that she, a black girl, was cast as Rue. Instead of focusing on this troubling feedback, Stenberg focused on the joy she experienced making The Hunger Games and the possibilities that await her.
I'm just really grateful...They're [the fans] so sweet. I get so many messages from people who said I did a great job, Amandla Stenberg told Zap2It.com on the red carpet of the 2012 Kids' Choice Awards.
The teenage actress did not mention the bigoted comments directed at her casting in The Hunger Games movie, the first film adaptation of Suzanne Collins' best-selling trilogy.
Stenberg played the young girl who protects Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) at a vulnerable time, befriends the heroine and is ultimately killed in front of her. Stenberg's performance was both sweet and decidedly moving; yet, critics were angry that a white actress was not chosen.
In Collins' novel, Rue is described as such: She has dark brown skin and eyes, but other than that's she's very like [Katniss' sister] Prim in size and demeanor. Clearly, this is no indication here that Rue was ever supposed to be a blonde-haired, blue-eyed white girl. However, after the release of the film, many took to social networks to lament about how the girl they pictured as white was played by a black actress.
Why does rue [sic] have to be black not gonna lie kinda [sic] ruined the movie, tweeted one Twitter user.
Ewwww rue is black?? I'm not watching, another wrote. Many replied to the topic with the use of derogatory slang like b---- and n-----.
Awkward moment when Rue is some black girl and not the little blonde innocent girl you picture, another wrote.
Call me racist, tweeted another, but when i [sic] found out rue was black her death wasn't as sad.
The deplorable vocabulary used by these so-called fans appalled many, but Amandla Stenberg remained strong and dignified even in the face of such flagrant racism. As a fan of the books, I feel fortunate to be part of 'The Hunger Games' family, she previously told Us Weekly in a statement. It was an amazing experience; I am proud of the film and my performance. I want to thank all of my fans and the entire 'Hunger Games' community for their support and loyalty.
On the 2012 Kids' Choice Awards red carpet, Stenberg did not think of anything other than the positive experience she had filming with the cast of The Hunger Games.
Working with the everyone couldn't have been better, Stenberg told Zap2It.com. We all got along great.
As for her future endeavors, the world is her oyster. Amandla Stenberg is looking to use her new-found fame for good. I'm hoping to be doing more [acting projects], but right now I'm working with a lot of charities, she said. One is called No Kid Hungry, and it helps to make sure all kids are getting enough to eat. I'm also helping with the Ubuntu Foundation, which helps poor kids in South Africa.
But, on Saturday night, little Rue was just happy to be a kid.
I'm really looking forward to seeing people get slimed tonight, the young actress said at the 2012 Kids' Choice Awards. I'm hoping Alexander Ludwig, who plays Cato, will get it. We're always making fun of each other so I'll be like, 'Okay, hey, this is payback.'