Opinionated sorts are clashing big-time over the casting of the film adaptation of The Hunger Games. The popular young-adult trilogy, about a post-apocalyptic world where the government stages an annual death match between children, is being made into a movie franchise conceived to be the next Twilight. Though up-and-comers from Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) to Chloe Moretz (Kick-Ass) have been mentioned as possibilities for the coveted lead role, Katniss Everdeen, blonde bombshell Jennifer Lawrence (Oscar-nominated for Winter’s Bone) has emerged as the definitive frontrunner. Is she really right for the role? (Watch a report about casting for the movie)
Hailee Steinfeld would be better: While my love for Jennifer Lawrence is well-documented, "I just don't think she's the perfect choice," says Sam Morgan at Hollywood.com. "I saw [Steinfeld] in the part as I read the books," and I think her True Grit character is more akin to Katniss than Lawrence's unflappable Winter's Bone character, even though Lawrence has more camera experience and, at 20, would allow the producers to get around child labor laws.
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Lawrence is too white for this part: Casting Lawrence would be "a missed opportunity" to bring greater racial diversity to the film, says Sarah Seltzer at Jezebel. The casting call dictated that the actress playing Katniss be Caucasian, but in the book the character has "olive" skin and dark hair. So, "why wasn't the casting call open to actresses of color or mixed ethnicity?"
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It's not perfect, but Lawrence will still shine: Yes, she's blond and blue-eyed, says Angie Han at Slash Film. And yes, at 20, she may get a little old to play a 16- or 17-year-old by the time they shoot the last installment of the trilogy. But I still think "Lawrence is an excellent fit." She seems to have the right personality, and "Katniss has some striking similarities" to Lawrence's steely Winter's Bone character. "Both characters are strong, no-nonsense young women who’ve lived extraordinarily tough lives."
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