Now, for those who are concerned about the age, I believe that for the physicality of the part and the maturity associated with her life and situation, she’s perfect. Winter’s Bone demonstrates her exceptional acting abilities. She plays a character who must take care of her younger siblings (a la Katniss and Prim) and takes on her entire society when backed into a corner. She has the chops, the action skill, and the maturity to pull of Katniss. Lawrence is a captivating actress who projects a sense of strength in the midst of vulnerability. The moment I heard the announcement I had no compunctions, no reservations; my first thought was, “Of course. Who else?” I am fully confident about this choice. Besides, Suzanne Collins has been in on the casting and writing process of the film, she’s given her full approval. Let it happen.
For those concerned with her look–she’s blonde and light-skinned, while Katniss is brown-haired with a darker, tanned tone–this is nothing that a dye-job can’t fix. Come on, people.
Director Gary Ross: Suzanne and I talked about that as well. There are certain things that are very clear in the book. Rue is African-American. Thresh is African-American. Suzanne had no issues with Jen playing the role. And she 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. [Laughs] I promise all the avid fans of The Hunger Games that we can easily deal with Jennifer’s hair color.
I whole-heartedly agree with Ross’ statement: “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.”
Watch Winter’s Bone (though it’s a difficult movie–or at least read my review), and you’ll have no problems.
The quotes here are taken from this interview, read the entire thing on EW.com.