There’s something really refreshing about a blank slate and when it comes to “The Hunger Games,” it’s extra-refreshing that the producers are working hard to find the right person to fill the roles.
Sure, there are plenty of young celebs who are dying to be in the film, but maybe that’s not what this franchise needs. Maybe, this franchise needs a nobody or the much nicer industry term, “an unknown,” such as Oscar-nominated Hailee Steinfeld, who beat 10,000 other candidates for the “True Grit” role.
“It’s not that we won’t consider incredible actors in this age group,” president of motion picture production for Lionsgate, who’s coproducing the film, Alli Shearmur, tells WSJ.com. “But we’re very much open to the people who’ve never been seen before, who could walk in the door and announce themselves.”
“The Hunger Games” casting director, Debra Zane,(who also cast “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn”) says she has already auditioned about 50 actresses for Katniss, who she won’t name but says come from a group of rising stars, from talent agents, or they’re actresses she has worked with on other projects. And, yet, she continues her search.
About two weeks ago, she posted a notice on casting site, Breakdown Services, which describes the role of Katniss as “Caucasian, between ages 15 and 20, who could portray someone ‘underfed but strong,’ and ‘naturally pretty underneath her tomboyishness.'”
Since then, Zane has received more than 1600 submissions and of those only about 25 have been selected for their potential to fill the role. But, Zane says she and her staff look at every resume that comes in.
Those are tough odds, we know. But that’s 25 people who no one knew of before and now they have the chance to play one of the biggest YA roles in Hollywood.
Could you be the next Katniss? Do you think they should continue searching for an unknown?