Jennifer Lawrence may know how to rock a red dress, but fans of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy remain unconvinced of her ability to play protagonist Katniss Everdeen, citing her age (Lawrence is twenty years old, Katniss sixteen) and ethnicity (Lawrence is caucasian, Katniss has olive skin) as key reasons. A poll on the CBS Celebrity Circuit site showed that 61% of voters at time of writing considered Lawrence the wrong person for the part. So what does director Gary Ross have to say about the controversy?
Talking to Entertainment Weekly, Ross explains that author Collins approved Lawrence’s casting and saw her as the perfect realisation of the character in her eyes, with the racial issues being vague enough in the novel not to be considered a major issue. If the author approved Lawrence then it’s hard to argue, and Lawrence is certainly an exceptionally talented actress, but there is a lot of sensitivity to the idea of parts being ‘whitewashed’ following M. Night Shyamalan casting caucasians in Asian roles in his totally ill-conceived Last Airbender film. I’m against the idea of colour-blind casting in general as it seems to me the epitome of tokenism, but am not familiar enough with Collins’ books to know whether that can really be considered the case here.
Hunger Games fans, what are your thoughts?[via Entertainment Weekly]