‘The Hunger Games’: Jennifer Lawrence on the Most Challenging Part About Playing Katniss

Though Jennifer Lawrence had already managed to gain some success in the entertainment industry prior to being cast in The Hunger Games, the franchise certainly shot her into superstardom. Portraying Katniss Everdeen made Lawrence a household name and earned her millions of fans across the globe. However, the role required a lot from Lawrence mentally, physically, and emotionally.

The Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence | CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT / AFP

The Hunger Games takes place in a dystopian society where children from twelve districts are required to fight to the death as penance for their districts’ past rebellion against the ruling power of the capital. The story is told from Katniss Everdeen’s point of view, a teenager from the poorest district who finds herself in the crossfire after she volunteers for the competition in order to save her younger sister.

‘The Hunger Games’ was a very demanding movie franchise

Since The Hunger Games is an action film, the role demanded a lot from Lawrence. As her character is a skilled hunter, the actor had to train in archery as well as combat, running, free running, yoga, and climbing in order to play the part. Furthermore, as Lawrence was needed for the majority of scenes in the film, she got very few days off, which required tons of stamina.

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But despite the physical and emotional demands of The Hunger Games, Lawrence highlighted something else as the most challenging aspect of portraying Katniss Everdeen. In an interview with Collider, the Red Sparrow star shared that the hardest thing about the role was navigating people’s preconceived notions of who the character of Katniss should be.

Jennifer Lawrence on the most challenging part about playing Katniss Everdeen

“That she was already in the minds of so many different people,” Lawerence revealed when she was asked about the most challenging aspect of playing Katniss in The Hunger Games. “Normally, when you’re coming out with a movie, nobody has really seen the character before. You’re just giving it to them. I’m playing a character that most people have already had in their mind, and heard her speak in their mind and seen her. That’s a scary thing to go into, knowing that so many people already have pictures or an idea of what your character is.”

Ultimately though, Lawrence had to rely on her own version of Katniss in order to successfully portray her character in The Hunger Games. “What I read and how I understood her and my perception and understanding of her is what I portrayed her to be, in the movie,” The Hunger Games actor confessed.

Why Lawrence was grateful for the books

While Lawrence admits that so many people reading The Hunger Games prior to her portrayal of Katniss in the films was a challenge, she did find the books to be helpful for her performance. Because of the book, she was given access to Katniss’s inner thoughts, which is a rare gift for an actor and something that Lawrence was sure to utilize. “For an actor, it’s an amazing thing because I get to have my character’s inner dialogue, which never happens. That’s very useful,” Lawrence shared.

While there’s no way that Lawrence’s portrayal of Katniss was going to appease every fan of The Hunger Games, the overwhelming majority of people felt that she truly did the part justice. We’re sure Lawrence’s fans can’t wait to see what’s next from her.