Meet the 'Hunger Games' 10
The Hunger Games, the first installment in author Suzanne Collins' wildly popular and endlessly addictive YA action novels, is set to become the first installment in director Gary Ross' wildly popular and endlessly addictive big screen trilogy next year. Vanity Fair sat down with the 10 actors poised to dominate Hollywood's treacherous arena come March 23, 2012.
In their latest issue, VF rounded up (from right to left) Liam Hemsworth, Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Amandla Stenberg, Alexander Ludwig, Leven Rambin, Dayo Okeniyi, Jacqueline Emerson, Jack Quaid and Isabelle Fuhrman for a photo shoot and quick interview session to find out how they landed the part.
Check out their answers below:
Liam Hemsworth as Gale (poster)
"I'd heard about how popular the books were, but I wasn't quite aware of how dark and gritty the story was. It started me thinking and asking questions like, 'Could something like this actually happen to us one day?' When you think about the fast-growing popularity of reality TV today, and the crazy premise of many of the reality-TV shows that are currently on the air, is it really that far off for us to consider something like this being possible? I think it's a mind-blowing thing to think about."
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss (poster)
"I auditioned, which was a long process and a lot of improv. And then waited a month or something, where I was convinced I didn't have it -- then I got the phone call while I was in London. I was then terrified. I knew it was going to be huge, and that's scary. I called my mom. She said, 'This is a script that you love, and you’re thinking about not doing it because of the size of it?' And I [didn't] want to not do something because I'm scared, so I said yes. And I'm so happy that I did."
Josh Hutcherson as Peeta (poster)
"I got to meet [Hunger Games author] Suzanne Collins at the first meeting, which was very exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. But I had a great read-through, and then came back to do a test screening a few weeks later. I also hit it off with Jen -- the chemistry between the two of us really worked. A couple of weeks went by where I couldn't say a single word about it … then I got the call. It still didn't even hit me, until I walked on set for the first day."
Amandla Stenberg as Rue (poster)
"I showed up to my audition with Gary wearing a muddy T-shirt and khakis. In my hair were twigs and leaves, as if I had been living in the woods for weeks. … [Gary] joked that I came with my own hair-and-wardrobe team."
Alexander Ludwig as Cato (poster)
"I was traveling that summer with my buddies, right after I graduated high school, so I made it my goal to get into great physical shape for the part. After that summer, I was asked to come read with Gary at his house. I read for him twice, and then they called and offered me the part."
Leven Rambin as Glimmer
"To get into character, I went to a park and threw myself in mud, I practiced archery, and carried a knife into the audition -- I think Gary appreciated my dedication. It was one of the best audition experiences I have ever had."
Dayo Okeniyi as Thresh
"It was pretty incredible how it happened, to be honest. I had just been introduced to my current managers, who decided to give me a shot, and believe it or not, my first audition with them was The Hunger Games. I worked very hard, prepared, and did the best I could in my audition. … The day I was supposed to go in for my final test with Gary Ross, I got a call that my test had been canceled. Momentarily devastated, my managers went on to tell me that the reason it was canceled was because I had gotten the part!"
Jacqueline Emerson as Foxface
"I slept about four hours the night before the audition. Several weeks later -- I'd so far heard nothing -- I got a call out of the blue and I was to begin training for the movie! I was a fan asked to play a part in a movie I had only dreamed about, and the novelty of that has still not worn off."
Jack Quaid as Marvel
"I was home for spring break, and I went in to read for the movie. It was the first time I've ever been asked to choose a weapon at an audition. I was given a choice between a Nerf crossbow, a plastic butcher knife, and a stick. I chose the knife."
Isabelle Fuhrman as Clove
"I loved the Hunger Games series since I first read the books over a year ago. When it was announced that Gary Ross [would] direct, I wrote him a letter telling him how much I wanted to do the movie. Originally, I went in for the role of Katniss, but I was told that I was too young. So I thought it was over. A few weeks later, my manager called and said they wanted me to come in and read for the role of Clove. … I never expected to get the role, so you can imagine my shock when I got the call that I got it!"