‘Hunger Games’ Books ‘Inspiring’ For Wes Bentley

'I found the character of Katniss to be so intriguing,' the actor playing Seneca Crane tells MTV News.

We’ve already heard “Hunger Games” star Wes Bentley address the fan fervor surrounding his role as Seneca Crane — or, more specifically, the beard that was specially crafted for his character. Now it’s time to get into his thoughts on the impact of Suzanne Collins’ best-selling trilogy as a whole and what he thought about reading them for the first time knowing he might be bringing Crane to life on the big screen.

“I think they’re fantastic novels. She’s a great writer, very poetic at times, and I love that,” Bentley told MTV News. “What struck me first was that it was politically sophisticated, a level at which you don’t see in adult novels. I also found it very exciting, and I found the character of Katniss to be so intriguing and so inspiring and very clever. I love to see that in a book.”

Speaking to getting into the character of Seneca Crane , Bentley didn’t want to give away too much but did reveal that he felt that he had a lot to work with, thanks to director Gary Ross.

“Gary created a great version of the character from the script, and I had a lot of fun with it,” Bentley said. “We had a blast.”

The “American Beauty” actor also said he tried to maintain “tunnel vision” with regard to the constant online chatter and debates over the film’s casting, but his wife thwarted those efforts.

“I was sort of aware of that excitement about the book,” he said. “My wife was trying to tell me how people felt about me being cast, which seemed positive, but I didn’t want to hear much about it; I just wanted to focus on the work.”

Bentley said if he could play any other role in the film, it would be Katniss, because she is such a strong character. He also deftly avoided the Team Peeta or Team Gale question by emphasizing the fact that the story is about survival, not romance.

“I don’t even think it plays like that,” he said. “[Katniss] is a strong individual character who is having to do something much bigger. It’s about survival.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “The Hunger Games.”

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