'Winter's Bone' Helped Prepare Jennifer Lawrence For 'Hunger Games' Says Casting Director

by Christina Garibaldi

When MTV News revealed last week that Jennifer Lawrence would take up Katniss Everdeen's bow and arrow in the big-screen adaptation of "The Hunger Games," many fans wondered where she was the right fit for the role. Some thought she was too tall, too blond and even too old to play the 16-year-old olive-skinned, dark-haired heroine. But keep this in mind, "Hunger Games" fans, it’s not always easy casting a character from a novel since everyone has an idea of what the character should look like. No one knows that better than casting director, Paul Schnee, who helped cast Jennifer in "Winter’s Bone"—a motion picture also based on a book.

"You have to cast the film," Paul said. "We aren’t reinventing the story, we have to make it its own thing. I think that if someone is good enough, and I think Jen is, whatever is, or isn’t right in some people’s minds about how the character should look, will be forgiven if someone is excellent."

Watching Jennifer give a riveting Oscar-nominated performance as Ree in "Winter's Bone," Paul has no doubt that she will give a perfect portrayal of Katniss.

"I think she is very open and accessible as a person and as an actress," Paul said. "I suspect doing something like 'Winter's Bone' probably made her better than she already is."

We will all be able to judge Jennifer’s performance for ourselves in exactly one year when "The Hunger Games" hits theaters. So let the countdown begin, and start marking your calendars because The Reaping is only 365 days away!

Have you seen "Winter's Bone" yet? Did Jennifer's Oscar-nominated performance convince you that she's a good pick for Katniss?