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In "The Hunger Games," Katniss' only shot at sizing up the competition comes from screening a few reaping ceremonies and interviews.
We fans, however, have an opportunity to learn a lot about the line-up of young castmates thanks to their previous movies and television roles.
In fact, these kids' prior work is so great that we decided to knot together a little handy-dandy must-see list. Check these out and you'll be well-versed in who's who among the "Hunger Games" tributes and friends long before anyone steps foot in the Arena.
Lucky for us, J.Law has done quite a few watch-worthy films in recent years. She's already earned high marks from the Gamemakers critics for her work in "Winter's Bone" – which earned her an Oscar nomination - and she's wowed the indie crowd, too, with movies like "Like Crazy." We think you should check out both. You might even spot a little Katniss-like behavior from her in "Winter’s Bone," as her character Ree scrounges up some squirrel for stew and takes care of her catatonic mother. Oh, and that's also the performance that convinced director Gary Ross he simply hadto have Lawrence for the part of Katniss.
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District 12's duo is equally strong in the way of film resumes. Hutcherson really impressed with his part in "The Kids Are All Right," tapping into his sensitive side (Hello, Peeta!), but he also shows he can hack it in the wild unknown in his latest, "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island," in theaters this weekend.
You might describe Hemsworth as a bit of a break-out star because even though he's only been on the film scene for a couple of years, he snared up the highly-coveted role of Gale Hawthorne as deftly as that character might catch a rabbit or two in the woods. There's a reason why. He's got the reserved gentleman thing down to a tee, and you can see that for yourself in his movie "The Last Song." Swoon alert!
Little Rue is not to be underestimated in the Games, and neither is Stenberg. In "Colombiana," she played a kid who grows up to be Zoe Saldanakept 'em all guessing and was not particularly easy to catch up with. Sound familiar? If you want a preview of the quiet bravery Stenberg'll bring to "The Hunger Games" this March, look no further than that movie.
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Cato is a cold, calculated machine in "The Hunger Games," and in 2009's "Race to Witch Mountain," Ludwig displayed a few similar qualities when he played a no-nonsense kid with a robotic tone, a fierce glare and some impressive skills. Bonus: It's a fun movie.
Fuhrman's already scared the daylights out of us on-screen as Esther in 2009's "Orphan." Watch that thriller, and you'll have no doubt that Fuhrman can bring it as District Two's sinister she-tribute Clove in "The Hunger Games."
Like Thresh, Dayo Okeniyi is the strong, silent type. Check out his performance in the short film "Lions Among Men" (see it here). It'll make you that much more excited about seeing that great scene between him and Katniss, and you'll totally be convinced that he can pull off intimidating all the rest this March.
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"Grey's Anatomy" got a shot in the arm during its sixth season when Rambin showed up to play Sloan Riley, the surprise daughter of one of the show's main characters. Like her "Hunger Games" character Glimmer, the girl had attitude. We'd also like to add her short videos with photographer Tyler Shields to the queue, if for no other reason than to offer up a preview of her and Josh Hutcherson sharing the screen.
Jack Quaid is just coming into his own career in Hollywood, but he's the son of two actors who've been at it for decades – Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan. While we might not be able to see any of his other works just yet - since they're still on the way - one only needs to glance at dad's villainous part in "Beneath the Darkness" to know that being Marvel-style mean is definitely in his blood.
Amanda Bell is a young adult book-to-film enthusiast and has made a name for herself as a fan-friendly, informative and dependable source. In addition to being the District 14 columnist for NextMovie, she runs the popular Twilight Examiner column. Keep tabs on her on Twitter.