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Jennifer Lawrence Almost Passed On The Hunger Games & Why Another Actor Actually Did

The amount of “what ifs” in Hollywood is probably staggering but can you imagine if Jennifer Lawrence said no to The Hunger Games? But we don’t have to and we have Lawrence’s mom to thank for that. Now if only another actor had sought out advice from dear old mom before passing on Catching Fire… 

Lawrence reportedly considered saying no to the Suzanne Collins franchise for three days. Mostly because she liked working on smaller independent films. ”Just saying yes to this one thing could completely change my life, and I don’t know if it’s going to be for the better,” she said this weekend at the Toronto International Film Festival.

But a chat with her mother made her realized her mindset was a bit hypocritical.

“She was like, ‘You’re being a hypocrite, because you always say you don’t care about the size of the movies.’ Because when I was doing indies, everybody was always like, ‘Why don’t you ever do a studio?’ I’d say, ‘Because I don’t care about the size of the movie. I care about the story,’” said Lawrence. “And my mom was like, ‘Now you have a story you like, and you’re not going to do it because of the size.’

So she said yes. ”The truth was, in the bottom of my heart, I wanted to do it. I wanted to play this character. I was scared of the aftermath, but you can’t say no to things because you’re scared. You just have to go for it.”

They also got Lawrence to talk about the splitting of the third book Mockingjay into two films. She was skeptical ”until I heard how much money I would be getting,” she joked.

“You want everything in there, but you don’t have enough room, and you’re trying to decide what’s going to get cut and what isn’t. So it was a relief on the last one to know that we don’t really have to cut anything. We have enough time, we have enough room to really tell this story to the fullest, and we don’t need to cut anything,” she said. “So that’s my artistic answer. It’s a very diplomatic answer. But what I’m really thinking is yacht, yacht. My own island.”

We’re thankful for Lawrence’s mom and her final decision but who actually said no to the blockbuster franchise? Tron Legacy actor Garrett Hedlund, who was up for the role of Finnick. Why? Because he didn’t have enough time to read the books.

“They did [approach me],” Hedlund told to MTV. “But I was working on this film at the time. We shot the whole film in 23 days and I was really immersed in it. I couldn’t get around [to reading the ‘Hunger Games.’ Everybody around me is flipping out about the books, and I didn’t really have the time to sit down lately to read any book, not just ‘Hunger Games.’”

You know, it’s too bad no one made a two-hour movie he could have watched instead…

(via USA Today, MTV)

Previously in The Hunger Games

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  • Anonymous

    I would have much preferred Garrett Hedlund to the actor they ended up casting. Oh well.

  • Brian Adkins

    Seriously doubt he would have time to watch a movie either. lol

  • Elias Algorithm

    That is a good reason to pass, I guess. I have to admire Hedlund a little more now for insisting on knowing the material.

  • John Wao

    So what’s the lesson from all this? Always listen to your mother.

  • Comic Book Candy

    Agreed. And not just because Garrett Hedlund is dreamier. But he is.

  • Lindsey Stock

    I’m a bit confused as to why she would be conflicted about accepting a role in The Hunger Games even though she accepted the role in X-Men: First Class. That was a pretty big movie too wasn’t it? Or I guess maybe she could have been referring to the popularity of the Hunger Games, which is admittedly more widespread at the moment than X-Men.
    Edit: Oh, duh! In the Hunger Games she’s the lead an in X-men she was supporting. I forgot about that part.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I dig how candid she is about the money.

  • Anonymous

    Girl crush on Lawrence. tmi?

  • Anonymous

    at least when it comes to movie roles. Relationship-wise? Absolutely not.

  • Anonymous

    at least when it comes to movie roles. Relationship-wise? Absolutely not.

  • jsmith0552

    I have to give Hedlund huge respect. If a movie is an adaptation, you should be somewhat familiar with the source material, if only to know that the screenplay you’ve been given is total crap. You can tell a lot of actors had absolutely no concept of a character they’d been asked to play, and their take was so far off base as to be laughable.

  • Chidinma Off

    Dang, he would have made a great Finn…

  • Robert Bittner

    Why do you say that it was a good thing that Jennifer Lawrence was cast in the Hunger Games? She is way too fat to be believable in this Post-apocalyptic scenario. A thinner actress would have been a better solution!

  • Anonymous

    I adore how blunt she is in general, about everything. There appears to be no filter between her brain and her mouth, and it’s amazing.

  • Marion Yelle

    First off, she’s not fat. Secondly, she never goes hungry because she hunts for her own food, so she wouldn’t be that thin anyway.

  • Randall Mckay

    There is so much hooplah about turning books into movies it’s ridiculous. Just the frenzy of who plays who, who directs, two movies or one makes me not want to see it. It’s over-hyped, over this over that, and never, ever as subtle and free as movie goers want it to be. All the movies will suck. Just like Lord of the Rings did, and most of the Harry Potter ones did. Anyone looking to make a movie about a series of books should consider just one long movie, or else go home.

  • Alicia

    Seriously? She is described in the book as being thin. I disagree with what Robert is saying but she didn’t have enough food to be plump.

  • Kristia Stephanie Handojo

    That arrow is going nowhere..

  • Saidah Vassell

    Aww Garrett Hedlund would have been such a cute Finnick!

  • Anonymous

    No way, I not-so-secretly think of her as my long lost BFF.

  • Anonymous

    I thought about that too. Maybe it’s also because how popular the books are? She had to have known her life was going to become tabloid fodder a la Kristen Stewart. That would scare me too. This movie is enormous and her every move is followed now. Not that I’m complaining, she’s hilarious and seems to take it all in stride.

  • chrispea

    Debbie Reynolds convinced daughter Carrie Fisher to take a percentage of Star Wars box office instead of a salary, and the rest is history…mother’s do know best.

  • chrispea

    Totally agree!

  • unit1421

    “The Running Man” with kids, no thanks.

  • your mom

    you’re right, always listen to me. I know what’s best

  • Guest

    wasn’t she in X-men though ?

  • Claudia Gray

    Robert, she’s better looking than you. I guarantee it.

  • kayla

    so thankful 4 her mom

  • Michelle Kirkwood

    Fat? Because she’s not a stick-thin skeleton like most Hollywood actresses? It just goes to show how Hollywood has warped people’s minds into thinking that anybody above 90 pounds sopping wet is overweight—-that’s so damn ridiculous. She looks healthier than some of these actresses who looks as if they barely eat anything above one salad plate per day. It didn’t keep her from getting the part, so get over yourself with that weight nonsense. People need to get out of this idea that all actresses ought to be all the same weight and size–like all blond carbon copies of each other—that would look boring as hell anyway.

  • Anonymous

    I think Garrett Hedlund perfectly fits Finnick… but sadly, sam claflin would act finnick =_= But let’s not underestimate him… :D Can’t wait for Catching Fire :D

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think Jennifer was being a “hypocrite.” Just inconsistent about how she was looking at it.

  • John Kantor

    She did X-Men.

  • Marion Yelle

    Jennifer Lawrence is a thin actress. Katniss Everdeen is a thin character. I fail to see the problem with size.

  • John Kantor

    Because it was a pathetic American copy of a Japanese genre – and a poorly made movie?

  • Anonymous

    It was an ok movie. I liked it better when it was called Running Man.

  • Anonymous

    Wait I saw this… when it was called Battle Royale and made in Japan, 13 years ago.

  • Zen Ladan

    i dont believe she doesnt care about the size of the movie,.. she auditioned for Twilight…… and she’s in X-men…

    just be true girl… i may like u…

  • Andiamo P

    People are funny….she’s acting. Her bluntness is not her real personality, it’s her act. The fact that people turned the movie down is because it was an awful movie. But she is a good actress.

  • Andiamo P


  • Michelle Kaye

    ugh I hate it when actors refuse to watch the movie or read the books for insight. Like Paul Bettany wont watch any of the Iron Man movies, he kinda put them down. But he has no problem taking the paycheck. Yuck.

  • Amanda DeLyser

    I’ve read interviews where she said she had no idea Twilight was going to be as big as it was so she was really glad she didn’t get the part.

  • Donna C

    But he sure turns in an excellent performance as JARVIS every single flick, though.

  • Vanessa James

    Agree on the Harry Potter movies sucking, but I love Lord of the Rings.

  • Joe Momma

    EDIT: Just noticed how freeking old this post was (followed from external link). No grave digging intended.

    I felt that way too, oppressive government uses reality TV/Game where children fight to the death for the amusement of the elite and as a tool of control. But even though the idea is the same the bigger story and characters are unique to their iteration. There is room for both, and both should be seen and/or read.

    If for nothing else than the indictment of Reality TV “culture.” Okay, that’s my personal bias talking but still…