Meet the Cast Of The Much-Hyped 'Hunger Games'

Hunger Games Jennifer Lawrence

The buzz around “The Hunger Games” has been building for months. The film isn’t due out until March 23; however, with tickets going on sale in less than two weeks, we think its as good a time as any to become familiar with the cast of Hollywood’s next big money maker. 

The film, based on the best-selling series by Suzanne Collins, takes place in a future utopia split into twelve districts where each year two children between the ages of 12 and 18 are chosen to participate in a fight to the death. 

(Imagine the dystopian future featured in Aldous Huxley‘s “Brave New World” meshed together with the television-based killing competition of Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s 1987 film “The Running Man.”)  

Although you may have heard Jennifer Lawrence plays the lead, we doubt you know the entire cast. Not only does the film feature a handful of Oscar nominees, but many familiar faces are all grown up and hidden under their costumed characters. 

The three lead characters dyed their hair for the film, Elizabeth Banks is covered in pale, white makeup, Stanley Tucci wigs out and a one girl is all grown up from a recent horror flick.

Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdene)

If you find Jennifer Lawrence unrecognizable as a brunette, you're not the only one.

Lawrence turned down the lead in 'Savages' for 'The Hunger Games,' winning the lead role over the likes of Shailene Woodley, Emma Roberts and Abigail Breslin. Not surprising considering Lawrence is no stranger to kicking tail.

In 2010, she made a huge splash with her Oscar nominated performance as the Ozark mountain girl Ree, who hunts down her father in 'Winter's Bone.'

Lawrence was also in last year's hit 'X-Men: First Class' where she played the young Mystique.

Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark)

Josh Hutcherson was featured in another 2010 Oscar nominated flick: 'The Kids Are All Right.'

Mostly, Hutcherson is known for his kid flicks, including 'Bridge to Terabithia' and the 'Journey to the centre of the Earth' franchise.

In 'The Hunger Games,' he'll play the male tribute from District 12 alongside Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss.

Alexander Ludwig (Cato)

Alexander Ludwig is known for another film featuring 'The Rock.' The 19 year old was featured in Disney's 2009 'Race to Witch Mountain.'

Yes, that's the same guy. Alexander Ludwig grew up a lot in the past three years. Currently, he's a student at USC.

He'll play one of Katniss' foes, Cato, in 'The Hunger Games.'

Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne)

Liam Hemsworth is known for his onscreen--and off screen--romance with Miley Cyrus in 'The Last Song' and for his role in Nicolas Cage's 'Knowing.'

Maybe that's another reason Hemsworth ditched his blond locks and dyed his hair dark for 'The Hunger Games.' Either way, his role as Katniss' best friend Gale Hawthorne should be his breakout role as he finds himself in good, Oscar-nominated company.

Otherwise, he has the bromantic testosterone-filled 'The Expendables 2' featuring every every action hero from Bruce Willis to Chuck Norris and Novak Djokovic coming out in August.

Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket)

Talk about unrecognizable. Elizabeth Banks is caked in light makeup and colourful wigs for her 'Hunger Games' where she plays fashion icon Effie Trinket.

This isn't the first time Banks has donned a wig. Banks wore wigs on the sets of '30 Rock' and the previous 'Spider-Man' franchise.

Banks is probably best known for her role alongside Seth Rogan in 'Zack and Miri Make A Porno.'

This won't be the last wacky fashion you'll see in the film.

Stanley Tucci (Caesar Flickerman)

'The Devil Wears Prada' star will show off a blue head of hair in 'The Hunger Games' as interview host, Caesar Flickerman.

Although, he's a great big time actor ('The Lovely Bones'), we love Tucci in his stand-out cameos ('Easy A,' 'Captain America: The First Avenger').

Tucci is also the third cast member to star in a 2010 film nominated for an Oscar. Are we seeing a pattern?

Woody Harrelson (Haymitch Abernathy)

Last time we saw Woody Harrelson, he was slaying zombies and searching for Twinkies alongside Jesse Eisenberg in 'Zombieland.'

Now, he's sporting long blonde locks--looking like Viggo Mortenson--in 'The Hunger Games' as Haymitch Abernathy.

Unfortunately, we won't see 'Tallahassee' taking down any tributes, but we should be fortunate to see him at all in the film.

Harrelson originally turned down the rather small role; however, director Gary Ross convinced him to reconsider after mentioning he was his only choice for the part.

Isabelle Fuhrman (Clove)

Upon first glance, you probably think Isabelle Fuhrman is a newcomer to films. That's partially true. Do you remember the 33-year-old sociopath Esther trapped in a 9-year-old's body from the overrated 2009 horror flick, 'Orphan'?

Yep. That's her three years later.

Although, she won't be soliciting sex from any one in this film, her character Clove will set out to take down a few tributes.

Willow Shields (Primrose Everdeen)

Willow Shields plays Primrose Everdeen, the girl who's name you hear shouted out in the trailers. Banks' character draws her name out of a lottery to participate in the games.

Fortunately for her, she has Jennifer Lawrence as an older sister willing to take her place. Fortunately for us, she has Jennifer Lawrence as an older sister so the film doesn't end in two minutes.

Shields also has a twin sister, Autumn, and older brother River who she starred alongside in a made-for-TV film, 'Beyond the Blackboard.'

Although she won't have much screen time, we expect to see more of her in the future.

Amandla Stenberg (Rue)

Another rising star, Amandla Stenberg most recently played Zoe Saldana's 10-year-old self in 'Colombiana.'

In 'The Hunger Games' she plays a 12-year-old tribute, Rue, who forms an alliance with Jennifer Lawrence's Everdeen.

Donald Sutherland (President Snow)

After a minor role in 'Horrible Bosses' and his short-lived stint on 'Dirty Sexy Money,' we'll be seeing Donald Sutherland back on the big screen as the main antagonist, President Snow.

Sutherland has a knack for leadership roles since he voiced President Stone in 2009's animated film 'Astro Boy.'

Leven Rambin (Glimmer)

You may recognise Leven Rambin from episodes of 'One Tree Hill,' 'CSI: Miami,' and 'Grey's Anatomy' where she played Mark Sloan's money-hungry pregnant daughter.

However, Rambin started off on ABC's 'All My Children' perfecting the role of Erica Kane's (Susan Lucci) autistic stepdaughter, Lily Montgomery. She was supposed to return for the soap's ending, but couldn't due to filming for 'The Hunger Games.'

Lenny Kravitz (Cinna)

Yes, that is Lenny Kravitz in 'The Hunger Games' trailer.

The 'Fly Away' singer will act as Katniss' stylist, Cinna, during the Hunger Games' campaigns.

Previously, he was cast as Nurse John in 'Precious.'

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