Jennifer Lawrence refused to go on a diet for The Hunger Games, so she got the part anyway

Jennifer Lawrence: That’s why she didn’t want to lose weight for The Hunger Games

actress Jennifer Lawrence, best known for her role as Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games film adaptations, was aware of her character’s impact on fans from the start. In an interview for Variety’s Actors on Actors on Dec. 7, 2022, she said the issue of needing to lose weight was huge at casting — and that very discussion about her body immediately set her alarm bells ringing.

The book series was already hugely popular with young adults by the time the accompanying trilogy of films came into being: “The movies were a big responsibility,” Lawrence said of playing Katniss Everdeen. “The books were so successful and I knew the audience was mostly young people.” She continued, “I remember the biggest issue in casting was my body and the question ‘How much weight are you going to lose?’ – that’s what it’s called ‘The Hunger Games’.” Everdeen, who is being chosen to fight or die for District 12, was likely malnourished and would have been “incredibly thin,” Lawrence said at the time. “But I kept saying, ‘We have an opportunity to control this image that young girls are going to see.’ Plus I was young and growing and couldn’t diet… I really didn’t want all the girls who eventually want to dress up as Katniss to feel like they can’t because they don’t have a specific weight.”

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This is what Jennifer Lawrence says about dieting

Lawrence’s female action heroine Katniss was still a rarity in movies in 2012. “I remember when I was shooting ‘The Hunger Games’ nobody had put a woman in the lead role in an action movie because that wasn’t supposed to work – we were told that girls and boys could both identify with a male lead, but Boys might not identify with a female lead,” Lawrence said. “And now I’m always excited when a film comes out that challenges all those beliefs.” Lawrence, who welcomed their first child earlier this year, Sohn Cy, born to husband Cooke Maroney, is known for not dieting. “I’m doing sport! But I don’t diet,” she said in a 2012 interview with GLAMOR. “You can’t work when you’re hungry.”

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