Lenny Kravitz Joins The Hunger Games…Really

Posted by Gia Manry on May 30, 2011 in Cinema |

So, Lenny Kravitz is set to play the role of Cinna, a serious (if small) role in the upcoming adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ kinda-sci-fi young adult novel The Hunger Games— a role that would become bigger if the second book, Catching Fire, were to be adapted. In the first book, Cinna serves as the remarkably sedate fashion designer for the series’ protagonist, archer Katniss Everdeen.

As a big fan of the books, I am looking forward to the film adaptation of the first book (of the same name)…even while I fear some of the casting. It’s not that I don’t think that Jennifer Lawrence (who was cast as Katniss back in March), won’t do a good job…but having seen candidates Hailee Steinfeld and Saoirse Ronan knock dramatic roles out of the park (in True Grit and Hanna, respectively), it’s hard not to feel a little wistful.

But Lenny Kravitz as an actor? Especially an actor for a character that absolutely must be able to pull off subtle? The man has exactly five credits on IMDb: one as the voice of a newborn baby in the 1998 Rugrats Movie, one as Nurse John in the Oscar award-winning Precious, and three in films that haven’t been released yet (including Hunger Games).

It’s nice that the guy has found extra work, but will he really be able to pull off Cinna? It’s true that he seems low-key, as on-and-off rock stars go, but…I remain skeptical.

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It’s hard to judge the rest of the cast; since it features so many adolescents, most are newcomers. (It was kinda fun to see blogs get all excited about actors they’d never heard of before— but this could be the kind of film that gives a lot of kids their start, so keep an eye out!).’

The adult casting, on the other hand, includes Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy, whose role is mostly not subtle— he’s the alcoholic “trainer” who helps Katniss and her partner Peeta prepare for the Games, in which a boy and a girl from each of the future-North America’s former-rebel districts fight to the death. Stanley Tucci will appear in what I assume is a smallish role as Caesar Flickerman, who interviews the Games’ participants for the amusement of its audience, which consists primarily of the wealthy inhabitants of the Capital (which doesn’t participate in the Games, as they were the ones rebelled against). Neither of these get me excited, but they don’t make me nervous either.

No, the only interesting casting I’ve seen so far is Elizabeth Banks, best known for her R-rated comedies (The Forty Year Old Virgin, Zack and Miri Make a Porno)— she’s playing Effie Trinket, who should be absolutely insufferable if they stick with the book. And that may be a stretch for the charming Banks.

There are only a few roles left to be announced, so I guess we’ll just have to ride this rollercoaster and see how it goes!


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