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Jennifer Lawrence: Producers Took ‘The Hunger Games’ Title Too Literally When Discussing My Weight

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Jennifer Lawrence said the topic of her needing to lose weight was a big conversation around casting in The Hunger Games franchise. Lawrence opened up about how the conversation surrounding her body immediately rang alarm bells during a conversation with Viola Davis for Variety’s “Actors on Actors” series.

TheHunger Games book series was already wildly popular with its young adult audience by the time the accompanying trilogy of movies was gearing up, and Lawrence said she was especially attuned to her character’s influence on fans.

“In Hunger Games, it was an awesome responsibility,” Lawrence said of playing Katniss Everdeen. “Those books were huge, and I knew that the audience was children.”

She continued: “I remember the biggest conversation, of course — this was pre-#MeToo and I’m a woman — was weight and ‘How much weight are you going to lose? Well, it’s called The Hunger Games.’ Along with me being young and growing and not able to be on a diet…I don’t know if I want all of the girls who are going to dress up as Katniss to feel like they can’t because they’re not a certain weight. And I can’t let that seep into my brain either.”

Lawrence’s female action hero Katniss was a rarity to find in movies at the time, she said. Like Lawrence’s opportunity to play a female action hero, Davis also led the action movie years later with The Woman King.

“I remember when I was doing Hunger Games, nobody had ever put a woman in the lead of an action movie because it wouldn’t work — because we were told girls and boys can both identify with a male lead, but boys cannot identify with a female lead,” Lawrence said. “And it just makes me so happy every single time I see a movie come out that just blows through every one of those beliefs and proves that it is just a lie to keep certain people out of the movies. To keep certain people in the same positions that they’ve always been in.”

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