Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or in District 13), you know who Katniss Everdeen is and that she’s the heroine of hugely popular Hunger Games franchise (played by Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence). But with the series’ third installment, Mockingjay - Part 1, set to hit theaters on Nov. 21, it wouldn’t hurt to catch up on the new players in the blockbuster adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ trilogy.
Mockingjay picks up where Catching Fire left off, with Katniss being whisked out of the Hunger Games arena after defeating The Capitol at its own obstacle course. In Mockingjay, she is then taken to the mysterious District 13, in which an entire population is living free of The Capitol’s reign and looking to overthrow President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and his blind band of followers.
A new district means a whole new set of allies (or assumed allies) for Katniss, Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), and the beloved Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks, whose character does not, in fact, appear in book three).
Here are Mockingjay’s newest rebels:
Cressida (Natalie Dormer)
The Game of Thrones star will be ditching her gowns and stepping into a pair of combat boots to play the ruthless guerilla filmmaker. Cressida is charged with taping Katniss’ Mockingjay PSAs for the people of Panem, which eventually make her a symbol for the resistance. “At first, she doesn’t care if Katniss is invested in being the Mockingjay or not. But ultimately, she believes in her and follows her into battle,” Dormer, who shaved the side of her head for the role, explains of her character.
Messalla (Evan Ross)
Ashlee Simpson’s new hubby was thrilled to take on the role of Messalla, Cressida’s film assistant tasked with taping Katniss’ risky Mockingjay propaganda clips. “My mom [Motown legend Diana Ross] was like, ‘I read the books! you’d better do that movie!’” he tells Us Weekly.
Pollux (Elden Henson)
Sometimes not saying a single word can be powerful! As a former prisoner of The Capitol, Pollux had his tongue cut out before joining the resistance along with his brother Castor. “Thank God I didn’t have lines,” Henson joked. “Jen Lawrence is so captivating, I would have screwed up if I had to speak!”
Castor (Wes Chatham)
Pollux’s older, protective brother Castor joined the rebels after The Capitol made his brother an Avox (mute). He serves as a part of the film crew who compiles Katniss’ Mockingjay videos.
President Coin (Julianne Moore)
Not all allies side with Katniss. President Coin, the leader of District 13 and the resistance, certainly has her own agenda, and doesn’t take any prisoners. “Katniss immediately distrusts her,” Moore noted. The four-time Oscar nominee got turned on to the complex role by her children Liv, 12, and Caleb, 16. “I didn’t have anything to read on vacation, so I picked up their Hunger Games books and ended up tearing through all of them,” she recalled to Us. “I was like, ‘Who’s playing Coin in the movie?!’ I wanted to create the political arc for her. So really, my kids are responsible for me doing this.”
Boggs (Mahershala Ali)
He may be President Coin’s right-hand man, but Boggs serves a critical role in Katniss’ life. “He’s critically involved in Peeta’s rescue, and for Katniss, he’s both a protector and father figure,” House of Cards actor Ali explained.
Tell Us: Which new character are you most excited for?
For more insider details, pictures, interviews, and posters from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, pick up Us Weekly’s special issue, on stands and at BN.com now!