Hunger Games’ Jennifer Lawrence: I Understand Casting Backlash

 Courtesy of Teen Vogue

Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence scored one of the most coveted roles in Hollywood when she was cast as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games trilogy (based on the best-selling novels by Suzanne Collins).

Unfortunately, Lawrence's casting — as well as those of costars Josh Hutcherson, 18, and Liam Hemsworth, 21 — was met with heavy scrutiny by some of the book series' diehard fans.

"The cool thing about Katniss is that every fan has such a personal relationship with her, and they understand and know her in a singular way," Lawrence, 20, tells the May issue of Teen Vogue. "I'm a massive fan too, so I get it."

The film's director, Gary Ross, said that choosing Lawrence was "the easiest casting decision I've ever made in my life." Collins also praised Lawrence's acting abilities, saying, "I never thought we'd find somebody this perfect for the role."

Much like her character, Lawrence isn't letting the criticism dampen her spirits. "She's incredibly powerful, brave and tough — and yet she has a tenderness and complexity," Jennifer says of Katniss. "It was very humbling hearing that Suzanne and Gary feel that I embody those traits."

In the meantime, Lawrence is gearing up to promote her first mainstream blockbuster, X-Men: First Class, which hits theaters June 3.

"It's easy to get pigeonholed, so I think it's important that when one thing gets really big — it's a wise decision to do the opposite," Lawrence, who's now dating her X-Men costar Nicholas Hoult, 21, explains. "I had a blast. I was living in London for five months, and the whole cast . . . we all legitimately love each other. We got addicted to hanging out."

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