Pay tribute! The Hunger Games franchise took fans by storm shortly after the book series made it to the big screen in 2012.
Jennifer Lawrence (as Katniss Everdeen), Josh Hutcherson (as Peeta Mellark) and Liam Hemsworth (as Gale Hawthorne) all rose to super stardom for their roles in the movies. Four installments later, moviegoers were introduced to even more memorable characters with Sam Claflin’s Finnick, Woody Harrelson’s Haymitch and Lenny Kravitz’s Cinna.
Of course, diehard viewers couldn’t forget Elizabeth Banks’ role as Effie Trinket or Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman. But what about the minor characters? There are a few actors who graced the big screen as a part of the hit franchise that fans may have forgotten about.
For example, Gwendoline Christie appeared in the final Hunger Games movie as Commander Lyme. Her casting, however, almost didn’t happen. American Horror Story’s Lily Rabe was set to play the Rebellion leader but had to pull out due to a scheduling conflict at the last minute.
“I was doing Much Ado About Nothing in the park with Hamish [Linklater] and I think we’d been planning it for however long and talking about it for probably a few years. Then it was happening, it was set and when I was cast in the Hunger Games, the dates worked with Much Ado,” Lily told Collider in February 2021. “I think I was going to shoot it before we started rehearsal. And for reasons I no longer remember that had absolutely nothing to do with me, but just to do with production, the dates pushed on Hunger Games and they pushed a few times.”
She recalled the Hunger Games team being “supportive” of her decision to remain on the Much Ado project after things no longer lined up. “There was really no drama, the only sad thing is that I couldn’t do both,” Lily added.
Robert Knepper, on the other hand, pushed for the part of Antonius in the final two films because of his son’s obsession with the story.
The Heroes alum recalled asking his neighbor, who worked as the “head honcho” designer on the project, if there were any roles he could do. He told Australia’s The New Daily in November 2014 that once the introductions were made, he “still had to do the work” and read for it in hopes that he’d be cast.
“I heard it was down to me and four other guys and I just had every limb in my body crossed because I wanted to do this for my son,” Robert said. “He was 11 at the time now 12 and it was a beautiful moment to be able to turn to him when I heard the news and say ‘Ben, guess what. I’m doing the next Hunger Games.’”
Scroll down to see which celebrities you might’ve missed in The Hunger Games movies:
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