In An Example of Perfect Casting, Elizabeth Banks Will Play Effie Trinket In The Hunger Games
Just hours after two young actors were brought on board to play the tributes from District 11 Rue and Thresh, another major character in The Hunger Games has gotten an actor, and it's a perfect bit of casting. According to Variety Elizabeth Banks will play Effie Trinket, the woman assigned by the government to shepherd the District 12 tributes-- that'd be Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson)-- through the immense pomp and circumstance surrounding the Games.
If you haven't read the books it's a little hard to explain, but the Hunger Games in the story are both a brutal fight to the death in a gladiatorial-style arena, and immense pageant of costumes, speeches and interviews that feels more like a Miss America pageant. When Katniss and Peeta are chosen to fight in the games-- a pair of kids between 12 and 17 are chosen from each of the country's 12 districts to fight each year-- they are trained in combat, of course, but Effie is on board to manage their media appearances and, believe it or not, social schedules. In the book she feels like a much more benign version of Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter, or like Glinda the Good Witch brought to a dystopian future. Actually, she's a lot like Laura Bush, who Banks played in W.-- I can easily imagine that performance getting her the role. Banks is maybe a bit younger and more low-key than I imagined Effie-- Kristen Chenoweth seemed perfect to me-- but she's got obvious comedic and dramatic talents, and playing Effie over the course of the three films could bring out a lot in Banks that we haven't necessarily seen before.
The cast for The Hunger Games is coming together quickly as director Gary Ross prepares to start shooting, so expect many more of your favorite characters to start taking shape. I'm personally dying to see who they cast as Haymitch, the drunkard former champion charged with training Katniss and Peeta. I'd been imagining Philip Seymour Hoffman in the role all along, and though he might be a little too A-list for the project, I'm holding out hope.
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