Picture of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss in ‘The Hunger Games’ Released!

Fans had mixed reactions about Jennifer Lawrence cast as Katniss in the upcoming Hunger Games movie. While she’s previously performed well in gritty roles—as the lead in Winter’s Bone—her natural beauty isn’t quite what readers of the book imagined the district 12 tribute to look like.

Jennifer LawrenceYet, director Gary Ross is hoping to put any and all criticisms of Jennifer Lawrence’s casting to rest. The Hunger Games lead actress recently dressed up as Katniss, complete with a mockingjay pin, for a spread in Entertainment Weekly magazine. A first look at the magazine’s cover can be seen here.

Without the blonde hair, she’s already made a giant leap forward to looking a lot more like Katniss. But Jennifer Lawrence also looks like she’s been to the tanning salon one too many times, rather than having an olive-colored skin. This begs the question: wouldn’t it have been easier to cast someone with darker skin?

But Ross, from day one, has insisted that Jennifer Lawrence’s acting abilities were exactly what he was looking for. Plus, like Katniss, Lawrence knows what it’s like being tossed into the limelight, pretty much unwillingly. Relating Katniss to this past Oscar season, Lawrence said, “She was a girl who’s all of a sudden being introduced to fame. I know what that feels like to have all this flurry around you and feel like, ‘Oh, no, I don’t belong here.'”

More photos of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen can be seen in the May 20, 2011 edition of Entertainment Weekly. But until then, what do you think of this first look?

© 2011 Elizabeth SanFilippo at Gather.com

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