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THE HUNGER GAMES casts its Rue and Thresh

Kate Erbland

by: Kate Erbland
April 18th, 2011

With the release date of Gary Ross’ film adaptation of THE HUNGER GAMES set to hit theaters in less than a year, it’s no surprise that casting news is starting to heat up. We’ve already got our three leads – Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, and Liam Hemsworth as Gale – but anyone who is familiar with the Hunger Games Universe is acutely aware that there are a number of important roles yet to be filled. Today, we finally get news on two of those.

Lionsgate has cast “Hollywood newcomers” Dayo Okeniyi and Amandla Stenberg as Thresh and Rue in the film, respectively. Both of the actors have small resumes to their names, but at least physically, they seem to fit the demands of their roles quite perfectly.

For those unfamiliar with The Hunger Games, it centers on a televised battle royale between twenty-four youngsters (ages 12 to 17), as demanded by the post-apocalyptic future country of Panem. The country is made up of twelve “districts” that each send one boy and one girl to the annual Hunger Games. The books focus on Katniss Everdeen, female tribute from District 12 in the 74thannual games, along with that year’s male tribute (Peeta) and her best friend from home (Gale). This is, of course, a very simplified version of events.

The characters Rue and Thresh are the tributes from District 11, and they are both remarkably different and startlingly similar. Rue and Thresh are both exceedingly clever, though physically, the bigger and older male Thresh appears to be the more dominant player. Rue, however, despite being the youngest and smallest of all the tributes, forms an unexpected bond with Katniss that ends up shaping, in this Hunger Games fan’s eyes, one of the most touching emotional relationships in the whole of the series. Both Rue and Thresh end up having a big impact on Katniss as a person and Katniss as a player.

These stills of Okeniyi and Stenberg, at the very least, match up with the mental picture I formed of both Thresh and Rue as I read The Hunger Games. Mockingjays, do you agree?

THE HUNGER GAMES is set to open on March 23, 2012.

Source EW, via Cinema Blend

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