The Hunger Games is one of the most successful film franchises of the past decade. Audiences all over the world were captivated by a story that revolved around a world that required young boys and girls to hurt each other. Don’t ask me what Susan Collins, the author, was thinking when she came up with the concept because I have no idea. However outlandish the concept may have been, viewers were enchanted by the story of Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark and how they managed to survive in The Hunger Games.
However young many of the characters may have been, the lead cast were already well established actors before landing The Hunger Games. Jennifer Lawrence, who played the lead, has established herself as one of the very talented actors in Hollywood. She was the highest paid female actor in 2015 and 2016 consecutively. Although there have been reports of her attitude that many people are not crazy about, one can’t take away from the fact that she killed the role of Katniss Everdeen, a girl who volunteers herself, in the place of her little sister and ultimately, through her hunting skills and mental strength, gains much support from the public.
Katniss was not the only one people fell in love with. Do you remember Rue, the girl who helped Katniss and then died tragically, from the first film? How about Effie, who definitely wore all colors of the rainbow? We fell in love with many of the characters and I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s wondered what has happened to the cast since they wrapped the series. Scroll down to find out what some of your favorite The Hunger Games stars have been up to.
18 Still Famous: Katniss Everdeen/Jennifer Lawrence
Let’s start the list off with the lead character, Katniss Everdeen, played by Hollywood A-Lister, Jennifer Lawrence. At just 27 years old, Jennifer has made a name for herself in Hollywood and her films have grossed over $5.5 billion worldwide. Yikes! That shows how much star power the girl has.
Since The Hunger Games, Jennifer definitely became one of Hollywood’s new “IT” girls. In 2013, she appeared in Time’s 100 Most Influential People in The World and in the following two years, made it in the Forbes Celebrity 100. Before Hunger Games, Jennifer had already made a name for herself in numerous roles like Winter’s Bone in 2010. You might have also recognized her in the X-Men films as the shapeshifting mutant, Mystique. After the first Hunger Games was released in 2012, she was cast as Tiffany Maxwell in Silver Linings Playbook. This was the role that really made Hollywood sit up and take notice as she won a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for her portrayal.
After winning the Academy at just 22, she became the second youngest Best Actress Oscar winner ever. Jennifer has since been offered many lead roles and getting paid big bucks for them. In 2016, she was paid $20 million to play Aurora Lane in Passengers. In terms of her upcoming projects, she will be starring in the upcoming X-Men film and is also signed on to star in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War. Basically, if you love the girl, you’ll be one happy fan because she’ll continue to be all over the place. If you’re not too crazy about her, I’m sorry but it doesn’t seem like she is going anywhere anytime soon.
17 Forgotten: Gale Hawthorne/Liam Hemsworth
Gale Hawthorne is a coal miner, soldier and hunter who is in love with the lead, Katniss Everdeen. You never really see him that much in the first movie, but his role gets bigger as the film series progresses. Gale is played by Australian heartthrob, Liam Hemsworth, who also happens to be Chris Hemsworth's (aka Thor) brother.
Now I don’t know about you, but personally, I never cared much about what Gale was doing or saying while on screen. He was definitely much-needed eye candy. Since The Hunger Games, Liam has been involved in a number of projects but nothing as big as The Hunger Games.
In 2015, he was starred opposite Kate Winslet in The Dressmaker and in 2016, he starred in Independence Day: Resurgence. Even though I am a big fan of his looks (and his brother’s), I have to admit that I don’t really think that he’s acted in anything mind-blowing. I mean, even in The Hunger Games, he was just that guy who liked Katniss and promised to look after her family when she was gone. Sure, he stepped up a bit as the series progressed but the lead was always Katniss. He is only 28 years old so maybe he’ll wow us and be the lead in an exciting film…or just keep hanging with Miley and let us talk more about his personal life than his acting.
16 Still Famous: Rue/Amandla Stenberg
Rue was in the first movie and was probably responsible for the first heartbreak in the film. After rescuing the lead and helping heal her over a few days, she passed away and broke Katniss’ heart, so much so that she never forgets her. This brave little girl was played by Amandla Stenberg.
Before The Hunger Games, you might have caught her in Colombiana as she was playing a younger version of Zoe Saldana. Since The Hunger Games, she has starred in a number of projects, including Bia in Rio 2 (2014), she also had regular roles in Sleepy Hollow and Mr.Robinson.
Her last lead role was Everything, Everything, a romantic drama released in 2017 where she starred opposite Nick Robinson. Amandla is more than just a pretty face, she is also a musician. In 2013, she began performing on the violin and she released her first EP with singer/songwriter Zander Hawley in 2015.
Dazed Magazine described her voice and style as “one of the most incendiary voices of her generation”. She was also on Time’s Magazine in 2015 and 2016 as one of the Most Influential Teens. Well, at 19 years old, it seems like this girl star is definitely on the rise.
15 Forgotten: Cato/Alexander Ludwig
Cato was a bit of a disturbed character who enjoyed the game, but hey, every show needs a villain I guess. Fans have argued that perhaps the only time he showed any sort of remorse was in the climax of the first film where he was crying (as he was planning on hurting yet another character).
This complex character who definitely couldn’t be trusted was played by Canadian actor, Alexander Ludwig. I’m sure you’ve seen this 26 year old in a number of films and commercials when he was younger but some of the most noticeable roles might have been The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising in 2007, Race To Witch Mountain (2009) and Grown Ups 2, which was an Adam Sandler sequel.
Since appearing on The Hunger Games, he has been busy on a number of projects, none which have been as successful as The Hunger Games of course. In 2013, he co-starred in Lone Survivor and the following year, joined the cast of the series Vikings. I would say that his star is still rising and at 26 years, he still has plenty of time to actually become a household name.
14 Still Famous: President Alma Coin/Julianne Moore
President Alma Coin was played by the beautiful Julianne Moore. Now, of course you’ve seen her before The Hunger Games. If you hadn’t then I don’t know what to say to you. Where on earth have you been living for the past few decades?
Julianne Moore is a Hollywood legend and part of the few cast members in the series who were already big household names before the franchise. I’m not going to mention all the films she’s been on before The Hunger Games because quite honestly, there isn’t enough time or space on this article. Instead, I will talk about her accolades, just in case you’re part of the oddly few people on planet earth who doesn’t know this woman.
Well, to this date, she has received 78 awards and 169 nominations. Yep! You read right. I told you this woman was a living legend. Some of her most prized accolades are an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, two Critics’ Choice Awards, two Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards and 2 Screen Actors Guild Awards. She began her career in 1984 and seems like she hasn’t stopped since. She is currently due to star in Bel Canto later this year and I’m just guessing that she’s got plenty more up her sleeve.
13 Forgotten: Marvel/Jack Quaid
Marvel’s character is one that you might have missed and if you did, don’t feel bad because the character was minor and besides, there was so much happening in The Hunger Games, I struggled to keep up at times myself.
Anyway, so Marvel was a District 1 tribute and he appeared in The Hunger Games but only for a brief moment as Katniss herself didn’t have much time to pay attention to him. “As I try to avoid looking at his family, I learn that his name was Marvel. How did I never know that? I suppose that before the Games I didn’t pay attention and afterward I didn’t want to know.”
So if the lead didn’t pay much attention to him, hey, surely we can’t be blamed for feeling the same way. This small role was played by Jack Quaid and unlike his cast members, the 26-year-old didn’t have much success before landing the role of Marvel. Since The Hunger Games, he hasn’t acted in much either. In 2016, he appeared in Vinyl, in 2017 he starred in Tragedy Girls and it was announced that he will be in the lead role of The Boys. Let’s hope that he makes more of an impression on us.
12 Still Famous: Peeta Mellark/Josh Hutcherson
Peeta Mellark stars opposite Katniss Everdeen as he is the male tribute from District 12. This character is played by Josh Hutcherson. At just 25 years old, Josh has made a name for himself in Hollywood, way before The Hunger Games days. He first started appearing in small television roles and commercials in the early 2000s. If you hadn’t noticed him there, then you might have caught a glimpse of him in Miracle Dogs (2003) or Polar Express (2004). My personal favorite of his is Little Manhattan (2005), where he plays a little boy who falls in love for the first time and has to deal with the realities of a first love that doesn’t always go according to plan.
Josh’s star was steadily on the incline when he joined The Hunger Games franchise. He has played the lead role as well as Executive Producer in a number of projects including Detention (2011) and The Forger (2012). If you’re an adventure movie fan, then you might have also seen him in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island in 2012.
Josh has also hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live and let’s just say people were not too thrilled about it. The Huffington Post said that “he did not bring anything special to the table except having a nice attitude” and GQ added that “while the night didn’t necessarily disappoint, it also didn’t dazzle”. Maybe he should just stick to acting.
11 Forgotten: Clove/Isabelle Fuhrman
Clove was another deeply disturbed character in the film series. She was really good at throwing knives and was a great threat to the lead, Katniss. She was happy about hurting our beloved Rue. Remember when she gloated to Katniss about it?
This crazy character was played by Isabelle Fuhrman and I don’t know what you think, but it seems as though she is perhaps attracted to playing psychos. Remember her in Orphan (2009)? Yeah, if you’re going to try to watch that, good luck because that was another role where Isabelle was just plain disturbed. At just 21, you wonder if the girl is okay and why she was attracted to these roles at a young age.
Since The Hunger Games, she’s mixed things up a bit (thank goodness) as she’s been in After Earth (2013) and she’s also been in a couple of animations such as The Snow Queen 2 (2014) and A Turtle’s Tale 2: Sammy’s Escape from Paradise (2012).
10 Still Famous: Caesar /Stanley Tucci
Caesar's character is definitely animated. As the host of The Hunger Games from The Capitol, his white grin and perfectly straight teeth, along with those colorful outfits and hair, has him somewhat detached from what’s really going on in the show he is hosting.
This interesting character was portrayed by Stanley Tucci. Now I don’t have to tell you this if you’re a real film fanatic but in case you’ve missed it and have been in your own world for the past few decades, just like the earlier mentioned Julianne Moore, Stanley was a star in his own right, way before The Hunger Games.
Remember him in The Lovely Bones (2009)? How about in The Devil Wears Prada (2006)? There are so many other roles and quite frankly, not enough time to name them all. After all, the man is an Oscar Nominee and he also has three Emmy Awards.
Recently, you might have seen him in Transformers: Age of Extinction or last year in the sequel Transformers: The Last Knight. You would have also heard his voice last year in Beauty and the Beast as the composer Maestro Cadenza. Not sure if he’ll receive any more exciting characters to play (we all know that Hollywood is ageist) but we’ll be keeping a close eye on him.
9 Forgotten: Glimmer/Leven Rambin
Glimmer was the girl tribute from District 1 who could use a bow and arrow, knife and sword to defend herself. Her district partner was Marvel, who also died early on in the film so you can be forgiven for forgetting her. If you’re wondering how Glimmer died, she passed away because of Katniss when she dropped a nest of tracker jackers on her group when they were asleep.
Glimmer was played by 28-year-old Leven Rambin. Leven’s career has not been as short-lived as her character Glimmer’s life. She’s been on All My Children (2004 – 2008) and you’ve also probably seen her on Grey’s Anatomy (2005 – present). She’s gotten a few roles after The Hunger Games. You might have seen her on Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013) but nothing really outstanding that has made us sit up and take notice of her.
She might have been distracted by her personal issues. She got married at 25 years to fellow actor Jim Parrack and then divorced him a couple of years later. Everybody knows that there’s a lot of competition in Hollywood and one needs to give all their attention to it, especially when you’re starting out and still trying to establish yourself. Maybe Leven realized that and soon divorced him.
8 Still Famous: Cinna/Lenny Kravitz
Cinna’s character was interesting because he exuded a quiet strength. He was Katniss’ stylist and boy did all of his creations make a statement. “I always channel my emotions into my work. That way, I don’t hurt anyone but myself”. This charming character was played by Lenny Kravitz.
If you didn’t know, Lenny was first a singer and songwriter, way before he started acting. The man is so talented that he not only sings the lead and backing vocals to his tracks, but he also plays all of the instruments when recording. Who does that? He can definitely teach a lot of these overnight music stars a thing or two.
He is quite an accomplished music star as he has the accolades to prove it but in terms of acting, I would say that he is still making a name for himself. Besides The Hunger Games, he has also appeared in Precious (2009) and Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013). Not sure if he can solidify his acting as much as he has with his music but the man is clearly talented so we’ll just have to wait and see.
7 Forgotten: Primrose Everdeen/Willow Shields
Primrose Everdeen was the little sister of Katniss Everdeen. She was at first selected to become a tribute for her district but her older sister feared for her life and volunteered herself to keep little Primrose safe from harm's way.
The timid character of Primrose was played by 18-year-old Willow Shields. Just like a few of her previously mentioned co-stars, Willow was not well known before The Hunger Games and after the film series, it seems that she has tried to put herself out there more but still, hasn’t really gotten to household name status. Well, she’s only 18 so she’s got plenty of time to still get it right.
In the meantime, she’s been on Dancing With The Stars in 2015 and was the youngest ever participant of the show. It seems like that didn’t make people feel sorry for her because they soon voted her out of the show. Since Dancing With The Stars, she hasn’t really been up to much in Hollywood and this makes you wonder if Hollywood only wants bad girls. I mean, Ariel Winter is all over the tabloids wearing goodness knows what, while Willow is a perfectly dressed young lady who can really act but doesn’t really seem to be getting the roles that she needs. Let’s just hope she gets good roles soon so that she doesn’t turn into another Ariel who is always desperate for our attention.
6 Still Famous: Finnick Odair/Sam Claflin
At number 5, we have another complex character, Finnick Odair. He was arrogant, overconfident, a little provocative, but he was also loving – that was portrayed in Catching Fire when he cried after Mags’ death. This interesting character was portrayed by Englishman Sam Claflin.
I’m sure you’ve seen this heartthrob in a number of roles outside of The Hunger Games (because, I mean, how can you miss that face?) but probably the most noticeable roles he has had outside of the franchise have been as Phillip Swift in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Phillip in My Cousin Rachel and Will Traynor in Me Before You.
Sam is not just a hunk but it seems that he is a romantic as well. He met his wife, fellow actress Laura Haddock in 2011 and literally fell in love at first sight. “She’s my female counterpart is the best way to describe her. She is my mum. She reminds me of my mum so much which I think – a guy will know, right? It’s important. Your mom knows like everything.” Okay, so we’ll ignore the fact that he is a total mama’s boy and just concentrates on how much he loves his wife.
5 Forgotten: Seneca Crane/Wes Bentley
Seneca Crane is probably one of the most complex characters from the film series. He is a little hard to pinpoint or understand. I mean, on the one hand, there were moments where he clearly felt for Katniss and what President Snow was putting her through but on the other hand, he was the Head Gamemaker so he couldn’t have been that innocent.
This interestingly complex character was portrayed by 39-year-old Wes Bentley. He’s been acting since the mid-‘90s so you’ve most definitely seen him way before his role in The Hunger Games.
One of my favorite roles of his is when he played Ricky Fitts in the classic American Beauty (1999). It seems like I’m not the only one who loved his portrayal as he received a BAFTA nomination for that same role. He’s also received BAFTA nominations for his role as Seneca Crane in The Hunger Games and Doyle in Insterstellar (2014). He’s had a few more roles after The Hunger Games but nothing as exciting and complex as Ricky Fitts.
4 Still Famous: Effie Trinket/Elizabeth Banks
We start number 3 off with the most colorful character of the film series. Yes, Caesar was also quite eccentric but every true The Hunger Games fan knows that Effie brought nothing but full on color, whenever she was onscreen.
Effie’s character is complex because she is first introduced to us as someone who believes in The Hunger Games and tries to convince Katniss and Peeta to “make the most of it” but as the film series progresses, we clearly see her becoming more human and understanding of how devastating the Games truly are to everyone involved, whether or not they win. “We’re a team, aren’t we? And I’m so proud of my victors. You both deserved so much better, I’m truly sorry.”
This amazing character of the Games was portrayed by Elizabeth Banks. Like many of her co-stars, she had already made a name for herself in Hollywood before her role in The Hunger Games. She has been acting since the late ‘90s and is now adding Directing to her resume.
Elizabeth had her directorial debut in Pitch Perfect 2. The opening weekend of Pitch Perfect 2 saw the film grossing $69 million, a record for a directorial debut, so something tells me that she will be more behind the scenes since she clearly has a knack for it.
3 Forgotten: Thresh/Dayo Okeniyi
We saw Thresh in the first film of the series. He was strong and posed a serious threat to other tributes in the Games. If you did pay attention, you will also remember that even though he may have been a threat, he also had a heart. He let go off Katniss when he could have easily hurt her right there and then. “Just this one time, I let you go. For the little girl. You and me, were even then. No more owed. You understand me?”
This strong and also merciful character who helped our lead Katniss when she was in danger was played by Dayo Okeniyi. Dayo is originally from Nigeria and his family moved to the US in 2003. Dayo seems to be one of those actors who take their craft seriously as he even went to school for it.
In 2009, he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Communications from Anderson University in Indiana. After graduating, he was involved in a few local theatre plays as well as film shorts that were, of course, nothing on the level of The Hunger Games. After landing the role of Thresh in The Hunger Games, David has since tried to be more mainstream by taking on roles in Endless Love (2014) and portraying Danny Dyson in Terminator Genysis (2015). He has also featured in Shades Of Blue. Although he’s not a household name, one can say that from local theatre, David’s career has definitely improved.
2 Still Famous: Haymitch/Woody Harrelson
And at number 1, we have our dear Haymitch. Now, I know I’ve spoken about how complicated and complex a number of the characters in The Hunger Games were but if I had to pick one who takes the cake, Haymitch might just be that one character. From the series, we see that he is clearly self-destructive by his drinking habits but he also has a heart.
Everyone who lives on planet earth has seen Woody Harrelson in a film or two. The man has been acting since the mid-‘80s, for goodness sake. He got his first big role on TV though, as Woody Boyd, in Cheers. He has also gotten recognition by being nominated three times for an Academy Award.
You might have recently seen him last year in War for the Planet of the Apes and most recently in Solo: A Star Wars Story. His resume is quite impressive and it seems as though he is not going to stop anytime soon. The man was famous before The Hunger Games and he certainly will continue to be after.
1 Forgotten: President Snow/Donald Sutherland
“Hope: it is the only thing stronger than fear.” These were President Snow’s words to Seneca Crane when he was trying to explain to him that Katniss is instilling a sense of hope in people, which of course, he couldn’t stand for. President Snow was the President of Panem and the root of all the evil that was The Hunger Games.
This antagonist was played by Donald Sutherland. The man is in his '80s so of course, this was not his first big role. He has been acting since the early ’60s for goodness sake. The man has lived! We’re not going to get into what he has done before The Hunger Games (I mean unless you have all day) but I thought it would be interesting to mention not only his success but his son who is definitely following in his footsteps. If you look at him closely, you’ll see that he resembles another Hollywood star – Keifer Sutherland, to be specific. Well, that’s because he is his son.
As mentioned, he’ an established actor and he has won two Golden Globe Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award and also a few other awards from Canada (where he is from). Last year, he received an Academy Honorary Award for his contributions to the film industry.