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'Hunger Games': Lenny Kravitz cast as Cinna; Toby Jones to play arena announcer

May 24, 2011 | 11:19 am

Lenny Lionsgate has rounded out its cast on "The Hunger Games," hiring rocker Lenny Kravitz as fashion stylist Cinna, a crucial ally for heroine Katniss Everdeen. Director Gary Ross said he was most impressed by Kravitz's portrayal of a nurse in the Oscar nominee "Precious" a few years ago.  The performance "was quiet and strong and understated and open-hearted; all qualities which define this character. I'm really looking forward to this ride," Ross said.

Cinna is a mild-mannered stylist who becomes a confidant to Katniss, to be played by Jennifer Lawrence, in the movie that centers on the nation of Panem, a dystopian future North America where each of the nation's 12 districts sends a teenage boy and girl to compete to the death in the annual Hunger Games.

Cinna is charged with designing Katniss' elaborate costumes that define her public identity and help with her very survival.

The studio has also cast veteran British actor Toby Jones as arena announcer Claudius Templesmith. His booming voice commands the arena during the play of the actual Hunger Games, and he always ends his commentary with the phrase "may the odds ever be in your favor." 

"The Hunger Games" has begun filming in North Carolina. It's scheduled for release in March.


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-- Nicole Sperling

Photo: Lenny Kravitz. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times