The Hunger Games Casts Unknowns As Thresh and Rue
You've got your new Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Gale (Liam Hemsworth) -- now it's time to start fleshing out the rest of the Hunger Games cast. Lionsgate announced today that they've selected newcomers Dayo Okeniyi and Amandla Stenberg to play Thresh and Rue, respectively. So who are these two future tributes from the Southern climes of District 11?
According to an online blog profile (which will surely come down as fans begin to zero in on him), Dayo Okeniyi is a West Africa-raised actor based in Los Angeles with a few minor credits under his belt. Okeniyi will portray Thresh, a fellow tribute in The Hunger Games who figures into the story's action-packed throwdown.
Amandla Stenberg is a 13-year-old child model/actress and veteran of tons of commercials you've probably seen who makes her on-screen acting debut in this September's Luc Besson-produced Colombiana, in which she plays a young version of Zoe Saldana's title character. (She also has voice-over credit on Steven Spielberg's Falling Skies.) Stenberg's character, Rue, is Thresh's young District 11 co-tribute who memorably forms a bond with Katniss during the ultra-violent Hunger Games.
Both actors are as yet unproven, but director Gary Ross and author Suzanne Collins have won over fans so far with expressions of confidence in the casting of Lawrence, Hutcherson, and Hemsworth. And this seems to be just the beginning of a long process to find actors for the rest of the Hunger Games supporting cast -- a process that Lionsgate is going to turn into a film event in itself, with 20 more tributes yet to cast. Still, Thresh and Rue were arguably the most important ones to nail down early on. Thoughts on our new tributes, mockingjays?
[Photos of Amandla Stenberg: Kat Ward Photography via amandlastenberg.com]
[Photo of Dayo Okeniyi via @DayoOkeniyi]