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Where Is The Hunger Games Cast Now?

From Josh Hutcherson to J-Law, and all the rebellious Panem populace in between.

By Benjamin Bullard
The Hunger Games (2012) YT

Just more than a decade has passed since the very first film in the original The Hunger Games series (streaming here on Peacock) lifted author Suzanne Collins’ cruel dystopia-verse out of the pages of the bestselling novels and onto the box office-breaking big screen. That’s a lot of time for fans to await the coming of a new era of Hunger Games movies, a dearth that’s set to end this weekend when The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes arrives in theaters on November 17.

It’s also a lot of time for the original film’s standout cast, packed with an ensemble of then-up-and-coming actors and established A-list stars, to leave a wider mark on the entertainment landscape than merely the ones they left in their wake after Panem. Set more than 60 years before the events of the first film, the new movie heads back in time with an entirely new cast of characters, whose lives predate those of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), her District 12 tribute partner Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), and pretty much everyone else from the earlier films whose name isn’t Coriolanus Snow (played by Donald Sutherland as an evil adult in The Hunger Games, and by young actor Tom Blyth in the Songbirds and Snakes prequel).

RELATED: Ranking The Hunger Games Movies — Now Streaming on Peacock

Now that a new wave of Capitol-centered big-screen intrigue is upon us, there’s no better time to check in on the careers of the actors who helped turn the original 2012 blockbuster into one of the modern movie box office’s biggest franchise success stories. Ready to find out what J-Law, Hutcherson, and the rest of the O.G. Hunger Games cast has been doing for the past decade (and change)? So are we — so keep on scrolling!

What happened to the cast of The Hunger Games?

A side-by-side comparison of Jennifer Lawrence in Hunger Games (2012) and in 2023.

Good grief, where hasn’t Jennifer Lawrence been since The Hunger Games? After earning critical adoration in 2010’s Winter’s Bone and playing Mystique in 2011’s X-Men: First Class, 2012 was a huge year for J-Law, who of course starred as ace archer Katniss Everdeen in the first of her four Hunger Games films while also turning in an Academy Award-winning performance that same year in Silver Linings Playbook. Since then, it seems like she’s been absolutely everywhere, despite Lawrence taking a brief break from acting in 2019.

Where’s everywhere? Well, Lawrence would go on to reprise her Mystique role in a trio of X-Men sequels (2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse, and 2019’s Dark Phoenix), while branching out into high-concept horror (2017’s Mother!), international espionage (2018’s Red Sparrow), absurd apocalyptic comedy (2021’s Don’t Look Up), and earnest, straightforward human drama (2022’s Causeway). Her latest big-screen endeavor veered toward the hilariously raunchy side, with Lawrence starring as a teenager’s babysitter in the 2023 sex comedy No Hard Feelings. Oh — and she’s apparently not cut out to handle over-spiced chicken wings, as her painfully funny recent appearance on an especially viral episode of celebrity sit-down web series Hot Ones can attest.

RELATED: The Hunger Games: Watch Jennifer Lawrence Lose Her Appetite Over Hot Wings

Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark)

A side-by-side comparison of Josh Hutcherson in Hunger Games (2012) and in 2019.

As Katniss’ endangered partner in getting out alive (and keeping up appearances), Peeta Mellark was played by Josh Hutcherson in all four of the Hunger Games movies we’ve gotten so far. It was easily his highest-profile role until this year’s horror smash Five Nights at Freddy’s came along (stream it here on Peacock) to scare the stuffing out of fans of creepy animatronic video game-based terror. Hutcherson stars as nighttime security guard Mike Schmidt in Five Nights, the latest in a string of roles that have kept the versatile actor busy since he was basically a kid.

Getting an early start in his teens, Hutcherson appeared in a series of sci-fi movie favorites including Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005), Bridge to Terabithia (2007), and Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008). In 2012 (the same year as his first Hunger Games film), Hutcherson starred opposite Chris Hemsworth in the remake of 1984 action classic Red Dawn, beginning a string of lower-profile (but super-diverse) roles in films including war movie In Dubious Battle (2016), slasher comedy Tragedy Girls (2017), CGI Christmas story Elliot The Littlest Reindeer (2018, as the voice of the movie’s titular animal), the thriller Burn (2019), wartime drama Across the River and Into the Trees (2022, based on the eponymous Ernest Hemingway novel), and the 2023 sci-fi thriller 57 Seconds (opposite Morgan Freeman). Hutcherson also let his funniest freak flag fly on the small screen as the star of sci-fi comedy series Future Man (2017-2020), where his hapless character travels through time (with a ragtag gang of complete idiots from the future, what else?) as the supposed savior of a decrepit and dying civilization.

Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket)

A side-by-side comparison of Elizabeth Banks in Hunger Games (2012) and in 2023.

Quirky, nervous, and entirely overdressed for every occasion, Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) was The Hunger Games’ sympathetic Capitol character, escorting the tributes doomed to carry out Panem’s deadly hunting ritual and eventually coming to champion their rebellious cause. Banks’ most recent movie smash came from behind the camera as the director of this year's reality-based horror-comedy tall tale Cocaine Bear (now available from Universal Home Entertainment here), which is pretty much on-brand for a talent whose career has been defined by both her on-screen work as well as her behind-the-scenes creative roles.

With literally hundreds of credits to her name, Banks’ career is too lengthy and varied to easily summarize, but her on-screen highlights include Sam Raimi's Spider-Man film trilogy (2002–2007), Seabiscuit (2003), The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Slither (2006), Invincible (2006), The Lego Movie (2014) and its 2019 sequel, Power Rangers (2017), and Brightburn (2019). Banks also starred in and directed films in the Pitch Perfect comedy series, as well as 2019’s movie adaptation of Charlie’s Angels. On TV, Banks is best known for her recurring roles in the long-running comedy series Modern Family, on NBC’s medical comedy Scrubs, (streaming on Peacock here), and for the Emmy-winning NBC comedy series 30 Rock (streaming on Peacock here).

RELATED: The Hunger Games Tributes Who Could Have Bested the Games

Woody Harrelson (Haymitch Abernathy)

A side-by-side comparison of Woody Harrelson in Hunger Games (2012) and in 2023.

Woody Harrelson is yet another Hunger Games alum whose lengthy screen career can’t easily be encapsulated in brief. Yes, he played seasoned, liquor-swilling Hunger Games survivor Haymitch Abernathy through all four original films — but man, has Harrelson played so much more. It’s tough, in fact, to keep track of just his award-winning roles through a career that’s now in its fourth decade, from his affable (and Emmy-winning) early turn on NBC’s Cheers (as Woody the goofy assistant bartender) to his riveting performance alongside Matthew McConaughey in the first event-series season of serial cop drama True Detective.

Whether silly or serious, Harrelson’s varied starring roles always showcase one side or another of his incredible range. Want highlights? Okay, let’s start in the present and work our way backwards. Woody currently has no fewer than three movies in the works (survival thriller Last Breath, the space race throwback film Project Artemis, and biographical drama Suncoast). He played villain Cletus Kasady (aka Carnage) in the 2021 sequel to Venom, earned tons of laughs as swashbuckler Tallahassee in 2009’s Zombieland (stream it here on Peacock) and Zombieland: Double Tap (the 2019 sequel), starred in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018), helped propel Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) to a stellar awards season, played a U.S. president in 2016’s LBJ, starred as an admirably restrained cowboy in straightforward western The Hi-Lo Country (1998), played smut maven Larry Flynt in The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996), and turned “Mickey & Mallory” into pop-culture shorthand for criminal abandon in Oliver Stone’s controversial 1994 drama Natural Born Killers. And guess what? — We’ve barely scratched the surface of doing justice to Harrelson’s long (and totally killer) career.

Jack Quaid (Marvel)

A side-by-side of Jack Quaid in Hunger Games (2012) and in 2023.

He’s way more famous now as Hughie, the central character in the subversive comic book-based comedy series The Boys, but Jack Quaid more or less got his career start playing Marvel, the ill-fated tribute whom Katniss eventually killed as part of the larger bloodbath in the original The Hunger Games film. The son of actors Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan, Quaid has been super-busy since his screen career began popping off opposite genre fan favorite Karl Urban (Billy Butcher) on The Boys.

Most recently, Quaid played famed physicist Richard Feynman in Christopher Nolan’s 2023 nuclear-age epic Oppenheimer (now available from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment here), and starred as a new breed of Ghostface slasher in the 2022 film revival of Scream. He’s also played opposite Dwayne Johnson in the 2018 sci-fi action flick Rampage, and since, 2020, has provided the voice of Cerritos crew member Brad Boimler in the animated Star Trek: Lower Decks series (Quaid even crossed the character over into live action for a recent episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds). And since we shouted out Hutcherson’s role in Tragedy Girls earlier, it’s worth mentioning now that Quaid also appeared alongside the Five Nights at Freddy’s star in the same 2017 comedy slasher — a reunion, of sorts (we guess), for a pair of Hunger Games originals.

RELATED: The 10 Greatest Moments from The Hunger Games Saga

Donald Sutherland (President Coriolanus Snow)

A side-by-side of Donald Sutherland in Hunger Games (2012) and in 2021.

The most legendary name on a Hunger Games movie list filled with current and future acting legends, the iconic Donald Sutherland presided over Panem through all four original films as Coriolanus Snow, the dystopian realm’s duplicitous and snaky all-seeing autocrat. Sutherland’s career has been threaded through Hollywood history all the way since his earliest film appearances in the 1960s; since then, he’s done nothing but turn in award-worthy performances (without ever actually winning an Academy Award, no less!) through an incredibly long and diverse list of films in a career that’s now spanning into its sixth decade.

A survey of some of Sutherland’s biggest roles includes M*A*S*H (1970), Klute (1971), horror classics Don't Look Now (1973) and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), Oliver Stone’s JFK (1991), viral-disaster epic Outbreak (1995), Space Cowboys (2000), The Italian Job (2003), Pride & Prejudice (2005), and, well — too many more to list. Most recently, Sutherland’s been spotted in the Steven King-based horror drama Mr. Harrigan’s Phone (as the titular, supernaturally telepathic Mr. Harrigan, of course), as well as in Roland Emmerich’s 2022 sci-fi disaster film Moonfall.

Willow Shields (Primrose Everdeen)

A side-by-side of Willow Shields in Hunger Games (2012) and in 2023.

Lawrence may have been The Hunger Games’ biggest star, but without something to fight for, her Katniss hero might've never taken that fateful first rebellious step. As Katniss’ little sister Primrose Everdeen, actor Willow Shields filled exactly that all-important role, putting a personal and human face alongside all of Katniss’ controlled rage against the oppression in District 12. Born in 2000, Shields wasn’t yet a teenager when she was cast to play Prim — a coming-of-age role she’d evolve (while collecting a handful of award nominations along the way) through the franchise’s subsequent installments. Shields would go on to headline the 2017 fantasy adventure film Into the Rainbow (which is still awaiting an international release), while showing off her musical moves at age 14 as a celebrity contestant on Dancing with the Stars. Most recently, Shields starred opposite Bruce Willis in the 2023 action sequel Detective Knight: Independence.

RELATED: Long Live Panem! The Hunger Games Timeline Explained

Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne)

A side-by-side comparison of Liam Hemsworth in Hunger Games (2012) and in 2023.

The youngest brother in a three-part Hemsworth sibling screen dynasty that also includes Westworld star Luke and reigning MCU God of Thunder Chris, Liam Hemsworth starred in The Hunger Games as Gale Hawthorne, Katniss’ fellow ace archer from District 12 and her would-be love interest… if not for those fickle, fateful winds of change. Already an established screen name in his native Australia before making Hollywood moves with 2010’s teen romance flick The Last Song (opposite Miley Cyrus), Hemsworth would go on to appear in all four Hunger Games films, as well as headlining the 2013 crime drama Empire State alongside costars Emma Roberts and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He starred in the 2016 sequel Independence Day: Resurgence, rejoined with Harrelson onscreen for the 2016 western The Duel, and teamed with the RZA and  fellow Australian Russell Crowe for Crowe’s Down-Under 2022 crime thriller Poker Face. Hemsworth’s next big appearance will come on the small screen, where he’s set to replace Henry Cavill as main monster hunter Geralt of Rivia in Season 4 of fantasy series The Witcher.

Lenny Kravitz (Cinna)

A side-by-side of Lenny Kravitz in Hunger Games (2012) and in 2023.

No one on Planet Earth was cooler in the 1990s than rocker Lenny Kravitz, and by the time of his 2012 Hunger Games appearance as Capitol stylist (and Katniss sympathizer) Cinna, it looked like little had changed in Kravitz' timeless pop-culture universe. The haute role of Cinna was right for Kravitz, who fit like a well-tailored glove with the stylist's whole refined vibe of low-key flamboyance — even though his character was just too pure to survive President Snow’s wrath beyond Catching Fire, the second film. All the while, Kravitz has never slowed his roll in his main gig as a music maker, turning out studio albums Strut (2014), Raise Vibration (2018), and the upcoming Blue Electric Light (2024) while basking in the occasional on-screen role here and there. Most recently, he appeared among a hilarious comedy cast featuring Jennifer Lopez, Josh Duhamel, and Jennifer Coolidge in the 2022 rom-com movie Shotgun Wedding.

RELATED: Josh Hutcherson & More: Who's Who in the Five Nights at Freddy's Movie Cast?

Paula Malcomson (Mrs. Everdeen)

A side-by-side of Paula Malcomson in Hunger Games (2012) and in 2021.

Left alone to raise Katniss and Prim in the poverty of District 12, Mrs. Everdeen (who’s never given a first name in either the novels or the movies) was the kind of character who’s seen and suffered much — and, consequently, to speak little. Irish actor Paula Malcomson embodied the role with just the right amount of world-weary resignation and toughness, traits that Malcomson already had perfected as a cast regular on TV series like Deadwood and Sons of Anarchy. Sci-fi fans may also recall Malcomson’s brief-but-memorable episode appearances on small-screen series like Lost, Fringe, Krypton, and Watchmen; most recently, she played a supporting role in the horror-tinged mystery film We Have Always Lived in the Castle and reprised her Deadwood role of Trixie for 2019’s Deadwood: The Movie — all while maintaining a steady stream of ongoing character appearances across a broad range of TV series.

Stanley Tucci (Caesar Flickerman)

A side-by-side of Stanley Tucci in Hunger Games (2012) and in 2023.

As the more talkative of the movies’ pair of TV commentators narrating every bloody twist in Panem’s highly-scripted Hunger Games broadcast, Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci) embodied the cynical, dystopian Capitol culture that President Snow deployed across the realm using mass media as his most manipulative weapon. Tucci, of course, already was an award-winning actor long before donning Caesar’s ridiculous made-for-TV wig, earning no fewer than five Emmys from the late 1990s onward for small-screen performances in the biopic drama Winchell (1999), Monk (2007), and his recent self-narrated travel-culture series Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy (2022), among others. With dozens upon dozens of major appearances across TV, film, and theater going all the way back to the 1980s, Tucci’s career is too formidable to neatly summarize — but his most recent projects have included sci-fi spy thriller series Citadel (2023), an longtime voice role as Herb Kazzaz on BoJack Horseman (2014-2020), and, on the big screen, in spy thriller The King’s Man (2021) and the upcoming Russo brothers-directed sci-fi movie The Electric State (2024).

RELATED: Josh Hutcherson's Wild Journey from The Hunger Games to Five Nights at Freddy's

Toby Jones (Claudius Templesmith)

As Caesar Flickerman’s slightly less-yappy TV-commentating sidekick, Claudius Templesmith (Toby Jones) was always at the ready with glib color commentary and a blithely delighted guffaw or two whenever a Hunger Games tribute took an arrow to the knee (or worse). Like Tucci, Jones is a serious and established character actor whose work long predates The Hunger Games series. Beyond his decades-spanning career across stage and screens both big and small, he’s known for high-profile roles as the voice of house elf Dobby in the Harry Potter film franchise, the mad Hydra scientist Arnim Zola in the MCU’s Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), black market baddie Mr. Eversoll in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018), and Indy’s wayback 1940s colleague Basil Shaw in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023).

Across a lengthy slew of small-screen roles that’ve included Doctor Who (2010), Marvel’s Agent Carter (2015), and speculative comics series What If…?, Jones’ creepiest TV turn might just be his 2015 appearance as the enigmatic David Pilcher — the organizing mastermind behind the dystopian (but humanity-saving) society at the heart of sci-fi mystery series Wayward Pines.

Watch the original The Hunger Games on Peacock here — and then stick around on the bird app to catch the entire four-film cycle, including The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (streaming here), The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 (streaming here), and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 (streaming here).

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