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How Old Is Prim In The Hunger Games

How old the stars of ‘The Hunger Games’ were compared to their characters’ ages

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Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, Elizabeth Banks as Effie, and Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss in 'The Hunger Games.'

  • “The Hunger Games,” based on Suzanne Collins’ dystopian book series, was released on March 23, 2012.
  • The movie starred Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth.
  • Here’s how old the stars were at the time of the release of “THG” compared to their characters.

Jennifer Lawrence starred as 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, the film’s protagonist.

After her younger sister was selected to compete in the 74th Hunger Games on behalf of District 12, Katniss volunteered as tribute to protect her.

Katniss’ bow and arrow skills came in handy during the competition.

Lawrence was 21, making her five years older than her character.

She was already a notable star in Hollywood by the time she landed the role of Katniss.

The year prior to the release of “THG,” Lawrence made her debut as the shape-shifting Marvel character Mystique in “X-Men: First Class.”

Before that, Lawrence earned her first-ever Oscar nomination for her performance in the 2010 film “Winter’s Bone.”

Josh Hutcherson played 16-year-old Peeta Mellark, from District 12.

Peeta, the son of a baker, had a childhood crush on Katniss but the two never spoke to each other until the reaping, when he was selected as the male tribute for the Hunger Games.

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Peeta and Katniss competed alongside each other and acted as star-crossed lovers so they could get the attention of sponsors and acquire supplies that would help them survive longer in the game.

Peeta and Katniss won the 74th Hunger Games.

At 19 years old, Hutcherson was just three years older than Peeta in real life.

Hutcherson was a child star and appeared in various films and shows beginning in the early 2000s, notably “The Polar Express,” “Zathura: A Space Adventure” “Bridge to Terabithia,” and “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”

Liam Hemsworth starred as Gale Hawthorne, 18, Katniss’ best friend from District 12.

Gale despised the concept of the Hunger Games, which pitted 24 kids between the ages of 12 and 18 against each other until there was one sole survivor.

Prior to Katniss volunteering in place of Prim, Gale suggested they take off together and live in the woods, but she immediately shut down the idea because they’d be caught.

Unbeknownst to Katniss in the first film, Gale had a crush on her.

Hemsworth was 22 when the first film was released.

Hemsworth got his start in acting in his home country of Australia.

In 2010, he starred in the film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ “The Last Song,” alongside now ex-wife Miley Cyrus.

Willow Shields played Primrose Everdeen, Katniss’ 12-year-old sister.

Prim was initially picked as the female tribute for District 12 for the 74th Hunger Games in her first year of being eligible to compete.

Shields was actually 11 years old, making her one of the youngest cast members.

Shield’s role in “The Hunger Games” marked her third professional acting project, following parts on the TV show “In Plain Sight” and the TV movie “Beyond the Blackboard.”

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Amandla Stenberg played 12-year-old Rue, who formed an alliance with Katniss during the Hunger Games.

Rue was from District 11 and the youngest contestant at the 74th Hunger Games.

She made it far into the competition, until District 1 tribute Marvel killed her with a spear to the abdomen.

At 13 years old, Stenberg was one year older than her “Hunger Games” character.

Similar to Shields, Stenberg was also just starting out in Hollywood when she got cast in “The Hunger Games.”

At the time, she had previously appeared in the action film “Colombiana” and the TV movie “A Taste of Romance.”

Alexander Ludwig starred as the film’s villain, 18-year-old District 2 tribute Cato.

Cato was aggressive and ruthless during the games, even snapping a contestant’s neck for failing to guard a pile of food supplies.

From the onset, Cato made Katniss his target and was determined to eliminate her.

Cato, Katniss, and Peeta were the last contestants left. He almost killed Peeta, but Katniss outsmarted him.

Cato was mauled by mutated dogs and Katniss sped up his death by shooting an arrow at him, killing him.

At 19, Ludwig was close in age to his character.

Ludwig had already been acting for a few years when he landed the part of Cato.

Prior to “The Hunger Games,” he appeared alongside Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and AnnaSophia Robb in “Race to Witch Mountain.”

Isabelle Fuhrman played 15-year-old Clove, also from District 2.

Clove was extremely skilled with knives, but she was brutally murdered by District 11 tribute Thresh as the game was nearing its end.

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Fuhrman was the same age as Clove in real life.

At the time, she was known for her role as Esther in the 2009 horror movie “Orphan.”

She reprised the role for the 2022 prequel film “Orphan: First Kill.”

Woody Harrelson played Haymitch Abernathy, Katniss and Peeta’s alcoholic mentor.

His age wasn’t stated in the first movie, but in the books, he was in his 40s.

Despite Haymitch’s nonchalant, brash attitude, his advice to Katniss was ultimately helpful to her during the competition.

Harrelson was 50 at the time of the film’s release.

Harrelson was already a two-time Oscar nominee (for “The People vs. Larry Flynt” and “The Messenger”) prior to starring as Haymitch in the first installment of the “Hunger Games” franchise.

He also earned an Emmy back in 1989 for his role as Woody Boyd on “Cheers.”

Lenny Kravitz starred as Cinna, Katniss’ stylist for the Hunger Games.

Cinna’s age was also unclear in “THG.”

He and Katniss immediately bonded upon their first meeting because he offered her his support, rather than congratulating her on volunteering for the games.

Kravitz, then 47, was already music royalty when he starred in the franchise.

Kravitz was a nine-time Grammy nominee and four-time winner when he portrayed Cinna.

Prior to “The Hunger Games,” Kravitz had cameos and supporting roles in other films and shows.

Elizabeth Banks played Effie Trinket, the impeccably dressed advisor to Katniss and Peeta.

The first film didn’t indicate Effie’s age, but she acted youthful and energetic.

She wore large wigs, bright-colored outfits, and dramatic eye makeup.