Lenny Kravitz Talks The Hunger Games and Jennifer Lawrence

Lenny Kravitz, from Precious, talks about Cinna in The Hunger Games

With The Twilight Saga and the Harry Potter series winding down, it was looking like the movie-going audience was getting ready to suffer some serious YA withdrawal pains, but Lionsgate is filling the void with The Hunger Games, based on Suzanne Collins’ bestselling series so everybody’s fantasy fix is on the way.

CNN had a chance to talk with Lenny Kravitz, who recently snagged the role of Cinna in the upcoming film, to find out what he had to say about the character he plays and his response to fan reactions when he got the part.

A definite plus in Kravitz’s favor is that he’s actually read the source material. Too many actors seem to ignore the books when movies are adapted so it’s nice to see that the singer-turned-actor knows what to expect. When asked by CNN if he had read the books, Kravitz replied, “Of course. I’m really excited to be in it. I’m really anxious to see how they put this whole world together because if you’ve read the books you know the world is quite fantastical and amazing, the Capitol and the Arena.”

Kravitz might not be the first person that pops into your head when you think of Cinna, but he is the one that director Gary Ross thought of when he saw Kravitz in Precious. “That’s why [“Hunger Games” director] Gary Ross called me,” Kravitz says, “because he said he’d seen Precious and he liked how I underplayed the character. It’s not a similar role, but in a sense it’s got a similar quality because [Nurse John] was the only backup for [“Precious”].”

It shouldn’t be too hard for Kravitz to work with Jennifer Lawrence either, because the two have already spent some time together, and the soon-to-be Cinna seems to think Lawrence definitely has what it takes to bring Katniss to life. “Yes, I know her actually because she did “X-Men: First Class” with my daughter, [Zoë Kravitz],” says Lenny, “so she spent a lot of time in my house in Paris when they were filming in London. That was another thing about casting me: [Ross] said, I heard that Jennifer was in your house all summer and that you were taking care of the kids and they were cooking. I had the whole cast, like six, seven kids in my house on the movie so I got to know all of them before I had even seen them in action. So Jennifer and I ended up becoming friendly. She’s really sweet. And then I saw her in “Winter’s Bone” and I was like, “Oh, wow. This girl is for real.”

As far as him not being the guy most fans think of when picturing Cinna, Kravitz has avoided the online drama over the casting news but he knows how important it is to get the character right, saying, “yeah, the fans don’t play.”

Of course, you can have some really great actors filling out the parts but a movie can still fall flat if the soundtrack doesn’t set the right tone. Fortunately, the producers seem to have things well in hand with Danny Elfman and T. Bone Burnett handling the soundtrack.

The Hunger Games is expected to arrive in theaters in March 2012.

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