Many fans supported Danielle Chuchran as Katniss after being introduced to the actress in the fanmade short by MainStay Productions, “Hunger Games – Katniss & Rue” (and later in the cave scene short).
But fans weren’t the only ones to take notice of her fantastic performance – those involved with the official Hunger Gamesmovie were also impressed. So much so that Danielle landed an audition for Katniss!
Although Jennifer Lawrence has officially been cast as the heroine, we were excited to have the opportunity to talk with Danielle about her once-in-a-lifetime experience auditioning for the role. See what she told us about the audition process – who she read for, where she auditioned, what scenes she read – and what she has coming up next in her career.
How and when did you find out that you were going to audition?
I got a call from my manager about 7 weeks ago that I was going to meet with Mr. Gary Ross and I was ecstatic.
What did you do to prepare for the audition?
There were two scenes that I had to memorize for the audition. My favorite way to prepare is to go out on my horse bareback and read over the sides while he grazes on grass. It’s just a really relaxing setting and allows me to be in the right frame of mind.
Who did you meet with and where was the audition held?
I read for Gary Ross and Debra Zane at Mr. Ross’s house. It was a pleasure meeting and reading for both Mr. Ross and Debra Zane. They made me feel very at ease and comfortable.
What scene(s) did you read for the audition? A Wall Street Journal article said that the script wasn’t final so actresses were reading scene from the books – is that true?
Yes that is true, we were given scenes straight out of the book to read. I read the scene where Katniss and Gale are talking up in the mountains about how they could run away right before the reaping as well as the scene where Katniss and Rue are conversing about how they are going to destroy the Careers food supply.
Did you audition opposite of any potential actors for the roles of Peeta and Gale?
No I did not, It was just me myself and I auditioning lol. Even though she wasn’t quite what I had pictured for the characters, Debra Zane did a wonderful job playing both Gale and Rue
Any fun props involved, like a bow and arrow?
There were not any super fun props used in the audition other than an apple box which we sat on haha. I sure wish there was though! Had they not been paying attention I would have just shot an arrow in their direction to wake em up like the gamemakers
How would you compare this audition to other auditions? In addition to what appears to have been a very high level of secrecy during the casting process, was there anything else that stands out since this was for such a large part?
Well for one thing I was ALOT more anxious and nervous for this role than some others. It always seems to be that way when its something you’re very passionate about. It was such an honor and privilege to get to read for such an amazing character as well as an amazing project. Katniss’s character was really easy for me to connect with because I was able to portray her in a scene I had previously done with the amazing John Lyde, who I can never say enough about. It was because of him and his idea to make the short that my audition was made possible. I can honestly say I’ve had the opportunity to meet and work with some incredibly talented people.
Fans loved you as Katniss in the short films – where can they see you next? What do you have coming up in your career?
Aw thank you so much! That really means a lot to me. I have some really fun projects coming up that I am looking forward to. A film called “You’ll Never Amount to Anything” which will be shooting in Chicago hopefully early Summer, a zombie action movie called “Osombie” which will be directed by John Lyde (the director of the Hunger Games shorts), a fun western short, and also directed by John Lyde a super exciting action film that will be filmed this Fall.
We love that Lionsgate gave Danielle the opportunity to audition and think it shows that they were definitely considering “unknown” actresses and fan favorites for the role.
A BIG thank you to Danielle for doing this interview with us and giving fans a sense of the audition process. Best of luck with your upcoming movies!
Update: Since a few fans were wondering, we also asked Danielle if we might possibly see her in another role in The Hunger Games. While she’d love to play any role in the film, she has not been approached at this point to play another character.