Suzanne Collin’s bestselling book series “The Hunger Games” is now a blockbuster Hollywood movie that cost a whopping $90 million to produce. It is set to take the world by storm tomorrow when it premieres in theaters, and it has already virtually transformed lead actress Jennifer Lawrence into a superstar overnight. One thing we have always noticed at the CSC about things like this is how some movies, books, or projects seem predestined for success, while others are left to flop on the deck like a fish out of water. “The Hunger Games” is one of those movies where the hype was so insane that it is almost a foregone conclusion that it will be a hit. Granted, it had the audience of the bestselling novels to fall back on, but the hype has transcended that. Is it coincidence, or are certain projects earmarked for success from the outset?
Much like the “Twilight” series, it is almost brainwashing in its effect on the population as a whole. The hype is so strong that soon, it almost feels like something is wrong with you if you didn’t want to see the movies or read the books. This same effect is in full swing with “The Hunger Games,” and it is already working, with many theaters already reporting advance tickets sellouts. Even more curious is the way these things come about. For example, there are some interesting coincidences with “The Hunger Games” cast that you might think were statistically impossible if we asked you beforehand.
First of all, “The Hunger Games” is the first of a trilogy, just like “Twilight.” It seems poised to take over the “Twilight” fan base, at least temporarily until the next film comes out. And Jennifer Lawrence fits the same mindset and role as Kristen Stewart, the lead actress of “Twilight”, but what are the odds that they know each other. It already seems like they are almost versions of the same thing, but the connection between the two goes further. Relatively unknown actors Josh Hutcherson and Kristen Stewart starred in a film called “Zathura” just a few years back in 2005. They were fast friends on the set of the film, and Kristen Stewart even gave him a turtle for his birthday. Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson both come from Kentucky, not exactly a Hollywood haven for starmaking. Both came about their current jobs in rather unusual ways as well. Jennifer was visiting New York City when an agent walked up and asked if he could snap her picture. He then got her in with a talent company. At that point, acting had never even entered into Jennifer’s mind as a career choice. Josh, on the other hand, was obsessed with it. When he was eight years old, he just kept calling talent agencies until someone gave him a chance. And we all hear how hard it is to break into acting, right?
Here’s an even more interesting coincidence. Of all people, the producers of the movie selected Lenny Kravitz, a great rock star, but not known for his acting abilities, to play a supporting role in the film. His only acting credits previous to this was a small role as a nurse in the movie “Precious” back in 2009. For whatever reason, Lenny Kravitz was their vision from day one. Lenny was recording music in the Bahamas (cause rock stars can do that) when he got the call. He had never heard of “The Hunger Games” but he promptly downloaded the book, read it in a couple of sittings, and was taken with it completely. He couldn’t wait to accept the role, but he wanted to know who was playing the lead character of Katniss. Turns out Jennifer Lawrence is good friends with his daughter Zoe, and she had actually spent the night with Zoe and had been at Lenny’s place making breakfast that morning.
This all leads into our analysis of a phenomenon we like to call “all eventually famous people know each other somehow.” While this is not something we are serious about, it is kind of fascinating just how often these “coincidences” happen and how consistently you find out that stars are connected in strange ways. I mean, the lead singer of Rascal Flatts was Jamie Fox’s college roommate. Ever heard of Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell? Tommy Lee Jones hung out at the frat house with Al Gore. Dave Matthews and the band Phish have a long, rich history. The list goes on and on…