*Relative unknown Latarsha Rose has been added to Gary Ross’ film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ bestseller “Hunger Games.”
As previously reported, the story is set in an unidentified future time period after the destruction of North America, in a nation known as Panem – where North America once stood. Panem consists of a wealthy Capitol and twelve surrounding, poorer districts. District 12, where the book begins, is located in the coal-rich region Appalachia.
As punishment for a previous rebellion against the Capitol, every year one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 from each district are selected at random and forced to participate in the Hunger Games, a televised event in which the participants, or “tributes,” must fight to the death in a dangerous outdoor arena until only one remains.
The book centers on fatherless 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), a girl from District 12 who volunteers for the 74th Games in place of her younger sister, Primrose.
Rose, who has recurred on “Swingtown” and also appeared on “All My Children,” “CSI: Miami” and “Bones,” will play Portia, a stylist to Katniss’ fellow District 12 tribute Peeta (Josh Hutcherson).
As reported last month, Amandla Stenberg and Dayo Okeniyi were cast as District 11 tributes, Rue and Thresh, respectively. In the book, Rue becomes Katniss’ eventual ally, but things get hairy at the end of the Games for the 12-year-old girl. Thresh, in the book, is known to be an intimidating and physically strong tribute.
Lionsgate will release “Hunger Games” on March 23, 2012.