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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay has cast Patina Miller in the role of Commander Paylor.

The character is the leader of the rebels in District 8 before becoming the President of Panem in Suzanne Collins’ third and final Hunger Games book. Paylor is in her early 30s.

Miller is best known as a Broadway actress for her role in Sister Act. She is currently the Leading Player in the revival of Pippin currently on Broadway and won a Tony for “Best Actress in a Musical” at the most recent Tony Awards.

Related: Win two tickets to the Los Angeles premiere of Catching Fire!

Despite these accolades, don’t expect her to be singing and dancing in Mockingjay.

Lionsgate decided to split the Mockingjay book into two films like they did for Twilight and as Warner Bros. did for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and The Hobbit. Part 1 of Mockingjay opens in theaters November 2014 and Part 2 premieres a year later in November 2015.

Lionsgate has made numerous Mockingjay casting announcements in recent weeks. They include Lily Rabe cast as Commander Lyme, Julianne Moore for President Coin, Evan Ross as Messalla, Stef Dawson as Finnick’s wife, and Natalie Dormer as Cressida.

Meanwhile, Catching Fire opens in theaters this November 22.

  • Discotia

    looks great!

  • ZofTheTwiHard

    Another one I completely don’t remember…

  • Riana-Tiana Menezes

    Yay! Aperson of color cast as an important character!
    I’m sure she’ll do great!

    • Gary65

      What are you talking about? Enobaria’s more important than Paylor.

      • Riana-Tiana Menezes

        In no way did I imply that Enboaria is not important. Of course she is.
        I’m just making an observation that another person of color has got an important role. Relax.

        • Gary65

          But why does that matter?

          • Ann

            Doesn’t Paylor become president of Panem after the rebels take over and Katniss proves that Coin is a douche? Its pretty awesome that a person of such importance is being played by a POC!

          • Gary65

            Despite the fact that half the book fans can’t even remember who Paylor is.

          • redsulucup

            Diversity = good. That’s all you need to know.

          • Gary65

            I’ve had this argument a dozen times on this website so I’ll just say this and leave it at that cos I’m tired of being lambasted for feeling the way I feel:

            When a person is cast in a movie/TV show, I don’t think about their casting based on their race. The colour of their skin doesn’t even enter my mind(unless their race is relevant to the story(e.g. I’d think it odd if Bradley Cooper or Ken Jeong was cast as Django)). That’s how little I care about what they look like. Time and again, the only time I see colour being mentioned is when people of colour bring it up, saying how great it is that someone of colour has been cast. And it’s annoying. I don’t care one dot whether the actor is white, black, brown, yellow, pink, purple blue or green. I just wish people would stop talking about it and let race become the non-issue that it is.

          • http://drukeeble.tumblr.com/ Sasha

            Race might become a nonissue is more PoCs were cast as main roles.

            If you’re a white person, than you’re gonna see people of your race in media and it doesn’t have to matter to you. If you’re a PoC, you don’t often get the luxury of being able to even really see yourself in significant roles. You take that for granted.

          • Gary65

            I’m not even going to touch that whole “seeing People of Colour in significant roles” thing. Where are you not seeing them? Politics, music, movies, TV. I’m not exactly sure which part of society you think is marginalising you. The Obamas, Shonda Rhimes, Beyonce, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Jackson, Oprah, Mariah, Nicki Minaj, 50 Cent. These are all worldwide household names.

            And why does seeing people of the same race as you matter? Does seeing other PoC succeed make you feel more secure in yourself or something? I don’t understand what it does for you. I’m bisexual. I know hardly any famous bisexual people and I wouldn’t care if I did. Oooooh look. David Bowie and Lady GaGa are bisexual. Whoop de doo. How would more black people in main roles affect anyone? People who are racist will still be racist and people who aren’t racist still won’t be racist. How does more PoC leads affect anything? What do you think it will do?

            Did you ever consider that it might just be cos 80% of the American population is white? Assuming the call to the arts breaks down evenly across demographics, white actors would outnumber black actors nearly 5 to 1. That’s before you even consider that a lot of the major source material for movies(Hunger Games, Twilight, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones etc.) has white leads. Are they supposed to divert from the source material and go out of their way to make Bella Swan black just so you can see more people of colour?
            Do you think white people who grow up in India are raising the roof cos there aren’t more white people in Bollywood? Population is a serious predicating factor

            I don’t understand what you want movie producers to do. Put an embargo on white acting? I’m sorry to go off on a rant here but I hear this time and again and it makes zero sense.

          • http://drukeeble.tumblr.com/ Sasha

            One, I am not a PoC. I speak as a queer girl, and I know a lot of PoCs feel frustrated with their state of representation in the media. I sympathize with that. You don’t care about seeing bisexual people in the media? Good for you. Not everyone feels the same way. Other people /like/ seeing themselves in media. Junot Diaz wrote “If you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves.”

            According to a quick google search, about 13% of Americans are black. I’m pretty sure if you look at all the well-rounded characters from American media, less than 13% of them will be white.

            Nobody is calling for an embargo on white acting. But typically, casting is pretty white-only (and I’m talking original source material, but hell, even the Avatar, The Last Airbender asked for white people). Casting really needs to be much more inclusive.

            Also, book!Katniss isn’t even white.

            (I don’t feel like I explained this well, because hey, I’m a white girl. I GET being left out, but not specifically in terms of race. If you really care, I like this post on tumblr talking about it – http://timemachineyeah.tumblr.com/post/58648290519/this-is-a-jar-full-of-major-characters)

          • Riana-Tiana Menezes

            Thank you for mentioning Katniss because I feel she was a significant casting decision.
            In the book she is simply described as having olive skin and straight brown hair, that was basically it. And just by simply Googling the term ‘Olive skin’ I see countless images of people (actresses) from different races and ethnicities who would fit the above description perfectly; an Asian, Indian, Latino/Hispanic, even a lighter-toned African American (for ex someone like Halle Berry). Katniss could be anyone in the world (and I believe that was a conscience discussion made by Suzanne Collins so that many people could personally identify with her character).
            But for the actually audition, they wanted a Caucasian and only a Caucasian. They wouldn’t even let any other race audition. That really speaks volumes about the Hollywood industry. So when I see a POC taking on important/significant roles (which happens rarely), I feel happy.

            Also, thank you for sharing that link, it explained everything so perfectly! :)

          • Gary65

            Right so if you were on the casting desk and Jennifer Lawrence walked in, you would have rejected her, despite how perfect she was, cos she’s too white? Who’s focusing on race now? That’s beside the fact that Malese Jow auditioned for Katniss, who is clearly of Asian descent, with olive skin.

          • Gary65

            That’s besides the point that people would make a big deal if a person’s race was changed from black to white un-necessarily. You don’t think nerds would have a tish-fit if they tried to cast a white actress for Storm in X-Men?

          • Riana-Tiana Menezes

            But what if another actor was even better for the role but she happened to be latino or black. We would never know. That’s the point I’m trying to make!
            Jennifer Lawrence is not even part of this discussion. I feel like you’re completely missing the point of everything that is said And are unable to see things from another point of view.

          • Gary65

            The same as you would never know that thare wasn’t a Latino person even better for the role.

            I am able to see things from another point of view. But I also think people are way too trigger happy when it comes to calling racism.

          • Erin

            yup to the point that this trigger happy people become the racist themselves. They don’t realise it but that what some of them come across.

          • http://drukeeble.tumblr.com/ Sasha

            The casting call was specifically “”She should be Caucasian, between ages 15 and 20, who could portray someone ‘underfed but strong,’ and ‘naturally pretty underneath her tomboyishness.’”

            Jennifer Lawrence is fantastic, but the entire point is people who actually HAVE olive skin didn’t even have the opportunity for the role.

            Anyways, the article isn’t attacking writers like Shakespeare and Tolkien for not including PoCs characters. It’s demonstrating the MASSIVE disconnect between white characters and PoC characters and showing that Hollywood really should take the initiative to make that gap smaller (instead of whitewashing characters like Katniss Everdeen).

          • Gary65

            Again, Malese Jow auditioned. She’s not white. And the only parts of that description that fit JL are that she was Caucasion and 20(and barely 20 at that). JL looks neither underfed(she took some flack for that after the movie came out) nor is she “naturally pretty under her tomboyishness”. JL is one of the most alienly attractive people I’ve ever seen. Clearly, this was a guideline and none of the characteristics listed were mandatory.

            Hollywood cares about making money, not racial differentials. That’s like saying Wall Street should take the initiative and put the economy first and profit second. Never gonna happen.

            What makes this all the more ridiculous is when you look at a TV show like Scandal. In an age where TV viewing numbers have been driven off a cliff, Scandal is one of the only shows to actually have an increase in viewership. Its protagonist is a black woman and half the cast are people of colour. Race does not matter.

          • http://drukeeble.tumblr.com/ Sasha

            Yeah, looking at the success of things like Scandal, Elementary, and Pacific Rim shows that people do WANT PoCs in leading roles. But there are still people who will argue that it just doesn’t sell as well.

            I mean, some people couldn’t care less that Olivia Pope is a black woman. And some people are specifically drawn to Scandal because she is.

            The argument is going in circles – of course it is, neither of us is going to change our minds, but there’s a REASON people talk about race when it comes to these characters. And they have every right to be happy about that.

          • Gary65

            It’s not that they want it PoC in lead roles. It’s that, when they are in lead roles, they don’t care. The people stick around cos they like the story, not cos the lead actress is coloured. No one would willing suffer a story they don’t enjoy just cos of the colour of the main character’s skin

            Indeed they do have a right to be happy, The problem I have with it is when they demand that more people of colour get roles. I look at J-Law’s portrayal of Katniss and I can’t think of a single way she could have done it better. She was perfect for it. The idea that she wouldn’t have even been considered cos the PC police would have demanded an olive-skinned girl just blows my mind. That’s the only problem I have with it.

          • Erin

            Funny how you don’t acknowledge that an actress of asian descent auditoned for the role. Selective reading?

          • http://drukeeble.tumblr.com/ Sasha

            Yes, but the casting SPECIFICALLY ASKED FOR WHITE ACTRESSES. There were so many other actresses who could’ve auditioned but were excluded.

            Anyways, you’re too focused on this particular example to hear what I’m saying. It’s not about The Hunger Games, it’s about the movie industry as a whole. I mean, the Avatar movie asked for “Caucasian and others” but the message was clear that they wanted white people. And don’t tell me that those kids were the best for the role. Because if that’s the case, Hollywood is fucked.

          • Gary65

            As any civil rights activist will tell you, a person’s colour is not the sum total of who they are. It is a small piece. I would hope that, when people look for reflections of themselvs in the media, they’re looking for more than just the right hue.

            Almost every show on TV now has 1 or 2 PoC actors, out of a main character cast of 5-8. The whites-only casts are very few and far between. I’d say the 25% of minorities are in the US are fairly well represented, if we’re purely talking numbers.

            Who told you that TLA was looking for white actors? The voice actors for Aang and Sokka are both Latino and the voice actor for Zuko is of Asian descent.

            Book Katniss was left as ambiguous in terms of race as it’s possible to be. It’s possible to have olive skin if you go to a high end tanning shop. Mila Kunis has olive skin and she’s white.

            Sorry for being so gripey about this. I’m still pissed after the whole deal with people calling Jeff Davis racist(despite the fact that half the cast of Teen Wolf are people of colour).

            But speaking paranthetically, I think it’s rather sad that people worry about their racial representation in Hollywood when their political representation in Washington is as piss-poor as it is(and I’m not talking racially).

          • http://drukeeble.tumblr.com/ Sasha

            Of course someone’s race isn’t the entirety of their person, but it’s definitely a big part of their identity. I mean, Uhura inspired Mae Jemison to go to space and Whoopi Goldberg to go into acting. And even today, just go into the Mako Mori tag on tumblr and I’m sure you’ll easily find someone gushing over her and how great it was to see an Asian woman in such a strong role and how much that MEANT to them.

            TV is getting better with PoC rep, but they’re still rarely the main protagonists.

            When I talked about Avatar, I was talking about the movie, which to be fair, everybody hates. But the whitewashing that took place in the casting is a pretty common thing in Hollywood (first example off the top of my head – Warm Bodies).

          • Riana-Tiana Menezes

            Hi 5 for the Mako Mori reference! :D

          • ZofTheTwiHard

            Sorry to budge in, but don’t tell me that Avatar was racist. Zoe Saldana, the guy who was Eytuchan – they’re not white, and their roles are pretty damn big.

          • Barbara

            They’re talking about The Last Airbender, as in the movie based off of the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender, not the film directed by James Cameron.

          • Riana-Tiana Menezes

            Since you referenced the Hunger Games, I’m just going to copy what I wrote to another comment and post it here.

            Katniss was a significant casting decision.
            In the book she is simply described as having olive skin and straight brown hair, that was basically it. And just by simply Googling the term ‘Olive skin’ I see countless images of people (actresses) from various races and ethnicities who would fit the above description perfectly; an Asian, Indian, Latino/Hispanic, even a lighter-toned African American (Someone like Halle Berry). Katniss could be ANYONE in the world and I believe that was a conscience decision made by Suzanne Collins i.e. to be careful to write Katniss as being of ambiguous ethnicity, so that many people could personally identify with her character.

            But for the actually audition, they wanted a Caucasian and only a Caucasian. They wouldn’t even let any other race audition. That really speaks volumes about the Hollywood industry. So when I see a POC taking on important/significant roles, I feel happy.

            Oh and by the way, you’d be surprised by the number of white people there actually are in Bollywood movies.

          • Cguy

            Aha, I knew it! As soon as I read the headline, I knew some people were going to argue about this, lol.

          • redsulucup

            Ah, gotcha. That’s a good point.

          • Pia

            I completely agree. I never watch a movie and be like ‘oh that character should be black or asian or latina’ you watch a movie for the story and, unless it’s relevant to the plot, not for a person’s color. It’s like if they cast a person of color for a white character, they’ll say it’s the the talent that matters and the story and good for the film makers. But if they cast a white actor for a character who is of color it’s racism or white washing.

          • Barbara

            Recasting traditionally white characters as POCs is a completely different animal than casting traditionally POC characters as white people because there is a history of the exclusion and erasure of POC people in the media, whereas there’s plenty of white people to go around in films. When you cast a white person as a traditionally POC character, you’re chipping away at what little representation these groups have. We don’t need yet ANOTHER white character, we’ve had plenty of those, but POCs have been denied representation repeatedly, and often if there is a POC in a film, the character falls victim to hackneyed and annoying racial stereotypes. We’re starting to see steps being taken in the right direction, but it’s still slow going.
            It’s a delicate thing because you’re right, Hollywood shouldn’t necessarily cast someone because of their race unless it’s relevant to the plot, but at the same time, recasting white characters with POC actors serves to correct an imbalance in Hollywood. And it’s not necessarily true that people go for the story, not the race of the actors involved – people see the film for the story, but many people will support a film BECAUSE it features POCs, because they’re following that “if you like it, support it with your money” logic and showing executives that they WILL pay to see a film with POCs.
            It’s a complicated issue. There’s no clear right or wrong way to go about it and there’s never a clear answer. The important thing is talking about it and getting people to recognize that it IS an issue, and trying to correct it even a little at a time. Trust me, I long for the day when we don’t need to lobby for POCs to be in films as more than five-second characters or racial stereotypes. I’d love it if we didn’t have to argue about racial representation in Hollywood because it had become a non-issue already. But that’s not the world we live in right now.

    • DarrlynM87

      My exact feelings girl

    • 7Starrchasers

      I was going to say the same thing! Considering she becomes President in the end!!!

  • http://ravenclaw1991.tumblr.com/ ravenclaw1991

    I seriously must not have paid attention to names when I read Mockingjay because I swear I don’t remember half of these minor characters at all.

    • Charlie

      I know what you mean! I only read the books last year but half of these casting announcements mean nothing to me.

    • ZofTheTwiHard

      Yup :D

    • 7Starrchasers

      She becomes President of Panem, so she’s not really a minor character.

      • Sheechiibii

        She kind of is though, because how many times do you actually see or even hear about her in the book?

  • DarrlynM87

    A woman of color??? Yesssssssssssssss

  • Septima

    Paylor IS important. She becomes the President of Panem!

  • Guest

    I honestly don’t see why people are complaining about the whole lack of “POC” in The Hunger Games movies. This cast seems much more diverse than most movies.

  • hpboy13

    OMG!!! I adore Patina Miller, her performances on Bway are some of the most dynamic I’ve seen. No recollection who this character is, but I’m excited to see Patina in this movie!

  • Lauren Chapin

    She’s younger than I expected them to go, I was expecting an actress in her 40s… but as long as she plays a tough character I think she’ll be great.

  • Samma

    WHAT THE WHAT????!!!! THIS IS AWESOME!! Get it Patina!!! She is fantastic!

  • Castinghub

    There are so many names that we just don’t remember.

  • ella

    She looks awesome! Can we just please hear that David Boreanaz is Boggs already?? It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted.

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