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See the stars at the red carpet premiere and get to know their characters

Shaun Harrison
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1 of 13 Murray Close/Lionsgate

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Based on the bestselling books by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games is set in a post-apocalyptic world in the country of Panem, where North America once existed. The technologically advanced Capitol holds absolute power over the surrounding 12 districts, controlling who gets precious resources. The Capitol decrees that annually, one boy and one girl, aged 12 to 18, will be chosen from each district to act as "tributes" in the Hunger Games, a televised battle in which only one person can survive. Click ahead to meet the cast of characters:
2 of 13 John Shearer/WireImage.com; Murray Close/Lionsgate

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Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone) plays Katniss Everdeen, the fearless martyr who takes her younger sister Prim's spot in the 74th annual Hunger Games. Katniss starts out as the underdog from District 12, the poorest district, but soon proves she's one of the fiercest, and perhaps strongest, competitors.
3 of 13 John Shearer/WireImage.com; Murray Close/Lionsgate

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Liam Hemsworth, most famous for being Miley Cyrus' boyfriend, plays Katniss' longtime hunting buddy Gale Hawthorne. Before Katniss leaves for the Games, Gale suggests they run away together, leaving Katniss to question if they could be more than friends upon her return... if she makes it out alive.
4 of 13 Lester Cohen/WireImage.com; Murray Close/Lionsgate

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Josh Hutcherson, most recently from The Kids Are Alright, plays Katniss' fellow District 12 tribute Peeta. Adversaries at first, the two grow extremely close and remain allies through the Hunger Games.
5 of 13 John Shearer/WireImage.com; Murray Close/Lionsgate

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Elizabeth Banks plays Effie Trinket, who hails from the Capitol, but comes to District 12 to pull the names for who is selected as tribute. She then acts as Peeta and Katniss' escort back to the Capitol to prepare for the upcoming Games.
6 of 13 Jordan Strauss/WireImage.com; Murray Close/Lionsgate

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Donald Sutherland plays President Coriolanus Snow, the ruler of Panem, whose quiet demeanor masks his sadistic and psychopathic side.
7 of 13 Steve Granitz/WireImage.com; Murray Close/Lionsgate

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Stanley Tucci portrays Caesar Flickerman, the Ryan Seacrest of the Capitol. He's in charge of interviewing each of the tributes on live TV before they head into the arena.
8 of 13 John Shearer/WireImage.com; Murray Close/Lionsgate

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Woody Harrelson plays Haymitch Abernathy, the only living Hunger Games victor from District 12. He'll act as Peeta and Katniss' mentor in the Hunger Games, soliciting sponsors to keep them alive — if he stays sober long enough to do so.
9 of 13 Steve Granitz/WireImage.com; Murray Close/Lionsgate

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Alexander Ludwig (Race to Witch Mountain) is Cato, the intimidating, bloodthirsty and highly skilled tribute from District 2 who is one of the frontrunners for winning the Hunger Games. He, along with the female tribute Clove from his district, are known as "Careers," children who've trained their whole lives for what they see as an honor to be chosen for the Games.
10 of 13 John Shearer/WireImage.com; Murray Close/Lionsgate

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Leven Rambin plays Glimmer, who is chosen alongside her male counterpart Marvel, as the tributes for District 1. Their district specializes in making luxury goods for the Capitol, which explains their rather fanciful names and emphasis on a glamorous appearance. As Career tributes, they team up with Cato and Clove during The Hunger Games.
11 of 13 Lester Cohen/WireImage.com; Murray Close/Lionsgate

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Newcomer Amandla Stenberg plays Rue, the female tribute chosen from District 11 to participate in The Hunger Games. Her tiny size and sweet demeanor reminds Katniss of her younger sister, and so she teams up with Rue, who has surprising skills to offer in the competition.
12 of 13 Lester Cohen/WireImage.com; Murray Close/Lionsgate

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Isabelle Fuhrman, who recently starred in Orphan, plays Clove, the arrogant female tribute from District 2. She runs with the Career pack and is especially handy with knives.
13 of 13 Steve Granitz/WireImage.com; Murray Close/Lionsgate

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The man behind the Hunger Games is Seneca Crane, played by Wes Bentley. Seneca is the Head Gamemaker, who orchestrates the many ways a tribute can die in the arena.