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OTRC: Jennifer Lawrence appears as 'Hunger Games' heroine Katniss Everdeen (Photo)

Jennifer Lawrence appears on the cover of Entertainment Weekly magazine / Jennifer Lawrence talks to OnTheRedCarpet.com on February 7, 2011. (EW / OTRC)

Jennifer Lawrence has made her first appearance as "The Hunger Games" protagonist Katniss Everdeen on this week's cover of Entertainment Weekly magazine.

The blonde actress went brunette and developed a weather-worn tan for the portrait, perhaps in an effort to convince fans of the source material that the actress was up for the role.

Lawrence will play the "plucky protagonist" Katniss Everdeen who lives in the post-apocalyptic North America, which is now called Panem.

The Hunger Games are an annual televised event put on by the government in Capitol city, where a boy and a girl from each district fight to the death. The Lionsgate film is based on a novel by Suzanne Collins and is set for release on March 23, 2012.

"I knew that as soon as I said yes, my life would change," she told EW, People magazine reports. "And I walked around an entire day thinking 'It's not too late, I could still go back and do Indies, I haven't said yes yet, it's not too late... [But] I love this story and if I had said no, I would regret it every day."

Lawrence, 20, was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in "Winter's Bone." She also recently appeared in the Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster dark comedy, "The Beaver." She will also be seen in the upcoming movies "X-Men: First Class" and "House at the End of the Street."

"Hunger Games" author Suzanne Collins recently endorsed Lawrence for the role of Katniss in "The Hunger Games." Others who have been cast in the film include Stanley Tucci will play Caesar Flickerman, the "upbeat" host of the Hunger Games televised event.

Woody Harrelson also joined the cast to play Haymitch Abernathy, the mentor of heroine Katniss Everdeen, Wes Bentley of "American Beauty," who will play head game mastermind Seneca Crame, Elizabeth Banks, who will take on the role of Effie Trinket and Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, who portray Peeta Mellark and Gale Hawthorne, who compete for Everdeen's affections.

Others linked to the film include Jack Quaid, the son of actors Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan, Leven Rambin, Dayo Okeniyi and Amanda Stenberg.

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