Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss: First pic of 'Hunger Games' heroine released. What do you think?

ew-cover-1156_300.jpgOkay, we'll admit it. We had our doubts as to whether Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence - a tall, blonde beauty with movie-star looks - could embody the scrappy heroine of "The Hunger Games," Katniss. The first photo of Lawrence in character has us eating our words, though.

It's not just her newly-dyed dark hair that's got us convinced, either. Lawrence spent time training in archery and building up her endurance before hitting the film's North Carolina set, and her unpolished look reflects the struggle her character is about to face in the film.

When director Gary Ross first met Lawrence, she was at the height of awards season, trying to get used to being touched up by the glam squad at every turn of the red carpet.

"He was asking me what the experience was like," she tells EW, "and I just kind of opened up and said, 'I feel like a rag doll. I have hair and makeup people coming to my house every day and putting me in new, uncomfortable, weird dresses and expensive shoes, and I just shut down and raise my arms up for them to get the dress on, and pout my lips when they need to put the lipstick on.' And we both started laughing because that's exactly what it's like for Katniss in the Capitol. She was a girl who's all of a sudden being introduced to fame. I know what that feels like to have all this flurry around you and feel like, 'Oh, no, I don't belong here.'"

The film, building on a frenzied fanbase from the trilogy of novels, is already being touted as the next "Twilight." But is Lawrence ready for the Kristen Stewart level of scrutiny she's about to face?  "I knew that as soon as I said yes, my life would change," she says. "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.'" Still, she's glad she accepted the role. "If I had said no, I'd regret it every day."

Weigh in, Zap2it readers. Does Jennifer Lawrence look the part to you? Take to our comments section and let us know your thoughts.
Photo/Video credit: EW