Garrett Hedlund Admits He Turned Down Finnick Role in 'Catching Fire'

Garrett Hedlund

Before Sam Claflin snatched the role, it was Hedlund who was approached for the part but he passed on it due to his commitment to 'On the Road'.
The part of Finnick Odair in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" has been dubbed one of the most coveted roles in Hollywood. While many actors were racing to win the role, there was one who decided to pass on it instead. He's none other than "Tron Legacy" star Garrett Hedlund.

Before the part went to British thesp Sam Claflin, it was Hedlund who was approached to tackle the District 4 heartthrob. "They did [approach me]," so Hedlund told MTV News when promoting "On the Road" at 2012 TIFF recently.

Explaining why he turned down the most wanted role in the big franchise, the 28-year-old actor said, "I was working on this film ['On the Road'] at that time. We shot the whole film in 23 days and I was really immersed in it. I couldn't get around [to reading the 'Hunger Games' novels]."

"Everybody around me is flipping out about the books, and I didn't really have the time to sit down lately to read any book, not just 'Hunger Games'," the Minnesota native continued. "But I've got a couple [projects] on my plate that I'm looking forward to reading now."

Rumor that Hedlund was originally eyed to play Finnick first emerged in May when an insider told E! News that the actor, along with Taylor Kitsch and Armie Hammer, was Lionsgate Films' top pick for the part. Shortly after that, however, producer Nina Jacobson strictly denied the report.

"That's the thing that's crazy - people are like way ahead of where we are. We've not narrowed things down by any means. It's funny to see how things can take on a life of their own," Jacobson told Los Angeles Times at that time.

With "Snow White and the Huntsman" star Sam Claflin now playing Finnick, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" began shooting in Atlanta on Monday, September 10. It will bring back Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth as Katniss, Peeta and Gale respectively.

The sequel to "The Hunger Games" will be dropped in the U.S. theaters on November 22, 2013.

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