Donald Sutherland Explains Why He Fought For President Snow Role

Life

Share this Post

Donald Sutherland as President Coriolanus Snow will no doubt be remembered as one of the better movie villains in recent history.

However, Sutherland didn’t land the crucial role in the blockbuster Hunger Gamesfranchise because he was asked to portray the tyrant.

Instead, Donald Sutherland revealed that he actively fought for the role as Snow.

“Nobody asked me to do it,” said Sutherland. “I wasn't offered it. I like to read scripts, and it captured my passion.”

Sutherland wasn’t deterred by the fact that President Snow had little to no speaking lines in the first movie.

“Didn't make any difference. I thought it was an incredibly important film, and I wanted to be a part of it.”


During a recent GQ interview, Sutherland shared that he wrote a passionate three-page letter to Gary Ross, the director of the movie.

The letter sent by Sutherland has since been shared with fans of the Hunger Games movies.

An excerpt of the letter demonstrates Sutherland’s take on the infamous president of Panam:

Power corrupts, and, in many cases, absolute power makes you really horny. Clinton, Chirac, Mao, Mitterrand.
Not so, I think, with Coriolanus Snow. His obsession, his passion, is his rose garden. There's a rose named Sterling Silver that's lilac in color with the most extraordinarily powerful fragrance — incredibly beautiful — I loved it in the seventies when it first appeared. They've made a lot of off shoots of it since then.

I didn't want to write to you until I'd read the trilogy and now I have so: roses are of great importance. And Coriolanus's eyes. And his smile. Those three elements are vibrant and vital in Snow. Everything else is, by and large, perfectly still and ruthlessly contained. What delight she [Katniss] gives him. He knows her so perfectly. Nothing, absolutely nothing, surprises him. He sees and understands everything. He was, quite probably, a brilliant man who's succumbed to the siren song of power.

Donald Sutherland’s take on President Snow comes through very strongly in his solid portrayal.

Although The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 differs in pace from the previous movie, it will likely do the best job of illustrating exactly what kind of man rules Panam with an iron fist.

It’s interesting to consider that the role could have went to any number of actors, men who may have played the character in a way that would not have pleased fans of the series.

By and large Donald Sutherland seems to have done the villain proud and have earned props for his heartfelt take on a heartless man.