Sometimes, you just need some Broadway up in your billion dollar Y.A. franchise and this is one of those times: Tony Award winner Patina Miller has been cast in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2. She will be playing Commander Paylor, and we couldn't be more psyched.
For those unfamiliar with Miller, she originated the on-stage role of Dolores Van Cartier in the Broadway production of Sister Act in 2011, and more recently won a Tony for her role as The Leading Player in Pippin. Now, she's headed to Mockingjay and as a pretty crucial character, to boot.
For those who either didn't read or don't remember the minutia of Mockingjay, Paylor is a Commander from District 8 whom Katniss meets in her first experience in the rebellion's combat. She's described as "young to be a commander.
Early thirties. But there is an authoritative tone in her voice that
makes you feel [that] her appointment wasn't arbitrary."
Paylor also plays a very important role in the very end of the series and in the future of Panem, of which I will not spell out the details here (spoilers, etc.).
The Hunger Games series as a whole has received a lot of attention in regards to the race of pretty much every character cast — from Katniss, to Gale, to Finnick and Rue — so it's nice to see such an important role go to a very talented African American actress.
Sadly, she probably won't be singing in Mockingjay, but as far as we're concerned, Patina Miller can do whatever she wants as long as she keeps showing up in things we like.
Image via Lionsgate