Blockbuster ‘Hunger Games’ actor has Ephrata roots
By: TIFFANY WOODALL Review Staff, Staff Writer
Ethan Jamieson is no ordinary 13-year-old, unless ordinary includes appearing in a major motion picture, attending a Hollywood premiere and mingling with celebrities.
This middle school hockey player landed a role in "The Hunger Games," a film that grossed $155 million in its debut last weekend.
Ethan is the son of former Ephrata resident Lori (Imhoff) Jamieson, who graduated from Ephrata High School in 1981. Lori later married and moved with her family to Raleigh, N.C., where they currently reside.
Based on a series of books by Suzanne Collins, "The Hunger Games" depicts a future society where the country is divided into 12 districts, and every district must be represented by a boy and a girl (called tributes) who compete in a televised competition. Each competition is essentially a death match as only one child can win. Ethan was cast as the boy tribute for District 4.
"I knew that the books were popular, but I didn’t know that the movie was going to be so big," said Ethan, who read the books prior to filming the movie. Big is an understatement. While attending the Los Angeles red carpet premiere, Ethan was swamped signing autographs for fans who recognized him. "I thought that was pretty awesome," he said.
It’s hard to miss his curly hair.
But fans weren’t the only ones paying attention to him. Among the media outlets interviewing him on the red carpet were E! News and VH1. "I wasn’t so sure about it, but I did enjoy that [red carpet]. It was fun," he said.
Meeting other actresses and actors and hanging out with them was Ethan’s favorite aspect of the experience. "At the premiere I met Kid Cudi," he said, an artist who had a song on the movie soundtrack. "I was pretty excited about that."
Mom had her eyes on a different celebrity. "Lenny Kravitz was much cuter," she teased.
"My mom was star-struck to meet Lenny Kravitz," said Ethan.
"I just couldn’t, couldn’t do it," said Lori.
Ethan himself doesn’t get star-struck, he said. And as for his friends back home, he doesn’t let them get struck by his fame, but "they think it’s pretty cool, I guess," he said.
Spending up to two weeks at a time away from home on various film-related trips might not affect his friendships, but it makes completing schoolwork a challenge. "I guess we just try to make time for both. It doesn’t always work out, but…" Ethan trailed off as Lori added, "sometimes it gets a little crazy."
A few summers of theatre camp is what sparked Ethan’s interest in acting. After two summer camps, he signed up for John Robert Powers acting school where he participated in a talent showcase. He acquired agents in Los Angeles and Raleigh and began booking acting jobs.
Before auditioning and landing "The Hunger Games," Ethan appeared in a couple commercials for Cici’s Pizza and Doritos and had small parts in the television shows "One Tree Hill" and "Eastbound and Down," among others. He has also performed in plays.
Despite his interest in the profession, Ethan doesn’t think he’ll pursue acting as a full-time career. "I want to be just a normal person," he said.
He still has a fairly normal teenage life, going fishing and playing basketball in the driveway. He’s a pretty big Baltimore Ravens fan. Being the product of a Pennsylvania family, though, he’s surrounded by Steeler nation.
"I feel like everybody likes the Steelers," he said, regardless of his North Carolina address. More ‘HUNGER GAMES’, page A15