By Samantha Grossman
November 17, 2014

When watching a Hunger Games movie, it feels like Donald Sutherland was born to play Coriolanus Snow, the menacing president of Panem. But the film’s creators didn’t initially have him in mind for the role — and the trilogy could have turned out quite differently if he hadn’t taken the initial steps to nab the part.

“Nobody asked me to do it. I wasn’t offered it,” he says in a recent interview with GQ. “I like to read scripts, and it captured my passion.” So he decided to write a letter, which eventually made its way to director Gary Ross. After reading the script, Sutherland decided this was “an incredibly important film,” and he wanted to be part of it.

“I thought it could wake up an electorate that had been dormant since the ’70s,” he said.

Sutherland admitted that he was inspired even though he had never read the books. In fact, he didn’t know they existed at all. Still, his passion was palpable, and Ross soon offered him the role of President Snow. Boom. That should teach us all a thing or two about being aggressive and proactive and going confidently in the direction of our dreams or whatever.

Read Sutherland’s full letter over at Business Insider.

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