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Here's What Prim From The Hunger Games Looks Like Now

When The Hunger Games premiered in 2012, it launched the careers of a whole new generation of young actors. Stars like Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, and Josh Hutcherson have all gone on to lead their own films or film franchises, while others have enjoyed steady work in movies and TV. Willow Shields, who played Katniss Everdeen's little sister Primrose, was cast in the role when she was just 11. Although it wasn't her first acting role, it definitely put her career on a different trajectory. Still shy of her 21st birthday, here's what Willow Shields looks like now.

Getting cast in The Hunger Games franchise got Shields' career off to a strong start, as it meant a major role in not one but four different films ending with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 in 2015. By the time filming wrapped, Shields had spent a third of her young life portraying Prim, and it was difficult to say goodbye. "There was some sadness to filming [the final] two films," Shields told Teen Vogue in 2015. "On my last day, Jennifer Lawrence came in my trailer and gave me a sweet gift, and we just hung out for a little while. It was hard because it was my last day on set and my last shot as Prim. It was all very emotional."

Dancing with the Stars

After Mockingjay – Part 2, Willow Shields followed up on that success by becoming the youngest contestant on Dancing with the Stars, joining the show's 20th season in 2015, per Albuquerque Journal. Before the 14-year-old landed the role, the previous record holder had been a 16-year-old Zendaya.

As a relative newcomer to dancing, learning and performing a new routine each week was a challenge, especially because child labor laws mandated that she take at least one day off per week, reducing her rehearsal time. As she told Teen Vogue, her prior role as Prim added even more pressure to her Dancing with the Stars appearances, because she knew millions of young girls looked up to her. On top of that, Shields sustained multiple injuries, including a dislocated rib.

Despite all these difficulties, Shields and her dancing partner Mark Ballas were one of the highest scoring duos during Season 20. But her good fortune ended on Week 7, when her ninja-themed dance routine didn't impress fans enough to keep her around another week, explained ABC News. Sadly, the odds were no longer in her favor.

Acting roles since The Hunger Games

Since Mockingjay – Part 2, Shields has had multiple roles in movies and TV. Her first post-Prim role was also her first lead role in a feature film, when she was cast as Rachel in 2017's Into the Rainbow, a Chinese-New Zealand joint production about two girls who are magically transported to China via a magic rainbow. The next year she landed her first co-lead in an American feature with the role of Lorian in Woodstock or Bust, a coming-of-age road flick about two teens traveling to the legendary 1965 rock concert.

According to Deadline, Willow Shields has also delved into television work, with a supporting role in the 2019 horror series The Unsettling, about a 16-year-old foster child whose new home isn't all that it seems. So far, The Unsettling should be getting a second season, though its release date hasn't been announced. In 2020, Shields had another supporting role as Serena Baker, the younger sister of main character Kat Baker, in the Netflix skating series Spinning Out. It was canceled after one season.

Her next feature role will be a star turn in the upcoming coming-of-age indie drama When Time Got Louder, which is currently in post-production and doesn't have an announced premiere date. Along with Tim Roth and Vincent D'Onofrio, she also starred in the crime thriller A Fall from Grace from director Jennifer Lynch, daughter of David Lynch. A Fall from Grace was first announced in 2012 and scheduled for production in 2017 but hasn't yet received a release.

Personal life

When she's not acting, the hardworking 20-year-old finds time to pursue other creative projects and enjoy the perks of fame. Shields is an avid photographer and a budding fashionista. Shields first got a taste for fashion while making appearances during the many Hunger Games press tours. Since then, the Albuquerque, New Mexico, native has been a regular fixture at New York Fashion Week, following in the footsteps of co-star Jennifer Lawrence. 

She's long been active in charity work, and she's worked to end bullying in its many forms. In 2011, she designed a T-shirt for Blue Shirt Day, an anti-bullying event organized by Stomp Out Bullying. She's also an advocate for Delete Digital Drama, an anti-cyberbullying nonprofit. In addition to anti-bullying activism, Shields advocates for Operation Smile, a nonprofit that helps children born with cleft palates, and The Thirst Project, an initiative bringing clean drinking water to impoverished children.