What scene from 'The Hunger Games' is Jennifer Lawrence most excited to shoot? -- EXCLUSIVE


 Yesterday, EW revealed the exclusive first look of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games. The 20-year-old Oscar nominee was first turned onto Suzanne Collins’ beloved dystopian trilogy, about children forced to fight to death to amuse a brutal government, last Christmas. Her mother, who runs a summer day camp in Lawrence’s hometown of Louisville, Ky., lent her her own dog-eared copies and Lawrence fell fast and hard. As she gobbled down the books, two scenes stuck out as ones that would be a particular thrill for any actress to play. With filming on Gary Ross’ movie kicking off this week in North Carolina, she’s living the dream.

Her No. 1 scene from The Hunger Games: “The first time that Katniss has to go into the cylinder and she goes up into the arena and looks around and sees it for the first time,” says Lawrence. “Knowing that when that trumpet blows she could die. The thing that’s great about her is she’s not a murderer. She’s a hunter, but she’s not a killer. I told Gary, ‘I totally understand if you don’t hire me, but please remember that after Katniss shoots a bow and kills someone her face cannot be badass. It has to be broken.’ She has to be heartbroken because she just took another person’s life. It’s so tempting, especially with a cool, big budget franchise movie, but we have to remember that she’s a 16-year-old girl who’s being forced to do this. These kids are only killing each other because if they don’t, they’ll die. It’s needless, pointless, unjustified violence. So there’s nothing cool about her. It’s not like she looks around the arena and goes ‘Yeah, I got this, I’m going to do this.’ I think she looks around terrified and thinks, ‘Well there are all the million different ways that I can die.'”

Her No. 1 scene from the entire trilogy, however, comes from the second book: “It’s from Catching Fire,” she says. “When she finds out that she has to go back and she runs in and has a complete meltdown — I remember reading that and being like ‘I want to act that!’”

Without hesitation, he reads, “On the seventy-fifth anniversary, as a reminder to the rebels that even the strongest among them cannot overcome the power of the Capitol, the male and female tributes will be reaped from their existing pool of victors.”

My mother gives a faint shriek and Prim buries her face in her hands, but I feel more like the people I see in the crowd on television. Slightly baffled. What does it mean? Existing pool of victors?

Then I get what it means. At least, for me. District 12 only has three existing victors to choose from. Two male. One female…

I am going back into the arena.

Catching Fire

For more on The Hunger Games, including photos of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss and a guide to the film’s other characters, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands May 20.

Read more on The Hunger Games:
Exclusive first look at Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss
‘The Hunger Games’: Meet the Cast
‘The Hunger Games’ filming in Hildebran, N.C. Is this District 12?
Author Suzanne Collins and director Gary Ross on their allegiance to each other, and their actors

Comments (122 total) Add your comment
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  • Tim @rural_juror

    Ok, with those quotes Lawrence has finally sold me. I’m totally ready to watch her bring Katniss to life.

    • ann

      Yup – I totally agree. I was anti her casting, but I love how she describes it here. Yay!

      • Wow.

        It’s a girl in a jacket. With a ponytail.

      • Sadie

        It’s a braid. But seriously, I had my doubts before but now I’m seriously excited to see her take on Katniss.

    • LOL

      Hunger Games is the new Twilight for EW. You are overdoing it already.

      • Liz Lemon

        I agree. They’re starting to make me tired of it and I actually like these books. They need to slow it down with the coverage. The movie hasn’t even been filmed yet.

      • Kelly

        Wow. No way. The Hunger Games is at least written well. BIG difference.

      • @Kelly

        Well written? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. It’s an amazing, creative story, but the writing is not so great.

      • @ @Kelly

        Why is it that people seem to be incapable of giving YA authors credit for well-written books? It may not be high literature, but it is well written. Let’s give credit where credit’s due.

      • Eli

        Twilight NEVER had this much high profile casting. This is more on the Harry Potter level way back when they started the series. And I’ve never gotten tired of HP.

        Uhm btw EW you gave a huge plot line in Catching Fire nice!

      • Liz Lemon

        @Eli: LOL. They sure did just spoil the major twist in Catching Fire, but I guess the books have been out for awhile now.
        @@Kelly: I agree. Compared to some YA writers, the Hunger Games writing is almost perfect. The author is capable of forming a coherent sentence and telling the story in a captivating way. My only fault is that she rushes the story sometimes.

      • ash555

        it’s not even comparable to twilight! it’s two completely different books that just happen to be getting a lot of attention. annnnnnnnd they said spoiler, so for people who read it anyway, thats you’re problem.

      • Eric P

        Eli there is a Spoiler Alert at the beginning of the article…

      • Liz’s Aunt Gertrude

        AND it’s rumored that Lady Gaga will play Chauncy, Taylor Lautner’s robot love interest. Both characters are animated and were added to the film to increase box-office potential for the 8-11 year old girl set. Cause that’s the way they do it in Tinseltown, kids.

      • hg

        @ @Kelly
        At least my english teacher let me read this book.(and i loved it) She wouldn’t let us read Twighlight because it was written so poorly. So now when a highschool english teacher won’t let read a book because of how its written, that is just pure out pathetic.

    • Alisa

      This cover had me sold until I saw her David Letterman last night. She looks the same as she always has just with brown hair. She has no tan and has not lost any weight!!!! No she personally did not need to lose weight but she is playing a character that is underfed and she definetely looked well-fed. She looked more like a capital character not like Katniss. I am not looking forward to watching her play Katniss since she couldnt even do the little thing of lose weight for the character. This is a major disappointment!

      • Liz Lemon

        She’s definitely still curvy and there’s nothing wrong with that. Katniss isn’t supposed to be sickly looking, so Jennifer doesn’t need to lose a lot of weight.
        But her Letterman interview actually made her interesting to me for once.

      • bubu

        Yes, I totally agree on this. Not to be shallow or anything (and I AM relieved and happy to hear that Jennifer Lawrence actually read the books and has a great interpretation of katniss’s character) but seriously… she needs to work out a little more. At least look more “lean” as opposed to curvy. But we should give her a break, it’s only been a month or so since she was picked for the role.

      • El Roland

        I agree. There was a lot of good makeup used on that cover to make her look like she had carved cheekbones and more sunken cheeks – in real life, she’s a bit of a butterface. She’s gorgeous, don’t get me wrong, but Katniss was underfed and little-boy skinny! Jennifer did an interview where she said she wanted to keep her curves while losing weight – that she didn’t want to look like a little boy – but Katniss does have the body of a little boy (remember when the Capital wanted to give her breast implants to make her look more womanly?). Jennifer needs to get over her “a woman with curves is beautiful” mantra and move on to the character – her character has been starving her whole life. It’s hard to have curves when you’re malnourished.

      • El Roland

        Also – to add one thing to my other comment:

        There needs to be an obvious physical difference between the malnourished District 12 people and the well-fed Capital people. It needs to really strike the audience that there’s a huge disparity in how each district is treated, because there WILL be people who haven’t read the books. I HATE how popular books are made into movies that can’t stand alone (even in the Harry Potter franchise, you need to have read the books to understand many of the details). Please, let’s have the Hunger Games movies stand on their own.

      • pie.

        Do you guys not remeber how she hunts? She may not be well fed, but she is getting food. more food then the rest of the seam. Now THOSE people are underfed. Sure she needs to get rid of her curves. BUT this is hollywood. they can make her look like that! its not that hard! they need to look like they arent getting enough food. but gales family and hers actually get food. and again. this is hollywood. they can put layers of makeup on. and they can photoshop her. she will do fabulous! the hunger games is going to be great. if everybody the got can act!

      • Linds

        @Elisa Read the book more carefully. She did not need to lose any weight. On page 94 it says “My heart sinks. Almost all of the boys and at least half of the girls are bigger than I am, even though many of the tributes have never been fed properly. You can see it in their bones, their skin, the hollow look in their eyes. I may be smaller naturally, but overall my family’s resourcefulness has given me an edge in that arena. I stand straight, and while I’m thin, I’m strong. the meat and plants from the woods combined with the exertion it took to get them have given me a healthier body than those I see around me.”

    • myra

      Who will they cast as buttercup?
      a) a very old geriatric cat that is also a great actor because after all in movies and tv old cats always play kittens.
      b) a red or black cat with acting experience and awards nominations because after all color is not important they will dye its hair and acting is more important. Plus it’s impossible to cast a yellow cat that also has acting talent.
      c) a black old cat that became famous not because his acting but its singing but had a 5 minute role in a movie and gary ross liked his acting.
      d) Cate blanchet! She is an oscar winner actress and because of that she can pull off anything. If you don’t think she is the right one watch all of her previous movies. She even played BOB DYLAN!
      e) a yellow mashed-in nose,half of one ear missing, eyes the color of rotting squad.
      f) a squirrel or a dog because there is one thing called makeup and there’s also Hollywood magic.
      G)None of the above they will just cut out Buttercup because he is a minor role.

    • Miranda

      She is effing PHENOMENAL. Those quotes are AMAZING she really REALLY gets it. Love her to death!! People who complain about her listen this- we are LUCKY to have her!

    • Sammi

      I totally agree. I thought she looked too mature for the part, but she seems to understand what Katniss is truly like. She’ll be able to pull of being a 16 year old, since she understands Katniss!

  • Jerry

    Come on, EW! Let us comment on the PopWatch post about the cover photo!

    • GIGI

      She looks great. Leave it at that

  • charissa

    I just finished The Hunger Games a few days ago…and am completely in love with it! Lawrence’s obvious care for the integrity of the series and her own character is wonderful. She is going to do a great job.

  • Des

    I’ve always had a firmed belief that she would make a great Katniss and this officially confirms it! She’s going to be an AMAZING Katniss.

  • Pikko

    Re-reading that Catching Fire line gave me goose bumps!

    • Lily

      same here! I am so happy she is playing Katniss now!

  • Merson

    Jennifer is incredibly gorgeous. I love her. She’s really beautiful and a really sweet girl.

  • Mr. M

    I loved that part of Catching Fire, I get chills every time. She´s gonna be a wonderful Katniss

  • Beauty

    She looks a good 25 in that pic. Beautiful but not quite like a skinny starving teen. Glad she read the book finally.

    • Niall

      she read the book back before she was even cast!

      • jamo

        i read the books, AMAZING! Im not so sure about her being katniss, shes too pretty. i hope they just cast Peeta and Prim and Gale and Haymitch with good actors. and i hope they dont combine all 3 books in one movie. I love the SUSPENCE.

      • Amanda

        What?!? Those parts have already been cast…long time ago. And how could they combine all three books into one movie. And why? The purpose of making movies is to make money. They’re more likely to split a book into two movies than combine three books into one.

      • Imogen

        They are making the entire series into four movies.Most likely with mockingjay split into two movies. I know that the producers have realeased the budget with is 75 million. They have allready started filming. I think they have allready finished the District 12 scenes! I’m not sure.

  • Liz Lemon

    Still not convinced at all. She’s not Katniss. Hopefully I will see it once they release the final trailer.

    • Jason


      • pie.

        i agree! facepalm!

    • Miranda


  • kate middleton

    AWESOME! I love this. I love her take and her thoughts on this – especially the part about Katniss being broken after she kills someone. I think Jennifer is going to be AMAZING. She totally gets it.

    • Miranda

      Yes!!!! That almost gave me chills when she said that. She understands the layers and dimension of the character. Shes so fantastic I can’t put it into words.

  • Michael A

    I was totally not seeing her as Katniss but I am a believer now. I cannot wait to see this movie. I love the books.

  • Laura

    She’s really sold me, I think she’s going to be great as Katniss.
    Re-reading that bit of Catching Fire made me really want to re-read the trilogy!

    • Michelle

      I hear ya…I just finished it and I want to read it again!

  • Person

    Im glad the main character actually READ the book.

  • Penelope

    Yes, THIS! I love that she already has such a great understanding of Katniss. I’m super excited to see her bring her to life!

  • Paul

    I didn’t know much about her to start other than Winter’s Bone but everything I keep seeing I am starting to like her more and more. From her new look to her quotes about representing Katniss and bringing her to life on screen; she seems to be perfect. I have high hopes now.

    • Meester

      Another rsaeon for quitting medication is curiosity about a life without medication, which you touched on briefly. Periods of long stability have a way of making you wonder whether or not you were really that bad . It’s the dim hope that whatever was wrong back then is now no longer a part of your life, and now you would be able to possibly handle life without the benefits of medication. With that possibility out there, you become curious about what life would be like without the addition of the meds. I feel that at its crux it’s really a hope that the diagnosis was a mistake, and the symptoms just temporary (even if they have gone on for many years).I’ve fallen into this trap myself: I’m not really sick, I was just stressed/overwhelmed/young/suffering the effects of bad Chinese food, and I don’t need these drugs any more because those things have changed. In most cases for me, the only thing that really changed was the use of medication, but I refused to admit that at the time.Also, watch out for those pineapple drinks, Rob. Maybe they just make your friend that much more stabby.

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