Jennifer Lawrence is back as Katniss, and as shown in the Catching Fire trailer, winning the Hunger Games has done anything but put her on Easy Street. In fact, in the middle of her Victory Tour with co-winner Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), President Snow announces that there will be a Quarter Quell… an all-star Hunger Games that will bring Katniss back into the ring to fight for her life anew.
Movie Fanatic caught up with Lawrence to talk about returning to The Hunger Games world and we start by asking what it was about this world that attracted her in the first place. “I love this character and I am proud of her, and I would be proud to be associated with this movie and this character for the rest of my life,” Lawrence said.
It would seem that going in everyone knew The Hunger Games would be a blockbuster. But, as Lawrence knows from her years in show business, there is no such thing as a guarantee. “We already had Harry Potter and we already had Twilight -- we were obviously surprised by the success. How could we not be? But, we did know what to expect to a certain extent,” Lawrence said.
“I was personally very excited when I first started reading these books just that there was such a big series that young adults would be reading and something that was actually very important. I think it's a wonderful message to show how powerful one voice can be.”
It is easy for us in our society to simply go with the flow and as we see in The Hunger Games and its sequel, Catching Fire, going against the grain can be difficult… and deadly.
“It's very easy as a society for us to just kind of follow the feet in front of us and history does kind of repeat itself,” Lawrence said. “I think it's an important message for our younger generation to see how important they are in shaping our society and our future. Also, [it’s nice] to see a bad ass female protagonist!”
Lawrence also sees it as a perfect antidote for a series of generations who seem to suffer from entitlement. “I think that we have this society that we unfortunately experience in our lives where people feel entitled to certain things. I think that we’ve been completely desensitized in our shock factor and the media continues to feed you what you want,” she said.
“This is an example of what happens when you keep allowing that to happen, when you keep feeling entitled to things that you’re just simply not. I think that at the end of the first movie with us and the berries with, ‘No, they don’t, they don’t need a victor. We don’t need to play in this game,’ is a wonderful example for young adults that you don’t have to follow the feet in front of you. Even though you can seem like the only one, even just one voice standing up for something that’s wrong can keep us from going into a totalitarian government.”
There are numerous stunts in the second film in the series that required much of her, many teased in the Catching Fire TV trailer. The most difficult… well, let’s let Lawrence tell us and her answer further proves why people continue to just love her -- she is so real.
“I think the hardest stunt to do... the spinning cornucopia was pretty hard. We had a real cornucopia going about thirty miles per hour. And Jena Malone and I both had our morning sickness bracelets on,” Lawrence said, to which we ask, “Morning sickness, or motion sickness?”
“My publicist is going to be like, that is what I am going to be dealing with for the next 24 hours -- motion sickness!”
She proceeded to laugh hysterically. No one handles the goofiness of the spotlight like Lawrence. But, there is also something else she has done with her fame… the actress has done immense work giving back to society. She sees it as something that is much more organic than something she pursues.
“There are so many wonderful things that can come from this (celebrity) -- saying the right things. And a simple one is that it is so easy to raise money for charity. It takes me ten minutes to sign a hundred posters that can raise thousands of dollars for charity.” Lawrence said.
“Honestly, sometimes it surprises me. I remember being on the first movie and meeting an extra that was covered in scars because she had been burned. She said that she didn’t like going to school. Then she read The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and then she was proud of her scars and her friends called her the girl on fire. I just cried. Sometimes there are lives that you can touch. I don’t really have any plans, but sometimes it comes up and bites you in the ass and it’s great. I like doing it that way.”
While filming Catching Fire, Lawrence won a Best Actress Oscar for her work on David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook (she returns to work with him in the upcoming American Hustle). “Winning the Oscar... something like that is a wonderful gift that I was so grateful for, confused by slightly,” Lawrence said. “But I am okay with that. It is a huge honor and I am still pinching myself and I think I have not fully digested it. And I think maybe I shouldn’t.”
Although when she went back to the set of Catching Fire, she noticed something slightly different from her co-stars. “Actually it made me a target for somebody… Woody (Harrelson)! Every time I messed up my line, he’d say, ‘Better give that Oscar back.’ I just wish that everybody in this cast did not know about it. It would have made life a lot easier,” Lawrence said and laughed.