Katniss changed and grew with me: Jennifer Lawrence

Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence has been experimental with her movie roles and her latest film, Mockingjay Part 1 of The Hunger Games series, is no exception. In a candid chat, she talks about evolving with her character and realising her dream of working with Julianne Moore

Q. It’s quite fascinating to watch you as Katniss Everdeen who is complex and emotional. How has her character evolved in the film? How do you approach the task of portraying her?
A. Katniss grew along with this character. It’s interesting to play the same character throughout the year, as she grows and changes along with you. We are very different, but I pick up a lot of her traits from the books.

Actor Jennifer Lawrence

Q. Katniss reacts very spontaneously. How do you emote that trait onscreen?
A. Katniss never really wanted to be a hero, she never really wanted to be a Mockingjay, in the beginning of this movie. The other characters try to turn her into a manufactured leader. They realise that she is powerful when they just let her be herself because she is very complex and heroic.

Actor Jennifer Lawrence
Actor Jennifer Lawrence attends the premiere of Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 at Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, California. pic/AFP

Q. In the movie, Katniss will now be seen in District 13. How does she react? Did you face any challenges as an actor?
A. As an actor, the challenge was having Katniss wake up in a brand new environment, where she has to rebuild herself from nothing. Katniss has not only left behind her old life as a District 12 victor, she has entered a world unlike any other. She has to get used to a new way of life in District 13. Everything is deeply unfamiliar and it’s all underground, so she can’t even go outside or hunt.

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss in Mockingjay Part 1 of The Hunger Games
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss in Mockingjay Part 1 of The Hunger Games

Q. Julianne Moore plays District 13’s steely leader as the enigmatic Alma Coin. How was it working with her?
A. When I heard Julianne was going to play Coin, it was the most exciting, unbelievable news in the world. I think Julianne is one of the greatest actresses of all time. She was even more impressive in person. She is such a sweet family woman and has a wonderful sense of humour. Working with her was a dream come true.

Seymour Philip Hoffman and Julianne Moore in a still from the movie
Philip Seymour Hoffman and Julianne Moore in a still from the movie

Q. What kind of relation do Katniss and Alma Coin share in the movie?
A. Their relationship is complicated. They share similar ideals, but since she has faced a lot in life, Katniss feels she cannot trust Coin completely. Coin can see that Katniss is important for leading this rebellion, but she also doesn’t believe Katniss can actually do it. She’s still suffering from post-traumatic stress and Coin is unsure if she can control Katniss.

Q. Did you bond with the other actors, especially, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson?
A. Absolutely. Josh and Liam are my best friends in the world and are like my family. During the course of this film, we transformed collectively. I wouldn’t have been able to go through this entire ordeal without them and I am sure they would feel the same for me.

Sing to me
Academy Award-winning actress, Jennifer Lawrence, broke down before singing for the film.

According to director Francis Lawrence, she was horrified to sing a song titled The Hanging Tree and even broke down before the recording.

Though J-Law has performed songs for other movies, including a lullaby in the previous Hunger Games film, she is known to be uncomfortable with her voice. A vocal coach shifted the key for Jen’s voice.

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