Girl On Fire

Jennifer Lawrence & the cast of ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1’ talk about the latest installment of the scorching hot franchise.

By Hannah Campbell.

Jennifer Lawrence in THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY - PART 1

The odds have favored The Hunger Games ever since the first installment of films introduced Katniss Everdeen to audiences across the world, two years ago. Unlike previous young adult heroines – one in particular comes to mind, I’m looking at you, Bella Swan – Katniss, the reluctant heroine and symbol of revolution, the heart of The Hunger Games, comes with the depth and the realism that has not only attracted teenagers and young adults, but has also appealed to older audiences. An achievement that, since the release of The Hunger Games, other young adult film adaptations have struggled to emulate.

This week, Katniss Everdeen returns in the third, and penultimate, installment of the dystopian series, adapted from Suzanne Collins’ best-selling young adult novels. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 occurs immediately after the events of Catching Fire, which saw Katniss, Peeta, and their fellow competitors, bring down the Quarter Quell Games in an explosive finale.

Jennifer Lawrence, America’s sweetheart, returns as ‘girl on fire’, Katniss Everdeen. After the destruction of her home in the previous film, Katniss finds herself in the unfamiliar new world of District 13, once assumed destroyed by Panem, but now the base of a rebellion against the Capitol. For Lawrence, Katniss ‘felt almost like an entirely different character, because she is so stripped down and feeling so empty… Katniss still has the same core, but she’s in a completely different place inside and out’.

[Video] ‘I like you better when you’re sober’ – from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

With Peeta now a political prisoner in the Capitol, Katniss finds the courage to finally embrace her role as the Mockingjay, which has, throughout the districts, come to symbolize revolution against the government of President Snow. Lawrence explains that Katniss is ‘still a very reluctant hero,’ and describes how, ‘In the first movie, she wanted to save her family. In the second, she tried to save her friends and herself. Now she starts to realize the impact she has on the wider world and that she has a choice to lead this battle for what is right’.

According to director, Francis Lawrence, who returns to his role after directing Catching Fire to critical and commercial success, Jennifer Lawrence ‘has done the most amazing job with every nuance’, which is not too difficult to believe. The actress is only in her early twenties and yet her achievements to date – her multiple award nominations and Oscar win, oh, and the fact that she leads two huge Hollywood franchises – can put most twenty-somethings to shame. Director Lawrence describes how Katniss is, ‘emotionally… like a foreigner in a strange land as this story begins. This is the time when she realizes she can’t stand by and do nothing…The people Katniss loves are in danger. She will do whatever it takes to keep them safe.’

The ‘strange land’ that Lawrence describes is District 13. With each installment, the world in which the films are set are very slowly opened up to the audience. Whilst the majority of the first Hunger Games was set in the Games Arena, Catching Fire opened up the world by spending the first act in District 12, with the Victory Tour sequences teasing several of the Districts and revealing the opulence of the Capitol. Now, with the new District 13 underground setting, Mockingjay – Part 1 will on expand on the world of the Hunger Games even more. With the whole new environment of District 13, producer Jon Kilik teases that Mockingjay – Part 1 will be ‘a whole new journey for the audience. Now… living miles underground, things are even more intense and it puts a greater pressure on the characters’.

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