Jennifer Lawrence talks to Moviefone about The Hunger Games and Katniss Everdeen, mostly delving into how it was to adapt a movie she was already a fan of and doing her own stunts:
When you read the books, did you imagine yourself playing Katniss?
No [laughs]. When I read them, it was before there was any talk of the movie or anything, so I definitely didn’t picture myself. That would be slightly narcissistic, anyway. By the time there were talks of the movie, I was so turned off by the idea — because we’ve watched so many people destroy our favorite books [by turning them into movies]. There was interest in me for it, so I had a meeting with Gary Ross, and just loved everything he was saying. I knew the movie was being made by people who are fans of the book and wanted to stay true to its story, and understood that it’s a sad story, not a cool action flick. There was hesitation, of course, over the size of it and what my life would be like if I were to say yes, but I slowly came around to the idea. I’m happy I did [laughs].
How did you overcome that hesitation about signing on. A lot of actors seem to bristle at the idea of leading these big franchises.
It was funny because I’ve always been asked why did I always do indies, why didn’t I do a big studio film. I always said, “Because it’s not about the size of the movie, it’s about the script.” When I was almost going to turn this down because it was too big, my mom told me I was being a hypocrite, because I loved the story, loved the characters and I truly believe in the message that these films are bringing. I really don’t feel like I’m being tied down to it — especially after filming the first one, where I had the time of my life. I actually can’t wait to go back. It’s a character I would love to revisit. I think if you sign on to the right franchise [you’re OK]. I don’t feel like a slave to anyone. I feel like I’m very passionate about this story and what it means about our world and about humanity. It’s something I want to talk about, I want people to see, and I’m proud to put my name to it.
OK, well: What does “The Hunger Games” say about humanity?
I took away that, over time, we’re just becoming so desensitized to death. Humanity is becoming dulled to itself. We can watch people die on TV; we can watch a snowboarder fall off a mountain and die. We watch it as entertainment. The world is obsessed with reality television, and in a world where history repeats itself, it’s plausible, really, that our world could get there.
You’re a huge fan of the books. Was there anything cut out that you wish wasn’t?
There was not one thing that I wasn’t blown away by — that I just loved. I know that’s a typical interview answer, but really: what the Capitol looked like, what the train looked like, what an Avox looks like — they created this world that I couldn’t even imagine when I was reading the book. Anything that has changed is for the better — for making a better movie. I think that’s where people go wrong when they’re making books into movies. People are disappointed if there’s something missing, but you also have to think that you’re making a movie. It’s the perfect combination; everything that you want in there is in there, but it’s also just a great film.