Jennifer Lawrence talks the Hunger Games with Moviefone. It’s amazing how she never pictured herself as Katniss when she first read the books but she embodies the character so well. Jennifer also discusses how she was turned off with the idea of a book-to-film adaptation for the Hunger Games at first. After meeting Gary Ross everything changed around for her, and we don’t blame her. Gary did a brilliant job on the Hunger Games!
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 sadstory, 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.
Despite the fact that these books are nothing like “Twilight,” comparisons between the two franchises are often made in the media. Does that bother you?
I don’t really care! I mean, I get it: they’re all beloved books and they’re huge best-sellers, and they become a franchise. It’s easy to compare them. I think I’m more relaxed about it because once you see the movie you know it’s absolutely nothing like “Twilight,” or nothing like “Harry Potter,” except in size. I’m not worried about it. I like the “Twilight” movies.
Do you take anything away from the how the actors and actresses in “Twilight” and “Harry Potter” handle this kind of massive fame and attention?
I think everybody kind of handles it in their own way. I don’t compare myself to them because I still refuse to accept the fact that I might be recognized. If somebody recognizes me, I think it’s a freak accident. But who knows what’s going to happen? I could go off the deep end.
Read the entire interview at Moviefone