Screen Rant has an excellent interview with our own President Snow, Donald Sutherland. Check out a part of it below:
Someone asked you how you felt about President Snow in this film and you said you love him. Is that the key for you in playing a villain, that you have to embrace that guy so you can fully inhabit and understand him?
Donald Sutherland: I don’t ever think of anybody as being a villain. I think of him as he’s a tyrant. When I wrote the letter to Gary (Ross) initially to see if I could play this, I brought out images of Lenin and Stalin. I even brought up an image of Bashar al-Assad in the whole list of them. I said I don’t know actually how Assad fits in, but this was four years ago — he fits in perfectly now. But these are people who have found a way to exert power by extraordinary force and manipulation. We do it too in the United States, you know. A guy as good as Barack Obama sends predator drones over Pakistan and you have collateral damage, Jesus Christ, collateral damage. A dead kid in your arms and that’s collateral damage? I’m sure I don’t think it’s collateral to the people on the ground.
His mouth bleeds. He wears a rose ’cause his mouth smells of blood and that’s because he’s ambitious. 40 years ago, he poisoned all his competitors for this job. So that he would be not accused of being the person that did the poisoning, he took some poison himself. Not enough to kill him, but enough so that it was in his bloodstream so that he was a survivor. He was able to control the country when part of it broke away. And he uses an iron hand. He executes people as his way of controlling the population. But he does it so well. And he doesn’t think he’s a bad person. He thinks it’s the only way that society can survive. And whether you think he’s right or wrong, he doesn’t think he’s bad. He likes himself.
You’ve got those great scenes where you’re very almost congenial to Jennifer Lawrence in a sense, and then we actually see scenes of Snow with his granddaughter. Does that make him more rounded as a human being, even if he’s a human being who’s gone entirely off the rails?
Sure he is, within a certain context. Absolutely he is. And he must be a lovely fellow to be with so long as — you know. When he spoke to Seneca Crane in the rose garden scenes that Gary wrote for the first movie, he was able to create a scene where Snow was so articulate with Crane because he was grooming Crane to be his successor and Crane blew it. He was sentimental. He made wrong decisions. You can’t make wrong decisions because they cost you your life. For Snow, Katniss Everdeen is perfect. She’s everything he desires as a successor. And maybe he will succeed and turn her around, ’cause she doesn’t want to be a hero of the revolution. Other people are doing that to her. He’s doing a different thing on his side. He’s using the thing he knows, which are threats and manipulation. But nonetheless, it’s a game of chess and it’s not going to come to a draw. Somebody’s king is going to topple over.
Read the entire interview at Screen Rantread more
During the press tour, Donald Sutherland had his chance in the hot seat. This particular piece with Hit Fix discusses Snow and Katniss’ relationship — he even mentions President Snow seeing Katniss as a potential successor to rule Panem — the political nature of the storyline and how Francis is fiercely protecting it.read more
“Would you like to be in a real war?” This of course, is a quote from President Snow, which we’ve seen in various Catching Fire trailers and TV spots. Now, an extended clip is available after Donald Sutherland made an appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Check out the chills you’ll feel watching the clip, and watch Sutherland’s full interview as well!read more
In this cute short interview, Donald Sutherland gushes over Jennifer, calling her a dream to work with. Isn’t this so cute!? I love that despite those two being enemies in the movie, they are so close on set!
“‘Hunger Games,’ it’s about the oligarchy of privilege. And to be able to participate in the struggle against that is everything that my heart would desire. And then, above and beyond that, to have the honor and delight of working with Jennifer, she’s a dream to work with. She’s a dream. She’s a dream. I love that child.”
You can listen to Donald’s interview at CRI English.read more
To help promote The Hunger Games arriving on DVD/Blu-ray in the UK yesterday, Starburst had the opportunity to interview Donald Sutherland about his role as President Snow in the film.
Starburst: You’ve played a judge, general, captain and a priest, but only an animated President (in 2009’s Astro Boy). Were you eager to play a human President?
Donald Sutherland: No! I couldn’t give a shit.
I was sent this script by director Gary Ross. I read it and immediately wrote a letter to my agent because I came away from it with my mind terribly stimulated, extraordinarily impressed.
So the film more than lived up to your expectations then?
I am overwhelmed by it. It almost makes me weep. I just loved it; it’s important for this fragmented society that we live in. And it’s not just the United States but the world in general. And I do so hope Barack Obama gets re-elected.
It’s almost as if The Hunger Games could end up being the ultimate reality show, for real.
Oh yes, because movies can make a difference. One afternoon 55 years ago, when I was at the University of Toronto, I went in and saw Fellini’s classic 1954 film La Strada and I came out with such bliss. I was so in love with going to movies that I went back in and bought another ticket for Stanley Kubrick’s Paths of Glory. I came out of that film and my life had literally changed.
You can check out the full interview here.
Fans who have been following the development of The Hunger Games film learned earlier this year how Donald Sutherland’s words to Director Gary Ross on the character of President Snow forever changed the script for the film. Inspired by Donald’s words, Ross wrote new scenes for President Snow which are some of the most powerful clips in the film. One of the most talked about special features on the newly released Hunger Games DVD shows Sutherland reading the letter he wrote to Ross. And now, we have the written piece to share with you as well.
Dear Gary Ross:
Power. That’s what this is about? Yes? Power and the forces that are manipulated by the powerful men and bureaucracies trying to maintain control and possession of that power?
Power perpetrates war and oppression to maintain itself until it finally topples over with the bureaucratic weight of itself and sinks into the pages of history (except in Texas), leaving lessons that need to be learned unlearned.
Power corrupts, and, in many cases, absolute power makes you really horny. Clinton, Chirac, Mao, Mitterrand.
Not so, I think, with Coriolanus Snow. His obsession, his passion, is his rose garden. There’s a rose named Sterling Silver that’s lilac in colour with the most extraordinarily powerful fragrance – incredibly beautiful – I loved it in the seventies when it first appeared. They’ve made a lot of off shoots of it since then.
I didn’t want to write to you until I’d read the trilogy and now I have so: roses are of great importance. And Coriolanus’s [sic] eyes. And his smile. Those three elements are vibrant and vital in Snow. Everything else is, by and large, perfectly still and ruthlessly contained. What delight she [Katniss] gives him. He knows her so perfectly. Nothing, absolutely nothing, surprises him. He sees and understands everything. he was, quite probably, a brilliant man who’s succumbed to the siren song of power.
How will you dramatize the interior narrative running in Katniss’s head that describes and consistently updates her relationship with the President who is ubiquitous in her mind? With omniscient calm he knows her perfectly. She knows he does and she knows that he will go to any necessary end to maintain his power because she knows that he believes that she’s a real threat to his fragile hold on his control of that power. She’s more dangerous than Joan of Arc.
Her interior dialogue/monologue defines Snow. It’s that old theatrical turnip: you can’t ‘play’ a king, you need everybody else on stage saying to each other, and therefore to the audience, stuff like “There goes the King, isn’t he a piece of work, how evil, how lovely, how benevolent, how cruel, how brilliant he is!” The idea of him, the definition of him, the audience’s perception of him, is primarily instilled by the observations of others and once that idea is set, the audience’s view of the character is pretty much unyielding. And in Snow’s case, that definition, of course, comes from Katniss.
Evil looks like our understanding of the history of the men we’re looking at. It’s not what we see: it’s what we’ve been led to believe. Simple as that. Look at the face of Ted Bundy before you knew what he did and after you knew.
Snow doesn’t look evil to the people in Panem’s Capitol. Bundy didn’t look evil to those girls. My wife and I were driving through Colorado when he escaped from jail there. The car radio’s warning was constant. ‘Don’t pick up any young men. The escapee looks like the nicest young man imaginable’. Snow’s evil shows up in the form of the complacently confident threat that’s ever present in his eyes. His resolute stillness. Have you seen a film I did years ago? ‘The Eye of the Needle’. That fellow had some of what I’m looking for.
The woman who lived up the street from us in Brentwood came over to ask my wife a question when my wife was dropping the kids off at school. This woman and her husband had seen that movie the night before and what she wanted to know was how my wife could live with anyone who could play such an evil man. It made for an amusing dinner or two but part of my wife’s still wondering.
I’d love to speak with you whenever you have a chance so I can be on the same page with you.
Eloquent, powerful, and just gives us shivers reading it. He so gets Snow!read more
In his downtime from playing the tyrannical leader of Panem in The Hunger Games, Donald Sutherland has been busying playing a U.S. Ambassador opposite Christian Slater in the upcoming film Assassin’s Bullet. You can see the first image of Donald in character above, and click the video below to see the trailer!
Will you be adventuring to theaters to see Donald in Assassin’s Bullet? Let us know in the comments!read more
On Saturday, our own President Snow, Donald Sutherland attended the Champs Elysées Festival in Paris, France. The amazing actor received the Commander of Arts and Letters medal and received a standing ovation as he accepted the medal. The Wall Street Journal caught up with Sutherland, and discussed his thoughts on different political system. As part of the discussion, he talked about his role in The Hunger Games and his excitement about the second installment in the series.
Now, the 77 year-old Canadian actor says he can hardly wait until the September shoot of “Hunger Games 2″.
“As President Snow, the role I play in the film, I’m a true totalitarian. But the character is really smart, and as a politician, he has nothing to lose. He administers fear and hope. The film also shows what being a capitalist is in the United States. It’s the oppressive oligarchy of the privileged.”
But political allegories aside, the actor says that he has always been fascinated with the abuse of power.
Read the full article here.
It is always great to see the series’ cast excited to film, because we are certainly excited to see the movie! We also love hearing Sutherland’s thoughts on his sadistic character. What do you think? Are you glad to hear about his excitement? Let us know in the comments!read more
The Hunger Games cast has long been known to be highly decorated with many of the cast having been nominated or received awards ranging from Emmys to Oscars to everything in between for their work. Donald Sutherland (President Snow) adds to the awards cache with his newest honor of Commander of Arts which he received this weekend in France:
Sutherland was decorated on Saturday evening at a ceremony in Paris by former French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand, who praised the Canadian star’s “extraordinary” career — with diverse roles in films such as Federico Fellini’s “Casanova.”
You can read the rest of the story here.
Congratulations to Donald for this incredible achievement!read more