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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - Jennifer Lawrence interview

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Interview by Rob Carnevale

JENNIFER Lawrence talks about reprising her role of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, getting into shape and who she feels protective of in real life.

She also reflects on her celebrity status now off the back of The Hunger Games and Oscar-winning success in Silver Linings Playbook and puts to bed a rumour that she has lost her Oscar. She was speaking at a UK press conference for the film…

Q. How would you describe where Katniss is as a character? She hasn’t had any time to sit back and enjoy survival. She’s a reluctant victor, a reluctant revolutionary. How would you describe her as the film goes on?
Jennifer Lawrence: When we find Katniss she’s won the Hunger Games, she’s living in Victor’s Village, she’s back at District 12, and she feels like a stranger in her own home. Now she’s famous, everybody at home kind of treats her differently. She’s still trying to find her footing. She’s suffering from post-traumatic stress from the games. Things between Gale and Peeta are very confusing now. There was a part of her that Gale always understood, because they grew up together. Now Peeta and she have survived something together, so there’s a part of her that only Peeta will ever understand. She finds out that she has to go back to the games. And that is awful, awful news.

Q. In Catching Fire, the tributes are born to fight in the Hunger Games. What would you say you were born to do?
Jennifer Lawrence: I’m pretty useless.

Francis Lawrence: I would say act.

Jennifer Lawrence: I didn’t know if I could say that!

Francis Lawrence: That’s why I’m saying it for you.

Jennifer Lawrence: Thank you, please direct all my questions to Francis! He’s much better at answering than I am.

Q. How are you coping with the sort of profile you have now? We first met you when you were doing Winter’s Bone at the Edinburgh Film Festival, and it was quite different. I wondered if there’s things you miss out on now, like you feel you can’t go down the shops anymore?
Jennifer Lawrence: Obviously it’s an adjustment, your entire life – not my entire life, fortunately my personal life, I have a small bubble around me that’s people I’ve worked with for years. My friends, my family, and obviously they haven’t changed. Nothing in my immediate life has really changed. But yeah it’s an adjustment. Everything changes, as far as just the way people look at you. It’s good and bad, there are bad parts of every job, so I have nothing to complain about. It’s a blessing.

Q. Do you have a game face for premieres?
Jennifer Lawrence: Yes.

Q. Katniss becomes a symbol of hope in the second film. How important are idols to you, and who do you look up to?
Jennifer Lawrence: I don’t know, I feel like that’s such an individual thing. Some people are really touched and changed by somebody. I remember the first time I was ever inspired by a performance, was Charlize Theron in Monster. I was about 14, I was way too young to be watching that movie. I don’t think that really changed anything about my life. I don’t think that one individual person has really. There are certain times when a certain person says something to me, that will stick with me for a really long time. But I don’t remember one person being my idol, or anything like that. That’s not to say that nobody should have one, I’m sure other people have.

Q. Do you think that’s important to keep grounded?
Jennifer Lawrence: No, I don’t think that’s necessary [laughter]. Yes, that’s very important to me.

Q. You’ve had a fantastic couple of years, you’ve won lots of awards. Do you have a special place for keeping your awards? And is it true you mislaid your Oscar?
Jennifer Lawrence: Everybody thought that I lost it, I didn’t lose it! My mum stole it. I put all my awards in this little closet, it’s a nice closet. But a closet in my house. Only because it made me feel weird when I had people over at the house, being like, ‘Look what I did!’, so I hid them in a closet. Then my mum said that was disrespectful so she just took the Oscar. I don’t know where the rest of the awards are, but I know they’re all together. The Oscar is in Kentucky with my parents.

Q. On display?
Jennifer Lawrence: Yes, on the piano. It’s the first thing you see when you walk in. They always move it whenever I come to town, but I know that’s where it lives.

Q. How did you get in shape for the role, and do you always feel pressure to look good all the time?
Jennifer Lawrence: I wish that I actually felt a little bit more pressure to look good all the time! I try to tell myself before I eat, ‘You can barely fit into this dress’. Getting into shape, I worked out and did some yoga and some other workout stuff. I don’t diet though, I just work out.

Q. Is there anything you cut out of your diet though?
Jennifer Lawrence: No. If I did cut one thing out that would be the only thing I thought about all day. Until I ate it. So, there’s no point.

Q. Katniss is fiercely protective. In your life, is there anything you’re fiercely protective of?
Jennifer Lawrence: I get protective of friends. It’s a lot easier to stand up for other people than it is you. My publicist, I find myself defending a lot. The poor thing has to be the bad guy for me. And I have two new nephews. I guess I’m protective of my brothers, but they’re always so obsessively protective over me, I’m sick of it by now. I guess my nephews, probably. And Willow.

Q. It’s a very emotional film, how was that the film for you?
Jennifer Lawrence: It’s exciting! I don’t know how to answer that. It’s just acting, so each scene takes something.

Q. I wondered how kissing Josh compared in this movie for you, now that you know him a bit better. Was it more awkward, or better because you know him better?
Jennifer Lawrence: It’s certainly never awkward. It’s just acting.

Read our interview with Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth

Read our review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Read our interview with Jennifer Lawrence

Read our interview with Stanley Tucci and Jeffrey Wright