‘Hunger Games’ stars say goodbye to hit franchise

with hunger games prequel songbirds and snakes song hitting theaters, we’re taking a look at our last interview with franchise star actors Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth, on the eve of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2Premiere of. EW writer Nicole Sperling sat down with all three of them for a raucous, memory-filled roundtable. From sleepovers to Donald Trump, here are the untold conversations from 2015 involving the tight-knit trio.

Josh Hutcherson, Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth at the 2012 Los Angeles premiere of ‘The Hunger Games’.
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

So, the most important question first: How is the movie?

Liam Hemsworth: I think this is probably for the best.

You’re not just saying that because you’re so much more into it?

Hemsworth: No. ,laughs) Maybe a little bit. But it’s exciting from beginning to end. Part 1 was setting up this fight. And now it feels like you’re in the middle of it the whole time.

Josh Hutcherson: All of these moving pieces ultimately come to a head in this one movie. ,Jennifer Lawrence arrives. I take a sip of Hemsworth’s vodka and soda.,

Jennifer Lawrence: Hey people. Oh, so refreshing. I love club soda and lemon.

Liam was just telling us that this is his favorite movie because he gets more screen time.

Lawrence: This is absolutely a coincidence. Best movie. More Liam, can it be? This is a valid question.

I want to take you all back to the first film. At what point did you realize hunger games Was it going to be massive?

Hemsworth: As soon as we started the press tour for the first film. It was like a good punch in the face.

Hutcherson: One of the most shocking moments was (right before the first film started), when we did that mall event in Century City.

Lawrence: There were just so many people.

Hutcherson: Before we went on stage, we were in this little building next door, and I remember seeing all these people. I was just like, “Oh, f—!”

Lawrence: “They should have a twilight program.” ,laughter,

Liam Hemsworth, Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson sign autographs for fans at Westfield Century City on March 3, 2012.
Jesse Grant/Getty

Jen, did it really take you three days to decide to sign on for this role?

Lawrence: Yes. There came a day when I said a solid ‘no’, and then I knew that I wanted to do this, and I knew that if I said ‘no’ I would be really disappointed. What’s more, it was such a big decision that when they made me the offer I felt like I couldn’t explain it over the phone.

What were you worried about?

Lawrence: Well, I was 20 years old, and it was a decision that would affect the rest of my life, so I figured I needed to think about it.

Hemsworth: He was smart.

Hutcherson: I did not do that.

Lawrence: Actually, girls are smarter than boys.

Hutcherson: You mature faster. You’re not very smart… I didn’t even think about it. The problem with becoming such iconic characters is that your career can get bogged down: audiences don’t see you playing anyone else.

How did you stop this from happening?

Lawrence: I didn’t stop working. I decided that I would do as many movies as possible in between (Hunger Games installments) because I was too afraid of being an overwhelming character.

Hemsworth: I think you also can’t be afraid of something like that.

Lawrence: On the contrary. I think it’s quite legitimate to be afraid of something like that.

Hemsworth: Yes, but if you have a good project with good people, you won’t leave it. Also, never take any decision out of fear.

Lawrence: ,making fun of him) “Also, never make any decision out of fear, Never.”

Josh Hutcherson, Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con.
Kevin Winter/Getty

Do you remember when you realized you were going to be friends, not just coworkers?

Lawrence: If we had met each other under different circumstances, we would still have been best friends. And our love is absolutely unconditional because there is no fear between us because we love each other so much. There is no fear in our love.

Hemsworth: Don’t make decisions based on fear. ,laughs,

What was it like when the first film became a cultural phenomenon?

Lawrence: You are not part of a cultural phenomenon. You are separated from him.

Hutcherson: When you see a lot of people screaming and going crazy…I have the same problem that Peeta has with distinguishing between reality and non-reality. So to me, it’s not real. This feels very strange.

Lawrence: It’s like you’re the embodiment of yourself.

Hemsworth: You get back in the car after the premiere, and it’s silence, and you’re like…

Lawrence: “I’m glad it’s over.”

Did this level of fame change your life dramatically?

Hutcherson: I don’t think there has been a dramatic change in him. There are some elements you have to adjust.

Hemsworth: It’s not that extreme. Obviously, you have moments where people notice you. ,to lawrence) How do you feel about that?

Lawrence: I remember getting very emotional trying to get a coffee, because I felt like everywhere I looked, everyone was looking at me weird, and it made me feel isolated. Suddenly I didn’t feel part of humanity in this strange way. I was living with my best friend, and I surrounded myself with such a great group that nothing changed in my intimate world. But I was angry for a long time because I felt I should have the right to drive without being followed. I should have the right not to be photographed, especially if you’re going to put my photo next to a story that came out of nowhere. I don’t have the energy for it anymore. I’ve got such a good life and such a good job. There are some weird things that come with it, but you know, whatever.

Hemsworth: Yes, at the end of the day you can’t control it anyway.

Lawrence: Do you guys want to rest tonight, yes or no?

Hemsworth: I don’t have all my stuff.

Jennifer Lawrence on the legacy of the franchise

It’s an action movie with a female lead that men want to go see. It changed the conversation.”

—Jennifer Lawrence on the legacy of the franchise

How often do you sleep?

Lawrence: off and on. (laughter) Often enough. Don’t write about him. This can be taken the wrong way.

How should it be taken?

Lawrence: Well, we have sex with each other. I’m kidding!

But people can tell when you’re joking, right?

Lawrence: I really don’t think they can do it. Here’s something I wouldn’t mind seeing printed: If Donald Trump becomes president, it will be the end of the world.

Hemsworth: I will compliment you on that.

Hutcherson: This is a publicity stunt. This can’t be real.

Lawrence: I was watching them during the campaign, and one guy said, “I like Donald Trump because he’s saying everything I’m thinking, and I can’t say it because of the PC factor.” And I’m thinking, “You’re absolutely right. This is what I want to represent my country, someone who is politically incorrect. This would be perfect.”

Liam Hemsworth with fans at the 2015 ‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2’ world premiere in Berlin.
Isa Foltin/Getty

You shot the last two films back-to-back. Was there a scene during that epic 152-day period that you were most looking forward to filming?

Lawrence: I was excited about the scene at the end of the movie when I shoot my arrow – I wouldn’t miss it – because when I was taking archery training in my 20s, that was always the scene I had pictured. Five years ago I would look at the haystack and pretend this was this moment, and now it’s here.

What was your goal?

Lawrence: It was CGI, so let’s just say I got the hang of it.

Hemsworth: You were especially nervous about the singing scene (from Part 1). We all know that.

Hutcherson: This is very stupid. You are a very great singer.

Hemsworth: She was so worried about it, I assumed her voice was going to hurt. And she did it, and I’m like, “Jen, this is really cool.” She says, “Shut up!”

Lawrence: I only pounced on you because who else was I going to pounce on?

Hemsworth: no I know. I’m your punching bag, man. Don’t worry about it.

Lawrence: But I can never be yours. Don’t you dare think it’s a two-way street.

Hutcherson: For me this was the scene where Peeta had to panic and lose his mind. I was more excited than nervous, but then right before the shoot, I realized I hadn’t planned what I was going to do. And then they say “action.” You’re like, “Aha!” And you just do it.

Lawrence: But that’s always when you do your best, because that’s when you’re not thinking. you’re just. Feeling. Ugh! That’s what I meant when I said it, but I realized how corny it sounded, so I had to turn it into a joke.

Did you take anything from the set on the last day?

Hutcherson: But catch fire I took the small locket that Peeta gave Katniss.

Lawrence: I always wanted this. I have bows, and I took a mockingjay pin. I want the orange backpack from the first movie, but it’s in the museum now.


Hutcherson: hunger games He opened the exhibition in New York.

Lawrence: I built my own museum. It’s like Dollywood, but it’s called Jennifer Lawrenceville.

Hutcherson: We’re still working on the name.

After seeing all these movies together, what was the last day of filming like?

Lawrence: It was so emotional that I was completely dead inside.

Hutcherson: Yes. I felt very strange.

Hemsworth: I was drunk.

Hutcherson: Liam and I had finished a bottle of scotch the day before, and we finished a bottle of scotch that night. And then (the next day) we came on set because Jane and Woody (Harrelson) had their last scene together. Then he called Raph, and we sat on the stairs in this room, and we just held each other…

Lawrence: And then a week later we were all hanging out, and we thought, “Was it weird that we got so dramatic?”

Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence at the 2012 Los Angeles premiere of ‘The Hunger Games’.

What impact do you think this franchise has had beyond entertainment?

Hutcherson: Well, there aren’t too many movies like this where you have a (female) character who is so brave and so strong and so courageous.

Lawrence: It’s an action movie with a female lead that men want to go see. It changed the conversation. No one can deny this.

Hutcherson: It breaks a lot of stereotypes as far as these blockbuster movies go.

Lawrence: I would like to think that it has had a 1 percent impact on social change.

Hutcherson: One percent? This would be a huge amount for a film.

Lawrence: Well, I’m trying to be polite. Whichever number will be minor.

Hutcherson: I don’t know.

Lawrence: We look like idiots. But you know what? we are stupid!

Hutcherson: By the way, this is the closing quote of the article. ,laughter,

you can afford Entertainment Weekly’s The Ultimate Guide to The Hunger Games Here, or on the newsstand.

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