Jennifer and the rest of the tribute cast had a little photoshoot with vanity fair where she talks a lot about The Hunger Games.
Tell me about how you got to be involved in this project.
I had read the books before I even knew I would be auditioning for the movie, and was a huge fan of the material. Actually, my mom read them first and thought it was an incredible role and story. She did the same thing with Winter’s Bone, so she must be a clairvoyant, or just has really great taste. Katniss is an incredible character: she’s a hunter but not a killer, a 16-year-old who’s being forced into the arena. These kids are killing one another only because if they don’t they’ll die. It’s needless, pointless, unjustified violence. It’s heartbreaking. When I auditioned, I told [director] Gary [Ross], “I understand if you don’t hire me, but please remember that after Katniss shoots a bow and kills someone, her face cannot be badass.” So there’s nothing cool about her. It’s not like she looks around the arena and goes, Yeah, I got this. I think she looks around helplessly, and thinks, I made a promise to my sister that I would survive; now I have to kill in order to do so.
Do you worry at all about the film becoming a massive phenomenon in the way ofTwilight—and what that will mean for your personal and professional life?
I try not to think too much about it. Hunger Games is not Twilight, and while I hear the comparisons, it’s really premature to say that it will be the same phenomenon. I’m so proud of the work we did on the film—Gary and the entire cast and crew were amazing, and I can’t wait for it to be brought to life because I think it’s an important story. If it does become a crazy phenomenon, I’ll soak up my freedom now!
Do you think the film will do justice in the eyes of the books’ fans?
What has been the most interesting or challenging experience you’ve had on this project?
The fact that it didn’t feel like filming a movie. When we were filming in the woods, it didn’t have that Hollywood gloss—it was real snakes, real bears, and really scenes of running up and down a mountain for 13 hours.