By Dana Mathews
Killer chemistry -- that's exactly what Katniss and Finnick have in 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.' Who better to explain it than Jennifer Lawrence and Sam Claflin themselves? Insider scoop about the upcoming blockbuster, including an exclusive interview with the pair, but we're also bringing you a special online-only extended version of our talk with Sam and Jen (as she likes to be called). In a brutally honest and seriously hilarious exchange, the two talk about training, filming in Hawaii, and dealing with fame and paparazzi. Let the games begin!
Jennifer, what did it feel like to revisit your character for the second time? Jennifer Lawrence: It was kind of weird to go back because I had this idea when I first signed on to the franchise that it would get boring playing the same character. I've never done that -- I've always played a brand new character. Katniss is the same character but in completely new circumstances. She's changed.
Was it important for you to set a certain tone on set as the leading lady? JL: Yeah, I needed everyone to know I was in charge. (Laughs) I just wanted everyone to be comfortable. When there are new people, it can get awkward, but everyone was so great -- including you, Sam. Sam Claflin: I first bumped into you at stunt training. Your archery put me to shame. I was quite intimidated. JL: By the sight of my face. SC: Yea. It really put me off. (Laughs) No, obviously you are a good role model.
How will your characters interact with each other in the movie? You have a... complicated relationship. JL: Finnick is the most seductive man in the Capitol. At first Katniss is very put off by him, but the more she learns about him, the more she starts to understand and respect him. They become weird friends. SC: He has charm and charisma going for him, but deep down he has insecurities, which overshadow his "external beauty."
Sam, Finnick has a very physical role. How did you train? SC: I had quite the journey. If you read the description of Finnick in the book, then pin my face next to that, there's quite a long way to go. JL: He was drastically overweight. SC: I was definitely not in shape. There was a lot of training involved. Months and months of eating the same meals every day. Omelet in the morning, protein shake in the afternoon. The same routine of gym and stunt training. I'm happy with the end result. I did the best I could. JL: You can't diet on these movies. It's impossible. SC: It's pretty tough.
You shot most of the movie in Atlanta but the arena scenes took place in Oahu. How was Hawaii? JL: Oh, it was like a different movie. Try being stressed in Hawaii, I dare you. SC: There's something about Hawaii where you step off the plane and you feel really chill. Spiritually, it was like a different film. The crew and cast were downsized and it felt more like a small family unit. JL: We went swimming in between takes. We would go paddle boarding at lunch. It was amazing. But the scenes got a lot more intense. Things get terrifying.
There was a lot of paparazzi following you guys on this journey. Did that make it hard while you were filming intense scenes? SC: They weren't around when we were doing scenes so much. It was worse during our downtime. JL: I mean, paparazzi suck all the time. When you're working, it's distracting and when you're not working, it's annoying. I don't feel like anyone is entitled to know what we're doing on our weekends and for some reason, the world thinks they are. That's just how I feel. SC: I was lucky. I didn't have to deal with it as much as her and Josh -- partly because no one knows who I am. I'm lucky.
Jennifer, have you given Sam any advice? JL: I told him that everything's going to change really fast. I haven't really stopped working, which has been exhausting, but also a blessing because I don't have time to think about it. SC: I've had a very busy year thus far and when this film comes out, we'll be in the middle of shooting the next one! It's going to be another busy year.
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