Ah, finally. Cast interviews and press tour goings-on have started trickling onto the Internet, and it’s been worth the wait. Already, we have some fairly hilarious videos. Not that I’m complaining, but when did junket interviews start including playing games? Here are a couple revelations from what we’ve seen so far.
1) Jena Malone and Sam Claflin are the other Dream Team.
We got our first taste of this during the Fansite Roundtable interview with the two of them, but that’s not just a one time thing. They seem to have fun during their interviews together and can play off each other well. It kind of makes you expect to see that off-screen chemistry to translate to an interesting dynamic on-screen. And we know that if Jennifer and Josh are understandably busy, they can at least send Sam and Jena to keep us entertained in their stead.
2) Interview games tend to include white boards and vague rules.
Here, write your answer on this white board! Why? I don’t know, just do it.
What’s the point of having teams if everyone is just showing their answer? It doesn’t matter, just go with it, it’s fun.
3. Francis Lawrence likes to talk a lot.
And thank heaven for that! For me, I like going into movies knowing very little, but Hunger Games fans are big worriers. Just hearing Francis Lawrence acknowledge some of our favorite, small moments from the book and indicating that those little things are in the movie gives me great hope, without completely ruining it. Describing Peeta’s touching speech in District 11 gave me a lot of feelings, and it’s nice to hear finally speak about Sam and Jena make the perfect Finnick and Johanna.
Is he a pirate? Is he flirting with Josh Horowitz? Either way, it’s great to hear from him.
4. And here’s the biggest revelation of all… The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is just around the corner! With interviews coming out, that’s the sure sign that we are almost there! Can you taste it?
Reduced to watching videos on my phone during breaks at work while coworkers look at me funny
Yesterday morning, Victor’s Village and a whole bunch of fansite friends got the chance to interview Sam Claflin and Jena Malone via phone!
If you’ve ever questioned these two in their roles, we can officially tell you not to worry about it. Sam Claflin is beyond charming. He talked about the love of his life so much that our hearts melted. Srsly quise, it was adorbs. And it was so very Finnick Odair! Jena Malone is small and cute, but there’s also a fierce passion in her that lets us know she’ll bring out the best (and by “best”, we may mean “worst”) parts of Johanna Mason.
They were unbelievably sweet, especially considering that they were probably woken up at the crack of dawn to get ready for the Philadelphia stop of the Victory Tour and 7 out of 10 sites asked them how they were because it’s habit and it’s the polite thing to do, okay?! The interview itself ran a little long, so each site only had a chance for one question. But in the post-interview downtime, Sam and Jena sang “Happy Birthday” to Samantha from Panem Propaganda, because her birthday was Saturday and hey, they could. Yeah, we’re kinda TOTALLY smitten.
So now that they gushing is done, on to the interview! Please note that a large portion of the interview is under the READ MORE link!
Sam, fans have followed the casting with a lot of attention to detail, and Annie Cresta was not cast until you guys had wrapped Catching Fire, so without an actress in that role, did you find it difficult to draw from Finnick’s relationship with her in the Catching Fire arena and if so how did you overcome that?
Sam: I definitely see where you are coming from. No, but I don’t feel like without a picture in my head, as an actor I necesarily needed that to draw from, if you know what I mean. Obviously from personal experience, I am married and there for my wife was my kind of experience that I could draw from. You know, the love of my life and all that. So I didn’t necessarily need an actress or an image of a person to emotionally inform me, if that makes sense. Definitely I am very excited to get started with Steph Dawson, who is playing Annie Cresta. Finnick spends so much time in the arena, away from her, focusing on mainly protecting Katniss. I don’t feel that it affected my performance necessarily during Catching Fire.
#2 HG Movie Site
When you become part of the cast for a franchise as big as the Hunger Games, with such a big fanbase is there a pressure to please a lot of people or do you find that it’s easier when there is already millions of people that love it?
Jena: Well it’s kind of a give and take. I think luckily Sam and I – Sam if I could just speak for you – we were both such fans of the series anyway, that coming in with such love and appreciation for the project, such passion for a project it only propels you forward knowing that there is 100,000 people out there that has the same love and passion. Of course it’s a little terrifying in the morning when you want to make sure that you are getting it right. But fortunately books are two dimensional beings and films are a three dimensional format. We were building things in a whole new way. So there is no way to get it like the book in every way, because books are two dimensional. We are building blood and love and sweat. We’re breathing life into these characters and so I think that they are always going to be better than the books ever imagined them.
#3 Hunger Games Fireside Chat
Over the course of filming, you’ve obviously gotten to spend a lot of time with other members of the cast. Who did you really enjoy hanging out with off set, and are there any close bonds you formed that you think will go beyond the films many years into the future?
Jena: The entire cast is so rad, it’s hard to pick one person. We’ve become such a tight-knit family. I kind of fangirled out over Philip Seymour Hoffman, just a little bit. I mean, he’s been one of my favorites, I don’t know.
Sam: Yeah, we all sort of ended up socializing off set as much as we did on set, and there was a lot of fun to be had. And that all kind of spans back to the fact that Francis was very open to ideas and it made it much more of a collaborative family experience, if that makes sense. There was a lot of misbehaving and mischief caused, but, you know, in a very fun way, and we were all able to kind of focus on the job at hand when we needed to. But yeah, I don’t think there was one person I disliked, and if I did, I’d be sure to tell you! (laughter) Actually, I’m not a big fan of Jena, Jena Malone.
Jena: …Jina Mahone or something? She’s a crazer.
Sam: But we all got along like a house on fire. You can’t help but really admire an experience like that really.
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The day after the Oscars, interviews with Jennifer Lawrence being adorable/funny/clever swept the interwebs and were gif’d, shared, blogged about, and tweeted. One interview in particular was a favorite of many, and that was her interview with George Stephanopoulos that Jack Nicholson crashed.
We all love that interview because it represents what we love about Jennifer in the first place.
1) Veteran actors like and respect her.
Jack Nicholson came up to her even though they’d never met before. We all know Jennifer is talented, but so do her peers and role models. Donald Sutherland has sung her praises, but so have many in Hollywood as well. We like that our Katniss has so much talent and is well known for being a terrific actress.
2) Jennifer shows off her natural charm.
Her responses to Jack’s semi-creepy-but-it’s-Jack-Nicholson-so-it’s-sorta-okay comments were taken in stride. She even shoots back with her ‘new girlfriend’ comment. Yes, Jennifer says what’s on her mind, even when it’s mildly inappropriate or TMI, but we like that. It’s what makes her charming.
3) Her inability to hold in her ‘wow I just met Jack Nicholson’ feelings makes her relatable.
A big reason why we love Jennifer Lawrence is because we can relate to her. How many times have we said we want to be her best friend? It means that she has kept herself grounded and at our level, even though we are just common-folk to some more snooty and pretentious actors out there.
4) It was an honest moment.
Her surprise at seeing Mr. Nicholson come up to her and then coming back felt very honest. There has been some backlash about certain actresses being fake or insincere this awards season, but the crashed interview captured a genuine couldn’t-have-made-this-up-if-you-tried moment.
Jennifer has had an amazing awards season, and we’re confident she hasn’t peaked (Seriously, why would you ask her that after she just won the Oscar?). Here’s to more moments like this in the future!
Happy Guest Post MONDAY!
Yup, you read that right! We like to do some bobbing and weaving of schedules every now and again, just to keep you on your toes!
Today, we’ve got a great guest post from Hunger Games Book Bookclub! It’s all about one of our journo crushes, who brings out the best in a certain actress and doesn’t see much credit for creating hilarity!
I may not BE very funny, but I am a FAN of someone who is: the Hunger Games fandom’s very own Jennifer Lawrence. (OK, folks, we don’t actually own her… it’s just an expression.) If you’ve been around the Hunger Games fan block, you’ve probably seen a few humorous interviews with Jennifer and Josh. No, not Josh Hutcherson. I’m talking about Josh Horowitz, the interviewer from MTV.
Josh Horowitz is a lovable, quirky, nerdy guy that interviews Hollywood celebrities. If this were a “Pretty in Pink” scenario, Josh would be the Duckie character. He tries to ask different questions from same old, same old. A great example would be his MTV “Yes or No” show. He asks the questions and the answer from the celebrity must be a “Yes” or a “No”. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, yes… and no.
In the course of Hunger Games events, Josh Horowitz has had plenty of opportunities to interview Jennifer Lawrence, sometimes by herself and sometimes with her Hunger Games leading man, Josh Hutcherson. All of their interviews have some funny moments! Here are a few of my personal favorites:
- When Josh Horowitz asks how Jen and Josh Hutcherson met. Hutch can’t quite remember, but Jen is very insistent that they were dancing and that she was wearing a white dress, not a pink one! (Girls remember that sort of thing.)
- When Jen says that Josh Hutcherson is so charming, it is like a dog licking her face.
- When Jen tells Josh Hutcherson that he is sexier than Robert Pattison because of his accent: “You sound like a hick sometimes!”
- When Jen keeps saying to Josh Hutcherson about Katniss and Peeta’s eventual nuptials, “We’re getting married, AACK!”
- When Jen says, “I sound so annoying when I talk about myself in the past!”
There are other funny Jen/Josh moments, but if you really want to get a laugh, then you need to see the comedy sketch that Jen and Josh (Horowitz) did together when Jennifer tries to improve Josh’s interview skills. It includes her yelling at him, spraying him with bronzing spray, breaking off his glasses, etc. Doesn’t sound as funny on paper, but this is physical comedy, folks. You’ve gotta see it at MTV’s After Hours at the Movie Awards.
And for our Word Power exercise for the day, if you remember the interview where Jen uses the word “COPIOUSLY”, find a way to include it in your comments below!
Hunger Games Bookclub
As promised, here is the interview! The fansites did a group interview with others present like the crew from Lionsgate Home Entertainment in charge of the DVD special features. Check out what else went on at the Midnight Release Party here.
And we bring it to you in 3 different formats: embedded audio and a transcription, courtesy of Erin and Elena from HG Movie Site, and video as part of Down with the Capitol’s Aldrin’s vlog. Photos are also courtesy of HG Movie Site!
As a reminder, in attendance were Jack Quaid, Dayo Okeniyi, Welcome to District 12 (Courtney and me), HG Movie Site (Erin and Elena), Down with the Capitol (Aldrin), Mockingjay.net (Beth), and Victor’s Village (also me), plus individuals from Lionsgate, including Lisa, who did ask a few questions.
Dayo: All right let’s go.
Question: All right so we saw the special features.
Dayo: First of all, hi.
Courtney: Oh I’m Courtney by the way.
Courtney: This is my good friend Tiffany, we run WelcometoDistrict12.com
Courtney: (points to Tiffany) and she also writes on Victor’s Village.
Dayo: Right On.
Courtney: So, we saw the special features, and there is one part that is hilarious. Jack, he’s like, you guys are all together, and they are like PUT YOUR COFFEE DOWN (everyone laughs).
Jack: You guys have seen the special features, we haven’t.
Even though we’re a relatively quiet site compared to our rowdy fansite friends, we still get A LOT of e-mail. Believe it or not, most of it is NOT hate mail or spam! Some of it is actually pretty great!
Unfortunately, we work on very specific topics from day to day, so we don’t always have time to feature all the cool stuff we get!
So today, we’re taking everything in our inbox that’s amused us recently and posting it HERE. Then we’ll probably delete it from our inbox (Sorry, senders! WE STILL LOVE YOU!)
Without further ado.. BE AMUSED!
Hate the BR reference… LOVE EVERYTHING ELSE!
Okay, we’re cheating.. this one was never in our inbox, but it features Tiffany and may just be the most epic Gary Ross Is Boss video yet, so WE DON’T CARE!
For Celebuzz’s 100 Days of Hunger Games’ 100th Day, they invited me back along with Adam Spunberg from the Hunger Games Fireside Chat to share our immediate reactions to seeing The Hunger Games movie with Taryn Ryder.
Check it out, we made this 12 hours after we’d seen the movie.
Yes, yes, we posted our collective reactions to the movie, but that was after I had a chance to simmer with everything that had gone on for a couple of weeks AND after a second viewing. I highly encourage people to see the movie at least a second time; you may notice things you hadn’t or make observations that wouldn’t have occurred to you.
I know you’re sick of looking at my face
I was fortunate enough to have gotten the opportunity to ask Josh Hutcherson one question during a fansite roundtable interview as a representative of both Victor’s Village and Welcome to District 12!
When it came to figuring out the question, I knew it had to be a good one. I mean, you get one question to ask the guy who plays your absolute favorite character in anything ever so it’s kind of a lot of pressure. Also, as a fansite runner, I’ve gotten to know the kinds of questions that members of the media ask The Hunger Games stars, and after hearing the same questions asked time and time again, I was incredibly determined to ask something creative and something that hasn’t been asked before.
So here it is: If President Snow forced you onto a present day reality show, but you could pick which one, what show would you choose and why?
I was so nervous about asking and, you know, talking to him and having him hear my words, that I even wrote down my intro (“Hi, I’m Tiffany and I’m from WelcometoDistrict12.com and VictorsVillage.com”) so I wouldn’t lose my train of thought mid-sentence. That would’ve been embarrassing.
When it came time for him to answer, he seemed to give it a little thought. He claimed to not watch much reality TV, but come on, we haven’t forgotten how much he loves the show Gigolos. He eventually answered with Man vs. Wild, since he likes host Bear Grylls and thinks he could learn some great survival skills if he were on the show. How fitting for a Hunger Games actor!
Also, he said maybe Jersey Shore as well, just so he could talk some sense into those people. Come on, Josh. We all know you secretly wish to GTL with The Situation (joking!).
One of our other favorite questions was “What fansite would you start?” from Savanna from HG Fireside Chat, to which Josh replied with “a UK site”. No, not United Kingdom, but University of Kentucky basketball since he knows the players’ stats and follows the team really closely. Another great question came from Kimmy from Mockingjay.net, asking about the stunts in the film. Josh singled out the final showdown with Cato, Katniss and Peeta on top of the Cornucopia, explaining that it took a few nights to shoot and involved a lot of intense choreography, which of course made us more anxious to see that scene on screen. MyHungerGames.com asked about what it was like seeing his face everywhere, like on the Peeta pillowcases that have come out as merch. He humbly said that it wasn’t something a person expects in their lifetime and talked about how his friends would send him pictures to his slight embarrassment, but he feels that it’s also great to see that people are excited for the movie and his character. Shylah from Down with the Capitol asked about what Peeta’s and Josh’s tokens would be. For Peeta, he thought that since his relationship with his parents wasn’t all that great, maybe something like a pendant from a grandparent would’ve been his token. For Josh, his grandmother makes “the best fried chicken in the world” so he says he’d have a chicken bone from that as his token.
It was a great experience and slightly surreal in that I was on the phone with so many other fansite runners and then Josh Hutcherson! He was incredibly nice and seemed really grateful to the fansites for all their hard work.
So we pose the same question to you, dear victors:
If President Snow forced you onto a present day reality show, but you could pick which one, what show would YOU choose and why?
For more about what the other fansites asked Josh, check out my recap of the roundtable on Welcome to District 12!
As you might have heard, I had the extreme pleasure of briefly meeting Josh Hutcherson at the stage door to Jimmy Kimmel yesterday. He was very nice and funny and was gracious enough to sign an item for everyone in the line and pose for pictures when people asked. It’s a typical thing at Jimmy Kimmel Live for fans of the guests to line up in an organized fashion behind a barricade. It’s okay to ask for an autograph or a picture or even a hug if they’re that kind of celebrity at such an event.
You know what’s not okay? Showing up at his house.
Yes, Josh turned it into a funny story to tell on a late night talk show. But the secondhand embarrassment I got from that story was enormous.
The fan-base for The Hunger Games is huge and will get even more huge after the movie comes out. Crazy fan stories are inevitable. But the least we can do is do our part to dial down the crazy as much as possible, and that includes knowing your boundaries.
Celebrities are people who have private and public lives. Being in their home with their families for the holidays falls directly and irrevocably under the “private life” column. Bothering them there is just plain awkward and uncomfortable for them. Just… please don’t do it.
And think about it this way: you’re ruining it for the rest of us. If it gets too crazy, like “dangerous” crazy, then in the future, fans will have less opportunity to meet their favorite Hunger Games stars.
Just dial it down a tad. We don’t want to get a bad reputation, do we?
You don’t want to be that person