Josh Hutcherson explains how he developed Peeta's character, particularly since the focus remains primarily on his fellow District 12 tribute Katniss:
It's interesting because, in the book, you have Katniss's internal monologue and dialogue to help you understand that she's confused about Peeta. In the movie, you have to rely on how the scenes are structured and other performances. For me, if you watch it, I felt like I was right along with Katniss the whole time as a viewer. So I think it came from how it was edited together. You only see Katniss' interactions with Peeta, so as an audience, you have to live off of that. Like when he runs off with the other faction, you wonder if Peeta is not who you think he is. So it's got a lot to do with the structure of the film.
Peeta - once he's in the Hunger Games – seems to go through the stages of grief about being in the contest. Was that something you developed consciously?
Definitely, when you get chosen to go into the games, it's more or less a death ticket, so it's disbelief. Shock is the first thing he goes through. What you don't see is the grieving process, which he goes through with his family. Saying goodbye to his mom and dad. But Peeta does a good job of hiding it and his goal is to just help Katniss survive. He loves her and he's weirdly okay with the fact that he probably won't make it out of the games [as long as he can] help Katniss survive.
Elizabeth Banks discusses how she and director Gary Ross viewed her character, the outrageously dressed Effie Trinket:
It's really fun to watch yourself disappear in the movie every day, and watch Effie appear. It required a full transformation. I never knew how old she was, in reading the book. She could be 30, or she could be 100. I imagine, in the future, life expectancy is long and they use crazy plastic surgery. Who the hell knows what's going on? So, I really wanted her to be ageless. Gary's one real note was, "I imagine Joel Grey in Cabaret for her face." That was our jumping off point, and why we ended up with the rough skin and the gnarliness of that...I never wanted Effie to be a clown. I really wanted her to be three-dimensional. She represents the Capitol, in every way. Not just in the way that she dresses, but in her attitude. That line where I say, "I just love that," was an improv on the day. Gary and I were trying to figure out a way to really say that she drank the Kool-Aid.
While Lenny Kravitz explains his character, the personal stylist Cinna:
Obviously, he has integrity. He's at the Capitol and he's working at the Capitol, but he's the guy that, when the revolution busts, is going to be right there. This is not his thing, but he's stuck within the system, and he gets to use his talent and design. From the very beginning, I think he was really taken by the fact that she took the place of her sister. When he comes in to meet her, he's all about, "That was the bravest thing I've ever seen." He's open to her, from the very beginning. I think that he sees her integrity, and he really becomes personally invested. I don't know how long he's been there, but he's been there for a little bit and he's seen kids come and go. He dresses these kids and they're dying. He really wants to do whatever he can do to help her survive.
The great Donald Sutherland explains how he views his character, the autocratic President Snow:
He expects someone to come and challenge his position. He's very confident. His main priority is roses. You see that he looks different from the people in the community. He's much older and he comes from a different generation. In the same sense that my parents didn't really like Elvis Presley and I was crazy about him, it's the same with President Snow. I don't know how much he approves of all that's going on, but it's okay. Now, young people have loads [of] tattoos. I don't have a tattoo.
Alexander Ludwig explains how he prepared to play the villainous career tribute and ruthless killer Cato:
When I got offered the role of Cato, I jumped on the opportunity just ‘cause I've never really had a chance to play a bad guy, and that's something I've always really, really wanted to do. I wanted to experience that really dark side of a person, and Cato is a really, really twisted individual. We worked unbelievably hard. Physically, I wanted Cato to have as big of a physical presence as he did a mental one, in the movie. There was lots of fight training that we had to go through. I worked with an ex-Navy SEAL to bulk up. I did tons of hand-to-hand combat.
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