The Hunger Games: Preparing For Action
The arena fights are going to be one of the biggest source of spectacle in the eagerly-anticipated big-screen version of The Hunger Games, and in the new issue of SFX (#220, on sale 7 March) director Gary Ross and star Jennifer Lawrence talk about the preparation needed to make these crucial scenes feel real.
Ross says Lawrence was incredibly dedicated about getting Katniss right and worked tirelessly to acquire the skills to play her authentically. “Jen did a lot of what’s called free running, which is an interior Parkour course with vaulting over boxes, running along beams and climbing over boxes, which are skills she would need in the forest. She had a lot of agility training where she got incredibly good at things like tumbling rolls.” Ross admires the way Lawrence threw herself into as much as he allowed her to do. “The [Arena] fire sequence was a combination of practical and CG elements. We actually had practical fire that Jen is interacting with and running from with fireballs and everything.”
“The action and the physical endurance that it takes… that’s real,” adds Lawrence . “If I look exhausted in the movie, that’s definitely real! There’s a very intense fight scene with a 14-year-old girl who had been training – well, all of us had been training in stunts and hand-to-hand combat, but I guess she had been training longer than I had been. And she unleashed! I was like, ‘It’s a scene!’ She beat the hell out of me! I was shaking like a chihuahua every time they called action: ‘Please, no!’”