Youth Impact Report 2012: Up Next

When Willow Shields heard about the opportunity to audition for Primrose Everdeen in “The Hunger Games” she was only halfway through reading Suzanne Collins’ young adult bestseller, but she already knew it was a big deal. “My brother read (the trilogy) and was the biggest fan ever,” Shields says. “He had been talking about the books being made into movies for a year already.”

Shields secured the audition through her agent in New Mexico, and was submitted on tape to director Gary Ross. Soon she was on location in North Carolina filming the “reaping” scene opposite Jennifer Lawrence and Elizabeth Banks, but Shields took it in stride. She’s still following the advice Lawrence gave her on set: “You have to be the same person and not change because you’re in such a big movie.”

Even though she’s excited to see Prim’s role expand in the sequels “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay,” the now 12-year-old actress has learned not to reveal too much about the blockbuster franchise. “(My friends) are like, ‘I heard you read the script. Can you tell me something about it?’ And I’m like, ‘No!’ It’s a really funny situation.”

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