If looking for protection within the arena, look elsewhere as the cast of Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” err on the side of flight over fight.
“I would run and hide. Literally,” said Jena Malone at the AMC Lincoln Square screening Wednesday night in Gotham. “I mean, I’ve got survival skills, but not fighting skills.”
Helmer Francis Lawrence and Elizabeth Banks also decided they would avoid any type of conflict. Banks said she would “find the biggest man and have him toss me in a tree” to hide.
“I don’t have many skills. I’m pretty useless when it comes to most things,” said Sam Claflin.
Meanwhile, Jeffrey Wright would be able to provide some level-headedness among the chaos.
“I think I would bring, and I hope, a sense of clarity and calm, which I get from my mother who reacts that way in times of crisis,” Wright said. “I tend to kind of thrive in those circumstances because, for whatever reason, my head gets very clear.”
Wright, Claflin and Malone are all new to the franchise, coming on board as Hunger Games Victors. Malone said it felt inspiring to have the fans backing her casting as Johanna Mason.
“Getting teenagers to get inspired about anything is kind of incredible. And the fact that they’re willing to camp out for three days and buy the books and support the film and wear the outfits and support this amazing heroine… it’s incredible,” Malone said.
However, Claflin did not feel he had the same backing at first.
“If I’m 100 percent honest, I definitely didn’t really feel like they were 100 percent behind me initially,” he said. “Finnick’s a very, very difficult character to step into the shoes of. He’s very beloved by the fans out there and I think for me, yeah, I was intimidated slightly. Nonetheless I think a lot of people have embraced the casting choices…. Hopefully, we won’t disappoint.”
The cast and filmmakers, including stars Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson, made their last stop in New York City after a whirlwind premiere tour around the globe. Lawrence also made an appearance on the “Late Show” and confessed to going to the hospital with stomach pains. ““You can only shit your pants so many times before you have to go to the emergency room,” she joked. Meanwhile, Hutcherson will stay in New York to host this weekend’s “Saturday Night Live.” No telling if Lawrence’s pants-soiling will make it into the monologue.