An interview by Huffington Post UK:
Q: Could you briefly describe your character in The Hunger Games?
Haymitch is a mentor for the two characters who are going into the Games. He is grizzled and not exactly a teetotaller. In some ways he’s a little bit jaded, but under all that he is a wonderful person. To begin with, though, there is definitely a conflict with Katniss, the main character. That’s true. That is how it starts out.
Q: Haymitch looks like one of the most enjoyable characters to play…
I think he is a pretty fine character. I can’t think of any other character I have played like him. He is quite a unique character. Also he’s interesting because he’s one thing on the surface but then you find he is a little bit different, further down the road. He has that thing of people not being able to quantify him. I’m not sure if it required anything new of me as an actor. It is hard to say. You’re going to have to watch it and tell me the answer to that. Deep down there probably isn’t anything new [laughs]. It’s just me doing the same old sh*t!
Q: That’s not true! He’s not a very a social character, though, and does like a tipple. How did you pitch that into your performance?
That was kind of a discussion between Gary [Ross, the director] and I, because I always wanted to make Haymitch more drunk and debauched, but Gary wanted to keep a rein on it so that it wasn’t too much like that. In other words there are times when he had to get down to business so, yes, that had to be properly pitched. Me, I am always in general ready to go over the top with it, so it is helpful to have a director like Gary bringing me back.
Q: Presumably you got to inject some levity into the performance?
I certainly did. I tried and we will see if it comes off!
Q: What did you think of Jennifer Lawrence, your talented leading lady?
I think she is an amazing girl. She is incredibly funny. I was impressed with her wit. She is a fun-loving person, as is Josh Hutcherson. I know there’s going to be a lot of success for them in the future. I get a feeling that they’re going to be able to keep a handle on it and not change their personalities, though, as sometimes happens.
Q: Why do you think The Hunger Games books are so popular?
I think there’s something about the main character Katniss that everybody relates to. It’s really a story of survival and family and in that kind of way it speaks to everyone. Almost all the people I have talked to — those who have read the books — were profoundly impacted by them. Something resonates.
Q: It’s not a kids’ movie though, really, is it? It reaches out to way older audiences…
Yeah, I mean kids killing kids. It is quite an intense thing. It’s not just a kids’ movie though, or a tweens’ movie. It’s actually a P.G. rating in the States, but there is a good deal of violence in it.
It feels really exciting! To present Bullet For Adolf to New York City has long been a dream of Frankie Hyman and mine. To finally be here, oh my God, it’s equal parts excitement and terror.
It’s hard to tell you too much. Bullet involves the theft of a World War II artifact, and it was based on a real story. In some ways it’s a whodunit. All of the relationships are as they were. There’s a lot in it that is autobiographical, but we didn’t really have a plot. We had to overlay a fictional plot onto this play. People seem to require it [laughs].
That was a pretty cool experience. [Director] Francis Lawrence, who is doing [the second film] Catching Fire, was over at the apartment and I told him this true story: You can’t imagine being the idiot that turned down The Hunger Games, but I actually did. I turned it down. I don’t know why. Maybe I didn’t feel like there was enough to do in the role. Luckily [director] Gary Ross came back to me. In the meantime I had read all the books and I was like, “Oh my god. This is great!” I felt kind of bad for passing it up. He said, “You gotta do it! I don’t have a second choice.” And I said, “Well, in that case, let’s do it.” What a fool I would have been if I passed it up.
It’s kind of that surreal. I guess you can call [fans] “friendly strangers.” It’s like being a hot girl: A lot of people come up and want to talk to you. You don’t really know them, but it’s cool because I like people. It’s been an incredible journey. I feel very lucky that people want shake my hand.
Check out other submissions here. Next week’s theme is Rue. Don’t forget to include the text “six weeks and counting” as well as the hashtag #hungergamesdvd. Send your entries at HungerGamesDVDCountdown@gmail.com.
The next still is from the Girl on Fire, Katniss Everdeen. Actually, she’s not in fire with this one. She’s spotted on 12’s electric fence with her hunting attire on. Katniss is wearing her father’s jacket and ready to enter the meadow. Her outfit is a manifestation of District 12’s poverty as opposed to the rich and glamour of the Capitol. And something bothers me about the belt. LOL
This makes me super excited for the movie. For other Hunger Games movie stills, view it here.