Hunger Games Stars on Training, Crazy Fans, and Peeta-philia

Categories: Film and TV
Alexander Ludwig, Jennifer Lawrence, and Amandla Stenberg
Unless you forcibly blinded and deafened yourself after the onslaught of Twilight paraphernalia over the past couple of years, you've likely heard the nationwide shrieking of tween girls that signals the approach of The Hunger Games film release date (March 23).

But don't let the Harry Potter-sized hype fool you. Though they are based on young adult novels, The Hunger Games is a bad-ass story. Essentially, it's about kids being forced to murder each other for sport. Eat your heart out, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

We sat down with the film's stars -- Jennifer Lawrence, who plays the lead role of Katniss, as well as Amandla Stenberg (Rue) and Alexander Ludwig (Cato) -- to find out what really went on behind the scenes.

New Times: So, Jennifer, are you as bad-ass as Katniss in real life?
Lawrence: No. I can't even, like, fake sarcasm. I cry all the time. I shake. I have anxiety. I get headaches.

Ludwig: She's not as crazy as she makes herself sound.

So are you secretly a girly girl?
Lawrence: No, I'm definitely not a girly girl either.

Stenberg: Actually, I don't think she realizes how sarcastic she is. She is, but she has an amazing sense of humor.

Lawrence: It's just rudeness. It's constantly being misinterpreted as sarcasm, but I'm really just being rude and condescending. I just think I'm better then everyone else. Why shouldn't I talk like this?

So tell us about the training that was involved in preparing for the movie.
Ludwig: We were all really big fans of the book, and Jen and I especially had a lot of training in agility and free running -- free running is a sport where you basically use the environment around you to do cool tricks off of. So we had to learn that for the scenes where we're running through the forest. There's a lot of that kind of stuff. There was definitely a lot of physical work involved.

Stenberg: I didn't have to bulk up or anything, but I got to do some really fun arm-training stuff. I practiced climbing a tree as fast as I could, and I also got to fly around the room and that was really fun.

And Jennifer, you had to do archery and all that cool stuff?
Lawrence: I had to do the same training as Alexander, but with basically added archery -- and track because I run weird. I had to actually learn how to run. I was basically running for long distances because all I do in the movie is run... During training, it was 100 arrows a day. During shooting,  we tried to keep it up, but it was tricky because we were shooting all the time.

That's a skill that should come in handy for the rest of your life.
Lawrence: Yeah, I think it's something I'll use for the rest of my life.
Ludwig: She hunted our lunch, so that was really nice.

Stenberg: She caught squirrel for us.

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