Hunger Games Victory Tour: Crying Fans, Hunky Movie Stars
The skies were crying yesterday over the BankUnited Center, as if Effie Trinket herself were in the building doing a reaping for the Hunger Games. But then, pockets of sunshine emerged -- if only briefly -- signifying fans' happiness. They were, after all, inside the very same building as cast members of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Carolina del Busto
Doors didn't open until 4 p.m., but there were fans lining up since about 1 p.m.; one group of friends spent the night on those concrete floors, beginning at 4 a.m. In their defense, one of the girls was wearing a purple wig a la Effie, so they were superfans indeed. Schoolgirls and boys arrived in their uniforms with their parents, and there were plenty of screaming fangirls in the building to cause minor hearing loss.
Before the cast was to arrive for the National Victory Tour stop, sponsors of the event, Covergirl, 99 Jamz, and Feeding America, were giving away coveted wristbands via Twitter contests. Those strawberry red wristbands were the ultimate prize in itself: they gave you the chance to stand in a special gated section in front of the stage, and you got to walk up and get a poster autographed by the cast.
When Sam Claflin (Finnick), Jena Malone (Johanna), Stephanie Leigh Schlund (Cashmere), and Alan Ritchson (Gloss) walked on stage, the mass of prepubescent girls went wild. And yes, there were tears.
The autographing session started promptly at 5:35 p.m. and as fans lined up and were handed a poster, the stars were smiling ear-to-ear with excitement too. Contrary to popular belief, some movie stars enjoy meeting fans and having the opportunity to put a smile on a stranger's face. After the first part of the autograph session was done (it would later pick up again after the Q&A), the cast jumped off stage - Malone even took off her heels - and ran up to the barricades to take selfies with fans, shake hands, and give hugs.
Carolina del Busto Gloss and Cashmere sign autographs
After, when it was time for the Q&A session, the moderator from 99 Jamz took the microphone and read from a stack of questions fans were asked to submit during the event. This was the same MC who kept jumping on the stage trying to energize the crowd earlier during the event and who referred to Katniss as "Katniss Evergreen," mispronouncing the character's last name in the book, which is Everdeen. Hashtag embarrassing.