In case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t noticed yet, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is being released this Friday, November 21. This past weekend, I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Mockingjay press conference in New York City. Almost the entire cast was there: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Willow Shields, Julianne Moore, Donald Sutherland, and Natalie Dormer. When I say it was one of the best experiences of my life, I am not even exaggerating a little bit.
Not only did I get to sit in a room full of amazing actors, but I got to sit less than five feet away from two of my favorite celebrities ever: Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence. Guys, I think I smiled for a straight hour. Every actor and actress there was hilarious, down-to-earth and so, so kind. They obviously talked about Mockingjay the whole time, and as a huge fan of The Hunger Games, this was so fun and interesting for me. I truly had the best time, and the only way the afternoon could have been better is if I could have gotten a picture with Jennifer, Josh and Liam (I couldn’t because, bodyguards).
I obviously learned so much about Mockingjay while I was there, from details I didn’t notice before to how the actors felt about their roles in the movie… and each other. I put together some of the best quotes from the press conference for all of you Hunger Games fans out there. Spoiler alert for those of you who haven’t yet read the book or who don’t want to know some details of the movie: there are spoilers here. You’ve been warned! Here are 13 amazing facts you need to know about the Mockingjay cast:
They Wish They Had Their Characters' BraveryWhen asked about the qualities they wish they shared with their characters, the cast said: Liam: "He's a pretty brave guy. I would consider myself brave in some way, but I think he acts impulsively and instinctively a lot. I don't know, I guess you'd like to think and hope that you would act that brave when it comes to that situation, but I don't know, I haven't had to fight a war, so... bravery." Josh: "For me, I don't know what I would be like having to go through what Peeta goes through, being tortured and brainwashed and everything, but I think that he fights his way back and has love and support for others. So his ability to fight through extremely adverse challenges is something that I admire and that I haven't faced yet. I'm not that good at being that kind of baker. Baking is the quality that I wish I had."
In A Few Years, They Want People To Say This About The Cast...Josh: "Best franchise in the history of the world." Jen: "They're still rich."
Jennifer Lawrence Got A Selfie Of Herself Peeing In One SceneWhen asked about the most difficult and most enjoyable scenes to shoot, Jennifer said: "Most difficult scene was singing. Most enjoyable scene was... when we're all together. But I was just thinking, like, scenery because normally when we're all together, we're doing something miserable. But we got to do a scene in a meadow, which was really beautiful. I got a good selfie of me peeing in it. The control room was kind of fun, it was just a really cool set. Oh God, actually worse than the signing was when I had to watch those videos of Josh over and over and over again. Oh my God, it was like 15 or 20 times and I was like, I get it! Just put on a piece of tape and I"ll start crying I swear I swear, I'll do it, I can't watch my baby in pain this much. Just the same thing over and over again, and they were so long I started memorizing them. At one point I was mouthing along with you. Oh, it was miserable.
Josh and Jennifer Both Have A Tough Time Dealing With FameJosh: "I never had a plan or a goal, I've never really been a goal-oriented person in my life, so the idea of having success or being like this was never part of my plan, so to speak. My plan was always to make interesting movies and work with interesting people and tell stories and this fell in that category. So I happened to fall into this world, just through my normal way of finding projects. But it's been a big change. Jen said when she was offered the role, she took a few days to think about it because she knew how big of a change it would be. I didn't really think about it at all. I just knew that I loved the script, loved the story and loved all the people involved, so I just said yes and then later I was like "OMG. This is a big, big life change." But it's like one of those things, until you lose [anonymity], you don't know how important it is. Once you lose that, every restaurant you go to... people recognize you and all of the sudden you know that they know so many things about your life, true and not true, and you feel very exposed everywhere you go. It's a hard thing to wrap your head around." Jennifer: "Certainly a blessed life. There are also sacrifices, but I get to do what I love, and there's a downside to every job." When asked how they cope with fame, they said: Josh: "I think for me, we have such great friendships and relationships. Especially for the three of us, that we came up in this together from the beginning and we kind of experienced this massive change as one. There's not many people you can relate to about this issue, and the three of us are so close and we kind of grew up in this craziness together I think helps a lot with us maintaining our sanity."
Jennifer Lawrence's Breath Smelled During Kissing ScenesIn a Jimmy Fallon interview, Liam Hemsworth revealed that Jennifer Lawrence's breath smelled while filming their kissing scene in the movie. When they were asked about it at the press conference, their dialogue was too cute: Jennifer: I just didn't think so much about the kissing, so I would just kind of eat whatever I wanted. I think that the onions you're referring to... I just had a sandwich with mustard and raw onion. Liam: No, she said, "and I didn't brush my teeth, have fun." Jennifer: Just a fair warning!
Liam and Jennifer Both Learned From Each OtherLiam: "What I learned from Jen was be honest and never change for the wrong reason. Just be yourself. No matter what, she was just herself and she was honest and she enjoyed what she was doing and she was happy. I think that's why she's a great actress because she just adapts to a situation so well." Jen: "I mean, I guess the thing I would never expect was to ever have a man this good looking be my best friend, I would just never assume those things could happen. But he is, he's the most wonderful, lovable, family-oriented, just sweet, hilarious, amazing... he actually taught me how to be fair, but to stand up for myself. Because I was always like, "Oh please like me, please like me." But no there were times where I'm really bad about that, that's my biggest weakness. I am a whimp about standing up for myself, but Liam is always fair. He's really good about making sure everything stays fair, where I used to let people walk all over me, he's teaching me to always stand up for myself and I needed that. Thanks buddy."
Sam Claflin Used Marilyn Monroe As Inspiration For FinnickWhen asked how he approached Finnick's new attitude in Mockingjay, Sam said: "I think the best example of Finnick and his sort of journey, I guess, is that he's very similar to Marilyn Monroe. In a sense that he sits in front of the cameras... in public he's really a character, he really allows himself to become someone completely different. Behind closed doors, he's damaged, he's vulnerable, sensitive, broken, in a sense. That definitely was some inspiration to me, I guess. It did really inform me as to what he would be like. And I guess this time around was a very different approach to the character, but it's nice to have the opportunity to show both sides of the coin."
Jennifer Lawrence Hopes Katniss Will Inspire FansJennifer said, "I think that, well I hope, that Katniss can inspire [young girls] by making this kind of younger generation realize really how powerful their voice can be. It's hard sometimes when a large group of people are... it's easy to kind of follow the feet in front of you. It's a lot harder sometimes to speak out, and so I hope that what you take away from Katniss is to be an individual, think for yourself and not let other people think for you.
The Cast Was A Lot More Sad Than They Thought They Would Be When Filming Was DoneLiam said, "The last couple of weeks, we started to realize we were almost finished. We had been shooting for a year, and we were kind of ready to have a break. And Jennifer and I were shooting and we started to talk about and realize that it was going to end, and it was really emotional." Jennifer: "It was complicated, because it was such a long shoot, we were there for 10 months. It was hard and exhausting, so there was a part of wanting to wrap just so we could give our bodies a break. But realizing that when it was over, we weren't going to... you know, we always had that. We would go do other stuff then come back and have each other again... but realizing that was going to be gone, it was such a complicated mix of feelings. It was relief on one end, because we were exhausted, but so sad. "We're still best friends. We still see each other all the time, way too much... but it's different. I've never had something... if all I had was this friendship with Josh and Liam, if that was all I ever got from this movie, I would be the happiest person in the entire world. That was my greatest blessing. Our lives changed together and we had each other. Having Francis as our director, he's just unbelievably talented and he's the nicest, kindest person in the world. From the producers to the writers to the camera guys who were there from the beginning, to the new cast, everybody just really got along so well. I've never seen anything like it come together so beautifully, no egos, no nothing, it was sad to see that go." Josh: "So we'd like to announce Hunger Games 5, 6 and 7." Jen: "I would do it. I'd be down. Oh my God. I don't know what happened with this movie, but it really was like a miracle with all the people. So it was heartbreaking. I thought I was going to be relieved because I was so tired, and then they called wrap and I started sobbing."
Jennifer Lawrence's Friends Help Her Deal With FameWhen asked about the pressure of having so many people look up to her, Jennifer said: "I have an amazing group of people around me that I make my world. I surround myself with "no" people and people who are constantly telling me no and stop acting like that and you look terrible. Honest, real people. They've watched me grow up and genuinely do love me. I have an amazing group of friends that are not in the business that I've been friends with for years before any of this happened that I trust. "Because something strange does happen that you don't expect when you become famous, it's a very tiny thing that makes a big emotional difference: it's just the way that people look at you. Because I don't feel any different and so sometimes when you go out you're surrounded by a lot of people who... people look at you in a way that kind of makes you feel alienated and kind of odd, so I try to surround myself with people who never look at me that way and never fake laugh at my jokes. It's funny because my friend is flying in an assistant, and she's like, 'Jennifer hates fake laughs. Never chortle.' But yeah, I don't keep fake people around me."
Liam Fractured His Ankle While FilmingWhen asked about injuries while filming, they said: Jen: "Liam broke his ankle." Liam: "That was a hairline fracture." Josh: "There was an ambulance!"
Julianne Moore Played Josh Hutcherson's Mom In A Different MovieWhen asked how he found out that Julianne Moore, who played his mom in The Kids Are Alright, was going to play President Coin, Josh said: "It was funny. I found out... I think my mom or whoever saw the thing come through on the Internet and told me. I was like, 'oh that's awesome,' I had no idea that was going to happen. But when I first saw her on set, it was like... Moommm.
Natalie Dormer Loved Working With Jennifer LawrenceWhen asked about being connected with Katniss, Jennifer said: Jen: "I always get nervous about making comparisons, because Katniss is the leader of a rebellion changing the world, and I'm just chilling." But Natalie interrupted to explain further: Natalie: "I'll take this one because I stood by Jennifer Lawrence for months as an actress watching another actress. Jen was saying that Katniss doesn't have any ego... nor does Jennifer Lawrence. The reason that Katniss is so compelling to an audience and charismatic is because she's true to herself an doesn't suffer the BS and superficial elements. Jen is getting that reputation as a young actress, and she deserves it and that's why people look up to her. She's a great role model and so is Katniss Everdeen. They're simpatico in that. She can't comment on that herself, because by the very nature of her personality, she wouldn't."
Which of these facts did you already know? Are you a fan of The Hunger Games? Are you going to see it this weekend? Tell me in the comments.