Jennifer Lawrence, Francis Lawrence and Nina Jacobson Talk To Variety
Remember the days when Lionsgate was an independent mini-major? Jennifer Lawrence was the talk of independent cinema? And Mockingjay was yet to be published? Ah the days before word-of-mouth really started to (ahem) catch fire, the novels started to be passed around faster than Cato running to the Cornucopia and the fandom began to swell quicker than you could say rebellion. In a new article, Variety charts the rise of Lionsgate and how the odds are certainly in their favour for Catching Fire and Mockingjay Part 1 and Part 2.
Now Jennifer Lawrence can claim a higher paycheck along with the mighty pressure of a huge franchise resting on her shoulders while playing the lead. Luckily, even with possession of an Academy Award to boot, producer Nina Jacobson has assured that little has changed:
“She’s not a diva — she’s the anti-diva,” she says of Lawrence. “One of my favorite moments is where she has the wedding dress on for the interview (scene) in ‘Catching Fire.’ It’s a big cumbersome dress, and she fell down, so we played that over and over on the monitors. There’s such a lack of pretense with Jen; she’s more than happy to laugh at herself.”
[Jennifer] insists that she feels no differently about acting after winning an Oscar — “I’m so grateful” — and admits that being part of the “Hunger Games” world is still a bit daunting. “It’s weird dealing with this being as big as it is,” she concedes. “I’ve never been on another film where we actually talk about the fan base. It’s sort of like this Big Brother looking over us.”
With production diving head first from The Hunger Games to Catching Fire and once again with both parts of Mockingjay being filmed simultaneously (before promotion for the sophomore outing has even finished), Francis Lawrence certainly has more than enough pressure to contend with:
“There’s something to be said for working with a gun to your head as opposed to working to develop something without a start date,” [Francis Lawrence] muses. “It’s a different set of muscles. You think about it harder.”
Both director and producer also had high compliments for their leading actress:
“We knew that we had to cast someone who wasn’t already strongly identified with another role,” [Jacobson] notes. “‘Winter’s Bone’ was an incredible audition. We wanted someone who was nurturing, with a sort of feminine ferocity.”
“Jen inherited me as a director, and was great about it,” he recalls. “I called her when she was in Prague, and gave her my pitch, and I was stunned at how easy that part of it was. She’s the most consistent person on the set.”
Variety charts the rise of Lionsgate, from battling share holders, to acquiring distribution right for The Hunger Games to buying out Summit. Also touched upon are Nina Jacobson and Gary Ross’ thoughts on Jennifer’s first audition that knocked it out of the park from every other talented actress. And Jennifer’s thoughts on returning to the Catching Fire set. You can read the entire article here.
Also of note, a brand new behind the scenes photo of Jennifer taking aim as Katniss in the training centre can be viewed below with a few other Variety shots of the powerhouse trio of Nina, Jennifer and Francis.