Games stars return in blaze of glory
LIAM Hemsworth says he spent days on the set of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire screaming and getting whipped.
The 23-year-old Australian actor stars opposite Jennifer Lawrence in the hit Hunger Games sequel.
The film follows the inhabitants of an apocalyptic world in which 24 chosen members are forced once a year to battle to the death.
Hemsworth’s character, Gale Hawthorne, is beaten in one scene by the Peacekeepers of the Panem region.
He remembers that shoot as particularly gruelling experience.
‘‘Getting whipped – it was interesting,’’ he says.
‘‘It was weird ’cause we had a couple hundred extras on set, and I spent a while in makeup getting my back done with all this interesting prosthetics (sic).
‘‘I was tied to a pole and screaming and getting whipped, and after a while, it starts to wear on you a bit – just the yelling and exhaustion of it all. It’s an odd thing to turn up to work and get whipped for a few days. For most people.’’
Although the whipping scene was brutal, the entire Catching Fire cast had a blast while filming the picture.
Lawrence, who portrays heroine Katniss Everdeen, also gushes about the fun she got up to throughout the shoot.
The actress says Hemsworth and their co-stars Josh Hutcherson and Elizabeth Banks had such a good time that being on set didn’t feel much like work.
‘‘It’s amazing that we get any work done, zero professionalism,’’ she says.
Lawrence admits she’s been overwhelmed by the success of the franchise.
She says she tried to go grocery shopping when last year’s first Hunger Games was released, but was soon reminded of her celebrity status.
‘‘(The supermarket) had to call the police and I had to go down the cargo elevator and I was crying . . . ‘‘ she says.
Lawrence says she is grateful for the opportunities she’s had, but acknowledges that sometimes fans might catch her acting a little grumpy.
‘‘Sometimes I’m nice, sometimes I’m in a bad mood. Like if I’m at dinner and I’m eating and somebody wants me to stand up and take a picture – that’s actually helped with my anxiety, knowing that I don’t have to say yes and I can say no,’’ she says.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is screening now. Above: Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne in a scene from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Left: Jennifer Lawrence, as Katniss, Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket) and Josh Hutcherson (Peeta).