Jen­nifer Lawrence reprises her role in The Hunger Games: Mock­ing­jay, Part 1 – but life is a chal­lenge with the mad­ness that sur­rounds her

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES - MICHELE MANELIS

It’s not Jen­nifer Lawrence who has changed – it’s the world around her. Or so she hopes. Still only 24, Lawrence has al­ready won an Os­car (in 2012, for Sil­ver Lin­ings Play­book), a SAG Award, a BAFTA and two Golden Globes. She was also nom­i­nated for an Academy Award for Win­ter’s Bone in 2011 and last year for Amer­i­can Hus­tle.

There’s not been an ac­tress her age who has en­joyed such crit­i­cal and com­mer­cial suc­cess in so few years.

Her veteran Hunger Games co-star Don­ald Suther­land rap­tur­ously refers to her as “Jen­nifer Lawrence Olivier’’, while di­rec­tor of the first Hunger Games film, Gary Ross, said she’s a “once-a-decade’’ tal­ent who gave the best au­di­tion he had ever seen.

Now, with the re­lease of The Hunger Games: Mock­ing­jay Part 1, she finds her­self front and cen­tre once more of a $1.5 bil­lion fran­chise. But in Au­gust, Lawrence also tasted the dark side of fame she so feared when she took the lifechang­ing role of Hunger Games hero­ine Kat­niss Everdeen after be­com­ing the vic­tim of a hack­ing scan­dal in which naked pho­tos of her were leaked on to the in­ter­net.

With all that she’s ex­pe­ri­enced – mostly good and very lit­tle bad – can this un­fail­ingly lik­able young woman from Ken­tucky re­main gen­uine and un­af­fected?

“I hope so,” she says, in an earnest mo­ment. “Some­times it’s frus­trat­ing. There can be so much back­lash for just say­ing some­thing silly but then it’s con­fus­ing be­cause every­body is like, ‘Don’t change.’ And then even I say to my­self, ‘Don’t say that.’ But I can un­der­stand why it is dif­fi­cult not to change be­cause the en­tire world around you changes.”

Whether it’s fall­ing up the stairs at the Os­cars, clown­ing around with Jimmy Fal­lon, or crash­ing Hunger Games co-star Woody Har­rel­son’s Satur­day Night Live mono­logue, Lawrence says her sense of hu­mour has helped her sur­vive the mad­ness around her.

“My dad has this sense of hu­mour and he’s al­ways taught me to laugh at my­self,” she says with a smile. “I re­ally feel like I have to laugh ev­ery day. I can have an in­tel­lec­tual con­ver­sa­tion with somebody but, at the end of the day, I just want to get back to laugh­ing.”

Mock­ing­jay, Part 1, on the other hand, is no laugh­ing mat­ter. For those un­fa­mil­iar with the best-sell­ing young adult nov­els, the third and fi­nal book of the tril­ogy (which has been split into two movies a la Harry Pot­ter and Twi­light) is the dark­est and most po­lit­i­cal. Di­rec­tor Fran­cis Lawrence came on-board for the sec­ond chap­ter, Catch­ing Fire, and has stayed for the fi­nal two episodes, shot simultaneously with a shared bud­get of $285 mil­lion ( Part 2 will be re­leased Novem­ber 2015).

The movie was shot in Berlin and Paris and in­tro­duces new cast mem­bers in­clud­ing Natalie Dormer ( Game Of Thrones) as rebel pro­pa­ganda di­rec­tor Cres­sida, Ju­lianne Moore as the pres­i­dent of Dis­trict 13, Alma Coin and Philip Seymour Hoff­man as Plutarch Heav­ens­bee in one of his fi­nal cin­ema per­for­mances. (The Academy Award-win­ning ac­tor died in Fe­bru­ary of acute mixed drug in­tox­i­ca­tion.)

The sto­ry­line leaves the arena of life and death sur­vival and po­si­tions Everdeen as a sym­bol of hope in a revo­lu­tion against the op­pres­sive gov­ern­ment of Panem. There are mo­ments you could be mis­taken for think­ing you’ve turned on the evening news. The images of in­no­cent civil­ians, wear­ing black bags and forced to their knees, are a re­minder of gravely fa­mil­iar acts of real-life ter­ror­ism.

“It’s hard not to feel that, be­ing aware what’s go­ing on in our own coun­try and around the world,” Lawrence agrees.

“There are a lot of un­for­tu­nate par­al­lels with our world and the world of Panem. The in­equal­ity be­tween the rich and poor, the con­se­quences of war. But it also ad­dresses the im­por­tance of hav­ing a voice. That’s an im­por­tant thing that I hope our younger gen­er­a­tion takes away from this movie – that is, if you don’t have a voice, somebody will have it for you.”

The Hunger Games: Mock­ing­jay, Part 1

stars Natalie Dormer and Jen­nifer Lawrence and is darker than the pre­vi­ous chap­ters.

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