Jennifer Lawrence acts badly in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

Jennifer Lawrence acts badly in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence was given a different type of challenge in the latest The Hunger Games movie

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Liam Hemsworth and Jennifer Lawrence must now find support for the next stage of the rebellion.
Liam Hemsworth and Jennifer Lawrence must now find support for the next stage of the rebellion.

In a barren warehouse in the US state of Georgia on a cold January day, Jennifer Lawrence was doing something unusual for a 24-year-old Oscar winner: she was acting very, very badly.

Lawrence was filming a scene for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, in which her character, Katniss Everdeen, was trying to act for a propaganda piece designed to stir up a promising uprising. Katniss may be many things - a fierce warrior, a devoted sister - but she's just not a good actress.

"She was very good at it," director Francis Lawrence (no relation to Jennifer) said of his star's ability to turn in an intentionally lousy performance. "We had a bunch of variations, but we didn't want to go too far. Some were really broad and funny but not quite right for the movie ... It was a nice couple of days of laughter on set."

If the scene stands out in the film, it's largely because comedy is in short supply in The Hunger Games. The film series deals mainly with themes such as the consequences of violence and the devastation of war.

"Katniss represents a movement and an awareness for our younger generation. She possesses strength, compassion and the bravery to do what's right even when it's not easy," said Jennifer Lawrence.

Producer Nina Jacobson added that fans love the character because she shows how even flawed people can make a big difference.

"She is a lightning rod in the movies; she is a lightning rod in real life as a character," said Jacobson. "People relate to her ... I'm moved by the degree to which Katniss embodies the ability of one person, no matter how flawed, how complicated, [to] make an enormous impact just by doing the right thing when given the choice."

Mockingjay, the final instalment of Suzanne Collins original Hunger Games trilogy, has been split into two parts for filming.

"A lot happens in the Mockingjay book, and to try to cram it all into one movie, I think we would have never had the time to spend with the relationships and with the characters," Jacobson said.

Mockingjay - Part 1 finds Katniss living in District 13 with her mother, sister and childhood friend Gale (Liam Hemsworth). She now has the responsibility of helping to fuel a rebellion that could topple President Coriolanus Snow (Donald Sutherland). She agrees to an alliance with Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) in exchange for Coin's promise to rescue her longtime ally Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) and other combatants from their Capitol captors.

"She's gone through a lot, and she's very alone," director Lawrence said.

Opens November 20

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Good at acting badly

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