If the long lines outside multiplexes nationwide last Thursday night were any indication, The Hunger Games is a bonafide smash and sure to be one of the most reliable film franchises over the next decade. It’s also cemented Jennifer Lawrence as a household name.
“It was scary,” said the 21-year-old actress of signing on to star in the big-screen adaptation of the 2008 novel of the same name. “It was kind of a terrifying thing, but there was nobody that I could really talk to because it was kind of like one of those things that nobody really knows what you want other than you. So there was nothing that anybody could really say. It was just something that I had to work out with myself.”
The Hunger Games is set in a post-apocalyptic world where children are forced to fight to the death on television for sport. Despite its very dark subject matter, it’s already grossed more than $200 million. Naturally, Hunger Games action figures and other memorabilia are being rushed into production, which the young actress, who also starred in last year’s X-Men: First Class, admits is still “bizarre” to her.
“It is bizarre that someone is going to have a doll with my face on it. You don’t ever think that way when you’re an actor,” she said. “Lionsgate texted me a picture of the action figure and the only thing I could think to reply was, ‘I’m a choking hazard?’”
Coming out of Louisville, Kentucky, Lawrence never had her mind set on joining a major franchise, but she certainly can’t complain now.
“I was doing indies and I wasn’t really looking for a studio movie to do, and then I read the script and it was great,” she recalled about stumbling on the X-Men script. “Then it was one of those things where you can do indies and then you can’t do the studios that you want to do, or you can do a couple of studios and then you can do all of the indies that you want to do. It just kind of opens your career up more, which is kind of a wise thing.”