The Hunger Games Week: Murtz On The Scene: Exclusive Interview With The Hunger Games: Catching Fire‘s Jena Malone



Undoubtedly the most-anticipated movie of the year is The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Fans and critics alike have high expectations for the sequel to one of last year’s biggest box office blockbusters. There are many reasons for this.

Primarily it is because Catching Fire is the best book in Suzanne Collins’ trilogy. The movie takes place just after the preceding Hunger Games film where protagonists Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) are declared the winners of the 74th Hunger Games. This rogue Olympics are a battle where one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 are ‘reaped’ from each of the 12 districts of Panem to participate in an outdoor arena fight to the death until only one remains. The brutal contest is designed to showcase the superiority of the reigning Capitol over the poorer towns that it presides over. In Catching Fire, instead of serving as mentors in the next Games as has been the tradition, in an effort to punish Katniss for being the figurehead of a movement against the Capitol, President Snow punishes her by mandating that the contestants for the 75th Hunger Games be reaped from the existing pool of victors. As District 12’s only female victor, that means Katniss will be going back in and this time will be competing against older veterans who have all won before.

In addition to the dramatic plot twist, the movie finally starts to establish important characters outside of the film’s core duo of Katniss and Peeta. One of these new characters is Johanna Mason, played spectacularly by Jena Malone.

Mason is a take-no-prisoners dynamo who won the 71st iteration of the Games by pretending she was ill only to surprise her competitions by being a cold-blooded killer. Described by Katniss as having a ‘wicked ability to murder,’ Johanna hails from the lumber-centric District 7 and because of this, has an incredibly proficiency with an axe.

I caught up with Jena Mason on the Catching Fire red carpet at the Canadian premiere in Toronto on November 19 at the Scotiabank Theatre in downtown Toronto. I asked her how she would fare if she was in the games if she wasn’t playing Johanna and she gave me some secrets about what she would do. We also talked about the pressures that come with playing a character that is so beloved by so many. Check out the video above.

Also, in case you missed it, here’s my review of The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

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