So why did you say yes to “Hunger Games?”
Well, my initial interest was [director] Gary [Ross]. I really think he’s a tremendous filmmaker. Then I started to become aware that this was a little more of a phenomenon than I realized. I knew people liked the book, but then … Jesus! Ironically, I turned it down at first because I just didn’t feel like there was that much to do. It wasn’t an uninteresting part, I just didn’t see the whole picture. So I turned it down, but I’d already started reading the book and got swept up in it. And Gary calls me and he says, “You gotta do this. I don’t have a second choice.” And I said, “OK. Well, let’s do it then.” I was really happy to do it because what a great experience it was to be hanging out with this cool group of people in North Carolina. Just the level of talent from every department, outstanding. Just makeup alone. Some of the most imaginative stuff I’ve ever seen. Particularly the stuff I saw in the Capitol. I wasn’t there for the stuff they shot in Asheville, the Games themselves.
You play a mentor to these kids. Is that a role you’ve taken on in real life, too, like with younger actors?
Yeah, I think particularly with my kids, for example, I’m a great model of what not to do. So the same is true for other actors. Look at me, do the opposite.
You never took Jennifer Lawrence or Josh Hutcherson aside and gave them any career advice?
No, I don’t feel like the kind of guy to tender advice on much of anything. I do sometimes lecture people about what they’re eating, but that’s only if they ask me. So any other subject, I don’t feel much qualified to talk on. Certainly those guys don’t need any help from me about acting or handling their career. That would be the only other thing I could talk to them about. They seem to be doing pretty good.
What do you think is the message of the movie?
I think it is about raising people’s political awareness and it definitely has some issues with authority, which has some relevance to our present form of government. Although the one in the movie is a much more extreme form, I think it’s a pretty powerful message. That’s one of the reasons I think it resonates not just with kids, but with everybody.
Read the rest at Moviefone!
Two new official high-res Hunger Games pics were released today from Lionsgate: Seneca Crane with President Snow in his rose garden and Haymitch giving advice to Katniss. Click through to see the full versions.
When it comes to the character of Haymitch Abernathy, fans aren’t questioning whether or not he’ll be bizarre enough, or tough enough, or skinny enough, or kind enough. It’s whether or not he’ll be wasted enough!
And while Woody Harrelson was more concerned about Haymitch’s individuality (and rightly so) than how often he hit the bottle, he did give plenty of contemplation as to how he should portray Haymitch’s drinking problem.
“I was a little bit worried about looking kind of phony,” admitted Harrelson.
There is, however, one sure-fire way to ensure your inebriation is as genuine as possible…and that’s to get liquored up on set. But apparently Woody Harrelson has already test-driven that technique, and it ended up being a complete wreck.
“I tried it one time when I was doing ‘Indecent Proposal,’” said the actor. “I had this scene, and I was supposed to be really drunk…and I got smashed! Because I was supposed to be, so I rationalized it. But it wasn’t a pleasant experience.”
Luckily, Gary Ross was able to provide some input as to how far the District 12 boozer should go.
“There was a thing during filming, with me and Gary trying to decide the level of drunkenness in any given scene,” recalled Harrelson. “I was always pushing for more drunkenness, but he didn’t want me to be drunk in every scene. I was always pushing for more, just because I think it’s kind of funny and interesting. But knowing Gary, I think he got the right balance.”
I’m glad Woody and Gary didn’t choose the obvious, or overdone approach to Haymitch getting his drink on. Who would’ve thought drunkenness required so much thought and consideration?
More videos with Woody Harrelson after the break!
Woody Harrelson revealed in a recent interview with Fandango that his first response to being offered the role of Haymitch Abernathy was something along the lines of “I’ll pass.” Say whaaaat?
“Well, I got sent the script—I didn’t really know about the books. I just, you know, was psyched to work with Gary Ross,” says Harrelson. “But then I was like, ‘I don’t know. It doesn’t seem like there’s that much to do.’ And I hesitated and thought about it. And then, you know, I was hearing ‘These are really good books.’ Then I just decided not to do it. And then Gary called me back and said, ‘Well, Woody, you know, I don’t have a second choice on this. You have to do it.’ And I said ‘Well, okay.’ But in the meantime I’d started reading the books and then I just became—I mean, it’s incredible. These are incredible books. It’s such an amazing phenomenon.”
Based on his comment that “it didn’t seem like there’s that much to do,” I would guess one of two things. Either Woody Harrelson wasn’t tempted by a minor role, or we won’t be seeing too much of Haymitch in this first movie.
What do YOU think he meant?
See the rest of Woody Harrelson’s interview in the video above!
UK mag Empire has a spread in the March issue with amazing new images from The Hunger Games.
They include Effie primping with a compact and Haymitch dining with Peeta.
The set design is jaw-dropping. I don’t even know where to look with so much going on in each frame, yet it meshes together perfectly!
For avid fans of The Hunger Games books, a first look at Woody Harrelson’s depiction of Haymitch Abernathy may seem a little incongruous with the character in Suzanne Collins’ novels. He’s described as a paunchy middle-aged man with short, dark hair – obviously not a spitting image of Harrelson’s overall look for the film. But Harrelson wanted to bring something less than cliche’ to Haymitch’s character.
He’s got a drinking problem and he’s got some issues and he’s damaged, but I didn’t want to do it totally like your typical version of an alcoholic in a movie. So I tried to keep him a little put-together. I dressed him up from what you would expect, too. That was one of my things I wanted – to make him, particularly in the Capitol, a bit of a snazzy dresser — or at least a dresser with his own style.”
He also went on to rave about the sets, wardrobe, and makeup. After seeing only one scene he says the look of the film is great.
I was really impressed by everybody that was associated with it. The look of everything is amazing too. The wardrobe is incredible and the makeup, the [stuff] they came up with is mind-blowing. The imagination behind the hair and the makeup and set decoration, it was just really impressive. It’s the work of brilliant people.”
I know there will be some purists who dislike the creative liberties Harrelson took with the character, but I appreciate his attempt to make Haymitch a touch less stereotyped. I find something more intriguing about about a a drunk who has a problem but shows contrast in trying to be more polished, as opposed to sloppy all around. What are your thoughts on the Haymitch we will see on the big screen?
Another still from The Hunger Games movies has popped up in an LA Time article A Year in Movies: 101 Films of 2012. This shot is actually page 40 of the article:
This is the first photo I’ve seen with Effie sporting a green wig and Haymitch with a drink in his hand. Which scene do you think this still is from? Are they watching a recap of the reaping? Finding out their training scores? Let us know your thoughts.
The Hunger Games character posters are now available on Amazon.com through NECA, who makes a variety of Hunger Games merchandise. These posters are limited, so act soon if you want one! You can buy them individually for up to $12.99 each or all eight for $59.99.
Woody Harrelson, who portrays Haymitch in The Hunger Games, has joined the cast of a new film entitled Seven Psychopaths. Woody will be playing a psychopathic gangster whose Shih Tzu gets dog-napped. Here is the full synopsis of the movie that began production this week in LA:
From Oscar-winning writer and director Martin McDonagh comes a star-studded, blood-drenched, black comedy. Marty (Colin Farrell) is a struggling writer who dreams of finishing his screenplay Seven Psychopaths. All he needs is a little focus and inspiration.
Billy (Sam Rockwell) is Marty’s best friend, an unemployed actor and part time dog thief, who wants to help Marty by any means necessary.
Hans (Christopher Walken) is Billy’s partner in crime. A religious man with a violent past. Charlie is the psychopathetic gangster whose beloved dog, Billy and Hans have just stolen. Charlie’s (Woody Harrelson) unpredictable, extremely violent and wouldn’t think twice about killing anyone or anything associated with the theft. Marty is going to get all the focus and inspiration he needs, just as long as he lives to tell the tale.
I absolutely enjoy watching the characters Woody portrays on screen, so I cannot wait to see this!