The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Production Notes
About The Production
The stakes have never been higher for Katniss Everdeen. It seems it was only yesterday that Katniss was battling to outlast her tyrannized nation’s infamous gladiatorial competition. But now, the time is nearing once again for the annual Hunger Games. And this year it is a very special Quarter Quell anniversary edition, one that will force together the most famed of the past Victors, including Katniss, who never imagined she’d be heading back into the arena as a person changed by her experiences
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire follows on the heels of 2012’s blockbuster cinematic success, The Hunger Games – and takes the worldwide phenomenon sparked by Suzanne Collins’ best-selling books into a new chapter that deepens the story and propels it forward. Critically acclaimed, the first film introduced audiences to the intriguing dystopian culture of Panem, where every year 12 oppressed districts send a teenage boy and girl to compete in a contest of sheer survival in the nation’s glittering Capitol. Academy Award® winner Jennifer Lawrence brought to life the story’s reluctant 16 year-old heroine, Katniss, as she persevered through impossible choices in the Hunger Games arena – revealing a passionate connection with her character
Less than a year later, as the filmmakers returned to bring the second book of Collins’ trilogy to life on screen, they had no intention of resting on those considerable laurels. They dove into a new phase of Panem’s history and Katniss’ ever more dizzying moral dilemmas with the same faithfulness to the narrative that has guided them from the start – and a desire to go the next step
With a story that thrusts Katniss into a second Hunger Games she never saw coming, the film took cast and crew into previously unexplored emotional and technical territory. As Katniss and her fellow Tribute, Peeta, go on a Victors’ Tour through Panem’s districts, and then are reaped for games creatively designed to be their destruction, the filmmakers saw an exciting opportunity to push the storytelling, and the characters, while staying true to what Collins set off in the global imagination.
“We wanted to be every bit as ambitious with this movie as we had been with the first, and continue to take creative risks,” says returning producer Nina Jacobson. “We have tried to honor the core essence of Catching Fire in the same way that we honored The Hunger Games.”
Lionsgate’s President of Production Erik Feig adds: “Catching Fire is a very different story from The Hunger Games. Katniss is thrust, literally, into a higher arena, and we see not only pressure mounting on her, but also the scope of her caring for others broadening. We saw it as a wonderful cinematic opportunity to bring her greater inner complexities and an even bigger visual scale to life.
As Panem is slowly revealed to be on a collision course with change in Catching Fire, so too does Katniss stand at the boundary of the hesitant girl she was and the young woman she will become.
“We’re very excited in this film to advance Katniss’s evolution as a character,” Jacobson states. “We see her growing into somebody who is much more the master of her own destiny, as opposed to a pawn in the agendas of others. We see an ethical and social consciousness awakened in her, and yet at the same time, we also see the very human resistance that she feels to having to become a hero, when all she really wants to do in her heart is gohome.”
Katniss In Chaos
The events of The Hunger Games took Katniss Everdeen to what she thought were her ultimate physical and emotional limits, and all she wanted in the aftermath was to finally be home with her family and best friend, Gale Hawthorne. But there is to be no going home for Katniss, even if she beat all the odds. She is now a different person – a girl haunted by memories, by the continuing control of her life by the Capitol, by the persistent threats that remain to her loved ones. More than that, she is now a public persona, whether or not she wants to be. Not only is she the Capitol’s celebrated “Girl on Fire” but she is becoming an inspirational symbol to some and a dangerous enemy to others
Now, when she is reaped a second time for the 75th Hunger Games, all of that takes Katniss to a new place in her mind and her soul. As defiant and fiercely independent as ever, her journey in Catching Fire becomes about grappling with the dual nature of heroism – its burdens and its power.
Returning in the role is Jennifer Lawrence, whose career has soared since The Hunger Games, and who recently won the Best Actress Oscar®, among other awards, playing the complicated widow Tiffany Maxwell in David O. Russell’s celebrated Silver Linings Playbook
awrence loved creating the character for the first time on screen and in Catching Fire, she took the sometimes selfless, often cunning young woman she has embodied through dark, confusing times and evolved her to a new level of strength and maturity.
“Katniss remains a character I adore but the stakes are different for her this time,” Lawrence notes. “In the first movie, she was a hesitant hero who really just wanted to save her family, but now she has a bigger weight on her shoulders. She feels a responsibility to all these people who are depending on her and yet, she is struggling with that, because it isn’t at all what she signed up for.”
As a victor, Katniss had been promised a lifetime free of being reaped for the games ever again. But the rules have changed. Each Quarter Quell – which every 25 years marks the Capitol’s triumphant defeat over the rebelling Districts – the games get special instructions, and this year they say that the competition will take place between former victors, a move Katniss suspects is aimed at her. “I think Katniss was just starting to accept that she had post-traumatic stress and was trying to get over that, only now she has to face the unthinkable: going back to the Games,” says Lawrence.
Diving back into the depths of the role, Lawrence was acutely aware that Katniss is trying to come to terms with all that she has experienced and achieved, and just as much with newfound fame and its seeming ability to wreak havoc. “In Catching Fire, Katniss becomes very aware of all the people who are watching her, who are depending on her and that all becomes very real to her,” says the actress. “She feels that she has to decide between saving her family or fighting for her people.”
Katniss is also faced with an increasingly complex relationship with her fellow Tribute, Peeta Mellark, with whom she is now pegged as an item, replete with lavish wedding plans, in the Capitol’s PR blitz – despite her unrequited feelings for Gale back at home. Much as she wants to go back to a time when things were simpler with Gale, she cannot. “Everything feels different to Katniss now,” Lawrence explains. “There are things about her life that Gale just doesn’t understand anymore, whereas he used to understand everything. And now there are parts of her life that only Peeta understands.”
These Games are also different for Katniss, in part because she is now a veteran who goes into them with her eyes wide open to the threats. She also goes into them in an unfamiliar position: as the frontrunner. “These games are definitely different because everybody has been here before. Everybody’s experienced,” Lawrence says
This time the battle terrain is also new and unchartered – as well as mind-boggling to Katniss. “This arena is something that Katniss has never experienced before,” Lawrence notes. “She grew up in the woods, so that was always her specialty. But this is all new to her -- a jungle and a very sinister jungle at that. The jungle becomes a deadly tribute in itself.”
Like Katniss must, Lawrence threw herself right back into intensive training for these even more physically demanding games, spending hours on the archery range and honing an array of free-running skills to new levels. “The stunts in this movie are really fantastic, so it was worth doing the extra months of training to be able to do them,” she comments
The intense process of entering Katniss’ weighted soul and ever-intensifying dilemmas was supported throughout by director Francis Lawrence (no relation). “He has such a huge imagination and he’s so good at creating different worlds in a way that really resonates,” the actress says. “I felt he fully understood the story and he was very freeing to work with.”
Francis Lawrence was in turn enthralled with Jennifer’s unwavering commitment to doing justice to Katniss in this new phase of her life. “Jennifer just owns this character,” says the director. “And she brings out many new facets in this movie. You get a chance to really see Katniss grow as a human being. Throughout, it was fascinating to watch Jennifer, because playing Katniss is so natural for her. Her performance style is very instinctual – and when she turns it on, she really turns it on.”
Adds producer Jon Kilik: “The most important thing to us was to maintain the truth and integrity of Katniss -- and Jennifer makes that possible. She's so deeply rooted in Katniss’ head that her every move feels real and honest. Her technique is invisible, which is astonishing at such a young age. Every day on this film she was surprising us, every day she was able to go a little further or bring another dimension to Katniss. She was always finding new things and she never repeated herself.”
The Hunger Games introduced moviegoers to the original yet hauntingly familiar world of Panem, with its gritty, enslaved Districts, eye-popping Capitol full of glitter and glam, and its reliance on televised spectacles to distract the people. Now, Catching Fire expands the scope of Panem, revealing far more of the oppressed nation just starting to simmer with rebellion than has yet been seen on screen. Given the care and creativity it would take to bring all that to life, the producers went in search of a director who would arrive on the scene with his own personal vision, as well an understanding of why people relate so strongly to Collins’ characters and fictional realm
They found that combo in Francis Lawrence, who made a different kind of apocalyptic world viscerally real in the stylish sci-fi epic I Am Legend, starring Will Smith. “We were looking for somebody who had a real passion for the books and for this book in particular,” recalls Nina Jacobson. “From our first conversation, Francis had so much insight into the characters and into the dynamics between them, we were won over.”
Adds Jon Kilik: “Francis not only deeply connected with the material, but he also saw how to build on the first movie. To have someone who had a vision for how the story could grow and expand was very impressive.”
Lawrence approached the film as an opening for audiences to venture further and deeper into the heart of Panem – both of its Capitol and its people. “Catching Fire opens the world of Panem up and you start to learn more about the characters, as the story pushes them forward,” he says. “It is the most technically complex film I have ever done, and yet I think the coolest thing about it is simply the strength of the story itself. I’m really proud of how emotional it is. Fans will enjoy seeing many new facets to Panem, but it’s also a story that stands on its own.”
To assure those relationships were as authentic as possible, he worked closely with Suzanne Collins herself, honing the edges of an already strong screenplay by Simon Beaufoy and Michael deBruyn. “There will never be anybody that knows these characters and the world of Panem as well as Suzanne, and I know people really love and trust what Suzanne has to say about them,” Lawrence comments. “She became a vital part of finding the best ways to tell this part of the story.”
The opportunity to take audiences on a visceral ride into an inventive new arena also excited Lawrence, and ignited his cinematic creativity. From lightning storms to blood rain to a madly spinning Cornucopia and a climactic sequence that changes everything, Lawrence relished the challenges. “This arena is like no other,” he describes. “Special care went into creating it by the gamemaker and it plays a large role in our story. It’s a very interactive arena, and its secrets make it far trickier.”
But the biggest thrill of all for Lawrence was the chance to reveal the innermost hopes and anxieties of Collins’ characters, and especially Katniss, as they never have been seen before. As the Quarter Quell kick off, Katniss and Peeta bring with them the wisdom, physical prowess and skepticism gained from their first Games – but must take each of those qualities to a whole new level if they hope to get out. “These tributes have all won the games before, and they are now smarter, more skilled and savvier about forming alliances,” observes the director. “Alliances become a big theme in this story for Katniss and Peeta as they try to figure who they can and cannot trust.”
Yet Katniss alone must navigate the pressures of turning into the nation’s greatest symbol of hope. For Lawrence, Katniss’ reluctance to be seen by anyone, let alone the millions searching for light in the rabble of Panem’s districts, as a heroine is part of what makes her so beloved as a modern character. “It’s one of the things that I think we all really relate to in Katniss -- that she has these very personal needs to protect her own family, which are not selfish needs but that conflict with some of the new things being asked of her. She doesn’t want people looking up to her, because she has enough to worry about on her own, yet she is discovering that she can’t escape that, either. It’s really what makes her so believable as a character, that she never set out to be anyone’s hero,” he observes.
Since Catching Fire immerses itself deeper into Katniss’ world and relationships, Lawrence chose to utilize the most immersive film technology in existence – IMAX® cameras. He put the large-format cameras to work as the Games begin, making them feverishly immediate. “I wanted the arena to be the most visceral experience possible, all as seen from Katniss’ inner POV,” he explains. “Seeing her world through IMAX® opens up the screen up and takes you inside the imagery. “
Along with the endless creative challenges of the film, a huge pleasure for Lawrence was simply working with such an accomplished and varied cast. “This was the most extraordinary cast, and it was really fun to watch them each bring their own mix of humor, humanity and emotion to such incredible characters,” sums ups Lawrence. “They all have distinct, dynamic personalities.”
Who's Who: Returning To The Games
Peeta Mellark: 12th District Tribute
Just as Katniss will re-enter the Hunger Games arena and face all the questions the quest for survival raises a second time in Catching Fire, so too will Peeta Mellark, her fellow tribute, and unexpected fellow victor. Returning in the role is Josh Hutcherson, who says, “It was really exciting to experience these characters again, but in a very different kind of story and time in their lives.”
Hutcherson sees Peeta, like Katniss, as still struggling to recover from all that they saw and went through just to stay alive, despite living in the comfort of Victors’ Village. Still reeling from his unrequited romantic feelings for Katniss, he finds it bittersweet to head out on an expertly spun, heavily manufactured “Victors’ Tour,” where the two must pretend to be perfectly, madly in love. “It’s really hard for us being paraded around against our will,” he says. “We’ve both been trying to get back to our old routine but now we’re different, we have notoriety and it’s also tough to go back home after such intense battles. They’re both going through a big transition, for sure.”
Part of that transition is trying to figure out what they mean to each other going forward. “By this point, Peeta has realized that Katniss only pretended to be in love with him during the Games in order to stay alive and get back to her family,” he notes. “But Peeta has always been in love with her, and will always be in love with her. That’s what makes it such an interesting relationship.”
That relationship will soon go through more twists, turns and tests when Peeta volunteers (in Haymitch Abernathy’s place) to be the male tribute beside Katniss for the Quarter Quell Games. This time, Peeta will try to compel Katniss to trust more in others. “The whole thing is very different from the first time around because whereas they thought they were just going into the arena alone, now they are learning the importance of making strong alliances,” he explains.
Hutcherson credits Francis Lawrence for adding a lot of dynamic emotions to the electric action of these all-star Hunger Games. “Francis was so prepared, so very collaborative and yet any time you had an idea, he would always say, ‘Let’s try it.’ He knows what he wants but, at the same time, he is willing to work with you if you have a different idea about things. The scope of the film is so much bigger this time around, yet he brings attention to every detail.”
Gale Hawthorne: 12th District Miner
Liam Hemsworth is back as Gale, Katniss’ soul mate whom she was forced to leave behind when she volunteered for the 74th Hunger Games. He explains that Gale’s life has also profoundly changed since she went away and returned a victor. “Gale’s now working in the mines and he’s still trying to survive. But his anger is growing more and more every day because of all these things that the Capitol is doing to the Districts and now I think he’s starting to feel a responsibility to stand up to that,” says Hemsworth.
But with Katniss, Gale is unclear with where he now stands. Hemsworth notes that “Gale feels like he’s a bit in the dark. He’s unsure as to his place in her life now that so much has changed. At the same time, when he sees his best friend having to return to the Games again, I think it lights a fire inside him. It’s exciting for me because Gale’s whole story is becoming more complex.”
Working closely with Jennifer Lawrence made that new complexity even more intriguing, says Hemsworth. “She’s great a friend of mine and that always makes the chemistry on screen stronger. She’s always so energetic, and so true, she makes it easier for everyone else around her.”
Hemsworth also loved having the chance to consult with Suzanne Collins herself while crafting his evolving portrait of Gale. “She’s been a huge part of both movies, which is great, because it ensures the movie feels true to the characters,” he says. “She’s a lovely, lovely woman and she often tells me about how much she loves the character of Gale. That means a lot to me and I worked that much harder because I so want the character to make her happy, as well as the millions of fans.”
Cinna, Haymitch and Effie: Team Katniss & Peeta
Also returning to give comfort and aid to Katniss and Peeta as they are so unfairly reaped for a second time, are the key members of Katniss’ victorious prep team for the 74th Hunger Games: her ingenious stylist Cinna, crafty mentor Haymitch and effervescent PR handler Effie
“I was so excited to come back,” says Lenny Kravitz, the actor and rock star who as Cinna takes new risks in this film, dipping Katniss’ most dazzling outfit in shades of rebellion. “This time, Cinna seems more subdued. But instead of rebelling out loud, he’s saying what he has to say in his work and in what his creations for Katniss mean. He and Katniss have forged a relationship that is lasting. She trusts him and that continues in this film. He’s completely devoted to Katniss and he’s going to do whatever he can to make sure she gets through to the next chapter.”
Since he’s playing Katniss’ designer, Kravitz was especially thrilled with the costumes for Catching Fire. “Our costume designer Trish Summerville did an amazing job,” he says. “As for Cinna, she found a lot of things that I would wear in my real life, so Cinna and myself have gotten a bit closer as far as fashion goes!”
As the infamously unstable former victor Haymitch Abernathy, two-time Academy Award® nominee Woody Harrelson also had new challenges to face in Catching Fire. “Haymitch has been on a bit of a bender since the 74th Hunger Games,” Harrelson confesses. But when Katniss and Peeta must return to the arena, he begins to sober up, providing key help to both of them.
“I think he has a lot of concerns about mentoring these two again, but he comes to realize this time it’s an even bigger deal because it’s a very, very pivotal time in the course of their lives, in their relationship and in Panem’s history,” Harrelson notes
Especially fun for Harrelson was reuniting with Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson. “The first movie we were all getting to know each other, but now we’re like old friends,” he says. “I’m really excited for the audience to see all of us doing our thing with even more drama and more innovative action. There’s a lot of great stuff to be expected.”
As the inimitably boisterous, dressed-to-the-nines Effie Trinket, Elizabeth Banks, was absolutely thrilled to take another spin through flamboyance. “I just love being Effie,” she proclaims. “I love the hair, the makeup, the clothes, the whole transformation. I love that Effie provides a lot of comic relief amidst some really intense emotional stuff. And she provides another POV on the world of Panem and a fun way into that for the audience.”
In Catching Fire, it is Effie who is responsible for pulling off the Victory Tour as a seamless spectacle of perfect happiness, no easy feat given the times in Panem. “She’s responsible for everything that happens,” Banks explains. “But as they go on their tour, they all really get to see, first hand, the effect that Katniss and Peeta are having in the Districts.”
Then, as Effie starts to feel closer to Katniss and Peeta, suddenly the rules change and they are reaped again, which even she can’t spin into a positive. “I think Effie feels robbed of something in a way she never has before,” Banks explains. “As a citizen of the Capitol, she’s never had to deal with the feelings that the districts do every year when the Hunger Games happen. Now, suddenly she feels like a caring parent who saw these two play the game beautifully and win and feels they deserve everything the Capitol guaranteed them. The inequity and unfairness of the Quarter Quell affects Effie in an unexpected way. You get to see that underneath all the glamour, she has a real heart.”
As for what fans can expect from Catching Fire, Banks summarizes: “It really is about the idea of catching fire. It’s about Katniss’ journey from a little ember to something that is starting to spread – and everyone is getting swept up in it.”
President Snow and Caesar Flickerman: Capitol Powers
At the despotic center of Panem’s Capitol still lies President Snow -- a role reprised by Donald Sutherland with even more charismatic villainy as he aims to halt Katniss’ growing power in the districts. Sutherland says that no matter how cold Snow can be, he intrigues him. “I have affection for Coriolanus Snow,” the actor confesses. “He’s a very skillful politician. Sometimes he might have to kill people, but I’m fascinated by the precision with which he works.”
As for what the President thinks of Katniss, Sutherland comments: “I think he sees her as the very manifestation of a threat – and he loves it. For him, it’s like a magic chess game of trying to defeat this exquisitely instinctive creature battling for freedom. He knows how shaky the framework is of this society he rules, and he knows it’ll fall apart if he allows this one spark to catch fire.”
Sutherland was especially excited to work with Jennifer Lawrence again as Snow’s no longer quite so innocent rival. “I was thrilled to see Jennifer again,” he says. “She’s just the most substantial talent. Everything she does comes from her gut and it’s an exquisite thing to see.”
As President Snow sets in motion the Quarter Quell Games, it’s up to television personality Caesar Flickerman to once again add color and verve to a process that has infuriated all the victors – and try to turn their impending nightmare into sensational television. “It’s great to be back,” says Stanley Tucci of his second time in the showy, media-savvy role. “It’s really fun to play this kind of larger-than-life, theatrical character. At the same time the differences between what Caesar is saying and what’s really happening in Catching Fire are rather disturbing.”
Still, Tucci says that Katniss might have the upper hand on the Capitol’s PR machinery. “She is even shrewder this time,” he remarks. “And I think she proves that she really understands how to use the media and use someone like Caesar to her advantage.”
As for how Caesar has justified his role in the Games to himself, Tucci ponders: “I think he walks a very fine line because he doesn’t want to ruffle any feathers. He’s painfully polite and, perhaps, painfully in denial at the same time. But I think he’s also in awe of Katniss and Peeta, like everybody is. He knows how smart they are, and he knows how dangerous they are.”
Primrose Everdeen: Katniss’ Sister
In The Hunger Games, Katniss volunteered to take the place of her little sister, Primrose, when she was reaped for the 74th Hunger Games. Now, Primrose is growing up and discovering her own skills as a healer. Also growing up rapidly is the actress who plays her, Willow Shields, who returned to set a more mature version of herself – and taller by nearly a foot. “I’ve definitely grown up with the character,” laughs Shields
As Catching Fire begins, Shields explains that Primrose has developed her own talents. “She's following in the footsteps of her mom, and she's become like a doctor for District 12. She’s in the process of becoming a very strong person after everything she’s been through with Katniss.”
Who's Who: New To The Games
Plutarch Heavensbee: 75th Hunger Games Gamemaker
The 75th Hunger Games feature an all-new gamemaker, Plutarch Heavensbee, whose work is treacherously creative in all kinds of ways. Taking this key role is one of cinema’s most decorated talents: Academy Award® winner and four-time nominee Philip Seymour Hoffman.
The filmmakers were thrilled to have Hoffman take on one of the Capitol’s slyest citizens. “Plutarch is such an important character and Phillip is one of the very best actors working right now, so we started talking to him and fortunately, he just loved the books, and he loved this story,” recalls Francis Lawrence
For Hoffman, the breadth of Collins’ imagination was a big lure. “I started reading the books and was just sucked into them. I was blown away by what Suzanne had done. So the idea of being part of bringing this whole story to the screen in a worthy fashion interested me,” he explains
Hoffman also was intrigued to find a way to make the enigmatic Plutarch flesh and blood. “It’s challenging to take a character like this from the page into cinematic storytelling,” he remarks. “I had to kind of look into Plutarch a bit more, outside of what the book showed me. He has all the qualities that he had in the book, but I think he has even more now, so that was exciting.”
Jennifer Lawrence especially loved having the chance to work with Hoffman. “It’s a pinch me moment as an actor if you get to do a scene with Philip Seymour Hoffman,” she comments. “I think he’s arguably one of the greatest actors of our time. He’s such a smart, nice man and he embodies Plutarch in the most incredible way.”
Finnick Odair: 4th District Tribute
As the Quarter Quell Games begin, Katniss will soon forge an alliance with one of the most intriguing of tributes: the brilliantly skilled but brashly overconfident, trident-wielding Finnick Odair, who won the 65th Hunger Games with ease when he was just 14 years old.
To play one of Panem’s most popular victors, the filmmakers cast Sam Claflin, the rising British actor seen recently in Snow White and The Huntsman. Claflin might have seemed a surprising choice for the role, but Francis Lawrence was convinced he had the three most important qualities required: easy charm, striking athleticism and beneath all that, some gritty depth. “We saw tons of people for Finnick but I always kept going back to Sam,” recalls the director. “He’s a handsome, sexy, funny, athletic guy but he also can tap into real emotional power – that’s what sold me most.”
Jennifer Lawrence was among those instantly won over by Claflin’s take on Finnick. “Sam has this sweet, wonderful charm to him. When you put Finnick’s sarcastic words in Sam’s mouth they still come out dripping with charm and that’s a really hard thing to pull off, yet Sam does,” she says. “I couldn’t see anybody else playing Finnick because he was so amazing.”
Claflin felt an instant affinity for Finnick. “Finnick is a very complicated person,” he observes. “He is not someone able to easily share his feelings and emotions because he feels that eyes are always on him. But he also is ready to fight for what he believes is right for the future of the world that he lives in. Ultimately, he becomes allies with Katniss, and he goes on a great journey.”
Still, Katniss doesn’t always respond to Finnick in the way he generally expects. “He tries to charm the pants off of her basically and that doesn’t work out as planned,” Claflin laughs. “Every other girl falls over him, but Katniss doesn’t. I think there’s an element of that which intrigues him.”
Weighing on Claflin throughout his performance were the expectations of millions of eager fans who had already fallen in love with the character – which only motivated him to train harder and push further physically and emotionally. “There was definitely pressure on my shoulders,” the actor admits. “But I can safely say that I’ve never worked so hard to achieve an end result.”
Beetee, Wiress, Johanna and Mags: Tributes from Districts 3, 4 and 7
The tributes who align themselves with Katniss in the Quarter Quell games are an eclectic group from all different ages and backgrounds. Taking the role of Beetee, the victor who won almost entirely on brains rather than brawn is Primetime Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner Jeffrey Wright. Wright had just the right mix of intelligence and verve to take on the electronic wizard. “Beetee required a very unique individual - somebody's who's smart and methodical, and also dangerous,” Kilik says. “Jeffrey has that versatility and talent.”
Wright admits he hadn’t previously been caught up in The Hunger Games phenomenon when his phone rang with an offer for the role – but that quickly changed. “As soon as I discovered how rich this material was, how complicated and relevant it was, I got really excited,” he recalls.
He was especially intrigued by the idea of all these former warriors coming back together into the perilous arena. “What's interesting about the way that Suzanne Collins has drawn these characters and the way we're attempting to portray them is that they're all, to some extent, damaged warriors. It starts to become a real examination of the price that warriors pay for what they do,” Wright observes.
As for Beetee, he says: “What’s driving him is his sense of mistrust against the very idea of the Games and against the idea of a society of exclusion. He must use his best ideas and technological know-how to try to escape.”
Beetee is closely tied to the female tribute from District 3, Wiress, played by Amanda Plummer, a Tony Award® winner also known for such classic films as Pulp Fiction and The Fisher King. “Wiress and Beetee make for a curious and eccentric pair and working with Amanda was fantastic,” says Wright. “She's such an open actor, so generous and so fragile and their relationship becomes a very personal one.”
Wiress might have a shy streak but beneath her quiet exterior lies a rather observant mind. Plummer dove into that and says that she especially loved the rapport with Beetee. “They have a really special relationship where Wiress has the feeling that he’s got her back and she’s got his back,” she says. “Have you ever come across a soul-mate? Working with Jeffrey was kind of like that. He’s a very giving, gracious actor.”
Katniss and Peeta also must try to figure out the allegiance of the highly unpredictable, emotionally manipulative axe-thrower Johanna Mason from District 7. To take on the dauntlessly uninhibited role, the filmmakers chose Jena Malone (Sucker Punch, Into the Wild), who is rapidly becoming a major star of both film and theatre. Malone won them over with an audition that riveted everyone. “Her audition was so intense, so raw and so dangerous,” Nina Jacobson recalls. “There was nobody else we could even really think about casting once we'd seen her. She felt tough in a way that came from being damaged, not tough because she was just trying to intimidate.”
Malone says she felt an instant fascination with Johanna. “I think Johanna’s biggest strength, and the one that I was most interested in exploring, is her unpredictability,” she says. “She’s not consistently angry, she’s not consistently nice. I just feel like there's this thing where you never really know what you’re going to get from her.”
Also aligning with Katniss and Peeta is one of the most unusual tributes of all: Mags, the 80 year-old former victor known for her compassion. Taking the role is veteran actress Lynn Cohen (Eagle Eye, Munich, Sex and the City), who says that her granddaughter and a friend both suggested she audition for it. She soon found herself tapping into Mags’ uniquely feminine form of strength. “Mags is a female to the very end, and strong and funny and crafty,” Cohen muses. “How can you resist that? How can you resist playing such a strong woman in a film about strong women?”
Rounding out the new group of Tributes are Alan Ritchson (Blue Mountain State) as Gloss, the ultra-fit tribute from District 1; newcomer Stephanie Leigh Schlund as Gloss’ beautiful, self-possessed sister Cashmere; Bruno Gunn (Sons of Anarchy) as Brutus, the bloodthirsty “Career” tribute from District 2; Meta Golding (CSI) as Enobaria, the District 2 tribute whose teeth have been filed into golden fangs; E. Roger Mitchell (Flight) as Chaff, the wounded tribute from District 11, Bobby Jordan (The Watch) as the likeable woodsman Blight from District 7 and Maria Howell (Revolution) as District 11’s Seeder
The Gamemaker: Designing Catching Fire
As the ambitious scope of Catching Fire became clear, Francis Lawrence surrounded himself with his own crack creative team of “gamemakers.” He was well aware that nothing less than fearless creativity could bring all the new elements of Panem – the Victors’ Tour that speeds by train through the simmering districts, a lavish Presidential party in the heart of the Capitol, and of course the Amazonian Jungle-like Arena specially built to create impossible odds for Katniss – to life.
“We’re excited to show audience much more detail inside District 12, including the Victor’s Village, to give our first glimpses on the Victors’ Tour of Districts 11, 4 and 8, to expand the portrait of the sparkling Capitol – and bring them into a very, very impressive new arena,” says the director
Lawrence’s team would be headed by director of photography Jo Willems, returning production designer Phil Messina and costume designer Trish Summerville – each of whom took chances to take the design to the next level
Messina says he knew he was in for a brand new experience. “I knew coming in that everything was going to be upped from the last and that was the real hook for me,” he explains. “It’s not simply that Lawrence wanted to make everything bigger for the sake of it. It was more about responding to the fact that the story is expanding, the stakes are growing. Everything we did was in service to that, which was quite exciting for me.”
He especially enjoyed his consultations with Lawrence. “Francis is extremely visual and he approaches things much like I do – we both like to talk in pictures. So it was very fun to riff off the images that we were throwing at each other and it was a great collaboration – especially given the challenges.”
The film begins a few months after 74th Hunger Games, with Katniss and Peeta now living in Victor’s Village – part of their prize for emerging as survivors. Even so, by comparison to the Capitol, Messina notes their surroundings are modest. “Their new world is elegant but still fairly simple. I guess, in the context of District 12, if you have food and heat it’s extravagant, but there’s still a real contrast with President Snow’s house. Katniss’ house is sort a mini version of Snow’s palace, with a lot of same esthetic, so you also get the sense that she is not really as comfortable there as she was in her old, much smaller house.”
But Katniss is also about to go out on the road again, on her Victors’ Tour with Peeta, which will take them for the first time into some of the other districts, which she finds are as hard-scrabble in their own ways as hers. As she travels, Lawrence and Messina wanted Katniss to see subtle but mounting signs that the people are stirring and President Snow’s storm troopers are amassing to respond. “We show in little bits and pieces what Katniss is gleaning – that there’s a kind of grassroots rebellion that is just starting in different places,” explains Messina. “It’s in things like the line of graffiti we painted: ‘the odds are never in your favor.’”
The design quickly transitions to oh-so-fashionable and lavish as Katniss and Peeta head back to the Capitol in preparation for the Quarter Quell Games. One of Messina’s favorite scenes in the Capitol is the party at President Snow’s mansion, where Katniss and Peeta announce their engagement, riveting the nation back to their love story.
The production utilized an elegant 1920s mansion in Atlanta -- Swan House – as their base for Snow’s realm. “It made real sense that Snow would live in this sort of elegant house with a park-like feeling right in the middle of the Capitol. The architecture feels very real, which allows the people of the Capitol to bring the outrageousness to it,” Messina comments.
The Capitol also boasts new apartments and a sparkling, high-tech training center for the tributes, which was recreated utilizing the massive, space-age atrium inside the Atlanta Marriot Marquis, designed by architect John Portman. “These are like the All Star Games of the Hunger Games, so everything had to be brand new,” Messina explains.
But the biggest design task of all would be the Games themselves, which had Messina diving into Plutarch Heavensbee’s over-grown jungle motif – featuring such elements as devastating lightning, poison fog, attacking monkeys, eerie jabber jays and a particularly perilous, water-bound Cornucopia. When Messina and his team scouted rain forest locations in Hawaii, the inspiration for the Cornucopia came. “When we were scouting in Hawaii, we saw a lot of lava rocks and lava formations, and Francis and I came upon the idea that it should sit on a rock island that would feel harsh and foreboding.”
As part of Plutarch’s brilliantly twisted design, that entire island had to operate as a dastardly clock and also made to spin – with numerous actors hanging on for dear life. “It was all about getting the right forces to act on the actor’s bodies and to get the light spinning at the right speed,” says Messina. “But it was also very important to find a design safe enough to put our cast on. We used a system that’s similar to the Ferris wheel, just a friction drive wheel on the outside of a big ring.”
Special effects coordinator Steve Cremin notes that the Cornucopia design also pushed his team to invent new ways of working with water and generating waves. “It’s extremely challenging to manage a million and a half gallons of water quickly, to be able to drain it, fill it and create waves in it. But we felt it could be done - and it was done,” he says
Despite the logistical difficulties, Messina says he had one main objective: “The idea was always to be with Katniss as she discovers all these things about Panem and about herself that she never knew – and knowing there’s still a lot more to discover.”
Monkeys, Lightning And Blood Rain
A sense of discovery was also sought after in every aspect of the film’s visuals, from its innovative IMAX® photography to its photorealistic digital effects. It began with the work of Belgian cinematographer Jo Willems (Hard Candy), whose camera plunges into Katniss’ increasingly defiant point of view – and who also brought groundbreaking IMAX® camerawork into the mix. Says Jon Kilik of Willems’ imagery: “Jo worked seamlessly with Francis to achieve the film’s fantastic scale and scope. His creative use of IMAX® cameras also takes you directly into the experience of the arena, where the verticality of the trees and the lush foliage become something not only very beautiful, but very immediate and intense.
Francis Lawrence was absolutely thrilled with what the IMAX® cameras were able to capture – especially in the instant when Katniss first arrives inside the unexpected arena. “The IMAX® photography makes for the most incredible moment as we see through Katniss’ eyes this gorgeous, threatening new world for the first time. We are all awestruck along with her.”
To oversee the specialized cameras, the filmmakers brought in IMAX® technician Doug Lavender. Lavender explains that the production used the cameras in innovative ways. “As the characters compete in this massive game of high stakes, we used cable cams, cranes and hand-held work that had the IMAX® camera flying through the forest -- and a lot of that is quite unique. Very few directors have used hand-held IMAX® cameras, so this was a first. It’s so very impactful when you get to see the actors going through these huge emotions in this huge world really close up.”
Lawrence admits that the notoriously cumbersome cameras added extra challenges to the film – but he say it was all worth it. “I had been warned that the cameras are bigger, bulkier, and more awkward to hand hold – but we figured out ways to do exactly what we wanted. After you’ve spent days sweating, getting bitten by mosquitoes, lugging heavy equipment through the jungle and waiting for the long turnaround time of the cameras, when you see the dailies and see how unbelievably stunning it is… that is pretty satisfying.”
On the visual effects side, a dedicated team of artists formed under the aegis of visual effects supervisor Janek Sirrs, whose recent work includes The Avengers, Iron Man 2 and I Am Legend with Lawrence. Sirrs, who would be in charge of some 1000 effects shots for the film, notes that the director had a very clear mandate in mind: to seamlessly integrate the effects into the story. “Francis tends toward a very naturalistic style so it was important that the effects didn't draw unwarranted attention. The goal was really not to regard the effects-heavy sequences any differently from the ‘regular’ sequences,” he explains. “Creating a totally believable, realistic world was paramount to the project. If you're asking the audience to buy into an alternate reality then the last thing you want them to be paying attention to is the environment, rather than the actors' performances. If the audience doesn't question how the visual effects work then we know we've done our job properly.”
Sirrs and Lawrence began by talking about the feeling inside the arena. “There was a very definite idea about how the jungle should feel: oppressively hot and humid, which was based upon photographic research of jungles from around the world, particularly Costa Rica. Between takes the actors were being constantly spritzed down with water, and smoke was pumped through the locations to create the illusion of moisture/mist hanging in the air to add to the realism.”
Both the real jungle where they shot in Hawaii and the digital jungle the team forged on computers posed challenges. “Carrying equipment through dense undergrowth is very tiring, especially when the ground turns into swamp at the first instance of rain. And then there were the bugs -- in hindsight, I wish I had bought shares in the company that makes DEET,” laughs Sirrs.
Meanwhile, to create the Cornucopia, Sirrs’ team began generating a fully digital, photorealistic jungle complete with bodies of water. “Every piece of foliage that you see there – all the palm trees, banyan trees, smaller bushes, and so on - are completely rendered 3D dimensional models, with all the individual leaves blowing in the wind to add a sense of life-like movement,” he explains. “We had so many pieces of computer-generated foliage that it wasn't possible to actually store them all – so we effectively had to digitally ‘re-plant’ them each time a frame was rendered.”
Another 400-plus digital shots were overseen by Double Negative (The Dark Knight Rises, Skyfall, Rush) and visual effects supervisor Adrian de Wet. Their work includes the Avenue of the Tributes sequence – for which the road, bleachers, buildings, fountains, Presidential Circle and the whole layout of the Capitol behind the parading Tributes had to be conceived, modeled, textured, lit and rendered. Double Negative also created the fire effect on Katniss and Peeta’s outfits at President Snow’s party. In addition, their work was integral to the arena environment, including such hazards as the Tidal Wave, the attacking Jabberjays and the poison fog
The fog was particularly complicated. “There was much discussion back and forth as to how the fog should behave,” says de Wet. “The brief was that it should be like an unstoppable wave moving through the jungle. One of the challenges here was the sequence was shot without any fog, and then we had to add the fog while still keeping continuity of speed and direction, allowing the fog to interact with the jungle vegetation, all at IMAX® resolution.”
One of the most exhilarating visual effects missions was to recreate the monkey attack from Suzanne Collins’s book, in which dozens of brightly colored primates suddenly emerge like magic and begin to menace and imperil Peeta. This task fell to Guy Williams’ at WETA Digital, known for his work on Avatar, X-Men First Class and The Avengers, for which he received an Oscar® nomination. The monkeys would involve just 80 effects shots, but Williams knew that Francis Lawrence had grand ambitions for the sequence.
“Francis wanted it to feel like a very real moment, as Katniss, Peeta and Finnick face an extreme threat to their survival,” says Williams. “His idea was to build the scene so the audience starts out fascinated by the monkeys, only to get more and more anxious as it becomes clear how dangerous they are. From the beginning, he had it all beautifully choreographed. And from our first conversations, Francis spoke a directorial language of emotion, which made the challenge really fun.”
Williams and his team next dove into monkey business, immersing themselves in primatology to learn more about how monkeys behave and move. They based the film’s creatures on two species closely related to baboons: Drills, an endangered species found in African forests and known for their powerful builds and fearsome fangs; and Mandrills, the largest monkey species of all, famed for their extremely colorful, almost painted-looking faces. “We basically fused the more ferociously primal body of a Drill with the garish coloring of the Mandrill,” Williams explains. “Everything started from real monkeys, and our fantastic animation supervisor, Daniel Barrett, found tons and tons of references from zoo so we had a large reference library of movements from which to find just the right twitches and mannerisms.”
He continues: “From there on out it became more of an art – the art of never being content and pushing closer and closer to absolutely naturalistic motion. We were lucky to have Janek pushing us the whole time. He has a way of making people rise to the challenges and do better and better.”
To help the actors feel the presence of the monkeys on set, the visual effects team used cardboard cutouts and small stunt performers as stand-ins. “I'm sure there are some outtakes that have me doing my best monkey impersonations as well!” quips Sirrs.
A variety of technical issues would rear their heads – particularly because the monkeys bound through water, adding the significant complication of wet fur into the digital mix – but throughout, Williams says that his team was inspired by the final results. “When you are able to create something that feels so real to people, that is extremely fulfilling,” he concludes
With fashion so much a part of Panem’s universe, Francis Lawrence was committed to pushing Catching Fire’s costumes to edgy extremes – from the wildly lavish celebutantes in the Capitol to the tattered sackcloth of the workers in the districts. To achieve this, he turned to one of the most exciting designers working in film right now: Trish Summerville, who recently tackled another pop culture phenomenon, dressing The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’s Lisbeth Salander.
Summerville previously collaborated with Lawrence on several music videos, and she came to Catching Fire full of ideas. She explains: “Francis and I started off discussing making the look a little darker and also a bit more chic, a bit more fashion-forward, while still keeping that sense of the weird and perverse that clearly marks the Capitol.”
She especially went to the hilt with a line-up of couture dresses for Effie Trinket, whose style grows increasingly fabulous as she grows increasingly frantic with the approach of the Quarter Quell Games. Summerville worked with such leading design houses as Alexander McQueen – whose mesmerizingly structural, pink butterfly dress Effie dons to a stunningly eerie effect on the “Victor’s Tour” -- to create pieces that define the term avant-garde. “I wanted to have a tribute to McQueen, because I’ve been really inspired by his fashion and his structural pieces,” Summerville explains. “Elizabeth really let us torture her for some of these pieces. Her shoes are insane, especially a couple pairs of Alexander McQueen shoes that kept her on the ball of her foot at all times. But she endured it all for the beauty of it, so it goes right along with Effie’s character.”
Summerville also pulled in other design houses, including men’s designer Juun.J whose outfits adorn Haymitch and Peeta, and Jean Paul Gaultier, with pieces from that line adorning the chic Capitol “in crowd” at President Snow’s ever-so-fashionable Capitol party.
But the pièce de rèsistance would be Katniss’ knockout of a wedding dress, designed by Cinna to transform in the most daring way possible. Summerville worked with designer Tex Saverio, a 28 year-old Indonesian who has been on the fast track to fashion’s rarified elite, to create something that would capture both the romance and the darkness of the moment Katniss reveals her dress in the run-up to the Games. “The dress as seen in the film is definitely a work of art,” Summerville muses
Saverio wanted to go to the very limit for Katniss Everdeen. “We wanted something even edgier and more avant-garde so we used the metallic upper frame that has qualities of a flame and then the skirt is full of ribbons and lace. The materials symbolize all the contradictions in Katniss,” he explains.
In addition to working with couture pieces, Summerville created many of her own originals. She explains some of her conceptions for the characters: “Peeta wears a lot of green because we learn that is Katniss’ favorite color so subconsciously, he’s often in green to woo her. Gale is in more subdued, muted tones as a miner, but when he’s with Katniss he is a bit more pulled together because he’s trying to make an impression. Cinna, like most great stylists, is not really very flashy, but we wanted him to be very cool, in a more demure, deep way, so he wears a lot of dark tones. For Haymitch, we used a lot of natural fibers and textural fabrics and I wanted to clean him up a bit, so that he’s now a little more chic and streamlined but still slightly off in that Haymitch fashion.”
Says Jon Kilik of the breadth of her work: “She was involved in every thread of every costume for every character and even every extra. It was all hand-made or hand-selected by Trish herself -- every detail, every layer, and it's just an amazing job she's done to help create this world.”
While real-world street trends and runway shows inspired some of Summerville’s designs, her designs for Catching Fire are in turn now heating up the fashion world – with Lionsgate and online fashion and beauty retailer Net-A-Porter partnering on a luxury clothing line under the label “Capital Couture by Trish Summerville.” This collection of 16 ready-to-wear pieces will be available exclusively on Net-A-Porter.com, referencing such key elements from the film as laser-cut leather, sleek silhouettes and glamorous evening wear.
Adding further touches to Summerville’s work are the memorable faces created by returning makeup designer Ve Neill (The Amazing Spider-Man). “The breadth of Ve’s knowledge and experience are truly brought to bear in this movie because so many enormous demands were placed on her, whether the blisters from the poison fog, or the blood rain, or the whipping of Gale, all the way to the decadence of the Capitol,” Nina Jacobson says. “She’s fluent in all of it, whether it’s special effects makeup, sheer glamour, or the understated but sexy and contemporary feel of someone like Cinna.”
Neill was thrilled to have this chance to use the full gamut of her skills. “This movie was a makeup artist’s dream,” she states. “We have blood, we have fantasy, and we have Effie, who is a whole other entity unto herself.”
Hair and wig designer Linda Flowers felt similarly about the specialness of the project. “This is one of the only movies I’ve done where the hair is such an important part of the storytelling. And how often do you get to be a part of creating looks that people love copying and replicating?”
Neill and Flowers often riffed off each other, especially when it came to Effie. “The first time we see Effie, she looks like a giant snowflake, which is pretty fabulous,” Neill says. “Linda Flowers made this really amazing white snow encrusted wig. I followed suit and made her face almost white. She shows up like a beacon of winter.”
The director was very pleased with how costumes, makeup and hair all merged into a look that is 100% Panem. “We all worked together – Trish, Ve, Linda and their entire team – to create the look of the Capitol, so that every person you see has their own individual style,” says Lawrence. “At the same time it’s all tied into a unified new palette – with paler, almost ghostly makeup and geometrical looks. It was a tricky business and took an army of people to accomplish it.”
Coldplay Cathes Fire: The Music
When it came to setting Catching Fire’s most monumental moments to music, the filmmakers returned to the composer who created themes still fresh in audience’s minds from the first film: eight time Oscar® nominee James Newton Howard. With Katniss entering more nuanced emotional territory, Howard, too, explored new shadings in his orchestral score. “The gorgeous score that James has written for the film picks up the familiar themes, then carries them to new places,” says Francis Lawrence, who has collaborated with the composer before
Adds Tracy McKnight, Lionsgate’s Head of Film Music: “James really gets inside the heightened emotions of this part of the story and has created an epic score. He’s so gifted that was able to capture both the deep intimacy and the bold action that Catching Fire entails. We all felt very lucky to have him back.”
Last time, Howard collaborated with songwriter and musical artist T Bone Burnett. For Catching Fire, the filmmakers invited one of today’s most popular rock bands -- the seven-time GRAMMY® Award winning British group Coldplay – to write and record their first-ever original song for a motion picture. The result is the end title song, “Atlas,” which was penned specifically for Katniss, and would ultimately become inspiration for themes echoed in Howard’s score.
“I’m a huge fan of Coldplay so it was truly exciting for me to have this all come together,” muses Francis Lawrence. “I was simply knocked out by the unbelievable song Chris Martin, Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland and Will Champion wrote. It could not fit more perfectly emotionally and thematically with Katniss’ journey and it has made for a beautiful note to end the film. We can't wait to share this music with audiences."
Adds McKnight: "It was really a case of the stars aligning. We all felt Coldplay could bring just the right sound for the end of the film, and then it turned out that Chris Martin is a Hunger Games fan. Everything came together so organically because Chris and the band already had that connection to the story, and that led to something magical.”
When the filmmakers heard “Atlas,” they all knew something special had occurred in the alchemy between subject and songwriter. “Everyone instantly loved the song,” recalls McKnight. “Like the film, it’s about someone carrying the weight on the world on their shoulders and yet it leaves you with a sense of hope. And all that is carried by the beautiful piano, the gorgeous vocals and that sense of dramatic build that we’ve all come to love from Coldplay.”
McKnight -- along with music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas and Universal Republic Record’s executive Tom McKay -- was determined to have this second soundtrack album represent wide-ranging musical impressions of what Katniss’ evolution as a person means to so many. Part of the fun she says was making a “wish list” of artists and then, after approaching them, finding out that many were already obsessed with the books.
“We found that artists of all ages and background have already connected so strongly with these characters,” she says. “Because of that, we had a real opportunity to tell a musical story with this soundtrack, to touch on topics of displacement, family, hope and that feeling you have when you might be a catalyst for something but you don’t yet know what. These are really inspiring themes.”
Weaving through genres and styles, the soundtrack features artists ranging from Canadian R&B star The Weeknd, folk-rock roots band The Lumineers, Icelandic pop band Of Monsters and Men, indie rockers Imagine Dragons and The National to 16 year-old New Zealand singer-songwriter sensation Lorde and rock legend Patti Smith.
“We didn't want to drive in one lane on this soundtrack – it’s a multi-lane highway,” McKnight explains. “We wanted to tap into the universal nature of music and create something that can play equally well with teenagers or fans of any age. So it’s many different sounds, yet they all feel true to the spirit of the story. We also really wanted to go into the ‘discovery zone,’ – and we are excited to have artists such as The Weeknd, an important, emerging artist who wrote the most heart-wrenching song, and Lorde whose soul and depth beyond her years really reminded everyone of Katniss.”
Most of all, says McKnight, both the music and the score tie into the overarching aim of Catching Fire: “I think every person who worked on this film came to it wanting to make something that fans could embrace. That’s been the most fun – watching so many people, from the musicians to Francis Lawrence, bring their passion for a story that we all love.”
About The Cast
A natural talent, with a striking presence and undeniable energy, Academy Award® winner JENNIFER LAWRENCE (Katniss Everdeen) is one of Hollywood's most gifted actresses.
Most recently, Lawrence starred in David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook, alongside Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro. Her portrayal of ‘Tiffany’ in the film garnered Lawrence an Academy Award® in addition to wins at both the Golden Globes® and Screen Actors Guild Awards® for lead actress. Lawrence recently completed production on X-Men: Days of Future Past where she will reprise her role as ‘Mystique’ opposite Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy. Next up, she can be seen in David O. Russell’s American Hustle co-starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Bradley Cooper. The film is set to be released by Sony Pictures on December 25, 2013.
Lawrence has also signed on to star in and produce The Rules of Inheritance, an adaptation of Claire Bidwell Smith's recent memoir about a woman who loses both her parents to cancer as a young adult. Susanne Bier is set to direct the film which will be written by Abi Morgan and distributed by Film Nation.
Previously, Lawrence starred in Drake Doremus' Like Crazy opposite Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. In 2011, Lawrence also starred alongside Mel Gibson and Anton Yelchin in The Beaver directed by Jodie Foster.
Lawrence's performance in Winter’s Bone garnered her a 2011 Oscar® nomination for Best Actress in addition to nominations from the Screen Actors Guild Awards®, Golden Globe® Awards, Independent Spirit Awards® and Critic's Choice Awards. Additionally, she was honored with the Breakthrough Actress Award by the National Board of Review, the Rising Star Award at the Palm Springs Film Festival and the New Hollywood Award at the 2010 Hollywood Film Awards®. The critically acclaimed film, directed by Debra Granik also received an Oscar® nomination for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor in addition to winning the 2010 Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
Other film credits include a lead role in Guillermo Arriaga's directorial debut The Burning Plain, opposite Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger. The film premiered at the 65th Venice Film Festival where Lawrence won the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor. She also starred in Lori Petty's Poker House opposite Selma Blair and Bokeem Woodbine, for which she was awarded the prize of Outstanding Performance in the Narrative Competition at the 2008 Los Angeles Film Festival. Lawrence also starred in Relativity's House at the End of The Street opposite Elisabeth Shue and Max Thieriot.
On television, Lawrence co-starred on three seasons of the TBS series The Bill Engvall Show. Written and created by Bill Engvall and Michael Leeson, The Bill Engvall Show is set in a Denver suburb and the comedy follows the life of ‘Bill Pearson' (played by Engvall), a family counselor whose own family could use a little dose of counseling.
Reigning from Louisville, Kentucky and a childhood of local theatre experience to her credit, Lawrence traveled to New York at age 14 to explore a professional career in acting. She quickly caught the eye of casting directors and started acting in film and television during the summer of 2005 and hasn't looked back.
At 21 years old, JOSH HUTCHERSON (Peeta Mellark) has quickly become one of Hollywood's most accomplished young actors. In 2012, he was honored with CinemaCon’s award for Breakthrough Actor, the MTV Movie Award for Best Male Performance, Logo’s New Now Next Award for the Next Mega Star and GLAAD’s Vanguard Award.
Last year, Hutcherson was also seen starring in Red Dawn, a remake of the 1984 classic about a group of teenagers trying to save their town from foreign soldiers, Journey 2: Mysterious Island alongside Michael Caine and Dwayne Johnson, the independent feature film Detention, in which Hutcherson also served as Executive Producer and an omnibus film entitled Seven Days in Havana, which features seven shorts directed by seven different directors.
This past summer, Hutcherson lend his voice to the character of ‘Nod’ in the animated film Epic. The film tells the story of a teenage girl in a secret universe amidst a battle in the forest and also features the voices of Amanda Seyfried, Beyonce Knowles, Steven Tyler and Colin Farrell. He also recently finished filming Paradise Lost; a drama about the notorious kingpin, Pablo Escobar, which also stars Benicio Del Toro. He also serves as a producer on this film.
Additional film credits include The Vampire’s Assistant, opposite John C. Reilly and Salma Hayek; Carmel; Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D, the first ever high definition 3-D live performance feature; Bridge To Terabithia; Winged Creatures; Firehouse Dog; RV; Little Manhattan; Zathura; Kicking and Screaming; Howl's Moving Castle and The Polar Express. Hutcherson won a Young Artist Award for Leading Young Actor for his roles in Zathura and Bridge to Terebithia.
LIAM HEMSWORTH (Gale Hawthorne) has a quiet intensity that transcends the big screen. Demonstrating versatility and skill in a range of performances, Hemsworth has proven to be one of the most sought after actors of his generation.
Hemsworth, who starred in two of last year’s biggest box office hits—The Hunger Games, directed by Gary Ross, and Expendables 2, directed by Simon West—can now be seen starring opposite Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman in the high stakes thriller Paranoia, directed by Robert Luketic. In addition, he has completed production on the feature film drama Empire State with director Dito Montiel and co-stars Dwayne Johnson and Emma Roberts. He will soon begin lensing the crime thriller Cut Bank, co-starring John Malkovich, Ben Kinglsey and Michael Sheen
Born in Melborne, Australia, Hemsworth grew up surfing on Phillip Island. The youngest of three boys, Hemsworth always loved movies. Though he never dreamed of becoming an actor as a young kid, he would sit down and watch movies all day long. At the age of 17, having observed his two older brothers Luke and Chris do television shows in Australia, Hemsworth decided he too wanted to pursue acting seriously. He enrolled in acting classes, got an agent and started auditioning. Hemsworth quickly landed his first big acting job on Australia’s popular TV series Home and Away and from there went on to book a role on Australia’s most successful TV show Neighbors.
Landing his first film role in the feature film Triangle, Hemsworth discovered that his true passion was in making movies. “It’s something new and fresh and it’s just a different energy to what I’d worked on before, says Hemsworth. Knowing Los Angeles was the center of movie making, Hemsworth began sending audition tapes to the states. He sent a tape to Sylvester Stallone who within a week of receiving the tape asked Hemsworth to come to Hollywood immediately to play the part of his son in the feature film The Expendables. Shortly before he was to depart for Los Angeles, Hemsworth learned that the part of Stallone’s son had been written out of the script. However, within hours of learning he was no longer working on The Expendables he received a call that Marvel wanted to screen test him for Thor. Though he ended up losing the role of ‘Thor’ to his older brother Chris, it was this audition for Marvel that got Hemsworth to Los Angeles.
Hemsworth soon began to gain attention throughout Hollywood and, while living with his brother Chris in their manager Will Ward’s guest cottage, Liam beat out hundreds of actors for the part of ‘Will Blakelee’ in the film adaptation of Nicholas Spark’s The Last Song, directed by Julie Anne Robinson and co-starring Greg Kinnear and Miley Cyrus. This performance garnered Hemsworth the 2010 Young Hollywood Award as well the 2010 Teen Choice Male Breakout Award.
Hemsworth, who currently resides in Los Angeles, eagerly looks forward to more film work with quality actors and directors. He says, “I love acting and I love movies. At the moment, I’m just trying to find people who are doing something different and meet people who are as passionate as I am. I have learned the majority of what I know on set, working. You learn from watching people with experience.”
WOODY HARRELSON’s (Haymitch Abernathy) rare mix of intensity and charisma that consistently surprises and delights audiences and critics alike in both mainstream and independent projects. His portrayal of a casualty notification officer, opposite Ben Foster, in Oren Moverman’s The Messenger garnered him a 2010 Academy Award® nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He was previously nominated by the Academy, the Golden Globes® and SAG Awards® in the category of Best Actor for his portrayal of controversial magazine publisher Larry Flynt in Milos Forman’s The People vs. Larry Flynt.
Harrelson was last seen in Louis Leterrier’s Now You See Me starring Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Isla Fisher, and Mélanie Laurent. This fall, Harrelson will be seen in writer/director Scott Cooper’s Out of the Furnace starring opposite Christian Bale and Casey Affleck, and will also lend his voice to Relativity’s animated film, Free Birds with Owen Wilson. Harrelson most recently wrapped production on the HBO miniseries True Detective, co-starring Matthew McConaughey, for director Cary Fukunaga.
In 2012 Harrelson starred opposite Julianne Moore and Ed Harris in the HBO film Game Change for director Jay Roach, for which he earned Primetime Emmy®, SAG Awards®, and Golden Globe® nominations for his role as Steve Schmidt. Harrelson was most recently seen in Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths, alongside Sam Rockwell, Colin Farrell and Christopher Walken.
Other highlights from Harrelson’s film career include Rampart, which reunited him with director Oren Moverman, Ruben Fleischer’s box office hit Zombieland; Friends with Benefits; 2012; Semi-Pro; The Grand; No Country For Old Men; A Scanner Darkly; A Prairie Home Companion; Defendor; Seven Pounds; The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio; North Country; The Big White; After The Sunset; Play It To The Bone; Battle In Seattle; EDtv; The Hi-Lo County; Transsiberian; The Thin Red Line; Wag The Dog; Welcome To Sarajevo; Kingpin; Natural Born Killers; Indecent Proposal; White Men Can’t Jump and was recently seen as the on screen host for director Pete McGrain’s powerful political documentary Ethos.
Harrelson first endeared himself to millions of viewers as a member of the ensemble cast of NBC's long-running hit comedy, Cheers. For his work as the affable bartender ‘Woody Boyd,’ he won a Primetime Emmy® in 1988 and was nominated four additional times during his eight-year run on the show. In 1999, he gained another Primetime Emmy® nomination when he reprised the role in a guest appearance on the spin-off series Frasier. He later made a return to television with a recurring guest role on the hit NBC series, Will and Grace.
Balancing his film and television work, in 1999 Harrelson directed his own play, Furthest From The Sun at the Theatre de la Juene Lune in Minneapolis. He followed next with the Roundabout's Broadway revival of The Rainmaker; Sam Shepherd’s The Late Henry Moss, and John Kolvenbach's On An Average Day opposite Kyle MacLachlan at London’s West End. Harrelson directed the Toronto premiere of Kenneth Lonergan's This Is Our Youth at Toronto’s Berkeley Street Theatre. In the winter of 2005 Harrelson returned to London's West End, starring in Tennessee Williams' Night of the Iguana at the Lyric Theatre. In 2011, Harrelson co-wrote and directed the semi-autobiographical comedy Bullet for Adolf at Hart House Theatre in Toronto. In the summer of 2012 Bullet for Adolf made its Off-Broadway debut at New World Stages.
ELIZABETH BANKS (Effie Trinket) has become one of Hollywood’s most sought after and versatile actresses. She has appeared in What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Man on a Ledge opposite Sam Worthington and People Like Us opposite Chris Pine and Michelle Pfeiffer
She will soon be seen in Walk of Shame, a comedy about a news anchor whose attempt at a dream job promotion is jeopardized by a drunken night out. The film also stars James Marsden and Sarah Wright and will release on March 14, 2014. She has also lent her voice in The Lego Movie releasing on February 7, 2014.
Banks is currently in production on Little Accidents opposite Boyd Holbrook. Sara Colangelo wrote and is directing the feature adaptation of her 2010 award-winning short film of the same name which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival about a woman whose life spirals downward after a town is left devastated following a mining accident. She recently wrapped production on the independent film, Love & Mercy directed by Bill Pohland which will take an unconventional look at the life of the celebrated leader of The Beach Boys, Brian Wilson, and his legendary battle with mental illness. She recently wrapped production on Every Secret Thing directed by Amy Berg and based on the best-selling novel by Laura Lippman. The story follows a detective who looks to unravel a mystery surrounding missing children and the two young women who are prime suspects.
She was recently seen in Universal Pictures’ Pitch Perfect, which released on September 28, 2012. Banks produced the film with her husband, Max Handelman, through their company, Brownstone Productions. The cast includes Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow and Rebel Wilson.
In August 2011, she was seen in Our Idiot Brother opposite Paul Rudd, Emily Mortimer and Zooey Deschanel, directed by Jesse Peretz. Our Idiot Brother and The Details premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2011 and were both purchased for distribution by The Weinstein Company.
She also starred opposite Russell Crowe in The Next Three Days, directed by Paul Haggis, in 2010. In 2008, Banks received critical acclaim for her role as ‘First Lady Laura Bush’ opposite Josh Brolin in Oliver Stone’s W. The impressive cast included James Cromwell, Richard Dreyfuss, Ellen Burstyn and Jeffrey Wright. In Kevin Smith’s Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Banks (Miri) and Seth Rogen (Zack) played two broke friends who decide to cure their financial ills by making an X-rated movie.
Banks’ additional feature credits include her breakthrough roles in the award Academy Award® winning films Seabiscuit, in which she starred as ‘Marcela Howard’ opposite Jeff Bridges and Tobey Maguire, and in Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can. She has also appeared in Role Models, Meet Dave, Invincible, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Fred Claus, Sisters, Slither, Heights, The Baxter, The Trade, Ordinary Sinner, The Uninvited, Daltry Calhoun, Sexual Life, John Singleton’s Shaft with Samuel L. Jackson and the cult hit Wet Hot American Summer starring Janeane Garofalo and David Hyde Pierce. She also appeared as journalist ‘Betty Brant,’ a role that director Sam Raimi created for her, in Columbia Pictures’ three blockbuster Spider-Man films with Tobey Maguire as the title character.
On the small screen, Banks earned a Primetime Emmy® Award nomination in 2011 for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her performance as ‘Avery Jessup’ on 30 Rock. She has also appeared on ABC’s Modern Family and in a recurring role as ‘Dr. Kim Porter’ on NBC’s Scrubs. In 2007 she appeared in the CBS mini-series Comanche Moon, Larry McMurtry’s prequel to Lonesome Dove.
In addition to producing Pitch Perfect, Banks also produced Disney’s 2009 sci-fi thriller The Surrogates starring Bruce Willis. Upcoming projects for Brownstone include Tink, a Disney live-action romantic comedy in which Banks will star as the title character of ‘Tinkerbell;’ Forever 21, a Dreamworks comedy which Banks will star in and produce and Too Far From Home, a Universal film about three astronauts who were stranded on the international space station.
Her extensive theater credits include many roles in American Conservatory Theatre productions, as well as the Guthrie Theater’s production of Summer & Smoke directed by David Esbjornson. In 2006 Banks played ‘Cherie,’ the female lead in William Inge’s comedy Bus Stop, as part of the Williamstown Theater Festival.
Originally from Massachusetts, Banks received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her Graduate Degree at the American Conservatory Theater. She currently resides in Los Angeles. Regarded as one of the preeminent rock musicians of our time, LENNY KRAVITZ (Cinna) has transcended genre, style, race and class into a 20-year musical career, one which revels in the rich influences of '60s and '70s soul, rock and funk.
Kravitz’s talents as a writer, producer and multi-instrumentalist have resonated through nine studio albums into a timeless catalog. He has won four consecutive GRAMMY® awards, setting a record for the most wins in the Best Male Rock Vocal Performance category. Lenny Kravitz’s appeal has also been recognized by his peers; his collaborative efforts are as varied as his own influences, having worked with Madonna, Slash, Aerosmith, Jay-Z, N.E.R.D., Mick Jagger, P. Diddy and Alicia Keys.
Having sold over 38 million albums worldwide, Lenny Kravitz’s musical success has afforded him many opportunities to fulfill his creative vision beyond the recording industry. The artist appeared in a supporting role in the critically-acclaimed film Precious. Most recently, he can be seen in Lee Daniel’s The Butler (The Weinstein Company) alongside Jane Fonda, Oprah Winfrey and Cuba Gooding Jr.
Kravitz launched a creative firm, Kravitz Design Inc., which provides commercial and residential design services and specializes in product development and branding. Kravitz Design touts a portfolio of noteworthy ventures with a range that includes chandeliers for Swarovski Crystal Palace Collection, suites at the SLS Hotel Miami Beach and a two story penthouse recording studio at the Setai Hotel and Residences. Most recently Kravitz Design Inc. has undertaken the creative vision for the downtown Miami 47-story bay front condominium project, Paramount Bay as well as a collection of ceramic tiles for Lea Ceramiche called Goccia and the re-interpretation of the Mademoiselle chair for Kartell.
In 2009, the 20th anniversary deluxe edition of Lenny Kravitz’s debut, Let Love Rule, was issued. The project was followed by the release of his most recent studio album Black and White America.
Philip Seymour Hoffman (Plutarch Heavensbee) has completed production on A Most Wanted Man. He was last seen in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master and A Late Quartet with Christopher Walken and Catherine Keener. Previously Hoffman appeared in The Ides Of March, directed by George Clooney and in Moneyball with Brad Pitt, directed by Bennett Miller. Hoffman made his feature directorial debut with Jack Goes Boating, which was produced by Cooper’s Town Productions and is based on the play of the same name. Other recent film credits include Synecdoche, New York; Doubt; The Savages; Charlie Wilson’s War and Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead. It was Hoffman’s performance in Capote—also directed by Bennett Miller and produced through his company, Cooper’s Town Productions—for which he earned an Academy Award®.
As an actor, his theatre credits include the Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman, a limited run in Othello, LAByrinth’s production of Jack Goes Boating, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, The Seagull, True West, Defying Gravity, The Merchant of Venice, Shopping and F*cking and The Author’s Voice.
His theatre directing credits include the world premieres of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Our Lady of 121st Street, Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train, In Arabia We’d All Be Kings and The Little Flower of East Orange—all written by Stephen Adly Guirgis and produced by LAByrinth. Also produced by LAByrinth, Hoffman directed A Family for All Occasions written by Bob Glaudini. Additionally he directed Rebecca Gilman’s The Glory of Living at MCC Theatre. He travelled to Australia to direct Andrew Upton’s Riflemind at the famed Sydney Theatre Company and later mounted the play in London. He also directed Brett C. Leonard’s The Long Red Road for the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and returned to the Sydney Theatre Company to direct True West.
Critically acclaimed actor JEFFREY WRIGHT (Beetee) has continually pushed at the boundaries of his craft with inspired performances over a celebrated career spanning the worlds of theatre, film and television. Wright can most recently be seen with Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta-Jones in Allen Hughes' political thriller Broken City, released by FOX. Additionally, Wright completed work on Jim Jarmusch’s independent film Only Lovers Left Alive, and earlier in 2012, he completed filming on two additional independents – A Single Shot, directed by David Rosenthal, and The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete, directed by George Tilman.
Wright garnered a Tony Award® in 1994 for his work in Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic Angels in America and reprised his Angels role in HBO's 2003 mini-series adaptation of the play, earning both a Golden Globe® and a Primetime Emmy® for his groundbreaking performance. His brilliant portrayal of the renowned and controversial graffiti artist, ‘Jean Michel Basquiat,’ in the 1996 film Basquiat, received widespread praise from critics and earned him an Independent Spirit Award® nomination. On the other end of the spectrum, Wright has taken on roles in 2011’s Source Code and the 2006 and 2008 James Bond films, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace; and also in 2008, starred as Muddy Waters in Cadillac Records and as Colin Powell in Oliver Stone's W. In 2005, he co-starred in the award-winning film Syriana, and his other credits include Jonathan Demme's remake of The Manchurian Candidate; Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers, earning another Independent Spirit Award® nomination; Ang Lee's Ride with the Devil, and Shaft. For his portrayal of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. in HBO's Boycott, he received a 2001 AFI award. Wright, a gifted theater actor, earned an Obie award and a Tony® nomination for his work in Susan-Lori Parks’ 2001 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Topdog/Underdog, which was directed by George C. Wolfe.
Award winning actor STANLEY TUCCI (Caesar Flickerman) has appeared in over 50 films and countless television shows. He has appeared in over a dozen plays on and off Broadway and has been behind the camera working as a writer, director, and producer.
Tucci is well known for his role as Julia Child’s husband in the 2008 blockbuster hit Julie and Julia.
Tucci was nominated for an Academy Award®, Golden Globe® Award, BAFTA Award, SAG Award® and received a Broadcast Film Critics nomination for his performance in Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones.
Tucci was recently seen in the fantasy-adventure film Percy Jackson & The Olympians: Sea Of Monsters, the follow-up to the worldwide hit Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief. He was also seen in the recently released film The Company You Keep directed by Robert Redford and Some Velvet Morning—a film that premiered at The Tribeca Film Festival directed by Neil LaBute that also stars Alice Eve. In the fall of 2013, Tucci will appear in the Bill Condon directed The Fifth Estate, a film about the relationship between WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his early supporter and colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg.
In addition to his various accomplishments in film, Tucci was also nominated for a Primetime Emmy® for his guest role on ER. His appearance on Monk, received critical praise and a Primetime Emmy® Award in the category of Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series.
Furthermore Tucci won a Primetime Emmy® and a Golden Globe® for his role in TV movie Winchell. His performance as the fast-talking tattler, who exposed secrets and scandals left audiences and critics alike singing his praises. Winchell, directed by Paul Mazursky, provided Tucci with one of the juiciest roles of his diverse career.
Tucci was also awarded a Golden Globe® for his role in HBO movie Conspiracy. His brilliant portrayal of Lt. Colonel Adolf Eichmann delivered a truly petrifying experience, where he often deceived others with his all but friendly smile.
Tucci’s additional endeavors include being a writer, director, and producer. He premiered the film Blind Date at The Sundance Film Festival—directing, starring, and co-writing this Van Gogh remake. Another directorial effort was USA Films’ Joe Gould’s Secret, which starred Ian Holm as bohemian writer Joe Gould and Tucci as Joseph Mitchell, the famed writer for The New Yorker. The film, set in New York’s Greenwich Village in the 1940s, tells the story of the strange meeting and long lasting friendship between Gould and Mitchell, as well as the stories Mitchell wrote about Gould and his life.
Big Night, Tucci’s first effort as co-director, co-screenwriter and actor on the same film, earned him numerous accolades, including the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival, a Recognition of Excellence by the National Board of Review, an Independent Spirit Award®, The Critics Prize at the 1996 Deauville Film Festival and honors from the New York Film Critics and the Boston Society of Film Critics
Tucci’s second project, The Imposters—a film he wrote, directed, co-produced and starred in—was an Official Selection at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival and was acquired by Fox Searchlight Pictures later that year. The 1930’s farce starred Tucci and Oliver Platt as a pair of out-of-work actors who find themselves aboard a cruise ship with passengers Steve Buscemi, Alfred Molina, Lili Taylor and Hope Davis.
His work on television includes his appearance as a re-occurring guest star on TNT’s Bull, Equal Justice, Wiseguy, The Equalizer, Thirtysomething and The Street. Tucci earned a Primetime Emmy® nomination for his work in Murder One.
He has appeared in many plays including Frankie & Johnny in the Claire de Lune, Execution of Hope, The Iceman Cometh, Brighton Beach Memoirs and The Misanthrope. He has also performed in a number of off-Broadway plays at Yale Repertory Theater and SUNY Purchase where he first studied acting
Stanley made his directorial debut on Broadway with a revival of Ken Ludwig’s Lend Me a Tenor starring Tony Shalhoub. The production received a Tony Award® nomination for Best Revival of a Play.
Tucci’s additional film credits include Jack The Giant Slayer, Captain America: The First Avenger, Margin Call, Burlesque, Easy A, The Tale Of Despereaux, Kit Kitteredge: An American Girl, Swing Vote, What Just Happened, The Devil Wears Prada, Shall We Dance, The Terminal, The Life And Death of Peter Sellers, Spin, Road To Perdition, America’s Sweethearts, Sidewalks of New York, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Alarmist, Deconstructing Harry, The Daytrippers, Big Trouble, A Life Less Ordinary, Kiss of Death, Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, It Could Happen to You, The Pelican Brief, Prelude to a Kiss, In the Soup, Billy Bathgate and Slaves of New York.
The Tucci Cookbook was released in October of 2012 where it reached the New York Times Best Sellers List.
Tucci serves on the Board of Directors of The Food Bank for New York City. Tucci resides in New York.
DONALD SUTHERLAND (President Snow) is one of the most respected, prolific and versatile of motion picture actors, with an astonishing resume of well over one hundred and thirty films, including such classics as Robert Aldrich’s The Dirty Dozen; Robert Altman's M*A*S*H; John Schlesinger’s The Day of the Locust; Robert Redford's Ordinary People; Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1900; Philip Kaufman’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers; Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now with Julie Christie; Alan Pakula's Klute with Jane Fonda; Federico Fellini's Fellini’s Casanova and in Brian Hutton’s Kelly’s Heroes with Clint Eastwood, who later directed him in Space Cowboys
Sutherland is currently filming Forsaken, a period Canadian Western, co-starring opposite his son, Kiefer. Just prior, he completed filming a starring role in Basmati Blues on location in India.
Recently he starred in the highly-successful long form adaptation of Ken Follett’s best-seller, The Pillars of the Earth; in the Roman epic adventure, The Eagle, opposite Channing Tatum and Jamie Bell for director Kevin Macdonald; in Simon West’s The Mechanic with Jason Statham and Ben Foster; in Seth Gordon’s Horrible Bosses as Colin Farrell’s father and in Mary McGuckian’s Man on the Train with U2’s Larry Mullen, Jr.
He has appeared as Nicole Kidman’s father in Anthony Minghella’s Cold Mountain; as Charlize Theron’s father in F. Gary Gray’s The Italian Job and as ‘Mr. Bennett,’ Keira Knightley’s father, in Pride and Prejudice. For the latter he received a Chicago Film Critics nomination.
Sutherland’s other films include Paul Mazursky’s Alex in Wonderland; Dalton Trumbo’s Johnny Got His Gun; Bud Yorkin’s Start the Revolution Without Me; John Sturges’ The Eagle Has Landed; Herbert Ross’ Max Dugan Returns; Louis Malle’s Crackers; Phillip Borsos’ Bethune; Oliver Stone’s JFK; Ron Howard’s Backdraft; Richard Marquand’s Eye of the Needle; Euzhan Palcy’s A Dry White Season with Marlon Brando; Richard Pearce’s Threshold, for which he won the 1983 Genie Award as Best Actor; Fred Schepisi’s film adaptation of John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation; Robert Towne’s Without Limits; and John Landis’ National Lampoon’s Animal House, in which he made a memorable cameo appearance. He has starred as the voice of ‘General Stone’ in the animated feature of the manga classic, Astro Boy; in Andy Tennant’s Fool’s Gold; in Griffin Dunne’s Fierce People with Diane Lane; in Robert Towne’s Ask the Dust with Salma Hayek and Colin Farrell; in American Gun with Forrest Whitaker; in An American Haunting with Sissy Spacek; in Land of the Blind with Ralph Fiennes and in Aurora Borealis with Louise Fletcher and Juliette Lewis. He is part of a sterling ensemble of on-camera readers in the biographical feature on the life of Dalton Trumbo, Trumbo.
In television, Sutherland won both Primetime Emmy® and Golden Globe® awards as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the HBO film Citizen X and he won a Golden Globe® for his portrayal of Clark Clifford, advisor to President Lyndon B. Johnson, in the HBO historical drama Path to War, directed by the late John Frankenheimer.
Sutherland stars alongside an international cast in the action crime series, Crossing Lines, currently featured on NBC-TV and other networks worldwide. He begins filming the second season this fall in Prague. Sutherland co-starred with Peter Krause in the ABC-TV series Dirty Sexy Money. For his performance as the family patriarch, Tripp Darling, he was nominated for a 2007 Golden Globe® as Best Supporting Actor. Prior to that, he co-starred with Geena Davis in the ABC drama series Commander-in-Chief, and was nominated for a Golden Globe® as Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of House Speaker, Nathan Templeton. At the same time, he was nominated for a Golden Globe® as Best Actor for his performance opposite Mira Sorvino in Lifetime Television’s much-lauded miniseries, Human Trafficking.
On stage, Sutherland starred with Justin Kirk and Julianna Margulies in a sold-out, critically acclaimed, Lincoln Center engagement of Jon Robin Baitz’s Ten Unknowns. For that performance he received an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for Best Actor. He also starred in the London, Toronto and Los Angeles productions of Enigmatic Variations, an English language translation (by his son Roeg Sutherland) of Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt’s French play.
Donald Sutherland was appointed an officer of the Order of Canada in 1978 and a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres in France five years later. In 2012, he was awarded the highest French honor, the Officier des Arts et Lettres.
WILLOW SHIELDS (Primrose Everdeen) born and raised in New Mexico, is most notably recognized for her role as ‘Primrose Everdeen’ in the epic portrayal of the fan favorite book series The Hunger Games. Shields began acting at the age of seven years old and thanks to her unique look, down-to-earth personality and easy to work with demeanor, she has quickly caught the eye of Hollywood big wigs.
Shields became interested in acting when she followed her brother to a handful of auditions and her passion and drive quickly shined through. She booked her first guest starring role as ‘Liza Rogan’ on USA’s In Plain Sight. She continued onto roles in the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie Beyond the Blackboard alongside Emily VanCamp as ‘Grace,’ and R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour as ‘Eve.’ However, it was her role as ‘Primrose Everdeen’ in The Hunger Games that put Shields on the map as one-to- watch. Shields caught the eye of world famous fashion designer Marc Jacobs who was adamant on dressing the young starlet for a variety of events and award shows, even coining her as his muse in Nylon magazine.
Shields grew up with her older brother River and fraternal twin sister Autumn in an animal loving home with their four dogs (Jude, Arizona, Polly and Neo) and one pet cat named Clue. During her downtime she enjoys photography, dance and spending time with her family and friends. She dreams of one day learning how to design and create her own clothing—everything from drawing to assembly of the garments. A charity that she holds near and dear to her heart is Operation Smile, which gives children a new lease on life by providing pro-bono surgeries to fix cleft palate, cleft lip and other facial deformities across the globe.
Since graduating from The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in 2009 SAM CLAFLIN (Finnick Odair) has worked on a number of prestigious projects. He has most recently been seen in the UK on our screens opposite Hilary Swank in Richard Curtis’ BBC One drama, Mary & Martha which was shown to coincide with Red Nose Day and to raise awareness about malaria in Africa. Last year Claflin starred in box office hit Snow White and the Huntsman playing ‘Prince William’ alongside Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth. The previous year Claflin made a name for himself in the role of a ‘Phillip,’ a youthful missionary and the romantic lead in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides—the fourth feature in the hit series.
Claflin just wrapped Love, Rosie opposite Lily Collins. The film version of Cecilia Ahern’s novel Where Rainbows end sees Claflin and Collins star as lovers in this romantic comedy set in Dublin and Toronto. This and the new Hammer Horror film, The Quiet Ones, in which Claflin stars opposite Jarred Harris, are due out in 2014. Calflin is currently filming Lone Scherfig’s new film, Posh, based on the London stage play of the same name alongside Max Irons, Douglas Booth and Jessica Brown Findlay. The film follows students at Oxford University as they join the infamous Riot Club, where reputations can be made or destroyed over the course of a single evening.
Claflin has also starred in a number of outstanding television projects. Last year he played ‘Jack’ in White Heat, an epic drama for the BBC charting the lives of seven friends from 1965 to the present day. In this semi-autobiographical series written by award winning Paula Milne, Claflin starred alongside Claire Foy, Reece Ritchie and MyAnna Buring. He also starred in United alongside David Tennant, Dougray Scott and Jack O'Connell. In this one-off film for the BBC Claflin played a talented footballer, Duncan Edwards, in the tragic story of the Munich air crash of 1958 that killed and injured a number of members in the Manchester United team.
In 2010 Claflin was seen on television in two outstanding dramas including the hit Channel 4 mini-series Pillars of the Earth based on Ken Follett’s novel of the same name. In this drama Claflin plays ‘Richard’ alongside Eddie Redmayne, Hayley Atwell and Ian McShane. He also starred in the critically acclaimed adaptation of William Boyd’s Any Human Heart for Channel 4 which won a BAFTA Award for best drama serial. Claflin played the younger years of lead character ‘Logan,’ sharing the role with Jim Broadbent and Matthew Macfadyen. The same year he also appeared in The Lost Future, a sci-fi adventure in which he played ‘Kaleb’ alongside Sean Bean and Annabelle Wallis.,p>Claflin’s theatre credits whilst at LAMDA include the role of Dorimant in Man of Mode, the title role in Tommy, Silvius in As You Like It and Davey in Love Is.
LYNN COHEN (Mags) is best known to audiences as ‘Magda’ in the HBO series Sex and the City (and the two subsequent feature films based on the series) and for her critically acclaimed portrayal of ‘Golda Meier’ in Steven Spielberg’s Munich.
Cohen can soon be seen on the big screen in They Came Together with Paul Rudd. Cohen has also appeared in Eagle Eye; Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York; A Life Before Her Eyes with Uma Thurman; Deception with Hugh Jackman and Ewan McGregor; Invincible with Mark Wahlberg, Louis Malle’s Vanya on 42nd Street; Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe, Woody Allen’s Manhattan Murder Mystery and many others.
She has recurring roles on the television series Damages, Bored to Death and Law and Order. On stage she performed in Macbeth (Public Theatre); Ivanov (Lincoln Center), as well as other works at New York Theater Workshop, New York Shakespeare Festival, Primary Stages and EST. In addition, she appeared at theaters across the country. She is a Fox Fellow, a recipient of a Bowden Award from New Dramatists and a member of the Actors Studio, New York Theatre Workshop, EST, and Actors Center.
As a rising actress distinguished by her versatility and multidimensional roles, JENA MALONE (Johanna Mason) continues to evolve with each new project.
Later this year Malone can be seen in The Wait opposite Chloë Sevigny. It is about two sisters who decide to keep their deceased mother in their home after being informed that she will come back to life.
She most recently wrapped production on Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice for Warner Bros. The film co-stars Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Sean Penn and Joaquin Phoenix and will be released in 2014. Additionally, Malone recently wrapped production on Mitchell Lichtenstein's Angelica, a psychological thriller set in 1880s London based on the novel of the same name by bestselling author Arthur Phillips (Prague,The Egyptologist). Malone will play ‘Constance,’ a young shop girl who falls for and marries Dr. Joseph Barton. After the difficult childbirth of their daughter Angelica, doctor-ordered celibacy creates a rift in the Bartons' marriage and a ghostly force enters their home.
She is also attached to the highly anticipated film, Lonely Hunter. In this biopic, Malone will star in the title role as ‘Carson McCullers'.’
In spring 2013, Malone directed her first music video for the band Lavender Diamond. The video for The Incorruptible Heart was released exclusively on MTV Buzzworthy.
Malone starred opposite Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton in the History Channel's mini-series Hatfields & McCoys which is based on a true story, and chronicles the bloody hostilities between two clans that escalated to the point of near war between two states. The mini-series broke cable records and became the new most-watched entertainment telecast of all time on cable and also earned a Primetime Emmy® nomination for Outstanding Mini-Series and a Golden Globe® nomination for Best Mini-Series.
Malone also recently starred in the independent feature In Our Nature opposite John Slattery and Zach Gilford about an estranged father and son who are forced to share a vacation home with their respective girlfriends after a scheduling mistake. The film premiered at SXSW as well as the Sarasota Film Festival and was released on video-on-demand and DVD in February 2013.
Previously, Malone starred in Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch, Ami Mann's Dakota, Oren Moverman's The Messenger, Sean Penn's Into the Wild, Anthony Minghella's Cold Mountain, Brian Dannelly's Saved! and Joe Wright's Pride and Prejudice. As a young actress, Malone starred opposite Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon in Stepmom—the cult classic, Donnie Darko and her very first role in the independent film Bastard Out of Carolina which earned her an Independent Spirit Award® nomination for Best Debut Performance.
Malone has guest starred on several television series including Law & Order and Chicago Hope. Her performance in the TV film Hope earned Malone a Golden Globe® nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV
Malone currently resides in Los Angeles.
AMANDA PLUMMER (Wiress) has received critical acclaim for her work in film, television and stage. Her impressive film work includes Terry Gilliam’s The Fisher King as ‘Lydia’ (for which she received a BAFTA nomination), and Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction for which she received an American Comedy Award nomination for her memorable performance as ‘Honey Bunny.’ Her other film work includes Sydney Lumet’s Daniel, Michael Winterbottom’s Butterfly Kiss, Isabel Coixet’s My Life Without Me, Eduardo Guedes’ Pax, and Larry Clark’s Ken Park. Her recent work includes Lee Isaac Chung’s Abgail Harm, Amin Matalqa’s Strangely in Love, Eriko Kitagawa’s Soulier de Paques, Mary McGuckian’s Inconceivable and Making of Plus One, Justin Lerner’s Girlfriend (Official Selection of the 2010 Toronto Film Festival) and Shunji Iwai’s Vampire (World Dramatic Cinema Competition at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival).
Plummer’s stage roles are as varied and notable as her film credits. She won a Tony®, a Drama Desk award and a Boston Critics Circle award for her work as ‘Agnes’ in Agnes of God opposite Geraldine Page. She received a Theatre World award and an Outer Critics Circle award and was nominated for a Tony Award® and a Drama Desk award for her performance as ‘Jo’ in A Taste of Honey with Valerie French. She was also nominated for a Tony Award® for her performance as ‘Eliza Doolittle’ in Pygmalion opposite Peter O’Toole. Other Broadway credits include The Glass Menagerie with Jessica Tandy and as ‘Dolly’ in George Bernard Shaw’s You Never Can Tell. Her Off Broadway credits include Sam Shepard’s A Life of the Mind, Tracy Letts’ Killer Joe with Michael Shannon and Tennessee William’s The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Any More with Elizabeth Ashley. Plummer’s other Tennessee William’s roles include ‘Alma’ in Summer and Smoke, ‘Polly’ in Gnagdes Fraulein and the world premiere of One Exception—all at Hartford Stage Company directed by Michael Wilson. She had the great honor of working with Vanessa Redgrave and Lynn Redgrave on a workshop of Lenka Udovicki’s Waiting for Godot as Lucky at the Ulysses theatre in the former Yugoslavia.
Plummer’s work in television, screen and stage has been recognized with three Primetime Emmy® Awards, one Primetime Emmy® nomination, a Golden Globe® nomination, a Saturn award, a Cable Ace award and the Hollywood Drama Critics award for her ‘Juliet’ in Romeo and Juliet. She is also the recipient of the Anti-Defamation League Award.
Born and raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland, PAULA MALCOMSON (Katniss’ Mother) has worked extensively in television for the past last decade. She is probably best known for her role as Trixie on HBO’s Deadwood, for which she earned a SAG Award® nomination for Best Ensemble Cast. Other notable work includes the Battlestar Galactica prequel Caprica, and Sons of Anarchy, to name a few. Her early work includes films such as Tombstone, The Green Mile, AI: Artificial Intelligence, and Hamlet.
She recently returned to television in Showtime’s Ray Donovan, opposite Liev Schreiber.
META GOLDING (Enobaria) spent her childhood overseas following her father's career as an envoy to the United Nations. She was raised in the United States, India, Haiti, France and Italy. After an injury sidelined her career as a figure skater, she brought her love of performance from the ice to the stage.
Her ability to speak three languages and various other dialects made this transition come naturally. Golding started acting in Italian theatre before heading back to the United States to attend Cornell University where she obtained degrees in theatre arts and international relations. Straight out of school, she was cast in ABC’s daytime drama Loving and soon after the feature films Louis and Frank, Kiss The Girls, and Surrogates followed.
Her work in television is extensive. Her credits include a series regular on the ABC’s Daybreak, major character arcs on CSI and Criminal Minds, as well as stand out guest starring roles on House and Cold Case—just to name a few. Golding donates some of her spare time to Renaissance Jacmelienne and Partners in Health in Haiti.
She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.
Originally from Ohio, BRUNO GUNN (Brutus) caught the attention of NYC audiences and critics performing on stage with award winning companies such as UBU Rep and Ensemble Studio Theatre.
His first taste of Hollywood came when Woody Allen cast him in Celebrity. Supporting roles in Mickey Blue Eyes and 28 Days quickly followed. Bruno has co-starred in a variety of critically acclaimed indies including Oxygen, Bad Penny, Herbie Fully Loaded, Battlefield America and the very successful box-office comedy, Bad Teacher.
Gunn is frequently seen guest starring on the small screen as well. TV credits include: Sons of Anarchy, True Blood, The Office, Curb Your Enthusiasm, NCIS: Los Angeles, CSI, NCIS, Prison Break and HBO’s Oz.
He currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.
ALAN RITCHSON (Gloss) has carved a space for himself on both the large and small screens since he made the trek from a small town in Florida to Los Angeles. Frequently relocating as the middle son of a military family, Alan learned to adapt and entertain in order to build friendships in new and unfamiliar environments. Certainly this has been a key ingredient in his success so far in the industry.
Alan’s early credits include portraying ‘Aquaman’ in the long running series Smallville. This marked the first portrayal of the superhero in an officially licensed live-action production.
Ritchson has also taken on a grittier leading man role in the independent film market with the modern-day western Rex.
In contrast, he also made quite a comedic impression with his love-to-hate-him Thad Castle character on the football comedy Blue Mountain State. He parlayed his comedic skills to work with Rebel Wilson in her CBS pilot Super Fun Night.
Coming soon, Alan can be seen as the District 1 victor, Gloss, in Catching Fire; the second installment of the hugely successful Hunger Games franchise, and in 2014 as ‘Raphael,’ the cool but crude Ninja Turtle, in the Michael Bay/Paramount Studios Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles franchise.
Alan Ritchson is managed by Michael Yanni and represented theatrically by UTA.
STEPHANIE LEIGH SCHLUND (Cashmere) started her acting career on a visit to Los Angeles where her model looks booked her an audition and quickly a role on CBS’ The Price is Right.
Her additional film credits include her role as Meghann Blakelee in The Last Song which also starred Liam Hemsworth and this year’s Sundance Film Festival film entry A.C.O.D.
Stephanie’s additional television credits include Fox’s The Following, Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva and Fox’s Past Life.
The Atlanta native splits her time between the east and west coast and enjoys art, global travel and painting.
About The Filmmakers
FRANCIS LAWRENCE (Director) made his feature film debut with Constantine, based on the Hellblazer comic book, starting Keanu Reeves and Rachel Weisz. That was followed by the 2007 hit movie, I Am Legend, a science fiction-horror-action-disaster film adapted from the Richard Matheson novel of the same name, starring Will Smith. In 2011, Lawrence directed Water for Elephants, based on the best-selling novel by Sara Gruen and starring Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson and Christoph Waltz.
Lawrence is also a noted music video director, having won a GRAMMY® Award (Lady Gaga, Bad Romance), Latin GRAMMY® (Shakira, Whenever Whatever) and multiple VMA awards. He has worked with artists such as Jay-Z, Britney Spears, Beyoncé, Pink, Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Lopez, Aerosmith, Janet Jackson and many others. Lawrence has also directed commercials for many high profile clients including The Gap, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, L’Oreal, Bacardi, McDonald’s, Disneyland, Oldsmobile, Covergirl® and Maybelline®.
Lawrence is also experienced in the world of television. In 2008, he served as director and executive producer on the pilot and several episodes of the acclaimed series Kings. In 2011 he directed the pilot episode of Touch featuring Kiefer Sutherland and served as an executive producer on the FOX series.
SIMON BEAUFOY (Co-Screenwriter) is currently adapting National Book Award finalist Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk for Film Four.
The Full Monty was Beaufoy's first screenplay. It was nominated for four Academy Awards® as well as winning a BAFTA for Best Film in 1997. He has recently adapted his script as a stage play which will open in London's West End in February after a hugely successful regional run in Sheffield.
In 2009, Slumdog Millionaire won eight Academy Awards®, including Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture. Beaufoy won WGA, Golden Globe® and National Board of Review awards for the film as well.
Beaufoy and Danny Boyle were nominated again for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for 127 Hours in 2010.
His most recent film, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, was nominated for three Golden Globes® including Best Picture.
His other films include Among Giants, This is Not a Love Song, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, the BBC miniseries Burn Up and Yasmin.
Bestselling author SUZANNE COLLINS (Based on the novel by, Executive Producer) first made her mark in children’s literature with the New York Times bestselling Underland Chronicles for middle grade readers. Her debut for readers aged 12 and up, The Hunger Games (September 2008), was an instant bestseller, appealing to both teen readers and adults. It was called “addictive” by Stephen King in Entertainment Weekly, and “amazing” by Stephenie Meyer on her website. It has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for more than 180 consecutive weeks/more than three consecutive years since publication, and there are more than 36.5 million copies of all three books in the trilogy, The Hunger Games (September 2008), Catching Fire (September 2009), and Mockingjay (August 2010), in print in the U.S. to date. Foreign publishing rights for The Hunger Games trilogy have been sold into 47 territories.
Suzanne Collins also had a successful and prolific career writing for children’s television. She has worked on the staffs of several Nickelodeon shows, including the Emmy®-nominated hit Clarissa Explains It All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. She received a Writer’s Guild of America nomination in animation for co-writing the critically acclaimed Christmas special, Santa, Baby!
In 2010 Collins was named to the TIME 100 list as well as the Entertainment Weekly Entertainers of the Year list. In 2011 Fast Company named her to their 100 Most Creative People in Business. Suzanne Collins lives with her family in Connecticut.
NINA JACOBSON (Producer) has built an impressive 20-year career as a senior film executive at three major motion picture studios. Her first film as producer and the first film for her company, Color Force, was Diary of a Wimpy Kid which grossed over $75 million worldwide and led to the production of the successful sequels, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days. Jacobson produced The Hunger Games, based on Suzanne Collins’ best-selling novel. Released in March 2012, the record-breaking film took in $155 million domestically in its opening weekend. Jacobson also produced the film One Day, starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess, based on the best-selling novel by David Nicholls.
Jacobson and Color Force are currently developing feature films based on the international best-selling novels Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple and Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians. They are also in production on a limited television series with FX productions based on Jeffrey Toobin’s OJ Simpson chronicle, The Run of His Life which will air on Fox in 2014.
Prior to forming Color Force, Jacobson was president of the Walt Disney Motion Picture Group, where she oversaw script development and film production for Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures and Hollywood Pictures. During her tenure, 15 of Jacobson’s projects grossed over $100 million domestically including Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Princess Diaries. The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise became the highest grossing film in Disney’s history generating almost three billion dollars in worldwide box office.
Before joining the Walt Disney Motion Picture Group, Jacobson was a senior film executive at DreamWorks SKG, where she developed What Lies Beneath and originated the idea of DreamWorks’ first animated feature, Antz. She also held positions at Universal, Parkes/MacDonald Productions, Silver Pictures and began her career at Disney Sunday Movie.
Jacobson is a graduate of Brown University and currently lives in Brentwood with her partner Jennifer and their three children, Noah, Josie and William.
JON KILIK (Producer) has become one of New York’s most notable film producers, collaborating with a wide range of auteur directors to create a body of work with an emphasis on human values and social issues.
In 1988, Kilik began his partnership with Spike Lee and has gone on to produce twelve of Lee’s films. They include Inside Man, Clockers, Malcolm X, and the groundbreaking Do The Right Thing, which was recently selected by The Smithsonian Institute for The National Film Archives. Kilik also produced Robert De Niro’s highly acclaimed directorial debut, A Bronx Tale, based on the play by Chazz Palminteri.
In 1995, Kilik produced Tim Robbins’ Academy Award® winner, Dead Man Walking, based on Sister Helen Prejean’s account of her work with Louisiana death row inmates, starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. The same year he produced Julian Schnabel’s directorial debut, Basquiat, starring Jeffrey Wright as Jean-Michel Basquiat and David Bowie as Andy Warhol. Next, Kilik teamed with Gary Ross and Steven Soderbergh to produce Ross’ directorial debut, Pleasantville, a comic look at the alternate worlds of the American family in the 1950s and 1990s featuring Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon.
In 2000, Kilik produced Julian Schnabel’s Before Night Falls, based on the autobiography of Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas, starring Javier Bardem. Before Night Falls premiered at the Venice Film Festival where it won the Grand Jury Prize and Best Actor awards. The same year, Kilik also produced Ed Harris’ directorial debut, Pollock, starring Harris as American painter Jackson Pollock. Ed Harris and Javier Bardem were each nominated for the Best Actor Oscar® at the 2001 Academy Awards®.
Next, Kilik traveled to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation where he produced Skins, directed by Chris Eyre. The film features Graham Greene as a Native American who returns home from service in Vietnam but cannot survive in his Pine Ridge, South Dakota home. In 2004, Jon produced Oliver Stone’s Alexander.
Kilik returned to New York in 2005 to produce the very personal Broken Flowers, by writer/director Jim Jarmusch, starring Bill Murray and winner of the Cannes Film Festival Grand Jury Prize in 2005.
Kilik began another international production when he partnered with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu to produce Babel. The shoot took place in Morocco, Mexico and Japan. The four uniquely interwoven stories are in Arabic, Spanish, English and Japanese. Babel premiered at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival where it won the prize for Best Director, and went on to win the Golden Globe® Award for Best Feature Film Drama and was nominated for seven Academy Awards®, including Best Picture.
In 2007 Kilik produced Julian Schnabel’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, based on the inspiring autobiography by Jean-Dominique Bauby. Kilik won his second Golden Globe® for The Diving Bell and the film was nominated for four Academy Awards®.
In 2008 Kilik produced the rock and roll documentary, Lou Reed’s BERLIN, directed by Julian Schnabel as well as executive producing Jim Jarmusch’s Limits Of Control, Spike Lee’s Miracle At St. Anna and Oliver Stone’s W. In addition to Biutiful, most recently Kilik has produced Julian Schnabel’s Miral in Israel and Palestine.
Jon was born in Newark, New Jersey and grew up in Millburn. He graduated from the University of Vermont and moved to New York in 1979 to pursue a career in filmmaking. He returned to his Vermont alma mater to receive an honorary doctorate and deliver the commencement address to the class of 2003.
LOUISE ROSNER-MEYER (Executive Producer) executive produced Marc Forster’s Machine Gun Preacher, The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard starring Jeremy Piven and Baby Mama with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Baby Mama marked Rosner’s second collaboration with Fey and third collaboration with Lorne Michaels. In 2004 Rosner co-produced Fey’s critical and box-office smash titled Mean Girls. Her additional executive producer credits include Paparazzi, Firestorm and On the Line.
She co-produced Hot Rod starring Andy Samberg, Fracture with Ryan Gosling and Anthony Hopkins, Beauty Shop with Queen Latifah, Get Over It with Kirsten Dunst and Ben Foster, and the teen favorite She’s All That. Additionally Rosner line produced A Kid in King Arthur’s Court, Boys and Girls and Leo.
Rosner produced The Last Time I Committed Suicide with Thomas Jane, Keanu Reeves and Adrian Brody, as well as the Adam Rifkin Comedy Denial.
Rosner cut her teeth as a production coordinator on several major projects including Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Crush, Imaginary Crimes and Silent Fall.
ALLISON SHEARMUR (Executive Producer) is a Los Angeles-based film and television producer. She is currently producing Cinderella for the Walt Disney Company with Simon Kinberg’s Genre Films, to be directed by Sir Kenneth Branagh and starring Cate Blanchett; The Candy Store written and to be directed by Stephen Gaghan for Good Universe; Pride and Prejudice and Zombies alongside Natalie Portman’s Handsomecharlie Films and Sean McKittrick of Darko Entertainment for Panorama Media; and Chaos Walking based on the internationally acclaimed YA science fiction books by Patrick Ness, with Doug Davison’s Quadrant Pictures for Lionsgate Films.
Allison was the President of Production and Development at Lionsgate Films from September 2008 to January 2012. She oversaw the day-to-day development and production of the studio’s film slate and literary acquisitions, including production of hit book and box office blockbuster The Hunger Games, directed by multiple-Academy Award® nominee Gary Ross and starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz and Stanley Tucci.
Before Lionsgate she was Co-President of Production of Paramount Pictures. While at Paramount she oversaw such productions as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Beowulf, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Zodiac, Dreamgirls, Charlotte’s Web, Nacho Libre, and Failure to Launch.
Prior to Paramount, she served as Executive Vice President of Production for Universal Pictures where she oversaw the development and production of such hits as the The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Identity, the American Pie trilogy, Along Came Polly, and Erin Brockovich. Prior to that, Shearmur was Vice President of Production for Walt Disney Pictures from 1994 through 1997. While at Walt Disney Pictures, she developed and supervised George of the Jungle, starring Brendan Fraser and directed by Sam Weisman. The Bourne and American Pie franchises have each grossed more than $900 million.
Before joining Disney, Allison served as Vice President for Stewart Pictures, where she acquired and helped develop the highly acclaimed children’s classic Madeline—directed by Daisy Von Scherler Mayer and produced by Allyn Stewart and Stanley Jaffe. Prior to that, Shearmur was with Columbia Pictures Entertainment/Sony Pictures. Selected to participate in the Columbia Pictures Management Associate Program, she went on to work in Columbia’s corporate New York office, the international television group based in London and later served with the film production group in Los Angeles, where she was mentored by Sony Pictures’ Chairman, Amy Pascal. She was later hired as director of comedy development at Columbia Pictures Television where she supervised the development and physical production of half-hour comedy projects including Columbia’s first syndicated/cable educational series: Beakman’s World which aired on CBS.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Allison received a JD degree from USC Law Center and is a member of the California bar.
PHILIP MESSINA (Production Designer) last designed The Hunger Games. In 2011, Messina designed Marc Forster’s Machine Gun Preacher starring Gerard Butler. Prior to that Messina worked with M. Night Shyamalan to create the fantasy adventure The Last Airbender
He has also frequently collaborated with director Steven Soderbergh, designing Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Thirteen, Ocean’s Twelve and Ocean’s Eleven. The latter garnered Messina an Art Director’s Guild nomination. They also teamed up on The Good German, Eros, Solaris, Traffic and Erin Brockovich. They first met when Messina worked as the art director on Out of Sight.
Additional credits include Curtis Hanson’s acclaimed drama 8 Mile starring Eminem and Gregory Jacob’s directorial debut: Criminal.
Born and raised in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Messina graduated from Cornell University with a degree in architecture. His initial foray into films was as a set designer on Mermaids, School Ties and Housesitter which were all filmed in the Boston area. Relocating to Los Angeles, he went on to serve as the art director on such films as Hard Target, The Neon Bible, Reckless, The Associate, Trial and Error and The Sixth Sense. For television, Messina was the production designer on the series Freaks and Geeks created by Paul Feig and executive produced by Judd Apatow.
Messina is married to set decorator Kristen Toscano Messina, with whom he frequently collaborates. They live in Los Angeles with their five-year-old son, Luca.
Award-winning costume designer TRISH SUMMERVILLE (Costume Designer) continues to set trends with her imaginative ensembles. She has created looks for some of the world’s most recognizable movie characters, including Lisbeth Salander from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and The Hunger Games’ Katniss Everdeen.
Summerville most recently designed the costumes for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. She also created the wardrobe worn by Liev Schreiber and the cast of Showtime’s Ray Donovan.
Summerville has worked extensively with director David Fincher on both feature films and high-profile commercials. She created the costuming for Fincher’s Heineken spot starring Brad Pitt, as well as his Nike “Fate” commercial, which earned her a nomination from the Costume Designer’s Guild. Most recently, Summerville collaborated with Fincher on Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z’s “Suit and Tie” video.
Summerville’s theatrical work with Fincher includes 2011’s The Girl WithThe Dragon Tattoo. She developed the unique look of Rooney Mara’s Lisbeth Salander character, winning a Costume Designer’s Guild Award for Excellence in Contemporary Film. Summerville’s Dragon Tattoo work led to featured design spreads in W, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Nylon and Entertainment Weekly.
Summerville also created an H&M capsule collection inspired by The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The first costume designer to team with a major global retailer, her line sold out in minutes.
Summerville has created designs for several memorable music videos. Her work was famously featured in the clips for Pink’s “Sober,” Black Eyed Peas’ “Meet Me Halfway” and Christina Aguilera’s “Dirrty,” among others. Famous brands that have tapped Summerville for their commercials include Apple, Tanqueray, Volkswagen, Diet Coke and Chevy.
When not working in film, Summerville consults for red carpet appearances and large-scale music tours.
As Senior Vice President of Production and Development at Color Force, BRYAN UNKELESS (Co-Producer) was a co-producer on The Hunger Games. He was the development executive on the wildly successful Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise, which is based off of Jeff Kinney’s best-selling children’s books. The third film in the series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days—starring Steve Zahn, Rachel Harris and Zachary Gordon—was released in August of 2012.
Unkeless was a development executive on Lone Sherfig’s adaptation of the best-selling novel One Day by David Nicholls. Starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess, One Day was released by Focus Features in 2011.
Prior to joining Color Force, Unkeless worked at Parkes-MacDonald Productions where he was involved with projects such as The Burning Plain—written and directed by Guillermo Arriaga—and The Uninvited—directed by the Guard Brothers.
A graduate of Duke University, Unkeless enjoys swimming, running, cycling and watching the Denver Broncos win.
One of the most renowned makeup artists in the motion picture business, VE NEILL (Makeup Designer and Department Head) has set many standards of excellence in the makeup field. Over the course of her 30 year career Neill has won three Academy Awards®, two Primetime Emmy® Awards, four Saturn Awards, a BAFTA Award, Local 706 Best Character Makeup Award and the first artist to be awarded Hollywood Foreign Press’ Makeup Artist of the Year award as well as the first to be honored as Makeup Artist of the Year by MAC Cosmetics. She has a total of 21 international nominations and wins for her creative and innovative makeups. For Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl she was awarded the BAFTA and received an Oscar® nomination.
From her early career as a rock 'n roll stylist, Neill began to develop her skills as a designer and makeup artist. Specializing in concept, design and execution, Neill entered the film industry and discovered a talent for extreme fantasy makeup. These unique skills put her on the forefront of the early 80s film extravaganza.
Neill created space travelers for the first Star Trek film and for the hit comedy Galaxy Quest, vampires for Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys and visions of the afterlife for Tim Burton's wacky comedy Beetlejuice. In addition, she turned Johnny Depp into a scissors wielding anti-hero for Edward Scissorhands; Robin Williams into a Scottish nanny for Mrs. Doubtfire; Martin Landau into horror king ‘Bela Lugosi’ for Ed Wood and brought to life an onslaught of villains, beauties and super-heroes for Warner Brothers’ Batman series. She gave Patricia Arquette the Stigmata, transformed Christine Baranski into the Grinch’s sexy girlfriend, aged Johnny Depp 60 years for the film Blow and turned Jude Law into the perfect love-robot for Steven Spielberg’s A.I.
Some of her other credits include The Chronicles of Riddick, Danny DeVito’s Matilda, Hoffa and Spielberg’s Amistad. Neill continues her illustrious career with an assortment of new characters ranging from a manic 100 year old woman in Duplex, possessed beings in Constantine and a slew of dirty, drunken, barnacle encrusted camp Pirates (that everyone adores) for the Pirates of the Caribbean series. In early 2007 she turned Johnny Depp into the infamous ‘Butcher Barber of Fleet Street’ for the film-musical Sweeney Todd. In late 2007 she also transformed another well-known face, Mike Myers, into The Love Guru. She worked with Joe Wright (Director of Atonement) on the film The Soloist starring Robert Downey Jr., Jamie Foxx and Catherine Keener; Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor in the film I Love You Phillips Morris and Priest starring Paul Bettany, Carl Urban, Cam Gigandet, Stephen Moyer and Lilly Collins. She headed up the special makeup department for the film Thor. She created the looks for the stars of The Amazing Spider-Man starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. Last summer Neill added a Stephanie Meyers book film to her resume, The Host. Also be on the lookout for the next Spider-Man film that she just finished filming in New York.
Throughout her career Neill has worked with many of Hollywood's brightest stars. Jack Nicholson, Johnny Depp, Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Keira Knightly, Julia Roberts, Danny DeVito, Sarah Jessica Parker, Uma Thurman, Orlando Bloom, Sigourney Weaver, Stellan Skarsgård, Jude Law, Lilly Collins, Ethan Hawke, Catherine Keener, Jim Carey, Courtney Love, Edward Norton, Andy Garcia, Keanu Reeves, Hope Davis and Michael Caine have all called upon Neill for her expertise with beauty, the bizarre and lots of wild characters. This is a small part of the all-star list of clientele who enjoy the touch of Neill's magical brush.
LINDA FLOWERS (Hair and Wig Designer and Department Head) feature film credits include the award winning The Social Network with director David Fincher, Iron Man 2, Angels & Demons with director Ron Howard and There Will Be Blood with director Paul Thomas Anderson. Her clients have included Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lawrence, Tom Hanks, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Melissa McCarthy, Jason Bateman and Christina Applegate, amongst others. Flowers has department headed such television shows as Samantha Who, Entourage, Heroes, and Crossing Jordan. She is the inventor of the “Top Styler,” the revolutionary patented innovative hair styling tool
LARRY DIAS (Set Decorator) was born and raised on a dairy farm in the San Joaquin Valley in California to Portuguese immigrant parents. After working in the family business until the age of 22 he moved to Los Angeles to study fashion design at Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design.
Dias began his film career at the urging of a friend who suggested that he try some film work over a summer vacation. He began as a set dresser, moving furniture in the set decoration department, and was immediately hooked. Within a year he worked his way up the ladder to become a Set Decorator on commercials and television movies. He landed his first feature film as the set decorator on Diane Keaton's directorial debut, Unstrung Heroes. Since then, he has decorated over 25 feature films. Dias has had three nominations for an Art Directors Guild award for his set decorations which include Gore Verbinski’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Steven Speilberg's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and most recently an ADG win with Christopher Nolan's Inception. He has won international acclaim with a Goya Award for his set decoration on Alejandro Amenábar's Agora, a BAFTA Award and an Oscar® nomination for his work on Inception.