By Dana Mathews
Killer chemistry -- that's exactly what Katniss and Finnick have in 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.' Who better to explain it than Jennifer Lawrence and Sam Claflin themselves? Insider scoop about the upcoming blockbuster, including an exclusive interview with the pair, but we're also bringing you a special online-only extended version of our talk with Sam and Jen (as she likes to be called). In a brutally honest and seriously hilarious exchange, the two talk about training, filming in Hawaii, and dealing with fame and paparazzi. Let the games begin!
Jennifer, what did it feel like to revisit your character for the second time?
Jennifer Lawrence: It was kind of weird to go back because I had this idea when I first signed on to the franchise that it would get boring playing the same character. I've never done that -- I've always played a brand new character. Katniss is the same character but in completely new circumstances. She's changed.
Was it important for you to set a certain tone on set as the leading lady?
JL: Yeah, I needed everyone to know I was in charge. (Laughs) I just wanted everyone to be comfortable. When there are new people, it can get awkward, but everyone was so great -- including you, Sam.
Sam Claflin: I first bumped into you at stunt training. Your archery put me to shame. I was quite intimidated.
JL: By the sight of my face.
SC: Yea. It really put me off. (Laughs) No, obviously you are a good role model.
How will your characters interact with each other in the movie? You have a... complicated relationship.
JL: Finnick is the most seductive man in the Capitol. At first Katniss is very put off by him, but the more she learns about him, the more she starts to understand and respect him. They become weird friends.
SC: He has charm and charisma going for him, but deep down he has insecurities, which overshadow his "external beauty."
Sam, Finnick has a very physical role. How did you train?
SC: I had quite the journey. If you read the description of Finnick in the book, then pin my face next to that, there's quite a long way to go.
JL: He was drastically overweight.
SC: I was definitely not in shape. There was a lot of training involved. Months and months of eating the same meals every day. Omelet in the morning, protein shake in the afternoon. The same routine of gym and stunt training. I'm happy with the end result. I did the best I could.
JL: You can't diet on these movies. It's impossible.
SC: It's pretty tough.
You shot most of the movie in Atlanta but the arena scenes took place in Oahu. How was Hawaii?
JL: Oh, it was like a different movie. Try being stressed in Hawaii, I dare you.
SC: There's something about Hawaii where you step off the plane and you feel really chill. Spiritually, it was like a different film. The crew and cast were downsized and it felt more like a small family unit.
JL: We went swimming in between takes. We would go paddle boarding at lunch. It was amazing. But the scenes got a lot more intense. Things get terrifying.
There was a lot of paparazzi following you guys on this journey. Did that make it hard while you were filming intense scenes?
SC: They weren't around when we were doing scenes so much. It was worse during our downtime.
JL: I mean, paparazzi suck all the time. When you're working, it's distracting and when you're not working, it's annoying. I don't feel like anyone is entitled to know what we're doing on our weekends and for some reason, the world thinks they are. That's just how I feel.
SC: I was lucky. I didn't have to deal with it as much as her and Josh -- partly because no one knows who I am. I'm lucky.
Jennifer, have you given Sam any advice?
JL: I told him that everything's going to change really fast. I haven't really stopped working, which has been exhausting, but also a blessing because I don't have time to think about it.
SC: I've had a very busy year thus far and when this film comes out, we'll be in the middle of shooting the next one! It's going to be another busy year.
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Also on HuffPost:
At a Golden Globes after-party, Selena Gomez admitted to having a major girl crush on the "Hunger Games" actress. <a href="http://www.teen.com/2013/01/16/news/celebrity-news/selena-gomez-golden-globes-2013-interview-jennifer-lawrence/#ixzz2IGBboLcg">She told a reporter:</a> “As an actress, seeing Jennifer Lawrence after all she’s been through -- even after being a part of an incredible franchise, seeing her acceptance speech -- was incredible; it was a good moment for me. I don’t even know her, but I think she’s so cool and I think she deserved it.”
"Silver Linings Playbook" leading man Bradley Cooper hasn't been shy about discussing how much he loves working with Lawrence. “She is incredible," <a href="http://marquee.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/06/bradley-cooper-on-working-with-jennifer-lawrence-getting-sober/">Cooper told CNN.</a> "I’ve been so lucky to do two movies with her back-to-back... She’s the best. I feel like I got in on the ground floor. I’ll be lucky if I work with her again.”
Hutcherson -- the Peeta to Lawrence's Katniss -- opened up about filming and hanging out with his female co-star in an interview with MTV last year. <a href="http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1678371/hunger-games-jennifer-lawrence-josh-hutcherson.jhtml">He laughed</a>, "It's hard to get things done when we're together. I'm amazed in this interview we've gotten as many questions in as we have. We just start going and end up talking about the most random things... It works."
In 2011, actress Jacqueline Emerson (aka Foxface) chatted with HuffPost Teen about her admiration for Katniss, and the actress who portrayed the bow-and-arrow-slinging heroine. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/21/the-hunger-games-jackie-e_n_1221497.html?page=2">She said</a>, "One of the things I admire about Katniss so much is that she’s the rare, strong female character leading a book. You don’t get a lot of those. And Jen is such a strong female person! [laughs] Okay, that came out weirdly, but she’s very self-possessed, she’s so talented, and really funny."
"Silver Linings Playbook" co-star Julia Stiles <a href="http://www.elle.com/news/culture/julia-stiles-interview">talked to ELLE </a>about working with Lawrence, gushing:"I was so impressed with Jennifer Lawrence. She's really young but she's so strong and formidable as an actress. She was reading Anna Karenina while we were shooting, and it inspired me to read it."
Woody Harrelson had some pretty high praise for the star in an interview with USA Today. <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2012/11/18/jennifer-lawrence-silver-linings/1705007/">He said simply</a>: "She's the funniest woman I know. I'm in a perpetual state of laughter with her, which is a pretty good way to be on set."
Lenny Kravitz -- who plays Katniss' stylist Cinna in "The Hunger Games" -- originally met Jennifer through his daughter Zoe, who Lawrence is friends with. The actor had glowing words of praise for his co-star. <a href="http://www.entertainmentwise.com/news/72169/Lenny-Kravitz-Reveals-Hes-Fallen-In-Love-With-Jennifer-Lawrence">He said</a>: "I met Jennifer and immediately I fell in love with her. She's amazing, she's super-funny at all times -- she keeps you cracking up.