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WATCH: Francis Lawrence Explains How Josh Helped Jennifer Without Being on Set

Check out this great behind-the-scenes look at Mockingjay – Part 1 and interview from Francis Lawrence with Vanity Fair.

Francis provides some interesting tidbits about the sets and how they had to shoot certain scenes.  He also dished on how they had Josh tape test shots of Peeta’s interviews and then replayed them for Jen when Katniss is reacting to them.  Francis said that it helped having her genuine emotions from missing Josh.  It’s so sweet!

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VIDEO: Natalie Dormer, Mahershala Ali, and Francis Lawrence Interviewed by JoBlo Movies

On the same press day as their interviews with Behind the Trailer, Natalie, Mahershala, and Francis also sat down with JoBlo Movies to discuss more Mockingjay – Part 1.  

Natalie and Mahershala explain their characters and their familiarity with the books prior to filming.  Francis also provides an interesting look into how his directing process is different with Jennifer than with other actors.  Check them out!

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‘Mockingjay Part 1′ Claims the Top Domestic Opening for the Weekend and the Year!

Katniss-Mockingjay-Instagram

Mockingjay Part 1 took the top spot at the weekend box office with $123 M in receipts, and easily claimed the highest opening weekend gross from Transformers: Age of Extinction which previously held the title with $100 M.  Though the film did not match the domestic opening weekends of either The Hunger Games ($152.5 M) or Catching Fire ($158 M), Mockingjay Part 1 did best both of it’s predecessors in the international ring, cashing in with $152 M.  That’s 4% up from Catching Fire ($146 M) during the same weekend last year.  In total, the third film in the franchise has grossed an estimated $275 M and is places it as one of the top films of the year in worldwide box office.

Source: Box Office Mojo/Yahoo

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Willow Shields Talks The Change In Prim, Advice From Jennifer And Buttercup The Cat With Spark Life

Willow and Jen

Earlier this week Spark Life had the chance to talk to the brilliant Willow Shields about the change in her character Prim, Jennifer verbally teaching her to drive and Buttercup the cat.

Your character is always the “little duck” to Katniss. Prim makes a comment in Mockingjay that there are so few children in District 13 because they were wiped out by an epidemic, but that also seems to be a comment on…

I’m not a child anymore?

Yes, exactly! Can you tell us about that a little bit?

Yeah, no I loved that. There are little things here and there that showcase how grown up Prim is becoming, and I think that is amazing to see, because you see a totally different dynamic between Katniss and Prim in Mockingjay: Katniss is falling apart and Prim kind of steps up to take care of her now, and I loved that because it was something different to see. I loved growing with the character and then evolving to then become that, and I think that it’s because she’s grown up with Katniss in her life, and Katniss is a strong independent person and that’s something Prim has started to adopt in Mockingjay for sure.

We have more of a sense that Prim has her own ideas about the war in this film…

Exactly. And she’s also doing her own part in the war in my opinion—we don’t see as much of that in Mockingjay Part 1, but you do see the fact that she’s becoming a doctor, so to me that’s her doing her part in the war and trying to save as many people as she can, you know, because of District 12 being bombed and all these people coming into 13. That also shows that she is completely aware of what’s going on and [is] trying to help in any way that she can.

Everyone makes a fuss about how tough Cressida and Coin and Katniss are, but Prim has been through a lot and she doesn’t get a fancy weapon, but she has a quiet strength…

That’s what I—exactly. And I didn’t want to go little duck—>strength, I didn’t want to do that. I wanted it to be more subtle, I wanted it to be there but not in your face, so that’s something I talked with the director about, I really wanted it to be real and genuine. I don’t think that after all the stuff that Prim’s gone through, it does make a person stronger after all of that, but it also you still are scared, I mean who wouldn’t be scared in her situation? I mean, Katniss is scared, and Katniss is STRONG strong, and I think it’s really cool that you get to see that and see that Prim is quietly strong, like you said, but also there are moments where even she is kind of scared, but I think it perfectly encompasses how many people would feel in that situation.

My personal fan-fic that I would love to see would be Gale getting everyone out of 12, and I wonder if you and Liam have talked about your characters’ backstory, that we maybe didn’t get to see onscreen.

Yes! There is a lot of backstory that is talked about on set, and I think it’s important to create a little bit of your own backstory, because you need to know where your character is at in that place and that time, so there is a little bit of conversation about that. And for Prim, Katniss volunteered for her and went to the games, and once again after that—she never knew if she was going to see her sister again, TWICE, and now there’s this whole war going on, and District 12 is burned down and they’re living in District 13, which they never even thought existed. So there is a whirlwind of emotions, but the crazy part is that she’s still sane and strong through all that, so there was myself and Jen and Liam talking out just how you would feel in that situation, after your home is burned to the ground and almost everyone died, you know, it’s like that emotion really needed to be brought to most of the scenes.

Did you talk to Jennifer Lawrence about your role reversal?

Yeah, and I thought that was really important, because a lot of Katniss’s decision to become the Mockingjay is based on what Prim tells her, so I find that very cool, but also just you get to see this amazing dynamic that you never saw before, and her relationship with Prim is the one relationship that I think has evolved the most through the story, and I just really loved playing that part and being able to challenge ourselves in the way that Katniss is stepping down and just falling apart, and Prim steps up and starts encouraging her. And Prim is very smart, so she’s giving her a lot of knowledge about why she should be doing this, and things like that.

You are interested in design outside of acting, and Prim gets to have a costume very different to the District 13 clothes—it’s a very Florence Nightingale kind of design, and I wondered if you’d discussed that with the costume designers.

Yes, yes, I actually loved the fact that I got a very cool costume for Mockingjay because I’m a nurse, and I think it’s a little bit different that everybody else’s, and having that blue, we were very intent on a very beautiful blue for this costume, and it was very perfect for Prim. It’s a very calming, beautiful color, and you get into that with costume designers, that just the color matters a lot. A lot of the colors in District 13 are just grey, but I enjoyed wearing that costume because it was different that Katniss’s classic District 13 outfit.

Yessss, soldier Katniss. I know Katniss hates Buttercup, but Prim loved her. What does that tell us about Prim?

I think it says a lot about Prim. A lot of people don’t realize that you see her fighting to save her cat at times even if she’s not fighting to save people in Part 1, but you can see she has that love and compassion and the strength to fight to save someone or something, so that’s something that people are maybe not aware of, but she really does have that inside of her.

How many Buttercups were there, I’m just so curious…

There was just one gigantic cat, and that cat was very sweet, it was a very easy cat to work with, and they had a trainer, and that was the smartest cat I’ve ever met in my entire life. Literally, the trainer would give it commands and it would do them, it was crazy!

I didn’t know you could give cats commands!

I know! I didn’t either! I was like, You can’t train a cat, are you kidding me? But they DID! It was crazy.

Has anyone from the cast given you tips for how to survive teendom?

Jen has been giving me advice about life in general since I was ten years old—she verbally tried to teach me how to drive when I was ten. She was like, “When you’re on the freeway, make sure you’re looking at everything, not just at the car in front of you, okay, you need to avoid an accident, and the blinking lights—you’ve got to use your turning signal.” I mean, driving in L.A.?!

She’s given me advice about everything , I mean she’s given me a lot of advice about Hollywood, too, and staying who you are through this whole process and this whole world, because I think that’s why she’s successful and I think she knows that. She’s given me so much advice, definitely.

Who do you ship?

Oh, that’s a hard one. I love John Green, and I’m obsessed with The Fault in Our Stars, so … Hazel and Gus is such a beautiful ship, and it’s so amazing and true, and I love that.

You are very interested in Operation Smile, a charity that works to fix cleft palates, etc. Did your interest in medicine and helping people come during or before The Hunger Games?

During, yeah, I honestly love working with kids, and that’s the number one thing. I think they’re our next generation, so it’s really important to make sure they all have the best health, so that’s why I got involved with that.

Source: SparkNotes.com

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WATCH: The Cast On ITV’s This Morning

Check out this interview of Jennifer, Josh, Liam, Donald and Sam on ITV’s This Morning.

This interview is very different and has a lot of funny moments one of which being Sam Claflin sucking up Malteasers with a straw in a bid to win ” The Hungry Games 2014″

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VIDEO: Rotten Tomatoes Interviews the ‘Mockingjay – Part 1′ Cast and Francis Lawrence

Movie-rating site Rotten Tomatoes posted a ton of interviews with the majority of the ‘Mockingjay – Part 1′ cast (Jen, Josh, Liam, Elizabeth, Sam, Donald, Natalie, and Julianne) and Francis Lawrence to their YouTube channel.  The interviewer is even decked out in some cool Capitol-esque attire.  Check them out!

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WATCH: Natalie Dormer, Mahershala Ali And Francis Lawrence Talk Mockingjay Part 1 With Behind The Trailer

Check out these brilliant interviews with Natalie Dormer, Mahershala Ali and Francis Lawrence when they discussed Mockingjay Part 1 with Behind The Trailer.

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WATCH: Elizabeth Banks and Donald Sutherland Discuss Their Characters and Important Messages in ‘Mockingjay’

German site MSTV Productions recently posted these great interviews with Elizabeth Banks and Donald Sutherland.  Watch as Elizabeth explains the inclusion of Effie in the Mockingjay films, Katniss and Effie’s friendship, and the important messages the story conveys.  Donald then discusses in impressive detail how Snow is trying to maintain control of Panem, why he is not a villain, and how important it is for everyone to become involved in politics.

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Sam Claflin Discusses Finnick Odair With Crave Online

Finnick

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

On Monday, Crave Online had the opportunity to speak to Sam Claflin about his character Finnick Odair and how he has changed between Catching Fire and Mockingjay Part 1.

I haven’t read the books, so this went in places I did not expect. I guess I expected Finnick to be stabbing guys by the dozens with a giant trident or something, but he’s in a really bad place in this movie, isn’t he?

Yeah. Yeah, I mean, the sort of guy that we got to know during the last movie is broken, quite literally, in more ways than one. So yeah, it’s matter of trying to piece himself back together, to regain that confidence that we all got to know in Catching Fire. As an actor, I guess it’s always a dream come true, to be able play a character with two personalities, two sides of the coin. It was a treat to revisit him, but it was quite challenging I guess, to play a character who felt pretty much brand new.

What is going on in Finnick’s head when we first see him in Mockingjay, Part 1? Obviously he misses Cresta but it seems to go deeper than that.

I think he, in a sense, as much as Katniss does, I guess in a sense he feels somewhat betrayed or lost. He realizes that even Katniss has family and friends around her. She has Gale, she has her mom and her sister, even her cat. Whereas Finnick literally has nobody. He is a lone wolf, and so the one thing that he did love and cherish has been taken from him. So I think it really hits him harder than it does with Katniss. And also she has obviously the rebellion, the whole Mockingjay, to keep distracting her, whereas he is just left to his own devices and sort of forgotten about. That’s the beautifully tragic reality of Finnick’s life. He’s a lonely man, and so you can seem to have everything, but have nothing. I think that’s a beautiful story.

What is Finnick toying with? It looks like he’s tying knots in something. What he is making or doing?

It’s kind of a comfort blanket, I guess. It’s his way of trying to take his mind off what’s going on in the world. What isn’t apparent is what sort of knots that I’m tying. Every knot was symbolic to how I was feeling, so whether it was a good luck knot or a forever knot, or it was a… I think that was it, actually. [laughs] I perfected them to the point that I didn’t have to look at them while I was doing them. I was doing them behind my back, et cetera, et cetera. In the books there’s a moment where Finnick hands that rope to Katniss, like, “This will keep you going.” So it’s a real symbol of his feeling lost, I guess you could say.

Did you have to consult a knot-tying expert. I don’t know anything about knots. I was never on a ship or anything…

I was given a couple of books but I found them really difficult to follow, honestly. There’s a transitional period from one photo to the next, and I feel like they sort of missed out on how to get from A to Z. [Laughs.] There was always a stage that I thought I couldn’t work out. So I watched a lot of YouTube clips, honestly, and there are many, many, many knot-tying videos. You could bore yourself silly, I’m sure, with the amount of knot-tying that goes on. I watched those for about a year. Nonetheless it was very interesting. Now I can happily tie a boat to a pier, so I’m quite proud of myself.

Were there scenes that you shot that showed what you were up to, that didn’tmake it into the final cut of this movie?

Not really, no. I think the important elements of his story and his journey are shown. The fact is, he very slowly starts piecing himself back together, but you don’t really see that in the book or in the film. There was one scene that we shot that didn’t make it into the film, which is totally understandable in the context of the movie and the fluidity of the journey that everyone was going through at that point. It seemed quite jarring, so it makes sense that it didn’t make the film…

What was that scene? Was it just an isolated moment or were you interacting with another actor?

It was an isolated moment. I was still in the hospital gown, but for a brief moment in that scene, before I took it off, I was just randomly standing there in my underwear wishing Katniss luck. [Laughs.] I think what they realized was, it was kind of not in keeping with the tone of the movie. They needed to keep moving forward. The fact that she was about to go to war, you know, it didn’t quite sit right. I think that was the general consensus. To me it makes sense if someone was a little wary of how people might take it. It makes so much more sense that it’s not there than if it was.

You get a hell of a scene at the end of this movie, that I thought was spectacular. Again, I guess because I haven’t read the books, it illustrated just how damaged Finnick must be even before all this happened, after what he went through after his Hunger Games.

Mmm… It’s the real Finnick, that moment. I think that’s what me and Francis had discussed quite a lot, which was that that is the moment that he really is naked and he gives everything. For the good of Panem, he basically tells them his life story and it’s hugely emotional but at the same time he doesn’t allow himself to get emotional. I think the reasoning behind it is, I’m ready to fight. This is my small, small donation to the cause. In comparison to what other people have sacrificed, him telling his story is a small sacrifice.

So it was a very intense day on set, as you can imagine! [Laughs.] At the same time what me and Francis had decided was it shouldn’t be emotional, it should be factual. It’s him telling people why they should join their cause. So yeah.

You say he’s naked in that moment. I view acting as working in layers upon layers upon layers, so just being confessional sounds scary to me, even just when you’re acting.

Yeah.

Yeah?

I mean, slightly. I definitely felt naked, if you know what I mean. I felt like everyone was watching me. [Laughs.] I felt like everyone was expecting a lot from me, so therefore… I remember Francis being complimentary in the sense that I was well-prepared for it. Like, I’d learned my lines. I was sort of surprised that people don’t learn their lines. How do normal people do this? This is normal to me, that I have one small job, that’s to learn my lines, turn up to set on time, and here I am! And hopefully act it well. But he was very happy that I’d done a lot of work behind it, that I had an idea of where I wanted to go with it.

It was well prepared, so that therefore… Doing these sorts of scenes, doing any form of acting, any scene you do feels quite, quite naked, and feels like I’m allowing a part of myself to be looked at, you know? So that was just in addition to the amount of other things like that.

So all the films are wrapped, yes?

Yeah. Yes.

Have you done anything to commemorate the occasion? Are you going to get a tattoo or anything to remember the experience?

[Laughs.] It’s still not over yet, so there’s potential for anything. I’ve definitely not discussed any sort of real symbolic remembrance. I think the memory of this film will forever kind of be remembered anyway, so I don’t think that I need anything to commemorate this experience. However, like I said, we’ve still got another film to come, so we still have a year to decide on something if we do decide on something. We shall see.

Did you get to keep your trident, at least?

I didn’t get to keep my trident. I got to keep my rope, which is pretty special. [Laughs.] I won’t tie a knot every again, but nonetheless it was a nice little memento.

Source: CraveOnline.co.uk

 

 

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Mockingjay Part 1 Debuts with the Highest Opening Day Box Office of 2014

Katniss-and-Gale-Mockingjay-InstagramGood news! Mockingjay Part 1 has met its first goal and has landed the largest opening day total at the domestic box office for 2014 taking in an estimated $55M which includes Thursday ticket sales of $17M. The estimates are less than analysts predicted for the third film in the franchise putting its weekend total well under the record breaking $150M mark and also under the lower end of Lionsgate’s prediction of $130M. Mockingjay Part 1 is now expected to finish around $125M, which still secures the title of highest opening weekend of 2014. But that total does put it behind both Catching Fire and The Hunger Games opening weekends.

Per Variety:

The U.S. opening day grosses for “Mockingjay,” according to early estimates, will likely reach $55 million, including $17 million from Thursday night showings, followed by about $43 million on Saturday and another $29 million on Sunday.

Should those numbers hold, the U.S. opening weekend for “Mockingjay” would finish far below 2012′s “The Hunger Games” with $152 million and last year’s “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” with $158 million. Box office trackers had expected “Mockingjay” to finish between $130 million and $150 million in the U.S.

…Thursday night’s business for “Mockingjay” was 33% behind last year’s massive $25.3 million Thursday night launch for “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and 14% below the $19.7 million earned by the first “Hunger Games” on its first night of release in March, 2012.

So why the lower totals? Well analysts have spouted everything from weather, to the soft domestic box office, to lack of IMAX to “threequelitis”. But $125M is nothing to sneeze at. It’s still the highest grosser of the year taking that title away from Transformers: Age of Extinction and only 15 other films have ever opened above the $120M mark.

Though the Domestic Box Office may not be hitting as expected, Mockingjay is still soaring overseas opening #1 in most of the markets it debuted.

International Update via Deadline: …the international rollout is providing some serious wind beneath Mockingjay‘s wings. It’s playing on 17,000 screens in 85 overseas markets, including key European and Latin American dates. It won’t hit China until 2015, but Asia has not been a massive bullseye for Katniss & Co over the course of the franchise. Still, even without China, and with Korea still entranced by Interstellar, Mockingjay‘s estimated three-day overseas total is $67.5M (You can check out the country breakdown here.)

We’ll keep you updated as we learn more about these box office details!