Liam Hemsworth Talks ‘Mockingjay Part 1’ in Cineplex Magazine
How does Gale become more important in Mockingjay?
The first two films Gale basically has to watch Katniss go into these games, and watch Peeta go into the games, and is kind of helpless from doing anything. And now in Mockingjay – Part 1 we pick up in District 13, which was bombed years earlier and now has a secret underground base. Gale is a big part of the uprising and the rebellion, and someone who’s had enough of all the abuse and is ready to stop at nothing to take down the Capitol.
You lost a lot of weight for the first film, did you keep it off for the filming of the entire franchise or did you go up and down between films?
The first two yes, and then the last one he’s in District 13 where he’s actually fed a little bit more…. He’s not hunting for food anymore so he’s a little bit less hungry [laughs].
Did changing your look change your perception of yourself, or Hollywood’s perception of you?
You know, it’s a character. You always, when you do a character, want to look different than what you look like in real life. There were a number of things I did in the first one that I thought were right for the character and I thought would do the character justice. Hair colour was the other big one.
They chose to shoot many of the Capitol scenes in Paris and Berlin rather than, say, somewhere in the States. What did that add to the look and feel of the films?
Well, we shot in various locations outside of Berlin which were broken down war posts and things like that, and then in Paris there were various buildings that we shot at, some very interesting architecture that will be seen in the film. The specific building in Paris that we shot in and around had a very heavy vibe about it, lots of concrete.
Tell me about the old war posts in Berlin, were those from World War II?
There were certain old, secret Nazi bases that I think the Russians occupied at one point, and then the Nazis occupied, and then the Russians took it back. So some really interesting places… I don’t even know if [the area] had a name because it was a secret collection of buildings that are all broken down now.
It must have felt very strange shooting there.
It did, yeah. We also shot in a place called Tempelhof [Berlin’s main airport from the 1920s until 2008, when it was shut down and repurposed as an event space and park]. It was Hitler’s military air base at the time, and is the fourth-largest structure in the world. It had a very,very heavy energy and we shot some quite emotional scenes there with a lot of extras. . .. There was quite a different energy on set shooting in places like that because it had so much history behind it already and then we’re shooting very depressing scenes.
Which scene was shot there?
It’s the scene from the place called The Nut where we basically flush out a bunch of the Capitol’s workers from inside The Nut…. I believe that it’s in the second part [next year’s Mockingjay – Part 2]
You’re an ambassador for the Australian Childhood Foundation. What do you do for them?
My dad worked in child protection and human services for my whole life and now works for the Australian Childhood Foundation which is all about preventing kids from being abused, taking kids who have been abused out of their homes, putting in programs to stop that kind of thing… You know, I grew up in a great family and had great parents and was able to have ambitions and big dreams and felt very comfortable at home and it was something that I always wanted for other people, for other kids. The world’s scary enough and if you don’t have a safe, comfortable environment at home. Then it’s not fair.
Is there a relationship between your work with them and having worked on The Hunger Games, which is about children in peril?
I didn’t do it because of that but a big part of the Hunger Games stories is kids being abused and what I loved about my character is he never wanted to put up with it. He was kind of helpless to do anything about it for a long time but when he gets the chance he’s ready to rise up against it.
Now that The Hunger Games has wrapped, what are you working on?
I start shooting By Way of Helena next month, another film I’ll be making with Woody [Harrelson, his Hunger Games co-star].
Twenty years from now when you think about your Hunger Games experience what will be the first image that springs to mind?
Probably Jennifer’s face ’cause that’s what I was looking at most of the time [laughs] .