For someone who is on the verge of mega-stardom, The Hunger Games’Josh Hutcherson could not be a more easygoing, earnest and sweet guy to talk too. Seriously, some actors are good at laying it on thick and rolling out manufactured answers, but talking to Josh is like chatting with a friend. Kinda reminds me of another interview favorite whose name rhymes with Robert Pattinson. Wait, that is his name. Well, you catch my drift.
I was given two questions with Josh at the People’s Choice Awards, but as you can see in the video above, I just kept talking as he headed on to his next interview. I’m not gonna lie, guys, I was kinda tongue-tied and nervous. I’ve been waiting to talk to this dude for so long and am SO excited to see him as Peeta that my mouth turned to mush when he sauntered up to my spot on the carpet. It was like finally speaking to the guy you’ve had a crush on for months and then being too freaked out to form a sentence. But I did manage to ask him a few things: about his bond with Liam Hemsworth and Jennifer Lawrence, his favorite scene to shoot in the movie, that kiss, and if he gets freaked out by the fame and Team Peeta movement. He’s all yours in the video above.
It’s a veritable law of the universe that haters are going to hate; it’s in their awful blood. If they’re planning to hate on Elizabeth Banks for being cast as Effie Trinket in the upcoming Hunger Games film, however, said haters can take their complaints to the book’s author Suzanne Collins. “I worked with amazing Academy Award–nominated people in figuring out who Effie is, and most importantly, [author] Suzanne Collins blessed everything we did,” the 30 Rock actress told New York mag when asked about some haterade she recently received on Twitter. “So as long as Suzanne Collins is happy … I would say if fans wanna fight about it, they can fight with her.” Say … in some kind of specially-designed murder arena? While the rest of us watch, our deadened souls stirred by the unfolding homicidal drama? Pweeeeease?
The fact that Banks sounds so confident in her acting ability is encouraging, seeing as how as the actress is personally a devotee of the book series. “It was really a bunch of fans sitting around discussing what our visions were for everything,” Banks said of working on the Hunger Games set. “And then of course there are practical things, like I imagined District 12 — and they pretty much nailed it — like it was in the south in an old mining town. And that’s what we shot. And the Games actually blew me away. What I was imagining was too small.” Ugh, seriously, how can you hate on this woman? Her wigs alone make us want to get emotionally invested in this film.
Lionsgate has done all of us a heavy and released a mostly fresh batch of The Hunger Games stills to ogle. While the countdown to March 23 continues, we’re pretty much champing at the bit to get out hands on it, so we’re excited about the “new” photos Lionsgate released this week, even if we’re pretty sure we’ve seen them all before. There are some photos that were previously exclusives with other magazines and sites, like the one of Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket with Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen in a scene that we know is going to make us bawl — when Katniss volunteers herself instead of Rue — as well as one of Lenny Kravitz, Woody Harrelson and Josh Hutcherson as Cinna, Haymitch and Peeta discussing strategy, and a behind-the-scenes shot of Jennifer in the forest. There are also stills of what we’ve seen in the trailer, such as the one of Amandla Stenberg as Rue, warrior Katniss holding a bow, and Katniss and Liam Hemsworth‘s Gale in the meadow and the one we included above, of Katniss being led to the arena. But yeah, so what if it’s all familiar territory? We don’t want the whole darn movie spoiled for us!
Taylor Swift is an expert at writing melancholy pop; for example, “Dear John” made us want to rise up as a nation against John Mayer. This time, however, Swift has set her song-writing sights on government-sponsored blood sport with “Safe and Sound,” her new song for the Hunger Games soundtrack. “Something I’ve been VERY excited about for a VERY long time is going to be happening VERY soon,” Swift tweeted last night, before posting the jam she recorded with The Civil Wars. You can listen to it here. Personally we think it captures the exact combination of hope and despair you’d feel as you sprinted through the woods trying to escape almost certain death and you knew a boy liked you. What do you think of Taylor Swift‘s addition to the film’s soundtrack?
Christmas came early today in the form of this new Hunger Games still, which shows Katniss and Peeta training before the games. We thrilled to find Josh Hutcherson looking the most Peeta-y we’ve seen him — blond, buff and seriously handsome. We’ve been hard on the guy in the past, but this photo — combined with his serious acting skills — gives us a lot of hope for his portrayal Peeta. Jennifer Lawrence looks amazing as usual, and seeing them together has sparked our curiosity about their on-screen chemistry. Readers, are you sold?
Whether you’re preparing teenagers for a government-sponsored battle royale or just getting torn apart by a pack of mutant wolves who look like your fallen opponents, you always want to be as fabulous as possible. Luckily Lionsgate is releasing twelve official Hunger Games nail polish colors, one for each district, paired in their new ad with escort Effie Trinket herself. The line being entitled “Capitol Colours,” the spot asks the all-important question: “What will you be wearing to the opening ceremonies?” Other than the steely-yet-resigned expression of a heartless warrior, of course.
On one hand…doesn’t seem a little weird to be buying a product named after the decadence of the book’s corrupt Capitol City? On the other hand, we’ll wear anything if it’ll help us look as fierce as Elizabeth Banks. Or even Mr. Stanley Tucci! What do you think? Will the odds be ever in your favor of looking like a total diva in these hues, or does representing District 12 with tribute nail polish strike you as a little grim?
Time is a marvelously, frustratingly relative thing. For those of us who have been waiting for a Hunger Games movie since we read the book in 2008, the 100-day countdown to the film that starts today seems pretty short. But then, when we think about how much we want to the showdown at the Cornucopia, it seems agonizingly long. Well, either way, let’s put on our best Effie Trinket positive attitudes and celebrate, shall we? Today, TheFABlife is honored to be a part of the #HungerGames100 Poster Puzzle Hunt. The picture below is piece #64 of 100 puzzle pieces released out into the many Hunger Games-friendly sites across the Interwebs today. You can download the PDF version of the piece here: http://bit.ly/sJY3Py.
Yesterday, David Levithan told us that he doesn’t think people finish reading The Hunger Games and immediately want to pick up another dystopian novel. Well, we agree that we like to space these dark books out a bit, but they are addictive. And once a month or so, we’ve been picking up a new one. If you’re just starting to be obsessed, begin with the books we talked about during this Dystopian Week, especially with NextMovie.com’s list of books with movies in the works, then scroll back through Hollywood Crush’s first Dystopian Week suggestions from back in April. Here are some that we haven’t read yet but are next on our own to-read list.
Birthmarked, by Caragh M. O’Brien: In this version of the future, the world is divided between people who live inside the Enclave, and the unfortunate who live outside its walls. Gaia Stone is a 16-year-old novice midwife, and part of her duty is to hand over a quota of babies to the Enclave. But then her parents are taken away, and she has to figure out what’s really going on behind those walls.
The Eleventh Plague, by Jeff Hirsch: The cover bears a quote from Suzanne Collins herself, calling it “an excellent, taut debut novel,” so you probably can’t go wrong with this one. Stephen Quinn was born after two-thirds of the country was wiped out by influenza (that the Chinese released here on purpose) and has grown up barely scraping by as a salvager. But after a family tragedy, the 15-year-old finds his way to a community called Settler’s Landing, where he falls in love and learns that things aren’t as great in the town as they initially appeared to be. Read more…
As Dystopian Week comes to a close today, we’re looking forward to a future not quite as bleak as the one presented in a lot of our favorite novels. That’s because we have plenty more dystopian fiction to look forward to! Partials, due out February 28, takes place after a war between humans and the genetically engineered beings that rebelled against their creators and released a virus that killed 99.9 percent of the population. But one girl among the immune humans is going to try to save the species. Here, author Dan Wells tells us why he thinks we’re drawn to this genre:
Why are we so excited by dystopian stories these days? Do we like to be scared? Do we like the danger? Is it just fun? The best answer I can come up with is: Look around. We read dystopia not because these societies are strange and unfamiliar, but because, more often than not, they mirror our own. Fractured government, questionable freedom of the press, a massive reduction in personal privacy—check, check and check. Our handling of the Occupy movement, for example, is so backward that oppressive foreign dictators are using it to justify their own brutality. It doesn’t matter whether you agree with Occupy or not: Our response to it is maybe not the best reflection of a free society. Dystopian fiction allows us to play with these ideas, to explore them, to see where this law or that revolution might take us. We read dystopia because we want to understand our own world. Read more…
Earlier today, Scholastic let us reveal the cover of the upcoming movie tie-in edition of The Hunger Games. From the moment Suzanne Collins’ book hit shelves, we’ve been hearing about its movie adaptation. And on the occasion of Dystopian Week, we thought it would be interesting to hear from someone in the publishing world about how all this movie buzz and “dystopia is the new vampires” talk affects what makes it to print. So we got on the phone with David Levithan, who’s not just an editor at Scholastic; he’s also one half of the writing team behind Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, another successful book-to-movie story.
First off, Levithan told us something that may come as a surprise to some of us who follow the movie biz: Not that many young adult novels in the market have been optioned for movies.
“I would guess that it is in the 5 percent range, but that is purely anecdotal. It is certainly not many,” he said. And what’s more interesting, book editors aren’t necessarily hunting for the books that will make them big bucks on the big screen. Read more…