Hey TWIST readers!
We recently chatted with Amandla Stenberg, who plays Rue in the upcoming movie The Hunger Games! Amandla was so sweet and so excited to talk about her film! She dished to us about her character Rue, the awesome training that she got to do, and funny behind-the-scenes moments from the set! Check it out, and be sure to see The Hunger Games, in theaters on March 23rd!
Photo Credit: Startraks
TWIST: Can you tell us in your own words about The Hunger Games and what we can expect?
AS: Sure! Well, The Hunger Games is a story about a post-apocalyptic world where there is a government made of twelve districts and the twelve districts are led by The Capitol. One year the districts rebelled against The Capitol and so, as punishment each year, The Capitol sends one boy and one girl from each district to fight in the "Hunger Games", which is a battle in which only one survivor can come out at the end.
TWIST: We're really excited about The Hunger Games over here at TWIST. Can you tell us about your character Rue?
AS: Sure! Rue becomes very close with the main character, Katniss, and she bonds with her in the arena in which the Games take place. And so she becomes very important to Katniss until something happens - but you'll have to wait and see! (giggles)
TWIST: Alright. So when you first got the role, how did you relate to Rue? Do you have a lot of similarities with her? Are there a lot of differences between you and her?
AS: I think I related to Rue because Rue's very musical and she's very quick and she's very sweet. And I think I have some of those qualities. I'm very musical - I play violin, drums, and guitar and I like to sing so I think I relate to Rue in that way. I'm very small like Rue is. (laughs)
TWIST: Cool! Now, had you read the books before you got the role?
AS: I had; I was such a dedicated fan even before I even auditioned for the part and so to be able to play Rue was so surreal because just a few months before I was reading the books, and I was obsessed with them and tearing through them, and so it's funny to think that after that now I actually become one of the characters in the book.
TWIST: And what was your favorite part of the books?
AS: My favorite part? Hmm... Well, I think some of my favorite scenes were kind of the chariot ride and the interviews at the beginning before the Hunger Games even start, and I think those are really exciting to read about just because it's funny to see what The Capitol is like and what this post-apocalyptic world is like and how The Capitol is so kind of... insane! (laughs) And how they are so over-the-top, and so I thought that was really interesting.
TWIST: And were they your favorite scenes in the film as well or did you have different favorite scenes?
AS: I think my favorite scenes in the film were shooting the scenes in which we were training and also at the very beginning of the Games at the cornucopia, when we're all running away from each other (laughs). I think that was the most fun because that's when I really bonded with everyone in the cast - and the crew as well because that's kind of when everyone was there, and when we all got to know each other - so I think that was the most fun.
TWIST: Can you tell us what it was like working with Jennifer Lawrence?
AS: Yeah, it was so much fun working with Jennifer just because we were joking around so much on set and it became a little difficult sometimes because Jen liked to tell jokes right before a serious take... (laughs) So we would be shooting maybe a very traumatic scene and then she'd make a joke and throughout the entire scene you'd be trying to hold it in (laughs). And so that was something that I think everyone had to overcome. But it just made life on set so much fun, and everyone was always cracking up and rolling around on the floor laughing. Even though the books are kind of serious, I think that our time on set was just so light-hearted with everyone joking around and laughing.
TWIST: Do you have a favorite behind the scenes memory from the set?
AS: Oh gosh, I have so many things that made me crack up all the time and so many good memories. But I think some of my favorite memories were when I learned that Dayo Okeniyi, who plays Thresh, had a particular tickle spot, in which when you tickle him there, he screams like a little girl (laughs). And so, when I found out about this tickle spot, it angered him very much because it was one of his dark secrets (laughs). And I'm not going to say where it is because that would definitely ruin his life! I would sneak up behind him right before a take and tickle him and he would scream and everyone would look over at him like, "What is he doing?" So, as protection, he'd go to Craft Services and get pieces of fruit and then whenever I came towards him, he would throw pieces of fruit at me or rub them on my arms and then I'd be all sticky, so that was his way of fighting back. (laughs)
TWIST: That's a pretty good story. Now, Rue's really good in the book at climbing trees. What kind of training did you have to do for the role?
AS: Well, Rue's character is not as physically demanding... like Alexander Ludwig who plays Cato, and Isabelle Furhman who plays Clove. So, since it's not like that - since she flies around in the trees and she climbs around, I got to do some really cool harness work where I got to put on my custom-made harness and fly around the room and jump up and down in the trees. And so that was really cool; I felt like Peter Pan!
TWIST: Can you tell us what is next for you?
AS: Next for me... well, I'm looking at some really cool projects but I'm not really sure yet - so we'll just have to wait and see!
TWIST: Alright, we look forward to seeing you in The Hunger Games! Thank you!
AS: Thank you.