LONDON (CBSMiami) – London’s Leicester Square’s gardens were given a makeover with flaming torches and a circular red carpet for the world premiere of the second in “The Hunger Games” franchise, “Catching Fire.”
Jennifer Lawrence, who plays the lead Katniss Everdeen, led the charge of young actors and actresses at the launch, including Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone and Elizabeth Banks.READ MORE: Miami Boat Show Move In 2022 Could Impact Manatees
The borders of the square were filled with screaming fans, braving the rain to see the stars. Lawrence, for one, was taken aback by the setting, saying “It’s really crazy. It’s nuts. There’s so many people and they’re all screaming.”
2012 proved a big year for Lawrence – not only because of the commercial success of the first ‘Hunger Games’ movie, but also because she won an Academy Award for her role in ‘Silver Linings Playbook’.
Asked how getting an Oscar had changed her, the actress replied “You know, I don’t really think about it. Obviously it’s an honor and it’s great but nothing in my personal has changed, fortunately.”
The first movie, “The Hunger Games”, a book adaptation about children being selected for a televised fight to the death, grossed nearly $700 million dollars worldwide and became the surprise hit of 2012.
After its success, studio bosses signed off on three sequels; “Catching Fire”, and “Mockingjay” parts one and two which are out in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
Jena Malone, who plays Johanna Mason in the sequel, tried to sum up why the concept of children in death matches appealed to such a big audience.
“I think it’s the first time that a young adult audience were really treated as an adult in the sense that they were given really great issues, really dark things, really probing ideas and they just laid it bare with really interesting characters and it doesn’t help that we have the most amazing female protagonist ever, you know.”
However, Lawrence’s co-stars Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth think it’s solely down to the central character of Katniss that Lawrence plays.READ MORE: Video Captures Pompano Beach Shooting, Suspects Sought
“I think that Jennifer and her portrayal of Katniss is a very real thing that people are looking for. She has a reluctancy to become the hero that she is and I think it’s something that people can relate to. It’s not always just being 100-percent OK with things in your life and having to work with this,” said Hutcherson,
Hemsworth explained, “For a lot of young people, they look up to this girl Katniss because she manages to stay herself and not let the system change her.”
Lawrence stepped away from the screaming fans and reporters to spend quality time with a disabled girl at the premiere, talking to her, cuddling her, ensuring she was warm and thanking her for coming to the premiere.
Meanwhile, Lawrence’s co-stars explained why they loved working with her.
“She’s just laid back, she’s fun, she’s crazy, she says what she thinks,” explained Hutcherson.
Hemsworth agreed. “She’s someone who doesn’t think about what the consequences of what her words might be and she constantly spills her guts on set, and it’s very refreshing.”
When told about the compliments, Lawrence quipped, “Good, I paid them enough!”; and when asked if there was anything she wasn’t good at, she said “Everything else… dancing, singing.”
One other actor getting a lot of attention at the premiere was Sam Claflin who joins the cast as Finnick, another love interest to Katniss.
Bewildered by the attention he was getting, he said “There are people screaming my name. I don’t know who I am anymore! It’s insane, it doesn’t feel normal. It’s a dream come true.”MORE NEWS: Red, Long-Time Zoo Miami Resident Ostrich Found Dead
“Catching Fire” the second installment in The Hunger Games trilogy opens in theaters on Nov. 22nd.