My interview with #CatchingFire cast: Finnick, Johanna, Betee, Gloss and Cashmere #Giveaway

by Jennifer


Finnick (Sam Claflin), Cashmere (Stephanie Leigh Schlund), Johanna (Jena Malone)

I  love the opportunities to do interviews and get behind-the-scenes information on upcoming movie releases. I was surprised to get invited to the Tribute Tour for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire right in my hometown! It was a short press conference, but I was glad to get my question in:

When people are cast for films based on something, sometimes they avoid the original source so that they can stay true to the director’s vision. What was your level of familiarity with the books or the first movie before you filmed?

2013-11-06 14.27.19

Gloss (Alan Ritchson), Betee (Jeffrey Wright), Finnick (Sam Claflin)

Jeffrey Wright (Betee) is a real actor’s actor. He wasn’t familiar with the books, but his children strongly encouraged him to take this role. He read the books with intent, calling them an “encyclopedic background.” OF course he wanted to read them, because he “looked for any crutch possible.”

Stephanie Leigh Schlund read the books voraciously after seeing the first movie. She read the character of Cashmere with much interest, so it was fortuitous that she got that role. She really had to put her acting chops to work because she describes herself as “a person who gives free hugs,” so she had to tap into Cashmere’s pure arrogance.

Alan Ritchson who plays Gloss proves that brains and beauty aren’t mutually exclusive. He said that the books — which he read even before the first movie came out — “phenomenal source material.”  I loved his description of screenplays as well: “picture books with dialogue.” I think this movie looks incredible visual, and it will be amazing to see.

Jena Malone (Johanna) is a super fan. You could tell in listening to her that she drunk it all in. She described the sequel in this way:

Anything you expect is safe, mind will be completely blown.

Malone shared that Francis Lawrence, the director, gave them access to the author Suzanne Collins, who they could ask any questions about back story. He also had a PTSD expert to key into those elements of each of the victors’ stories.


My daughter was most excited about my opportunity to visit with Finnick, Sam Clafin. His casting decision probably caused the most waves from the superfans, thinking he wasn’t hot or ripped enough to be golden boy Finnick. Clafin said the fan reaction spurred him to work harder, and he really didn’t blame the fans, because when he was cast, he was a “fat English pale kid.”

Schlund assured us “from the point of view of a woman” that he will not disappoint.

A question I wanted to ask, but didn’t get to, is if the experience was more like boot camp or summer camp. The training and arena footage looks an awful lot like hard work, but seeing these tributes together also made it obvious that they were having a lot of fun too.

2013-11-06 14.32.20THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE is directed by Francis Lawrence, from a screenplay by Simon Beaufoy and Michael DeBruyn, based upon the novel “Catching Fire” by Suzanne Collins and produced by Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik. The novel is the second in a trilogy that has over 50 million copies in print in the U.S. alone. THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE opens on November 22, 2013. Lionsgate presents a Color Force/Lionsgate production.

Enter to Win

Click over to my post at 5 Minutes for Mom to enter to win one of three copies of the movie tie-in version of Catching Fire..

You’ll get an entry for commenting here, so do that first, but then click on through to read my post over there. Which of these actors do you most want to see on screen? My answer below.

You can also check out the cool Hunger Games: Catching Fire chocolates that represent each of the 12 districts.


Official Site:






Hashtags: #CatchingFire | #IdentifyYourself | #CelebrateYourVictors

Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer

Jennifer lives in Houston with her family. In addition to reading, she enjoys travel, Bible study, food, and fun. She blogs about some of these things -- when her nose isn't in a book -- at Snapshot.

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Holly F November 11, 2013 at 7:07 am

I just read that they’ve been filming in Atlanta (where I live) and the cast has been spotted around town. I would FREAK OUT if I got to see them!


2 Jennifer November 11, 2013 at 9:12 am

After sitting right across from Alan Ritchson, who was definitely big-screen gorgeous but also seemed down-to-earth, I’d like to see him. Stephanie Schlund did seem to be the nice person she said she was, so I’m also curious to see her “act” like ruthless Cashmere.


3 Tammy S November 11, 2013 at 10:57 am

I think it’s great that Jeffery Wright’s kids had read the books and encouraged him to take the role. My kids loved the books! They can’t wait for the this movie to come out. They loved the first one.


4 anne November 11, 2013 at 1:22 pm

this sounds fascinating and interesting for kids.


5 LaVonne November 12, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Now I can’t wait to see how Finnick looks in the movie. LOL! :)


6 kathy stevenson November 13, 2013 at 6:17 pm

I cannot wait to see this movie!


7 Regina November 14, 2013 at 8:15 am

I would like to meet Alan Ritchson


8 Vickie Couturier November 14, 2013 at 11:47 am

I haven’t read the books yet or seen the movie,but was a interesting interview


9 Donna W. November 15, 2013 at 4:51 am

I’m most interested in seeing the character Johanna on the big screen.


10 Jamie Leigh Martin November 15, 2013 at 9:23 am

I really should read the books..


11 Liz November 15, 2013 at 10:33 am

I haven’t read the books, but I ADORE Jeffrey Wright.


12 Jennifer November 15, 2013 at 8:53 pm

I am not familiar with him, but others at the press conference were big fans. And he was very interesting to listen to. Very much an “ACTOR.”


13 Elizabeth November 17, 2013 at 12:06 pm

I’m so excited to see this movie with my teenage daughter!


14 paige aka mrs. bacon November 17, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Sam claflin is pretty hot.


15 Cynthia R November 18, 2013 at 3:07 pm

i most want to see Sam Clafin because he is one of my favorite characters in the book


16 Cynthia R November 18, 2013 at 4:22 pm

that’s so cool we were able to attend such a cool interview


17 samantha w November 19, 2013 at 4:45 am

I don’t recognize many of the names, but I have seen Jena Malone in a few things.


18 Tammy S November 19, 2013 at 11:52 pm

I love what Alan Ritchson said about the books. That is one of the reasons I love to read. You can let your imagination go and come up with the scenes.


19 Elle November 20, 2013 at 8:53 am

I really can’t choose. I’m looking forward to seeing them all. :)


20 Jordan November 20, 2013 at 8:56 pm

I like them all!


21 Emily November 22, 2013 at 6:45 pm

So excited when I saw all them casted. They are all so great, and I saw the movie and I love them. I have to admit I love Sam Clafin XD


22 in the hammock November 22, 2013 at 6:46 pm

what a great opportunity! sounds like a lot of fun! i can’t wait to see the movie!


23 Sindy Murray November 23, 2013 at 12:59 am

I like Sam Clafin! looks like you had a good time I will get nervous and speak very fast in interview!


24 Tara C November 24, 2013 at 11:42 pm

It’s really interesting to get more information about the cast members, I always think it’s cute when an actor’s children are the ones who push him/her into taking the role!


25 Ana Gonzalez December 1, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Wow sounds like a great experience


26 kathy pease December 2, 2013 at 7:12 pm

id like to see Jena Malone I loved her in Stepmom with julia roberts


27 Charlene Kuser December 3, 2013 at 7:31 pm

I don’t think we realize how hard these actors do work to get into the roles of
their characters.They have to completely defy their own personality to get into the script.This was a very good interview.


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