Compare Katniss at the beginning of Hunger Games and Katniss at the beginning of this movie. How is she different now?
Francis Lawrence: Well, Katniss is different because she’s been through the games. I think that was one of the things that really interested me most about the material and about this book was that we get to start to see the kind of effects that the games have on people, the effects that violence has on people.
How do you show that change?
FL: Even though she’s in the place she loves in the forest, I think that there’s a look to her, I would call it the thousand-yard stare. She’s still disturbed by things, and can’t get certain thoughts and images out of her head. And pretty quickly she has flashbacks to the games, within minutes of the opening.
Suzanne Collins: She’s got a lot of classic post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. She has nightmares. She has flashbacks. And in the beginning you can see she’s practicing avoidance. She’s completely pushed Peeta to arm’s length, you know? She’s trying to stay away from him. Why? Because everything associated with him except some very early childhood memories are associated with the Games. She’s conflicted to some degree about her relationship with Prim because she couldn’t save Rue. So she’s dealing with all that, and her method of dealing with it is to go to the woods and be alone and keep all of that as far away as possible, because there just are so many triggers in her everyday life.
But of course, what happens right at the story is it’s beginning of the Victory Tour, and that means that she’s going to have to go to every district and stand there and look at the families of the dead children. Some of them in some districts, like District 1, she killed both tributes. She killed both Marvel and Glimmer. So it’s this nightmare waiting to happen. And then just to make it extra awful, Snow visits her with the threat, so she’s something of a wreck at the beginning.
Read the entire first part of the interview HERE.