Our London Correspondent Describes His First Red Carpet Experience: Catching Fire


We don’t just ask anyone to go to premieres and represent us. But when we got a spot on the Red Carpet in London, our friend Andrew to cover the carpet. Yes, he got interviews. Those will come tomorrow. For now here’s his view of what it’s like to be on a Red Carpet.

Now, I feel I should start from the beginning, which is an evening out with my other half. When I checked my phone, I saw tweets from my US pal, Jeffrey, saying “CHECK YOUR EMAILS!” and, much to my surprise, it was Erin asking if I want to cover the Catching Fire World Premiere. This would mean taking over the twitter and instagram, getting interviews and writing this up. I said yes, and, several days later, one wet Monday afternoon-but-not-for-long, I was in London, getting to my part of the “media pen” (Print Cluster 4) and wishing I had a ton more eyes as I wanted to read all the fan signs, fan art and the cosplay (I saw one person pressed as Effie in pink and, later discovered, that a fan came dressed in Katniss’s wedding dress!).

Once I was on position and chatted to everyone who was in the Press Cluster with me (all of whom was lovely, helpful and were basically a laugh!) and the media around us (we had Netherlands’ Pathe.NL to our left and UK magazine, OK!, to our right. But there was media from all over the world. ABC Family, Digital Spy, Sky Movies, ITV’s Daybreak to name but a few), Edith Bowman (a UK Radio DJ) started hosting the event and, very quickly after that, stars from the movie came and they came very fast (too fast for me to tweet at times!)

Willow Shield (Primrose) came first and spent loads of time with the fans. Both producers, Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik, were there and chatted to Edith and then to the press (more on that later). This was followed by Josh Hutcherson [Peeta] (who got one of the loudest screams that night from the fans). Stanley Tucci [Caesar Flickerman] came, followed closely behind by the director, Francis Lawrence. Jena Malone [Johanna] and Jeffret Wright [Beetee] followed by our Gale, Liam Hemsworth (again, got one of the loudest screams of the night). The “evil Snow” (according to Edith Bowman) aka Donald Sutherland arrived next and chatted briefly to the fans. Then, the screams grew to a new level, meaning one thing: Jennifer Lawrence had arrived. She got the loudest screams of them all – we are all Team Katniss.

I sadly, can’t tell you when Elizabeth Banks arrived as I was interviewing at the time so you will have to forgive me on that front.

Now, the interviews. This happened very quickly and still feels a bit like a whirlwind so you will have to forgive me if I get my facts muddled.

We were very lucky to interview (in this order): Jon Kilik, Stylist for the movie (whose name I can not remember so if anyone knows, please let me know!), Willow Shield, Nina Jacobson, Elizabeth Banks, Jeffrey Wright, Jena Malone, The Laws (aka Francis Lawrence and Jennifer Lawerence) and Josh Hutcherson. No Liam Hemsworth or Sam Claflin, I’m afraid, but I thought I wasn’t going to get any interviews so am THRILLED that I managed to get to interview these guys.

Both producers, Jon Kilik and Nina Jacobson, are hugely passionate about the series and want to do them justice and, while we couldn’t get them to reveal where the split in Mockingjay will be, they revealed that they decided to split the book due to the complex-ness and depth of the world and Nina revealed that they were in discussion with the author, Suzanne Collins, over the split. So that’s a good sign!

Willow Shield was lovely to interview. When asked if it was hard getting part into the role of Prim due to age and how long it takes to make a movie, she replied, “No. Actually, it’s easier.”

So was Elizabeth Banks. She talked about how Effie is quite maternal towards Katniss and Peeta and how she feels quite protective over them, yet she is a fun character to play. (One of the reasons we love Effie). I wanted to ask her if she knew that when she said “That is mahogany!”, it was going to be a huge meme, but (of course) the question went out of my head and I forgot to ask her. But, one of the lovely people from Mockingjay.net said that this is hinted at within the movie. So, KEEP YOUR EARS PEELED!

Jeffrey Wright and Jena Malone were lovely! I had to remind myself that Jena was Jena as, for some reason, I kept getting her muddle with Jennfier Lawrence (I’m sorry! They both had short blond hair and I was trying SUPER HARD not to call them by their character names!).

Then, Francis Lawrence. He was wonderful, chatting about entering the fandom and getting excited over Mockingjay Parts One and Two. One interesting titbit was that he was trying to use this film to look into the aftermath of violence and the consequences of these characters, all of whom have survived the Hunger Games and are carrying scars from that horror, only to be now thrown back into that terror again (and I think we all can agree, Catching Fire does tackle this subject as all the characters are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress and Survivor’s Guilt).

And then, almost immediately afterwards, Jennifer Lawrence. And we were really allowed one question as we had to keep her moving. So, one of us asked a question along of the lines of “With Katniss’s crazy skill, do you think you could scale Buckingham Palace?”. An odd question, but the answer is epic! “Yes, I think so. Not sure how the Queen would react with me at the window, going ‘I WANT TO HOLD THE BABY!!!’.”

(Tiny side note. Once Jennifer left, we all turned to each other and one of the Press Cluster 4 said “She’s flawless.” And this, Jennifer, is why we love you. Beautiful, kind-hearted, and answers questions in the most brilliant way!)

And just when we thought we weren’t going to get any more interviews, Josh Hutcherson appeared (and I make him sound like a wild Pokemon). He chatted about Peeta’s character arc and how he enjoys playing this.

And it was over. The actors were all whisked inside Odeon (Sam Claflin was last in as he spent time with the fans, hence the blurry image) and we were all on our way home. Me tweeting and going “Wow! This is surreal!”

Hopefully, by the time you’re reading this, Erin will have all the interviews transcripts online so you can read the answers yourself (sorry if the sound quality is bad. Was recording it on iPhone). But I want to say thank you again to Erin for asking me to covering Catching Fire and trusting me with your Twitter and Instragram. And thanks to Jeffrey for tweet-shouting me to check my emails!

Before I go, I want to leave you with one random story (no, not the one where I overheard someone saying “Is Jennifer cosplaying as Miley Cyrus?”). On the way home, I refreshed my memory over a handout I was given, telling us who was coming to the World Premiere. This was all the actors (such as Andy Serkis), musicians (such as Ellie Goulding, McFly & Busted [now McBusted as they are joing forces]), Olympians from Team GB 2012, etc. But one photo catch my eye. GB diver Tom Daley. I got excited as I’m a fan of Tom Daley and I would be interested to know why he was fan of the Hunger Games. Then I read the name next to it. “Singer Conor Maynard”. Got a bit deflated after that. Maybe Next Time…


Head Bitch In Charge

I work a lot. Fangirlish is my baby. I work in social media professionally and I love it – which is probably why I don’t keep up on my own. I don’t sleep enough and I obsess too much over my favorite things. I need to work on combing my hair more. Or at elast I need to stop dying it different colors.

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