Movie Stars: Lawrence, Jennifer–Critical of Image Issue

Before the premiere of  “Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” at the Rome Film Fest, Jennifer Lawrence recounted about appearing in films “where the producers would tell me to lose weight, and I was so young, and that was such a painful thing to hear at such a young age.”

“There are lots of filmmakers who have this idea of an unobtainable perfect body image, and they put those unobtainable pressures on people. And people are watching us actors and  looking at a body and comparing themselves to photo-shopped pictures and celebrities who have personal trainers,” Lawrence complained.

“And I feel like the media needs to take responsibility for the fact that we have a society and a younger generation when we talk about each other the way that we do in all the wrong ways. It seems like all the values revolve around the wrong thing: I’m so tired of hearing women call other women ‘fat’.”

As for “Catching Fire,” comments revolved around the way the picture handled its underlying theme of violence and also about how great it is for such a big blockbuster to have substance. Director Francis Lawrence said making the film was very exciting to him because of the source material in Suzanne Collins’ dystopian young adult novels.  “She had an idea to tell a story about the consequences of war and the consequences of violence to teen-agers. But she didn’t treat them like children, and I think that helped,” he said.

After teen-agers really started to soak it up, it then crossed over into the adult world, the helmer noted. “But the amazing thing is that it became this phenomenon and we have this ability to tell these stories that people around the world are going to see in droves. And for it actually to have some meaning and be something, and have reflections in the world that we live in could not be more exciting,” he enthused.

“To find a story like this that has such a mass appeal and is such a complex story with such core values and themes throughout about love and family and fighting for what you believe in, it’s a rare thing,” agreed Josh Hutcherson.

Producer Nina Jacobson said “the most important thing about these movies is they are about the effect violence has on human beings who are forced to endure it.” “I think that as a filmmaker Francis is very sophisticated and emotionally attuned to taking advantage of this incredible cast and really letting the audience experience the violence through their eyes. One of the benefits of having a cast with this degree of talent is that you can get more power from watching them experience the violence than you can from seeking the violence itself,” she said.

The thousands of kids outside were killing time singing and dancing to Daft Punk, making posters and banners, and trading their favorite quotes from Suzanne Collins’ books.

The stars’ arrival was the biggest frenzy that the Rome Film Fest, now at its eighth edition, has ever seen.