Skip To Content

    I Genuinely Can't Watch "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" The Same Way Again After Reading These Facts

    Right after winning her Oscar, Jennifer Lawrence had to fly to Hawaii to finish filming The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The first scene she filmed after returning was Katniss and Finnick's encounter with the jabberjays.

    1. First, Jennifer Lawrence "went deaf in one ear for months" due to all of the water stunts in Catching Fire that required her to be diving and submerged in the water for long stretches of time. She got several ear infections and punctured her eardrum because of a water jet.

    Screenshots from "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"

    2. Katniss's wedding dress "weighed between 25 and 30 pounds," according to costume designer Trish Summerville. The dress was designed by Tex Saverio, a designer from Indonesia who Trish had been following for a while and wanted to showcase in the movie.

    Screenshots from "Catching Fire"

    3. In order to achieve the wedding dress turning into the mockingjay dress, Trish worked closely with the VFX department in order to get the transition just right. "We would shoot the wedding dress and then [Jennifer] would spin in the dress, then change into the mockingjay dress with the printed feathers on it, and she’d spin in that one," Trish explained.

    Screenshots from "Catching Fire"

    4. Sam Claflin was "one of the first people" that came in to audition for the role of Finnick. "We kept seeing more and more and more people, and I ended up choosing Sam in the end more for what we know about Finnick as the story progresses rather than just what we think of him in that first scene," director Francis Lawrence recalled. For the audition, they had Sam read Finnick's entrance moment, but also a scene from later in the film "when he's broken down."

    Screenshots from "Catching Fire"

    5. Jena Malone recalled that while filming Johanna's memorable naked elevator moment with Haymitch, Katniss, and Peeta, a production assistant accidentally sent the elevator in the 49-story hotel in Atlanta to the wrong floor. So, instead of the door opening on a floor production had locked down, it opened, and a hotel guest was standing waiting for the elevator.

    Screenshots from "Catching Fire"

    6. Recently, Jena also revealed when they actually filmed the elevator scene, after meticulously practicing the moment, Jennifer wasn't even present on set because she was sick. So, Jen's iconic reaction was most likely added in later.

    Screenshots from "Catching Fire"

    7. When Katniss and Peeta are making their entrance in Catching Fire, you can spot "PDL-736" above the archway. This stands for "Ponce De Leon-736," which is the address of an underground hip-hop club the cast would go to in Atlanta.

    Screenshots from "Catching Fire"

    8. Filming for Catching Fire was split between Atlanta and Hawaii, with all of the outdoor arena scenes being shot on location on the beaches and jungles of the north shore of O'ahu. Kawela Bay is where the opening minutes of the 75th Hunger Games were filmed, while Waimea Valley is where the jungle scenes, namely the jabberjays moment, were filmed.

    Screenshots from "Catching Fire"

    9. After winning her Academy Award for Silver Linings Playbook, Jennifer had to go right back to filming Catching Fire in Hawaii. The first scene back that she filmed was when Katniss and Finnick encounter the jabberjays.

    Screenshots from "Catching Fire"

    10. Catching Fire filmed all of the Quarter Quell moments using IMAX cameras, which is how we get the incredible aspect ratio shift when Katniss enters the Hunger Games. The beginning of the film was shot in the traditional widescreen aspect ratio, and then it's "blown up." In order for the switch to not seem weird, Francis decided to embrace the switch and put it into the movie.

    @igniteverdeen / Lionsgate / Via x.com
    "The transition happens as she’s going into the games. I definitely think it’s effective, but part of it’s because she’s going up in the elevator, and there’s a rise in music, and as the elevator rises, it’s opening up," Francis said. The Games were shot using actual IMAX cameras and on real IMAX film, instead of simply blowing up the traditional footage.

    11. The decision to cut some characters from Suzanne Collins's book, like Bonnie, Twill, and Darius, for the movie adaptation was simply because it gave more screen time to bigger characters like Katniss, Gale, and Effie, according to producer Nina Jacobson. By cutting Bonnie and Twill specifically, the team had to figure out how to introduce the idea of District 13 in a new way.

    Screenshots from "Catching Fire"

    12. The moment Sam arrived in Atlanta to begin filming, he had to start working out twice a day, and he started stunt training "nonstop." He said a lot of his training was because Finnick spends a majority of the movie carrying Mags. In terms of his diet, Sam had to "eat chicken and asparagus for lunch and dinner, and for breakfast, [he'd] have an omelet and oatmeal." He ate that every day for four months.

    Screenshots from "Catching Fire"

    13. Elizabeth Banks improvised the callback to Effie's "That is mahogany" line. As well as, "Eyes bright. Chins up. Smiles on," when Effie, Peeta, and Katniss are entering the Capitol party in Catching Fire.

    Screenshots from "Catching Fire"

    14. The water they filmed the Cornucopia moments in was "beyond freezing," according to Sam. It was so cold that Lynn Cohen, who was 80 years old when the movie was released, was advised to not go in the water because of her health.

    Screenshots from "Catching Fire"

    15. However, on take one of filming the Cornucopia scene, Sam picked up Lynn to carry her, they started running, and then he slipped, hit his knee on the rocks, and they tumbled into the water. He felt so bad for dumping Lynn in the water, but she found it funny.

    Screenshots from "Catching Fire"

    16. While filming the first take of Peeta's proposal to Katniss, Josh Hutcherson revealed that his pants "ripped right down the crotch." He hilariously added, "The worst thing that could happen when you're proposing to somebody is that your pants rip right down the crotch, and that's what happened to Peeta."

    Screenshots from "Catching Fire"

    17. Given the amount of hairstyles and wigs used in Catching Fire, it took 40 hairstylists and 20 interns working with hair department head Linda D. Flowers to get everyone ready. Linda and her team used "fewer than 350 wigs" in the movie, but they were all very intricate.

    Screenshots from "Catching Fire"

    18. In order to maintain Peeta's blonde hair, Josh had to bleach his hair for the entire duration of Catching Fire, and it reportedly took "three colorists to get his hair to the correct shade" of blonde.

    Screenshots from "Catching Fire"

    19. Similarly, Jennifer dyed her hair dark brown for the first two movies, but when she wanted to go back to blonde after Catching Fire, her hair was so damaged, she ended up cutting her hair into a pixie cut.

    Screenshots from "Catching Fire"

    20. Philip Seymour Hoffman was Francis's "first choice for the role" of Plutarch Heavensbee. "I went after him, and he and I had a good talk about the character, about the approach to the character," Francis recalled. "And he loved the books and the ideas in the books, so he signed on."

    Screenshots from "Catching Fire"

    21. Sam said it was more difficult than you would think having to run through the jungle with Finnick's signature trident from Catching Fire. He said he would constantly get it "caught in big trees and was pulling trees down."

    Screenshots from "Catching Fire"

    22. In order to film the moment when the Cornucopia spins, the Catching Fire crew built "an island on a motorized lazy Susan," and it ended up spinning around at about 25 mph, according to Francis. In order to prepare for the fast spinning, the camera operators and actors were taking dramamine and putting on sea sickness wristbands.

    Screenshots from "Catching Fire"

    23. And finally, one of the first conversations Francis had with Jennifer about Catching Fire was how he wanted to "flesh out" the relationships between Katniss and Peeta, and Katniss and Gale. Jen was apparently "really nervous about it" because those were the most "YA of the material."

    Screenshots from "Catching Fire"