Judging by the reports that have been popping up online, filming The Hunger Games was no easy task. Temperatures soared on the rural North Carolina set to as high as 105 degrees, causing extras to keel over right and left. Constant rain soaked the actors, and of course there was the small matter of some 300+ wild bears who were attracted to the food. The director himself compared the experience to filming in Vietnam, saying, "We spent something like six weeks outside in the jungle every day, hiking up and down mountains with cameras and in the mud and driving rainstorms."
That's why it's sort of ironic that the most serious Hunger Games-related injuries—the ones that definitively prove Jennifer Lawrence's badassery—didn't even happen while the cameras were rolling.
First, there was the incident that happened days before the shoot began that nearly put Lawrence in the hospital. On the last day of her training for the role, Lawrence came thisclose to sustaining a serious internal injury:
I had to do 10 'wall runs,' where you run at the wall as hard as you can to get traction. I ran at it and my foot didn't go up, so I caught the wall with my stomach. My trainer thought I had burst my spleen. I had to get a CAT scan and go into a tube where they put this fiery liquid in your body.
I always wondered just how seriously non-action stars take their physical training for a role, but apparently in Lawrence's case the answer is pretty damn seriously. Have you ever seen video of people doing wall runs? Who knew Lawrence was a PARKOUR NINJAMASTER?
In fact, Lawrence got in such great shape for the movie she decided to show off some of her skills to costar Josh Hutcherson—and managed to give him a concussion in the process.
The only time I got hurt was when I got kicked in the side of the head by Jennifer. We were hanging out and she was like, 'I can kick over your head' and I was like, 'No way.' But then she kicked me right in the temple. She felt so bad. She was crying. (…) I've had a couple of concussions before so I knew what it feels like when it happens. We had to have a neurologist come in. It ended up being a very mild concussion, but still it was a concussion.
Heh. Just say it was a concussion, Hutcherson. It sounds more macho than quantifying it as "very mild," even if you DID get kicked in the head by a girl.
Neither of these stories really have anything to do with the actual movie, but I think they're relevant because when it comes time to see the film—MARCH 23, HOLLA—it'll be interesting to know that at least some of Katniss's onscreen skills are real. She clearly trained her ass (and nearly her spleen) off, and I feel like that kind of dedication to a character is a good sign that the movie has a decent shot of living up to the hype. Why, you could almost say that the odds are looking ever in its favor.*
*Sorry, I know that was lame, but no Hunger Games article is complete without including this line in some way.
Now that you've had a chance to see Lawrence as Katniss in the trailer, do you think she was a good choice for the role?
Image via Lionsgate