For all our fellow “Hunger Games” fans out there, the wait for the film’s March 23 release date is both highly anticipated and a bit painful. Lucky for us, MTV News has encountered a few of the film’s principal players over the course of the past few months, like Jennifer Lawrence and director Gary Ross , who have helped tease a few key details to make the wait for the film seem slightly shorter.
Now, we are very happy to share another special cast encounter: our recent chat with [movieperson id="26961"]Woody Harrelson[/movieperson], a.k.a. Haymitch Abernathy, who revealed the secrets of his character’s ‘do and a few teases about the look of the film, as well as how much fun he had with Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and his other co-stars.
“The hair, when I was thinking about what to do for the character, I hung out with my brother Brett, and that is exactly the way his hair is,” Harrelson explained of how the long, slightly shaggy hairdo came to be. “I was like, ‘OK, let’s get a wig. Let’s do the Brett Harrelson hair.’ It’s kind of cool. I really liked the look. It’s a fun character, and I think it’s going to be a good movie.”
We asked Harrelson how closely he resembles the alcoholic, unkempt, out-of-shape former champion, as described by author Suzanne Collins in the books — like, for example, if he wore a fat suit or gained a bit of weight.
“No, I didn’t want to do the paunch,” Harrelson revealed. “In many ways, I tried to go against this rough, old, typical concept of what he would be like. I don’t know yet that I succeeded, but I think it turned out good,” he said. “I loved working with Gary Ross. I think he is just a great director, an amazing guy.”
With regard to the look and feel of the big-screen adaptation, Harrelson called the visuals “staggering.”
“It’s almost impossible to describe, it’s so unusual. Even ice in the glass, even the glasses are not normal glasses. There’s nothing that you’ve seen before. It’s real original artistic vision,” he said. “I think people are going to like it.”
One of the things Harrelson liked — in addition to Haymitch, of course — was working with his young co-stars, particularly Lawrence and Hutcherson.
“I think they’re just marvelous actors. I think they just knocked it out of the park,” he gushed. “Just as people, [they are] about as fun as it gets. They really are fun folks. It’s cool, because I’ve never even done a sequel, and I just signed on to four movies, so we’re going to be spending a lot of time together between doing the movies and press and everything, so it’s great to love these guys.
“Having done this first one, I can say I do look forward to doing the next one,” he added. “It wasn’t a chore. It was actually the opposite; it was a lot of fun. They managed to mix business and pleasure really well, that whole group. I’d say we get after it again next year.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “The Hunger Games.”
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