‘Catching Fire’ Star Jena Malone ‘Craves’ Intense Training Regimens

On the Emmys red carpet, 'Sucker Punch' star tells MTV News she's 'in the thick of' training for the follow-up to 'The Hunger Games.'

LOS ANGELES — With production on “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” officially underway, our long wait to see the highly anticipated sequel is getting shorter with each passing day. And especially now that all of the new castmembers have been announced, we’re ready to get to know a few familiar and new faces in their new roles.

MTV News was lucky enough to catch up with one of the new key players in question at the Emmys on Sunday — seasoned actress Jena Malone, who is playing District 7 spitfire Johanna Mason. We immediately expressed our excitement about “Catching Fire” and asked Malone, who attended the awards show as part of the Emmy-nominated miniseries “Hatfields & McCoys,” what excites her most about being a part of the franchise.

“I’m very excited as well, it’s going to be great,” Malone said. “I just love the books so much. I literally read all three in four days and just was crying at the end. I’m really, really excited to be a part of it.”

As a fan of Suzanne Collins’ bestselling trilogy, the 27-year-old “Sucker Punch” star clearly has an affinity for her tough-cookie character, though she didn’t want to talk too much about why she loves playing Johanna.

“Yeah, we’ll get into it when there’s more to say,” Malone said, before adding that she is in the midst of an intense training regimen to get prepared for all the various physical demands required of the role.

“Oh yeah, I’m in the thick of [training] but excited,” she said. “I love that kind of stuff. ‘Sucker Punch’ kind of got me into a regimen and now I kind of crave it.”

“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” directed by Francis Lawrence and starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and a slew of fresh faces, will hit theaters November 22, 2013.

Check out everything we’ve got on “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”