At first blush, a role in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” may seem like a departure for actor Jeffrey Wright, whose resume is riddled with politically charged films like “The Ides of March,” “W.” and ” and “The Manchurian Candidate,” but anyone who’s read the Suzanne Collins series upon which the blockbuster franchise is based knows the story is about much more than a televised death match. Wright said as much himself when MTV News caught up with him at San Diego Comic-Con, where a new trailer for the movie debuted.
“[I] read the books — not before being invited to be a part of it — but I read the books, and I realized that, yes, this is a huge movie and big-budget and a lot of action and sci-fi elements and all that, but at the same time the messaging within these books and within the movies is really interesting and really relevant, particularly for younger audiences,” Wright said of signing on for the project. “Issues around war and the consequences of war and the consequences of war on warriors and people — the human elements of that I don’t think we can address enough. And if we can do it in a way that’s as thrilling as these movies are, more power to us.”
Wright plays one such warrior — District 3 tribute Beetee, who’s something of a whiz with electronics, earning himself the nickname “Volts.” And as one of 24 tributes in the Quarter Quell, Wright spent a good portion of his time filming in Hawaii — a locale that will always hold a special place in his heart.
“I chewed on everything we shot in Hawaii, and I continue to savor,” he said with a dreamy look on his face. “I’m closer now [in San Diego] than I am in Brooklyn. Shooting there obviously lent a lot to what we were trying to achieve, but also Hawaii is such a magical place for so many reasons: culturally, geologically, environmentally. I mean, I just fell in love with that place. Unfortunately, no more reshoots to be done there.”
“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” hits theaters November 22.
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