Annie Cresta is the love of swaggering Finnick Odair's life in "Hunger Games: Catching Fire." The actors playing them, however, have never even met.
"I haven't met him!" Stef Dawson confirmed to MTV News' Josh Horowitz on the red carpet. "He seems like a great guy, though," she said of Sam Claflin, who plays Finnick to her Annie.
Actually, it's not surprising that the two actors have yet to meet. In "Catching Fire," Dawson's Annie has very little screen time — blink and you miss her. She was there, screaming and weeping on the podium, when poor old Mags volunteered to take her place in the Arena. Then, later, we heard her briefly issuing from the throat of a jabberjay, a disembodied voice calling out to Finnick in the Arena.
Despite her lack of visibility, though, Annie is an important character in "Catching Fire." The revelation that Odair is in love with Annie — and only Annie — paints him as a multifaceted character. He's no mere playboy; he's a rebel ... and a man with human emotions.
Cresta also plays a much bigger role in the upcoming "Mockingjay" films, the two-part cinematic adaptation of the last "Hunger Games" book. And it's a role that Dawson has been preparing for even without meeting her onscreen love.
"Annie has a very deep, emotional life," Dawson said. "I think it's that balance of having a lot of emotion and a lot of hurt and pain and just sort of keeping a lid on it the whole time and then little bits sort of trickle out. And Finnick's sort of the one to help her through that."
Lest fans worry about Dawson staying true to her character as portrayed in the books, the actress is a huge fan of the series. "I had read all the books probably more than once before the audition came up," she revealed. "I sort of had this gut feeling about it that I thought this was my role. I knew what to do with it."
We'll just wait to see what happens when Dawson gets more screen-time — and actually meets her co-star.