When MTV News told me they'd be sending me to Berlin, Germany to cover the "Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2" premiere (and after party!), I was mostly just extremely excited. Having traveled to Berlin before and seen all of the main, tourist-y sights, I knew that I loved the city, the German people, and most of all, the empowering message of the "Hunger Games" franchise.
But as the big day got closer and closer, nerves set in. Would Jennifer Lawrence be in a good mood, even after she did like, 500 interviews before mine? Would the taxi driver understand my urgent need to get from the junket hotel to the world premiere at Potsdamer Platz? Would Josh Hutcherson forgive my numerous tweets about him being the hottest short guy I'd ever met? As it turns out, the answers to those questions were "yes," "kind of," and "he's never, ever looked at your Twitter, get over yourself, Shaunna" so the "Mockingjay - Part 2" premiere (and after party!) was a total blast.
After a day of wandering from hotel room to hotel room to speak with the cast and crew of "Hunger Games" at the Hotel de Rome (video is coming soon, don't you worry), I skiddadled to Potsdamer Platz to the insanely packed and infectiously exciting premiere. As I arrived, a German television host was listing off the cast in an effort to see whose name would rupture my ear drums the most -- and my otorhinolaryngologist informs me that it was a tie between Lawrence and Hutcherson.
The carpet itself was a total blur. Each celeb got out of their "Hunger Games"-branded Audi to enormous applause that further damaged my ear canal, and since my location was actually pretty good, I got a few minutes with everybody (again, coming soon, don't you worry) except for Natalie Dormer and Elizabeth Banks, whom I'd already spoken to earlier in the day. They were all completely busy but completely great, and even though my hands were frozen, I nabbed some pretty swell pictures of the gorgeous cast:
Sam Claflin, incognito in a beard.
Team Peeta for lyfe.
Just kidding, Team Gale for lyfe.
The full cast, basically defining #SquadGoals.
No idea who this is. Maybe a producer?
Pretty neat, huh? And in case you were wondering (you weren't), Sam Claflin did seem to be legitimately concerned about how cold I looked. Finnick is nice, y'all.
And unlike the dour, apocalyptic tone of the movies -- and even knowing this was the last time a "Hunger Games" movie would be premiering in Berlin -- the whole event was nothing but a party, from the chipper stars to the screaming fans. So it only made sense that the carpet and screening (in case you're wondering, the movie is great) led from one party atmosphere, to another.
So we went off to Kraftwerk for the after party. Kraftwerk, for those of you not in the Berlin know, is A, a former heating plant, B, a major filming location in District 13, and C, one of the spots on the "Hunger Games" tour with Francis Lawrence that I attended yesterday.
... And to say it was absolutely perfect for the "Mockingjay - Part 2" party would be an understatement. The venue's gritty, grey, and multi-story vibe made for an event that felt like citizens of the Capitol were partying in the seediest underbelly of District 12, just with less multi-colored hair and murder.
There were bread bowls filled with chocolate, Red Bull sponsored drinks, photo booths, and enough Kanye, Drake, and Beyoncé tunes to keep me bumping for hours -- even if most of the cast was sequestered upstairs in an impossible-to-reach VIP area, happily enjoying each others' company.
I say most, because Natalie Dormer is a freaking awesome trooper who came downstairs to take photos with fans in a Katniss-themed booth. Margaery Tyrell might be a conniving politician, but Dormer herself seems to be the real deal.
Overall, after countless interviews and more mini-bottles of Prosecco than my mother would ever want to hear about, I'm grateful for this strange and wonderful "Hunger Games" experience. It was a great way to say goodbye to Katniss, and an even better way to say "guten tag" (again) to the wonderful city of Berlin. #TeamButtercup for life.We partied with Katniss in Berlin - and didn't get shot with flaming arrows.