Wes Bentley On 'Hunger Games' Opening-Scene Surprise

If you've been lucky enough to catch an advanced screening of "The Hunger Games, you know that the movie starts in a surprising way: with Seneca Crane and Caesar Flickerman, in a Charlie Rose-style interview that introduces viewers right away to Capitol culture. (And if you haven't caught an advance screening... well, DEAL WITH IT.) And when we sat down with Wes Bentley to ask how he felt about seeing himself on-screen right from the get-go, he confessed that he was thrilled and surprised.

"My eyes got this big," he exclaimed (and then kinda-sorta demonstrated said bigness, although c'mon Wes, as the World Renowned King of Crazy Eyeballs we know you can do better than that.)

But despite the minor shock, Wes agreed wholeheartedly with director Gary Ross's decision to start off with that scene: "It's a great way to open it because it really explains what's going on with the feeling of that world."

Meanwhile, it's clear that we're going to see a lot more of Seneca Crane (and his miraculous beard!) in the film than we did in the books—which meant that Wes needed to really find the right way to flesh out his character. Where'd he get his inspiration? He won't name names, but he said, "I'm playing, essentially, a collection of reality producers in one," admitting that he watched and cribbed from various shows in order to put together his character's unique combination of manipulativeness, attention seeking and general lack of dignity.

"I took my experience [from] seeing reality television now. I don't feel like we're far from this," he explained, referring to the world of "The Hunger Games." "The things we sacrifice now are not far from that. Right now it's just your dignity and your heart, sometimes your money...and it's really not that far from [sacrificing] your life."

Deep thoughts from the wearer of the movie's most incredible facial hair! Although if you can hear them over the screaming of fans who are counting down the hours until tonight's midnight premieres of the film, well, you guys aren't screaming loud enough.

Are you excited for this bit of advance gossip about the film's opening scene? Sound off in the comments and on Twitter!