'Hunger Games'' Haymitch to Be Played For Laughs?

[caption id="attachment_50919" align="alignleft" width="220" caption="Getty Images"]Woody Harrelson[/caption]

If there's one thing most "Hunger Games" fans would agree on, it's that Haymitch Abernathy is a real barrel of laughs. After all, the guy who is tasked with training Katnis Everdeen and Peeta Mellark for a televised duel to the death is a raging alcoholic who has spent a quarter of a century trying to blot out the memory murderous and deadly Hunger Games legacy. In other words, he's a real gas at parties.

At least, Woody Harrelson thinks so -- and as he told the Los Angeles Times, he's doing his best to lighten things up as Haymitch in the "Hunger Games" movie. Seriously.

"It was my objective to give the character as much comedy as I could without it seeming not to fit," Harrelson said. "I tried to take a certain comedic aspect and give a sense, through that, that he's been through a lot and is anesthetizing himself as a result of that."

Okay, so he's not exactly saying that Haymitch is going to be the second coming of Zach Galifianakis. And it's true that Haymitch does at least have a very dark, sarcastic streak in the books. Still, it's a bit jarring to see the word "comedy" associated with "The Hunger Games."

That's not the only tweak Harrelson has planned, though; he also has maybe a slightly different vision of how the character looks as well.

"I didn't want it to feel like just because he's an alcoholic that he would look just like any bum on the street," Harrelson explained. "So there are things that go against your expectation of what a washed-up guy would look like."

What those things are, Harrleson isn't saying -- personally, we're hoping for a mink stole and a diamond-tipped cane -- but he wants to assure fans that, despite how this interview may read, everyone (including Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, the duo playing Katniss and Peeta) is actually being quite careful with author Suzanne Collins' beloved characters.

"The essence of the book is going to be in the film," Harrelson promised. "It's something we've never seen before. We have the best wardrobe, the best costume people, the best makeup people. There's a level of commitment to innovation that [filmgoers] have never seen. I think they're going to be very pleasantly surprised by it."

We have a feeling surprise is definitely going to be a factor.