Spoilers for "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2" lie ahead.
Fans of Suzanne Collins' "The Hunger Games" series were undoubtedly experiencing the same mix of emotions as we here at MTV News when anticipating "Mockingjay - Part 2." On the one hand, it would almost definitely be a bittersweet, lovely goodbye to the franchise... but on the other hand, it would feature the horrifically violent deaths of a whole bunch of children, most notably Katniss' (Jennifer Lawrence) own sister, Prim (Willow Shields).
However, Francis Lawrence's film adaptation of "Mockingjay" very wisely chose to forego showing the violence of Prim's death, instead focusing on the few seconds before those bombs went off, and Katniss' grieving process after. But since the moments immediately following the end of Katniss' "Kill Snow" mission included one final violent showdown between Katniss and the Presidents Snow and Coin, it wasn't until much later that we got to see Katniss grieve -- with a cat.
"What was always important to me, because it’s quite a violent movie, is that I always wanted to explore the emotional consequence of [Prim's death]," Francis Lawrence told MTV News at the "Mockingjay" premiere in Berlin.
Hence, JLaw's major moment with Buttercup. It made total sense that Katniss wasn't able to fully process her sister's death until she got her first truly quiet moment back home -- and it also made sense that she'd freak out upon seeing Buttercup, a metaphor for her sister's love if there ever was one. But this presented some serious difficulties, since the cat-actor (cactor?) who played the fluffy feline was a diva on set.
"She’s very difficult," Jennifer said with a laugh. "Very sensitive. You make a loud noise, she runs away, then you can’t find her."
This meant that Jennifer was under some serious time-pressure to nail their big scene in one take -- which, of course, she did.
"We had one go of it, because we had a finicky cat, and then just me," she said. "Yeah, it was emotional."
Emotional -- and completely non-violent. Francis was very quick to remind us that Jennifer Lawrence did not actually throw cutlery at Buttercup, who was shot separately "for one or two days on its own just to get reactions."
"But in the scene with Jen, when Jen’s actually holding the cat, there was no problem whatsoever," Lawrence continued. "We talked a lot about it before; we created a very quiet set. We were unsure. I knew there would be tears, but we never knew she’d be able to go there. I don’t think she knew she’d be able to go there. So we rolled the cameras, and she started, and she brought us all the tears. And that was it!"
"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2" is in theaters now.