Spiders And Fighting And Trees, Oh My: Filming 'The Hunger Games'

There's a movie freshly out this weekend — perhaps you've heard of it.

The Hunger Games?

On Friday's Morning Edition, director Gary Ross and star Jennifer Lawrence talk to NPR's David Greene about the film.

If you devoured the books, both Ross and Lawrence are right there with you: "I read all three of them in four days," Lawrence says of Suzanne Collins' trilogy (which also includes Catching Fire and Mockingjay). Asked what drew her specifically to Katniss, Lawrence says, "She's not a hero, she's not a James Bond or Lara Croft who's done this a million times with all the tools and knows how to do it, and we're just going to watch her win."

While Lawrence has kind words for the story's message about both personal strength and standing up to authority on a larger level, the conversation quickly turns to the grueling shoot.

If you're wondering whether Lawrence's training would impress you, here's how she describes it: "I had running, free running — like parkour agility training, combat, climbing, archery and yoga."

That's right: parkour agility training. Maybe that's why when she's asked whether they're on board for the future films, she suggests Hilary Swank could take her place, or maybe Snooki. Fortunately, she's kidding.

She is not kidding, however, about having accidentally kicked co-star Josh Hutcherson, who plays Peeta, in the head, resulting in a concussion. This, as you might imagine, caused some guilt.

"The best part was him holding an icepack up to his head and rubbing my back, telling me it was all going to be OK while I cried. Then when Gary came in and said he couldn't work because he had a concussion, I started bawling in the makeup trailer."

When not battling her human co-stars (Accidentally! It was an accident!), Lawrence was worried about some of the ones with a few more legs. Ross busts her on one of her fears: "Kickass heroine" or not, she does not like bugs.

"I'm terrified of spiders," she acknowledges. "I'm really scared of spiders." Fortunately, those on the set were sympathetic, or at least willing to pretend they were: "They used to lie to me and tell me they de-spidered the tree before I climbed it."

The next film, Ross says, is scheduled to begin shooting in September, and Lawrence knows the physical challenges will continue.

"Can [Katniss] walk at all in the second one?" she asks. "She never walks, this person."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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