Jennifer Lawrence wasn't shy at the premiere.(Photo: Gregg DeGuire, WireImage)
LOS ANGELES - Hundreds of fans erupted each time one of the franchise's well-known faces arrived at the U.S. premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Monday night, but no screams were louder than the ones reserved for Katniss Everdeen.
"That's amazing," said costume designer Trish Summervile, catching sight of Jennifer Lawrence arriving on a giant plasma screen at Nokia Theater L.A. Live in a body-baring purple Dior Haute Couture gown. Sheer from the waist down, the Effie-approved look had Summerville agreeing that the star's style has grown bolder on this press tour. "I think so," she said. "She's a great actress and she's going to constantly evolve. And I think that's going to happen with the films that she does and with the way she dresses. And cutting her hair. I think it's fantastic."
Despite the dazzling star power at the premiere, in a rare turn, the film's most prominent faces - Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, and even newcomer Sam Claflin - skipped a majority of the press line, perhaps due to publicity fatigue. Los Angeles was the sixth stop for the film, which had already premiered in London, Paris, Berlin, Madrid and Rome.
Director Francis Lawrence took a moment to take in the raw fandom that surrounded the franchise, which is already five weeks in production on the next two Mockingjay installments in Atlanta. "There's such enthusiasm around the project we've been working so hard on," he said, looking around at fans waving signs and copies of the Suzanne Collins novels the films are based on.
The director confessed to taking an herbal remedy, oregano oil, to ward off any sickness. "You mix it in juice or water, it tastes kind of nasty but it's supposed to be good for you," he said. "We're trying it. Whatever you can do. We're flying all over the place."
The film, in theaters Nov. 22, will provide a slight respite for its stars around Thanksgiving. "We get a little break in between to go eat some turkey," said Jeffrey Wright, who plays retired District 3 tribute Beetee.
At the center of the publicity storm is Lawrence, who signed a long stretch of autographs for her waiting fans, and whom Wright describes as "freakishly authentic." Her director boils down her grounded X-factor to a "good family. Good genes. Who she is, the way she was raised. She's a nice girl," he said.
As for how J-Law's new chop is impacting Mockingjay's production? "I hardly ever see it!" said the director. "When we're shooting she's in the Katniss (wig). Sometimes I don't recognize her when I see her real hair."