In the latest installment of AV Club’s feature, Random Roles, they talk to actress Jena Malone about her career. Of course, the chat turns to The Hunger Games.
AVC: That might be the performance of yours that most seems like you had an absolute ball playing a character.
JM: Oh my goodness. I was so happy. It was everything I wanted. For me, what that film represents is the ultimate realization of manifestation. For years I had been wanting to engage in a film that could reach to the heart of middle America, and across the world. I love action. I love that genre. I love sci-fi. I had tried to play the Hollywood game in a lot of ways, and then in a lot of ways didn’t. I refused to. And so I feel like Hunger Games is this ultimate manifestation of me putting in the work, the work being seen, and getting to do the work that I’ve always wanted to do. Because I had to fight really hard to get that film and to convince people I was the right person and had the right blah blah blah. Two percent of getting a part is your talent. Ninety-eight percent is everything else out of your control.
I had been wanting and putting energy into the world: I want a part that I can sink my teeth into. I would love to do science fiction. I would love to do all of these things—action. And it came. It came in a wonderful way that made it so rewarding because it wasn’t given to me. It was something I had to fight for, and it was something I really cared about. So then, of course, it became the best thing ever because it was the best characters, the best director, the best cast, the most fun I’ve had, and also probably the thing I’ve become most recognized as. It’s interesting how your true desires can be manifest in this world. That is just a prime example of that.
AVC: When you returned for Mockingjay, did the experience change much?
JM: No. The only thing that changed was that I wasn’t around as much. It was like an eight-month shoot and Mockingjay was one part so I literally worked for, like, two weeks on that film. I think I was experiencing that extreme FOMO. “So—you sure you guys don’t need me on set today? ’Cause I could just fly to Paris and I’ll be there, like, tomorrow.” I think the real pinnacle for me was Catching Fire. It established such an interesting character. We all got to pull our weight. Mockingjay part one and part two, you’re just sailing home, but still sad and strange for the ending of it. But the real pinnacle for me was Catching Fire.
Read the full talk here.