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“The Hunger Games” stars share their excitement for the film at the premiere


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It’s hard to tell who is more excited for “The Hunger Games” to come out: the fans or the film’s stars. The release is only days away, but it feels like we have been waiting years for Suzanne Collins’ beloved book to finally hit the big screen.

IFC was at the film’s black and gold carpet premiere and caught up with a bunch of the movie’s stars. Needless to say, they were all pretty thrilled and taken aback by how hyped the carpet experience was.

“When they flew me in a couple days ago, I wasn’t expecting it to be such a massive [event],” said Toby Jones, who plays Hunger Games announcer Claudius Templesmith. “It’s insane.”

Nelson Ascienco, who plays Katniss’s stylist Flavius in the film, said he still couldn’t believe how wonderful the whole experience making the film was.

“I’m pinching myself. It’s just great to be with all those people,” he said. “Everyone on the crew was amazing. The crew, the costumers, the hair stylists and, it goes without saying, the cast. Amazing, stellar actors and just really humble, sweet people.”

Though not all of the cast members survive “The Hunger Games,” those that do can look forward to plenty more time spent bonding with their costars in future films. Willow Shields, who plays Katniss’s younger sister Prim, said she and Jennifer Lawrence became close while shooting their scenes.

“We were just sisters on set,” she said. “It was just so much fun.”

For Jones, taking the role of Claudius Templesmith was an easy “yes.” “[Director] Gary [Ross] offered me the job and then he sent me the book and I read the book very quickly, it’s a very easy book to read,” the “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” star said. “Then my kids read it and they were just kind of blown away by it.

Jacqueline Emerson, who plays the clever District 5 tribute Foxface, said that she was always intrigued by the way the children forced to fight in the Hunger Games maintained their humanity throughout it. With the exception of the few Careers who were trained their whole lives to fight in the Hunger Games, the tributes often just try to survive until the end of the competition instead of going on the offensive to kill as many of their opponents as possible.

“I think it’s all about how they maintain their humanity in a world where there isn’t a lot. There’s a lot of desensitization. But I think once you’re in the Games and you realize you actually have to take another human life … it sticks with you,” she said. “I mean, despite the fact that society kind of brings them up in this world where it’s okay, there are some characters in it who are able to maintain the fact that it’s not and stay true to their heart.

The male District 11 tribute Thresh is a good example of what Emerson was talking about. He manages to stay hidden for a large portion of the Games, only emerging towards the end of them to make a pivotal decision.

“Thresh’s strategy in the Hunger Games is not to seek out blood, you know? He’s not an evil character. He just wants to survive. He doesn’t want to have anything to do with the Games,” said Dayo Okeniyi, who plays Thresh in the film. “He’s forced into conflicts. He doesn’t go into it, and I think that he’s a character that has a very pivotal moment where he has to make a decision, and I think that decision really defines the character.”

So just what was Thresh up to all that time he was absent? “He’s just making some barbeque,” Okeniyi joked. “He’s got a pig on a spit.”

Directed by Gary Ross, “The Hunger Games” also stars Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland. It hits theaters on March 23.

Are you as excited to see “The Hunger Games” as the stars are? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

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Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

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Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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