For Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games madness is just getting underway.
The 21-year-old star was due to step out at the world premiere of the wildly anticipated film Monday night at Los Angeles’ Nokia Theatre, along with her co-stars Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth.
“For so long, I didn’t see The Hunger Games excitement,” Lawrence said before the premiere. “I knew it was there. But I hadn’t heard the screaming girls. I hadn’t really felt it.”
That’s not a problem anymore. On Sunday, Lawrence visited a mini-village of fans who had camped outside the premiere site to be close to the festivities. Looking over the tents, the banners and a swarm of fans awaiting the big night, Lawrence was blown away.
“Seeing it all just makes it so real,” she said. “This is just really humbling. It’s amazing.”
“It’s really just a relief to know that I have seen the movie and that it’s good. Thank God,” she added. “It would not be good to let these people down. “
The cast has just completed a mall tour across the country — from Miami to Los Angeles — to pump up excitement for the film. Lawrence said the noise just built with each stop.
“Our last stop, Seattle, was by far the loudest one we had. It’s just insane.”
At the Los Angeles camp, Lawrence signed posters and posed for pictures with the fans assembled. Event organizer Chris Benarroch said the number of campers was capped at 400 despite much greater demand.
“We didn’t want pandemonium,” Benarroch said. “We wanted the super-fans. We wanted an exclusive experience.”
Nicholas Esquer, 18, of Corona, Calif., who is heading off to Army basic training in July, said he’s proud to represent the male faction ofGames fans.
“All my jock friends are jealous that I’m here,” he said. “This isn’tTwilight. This is fight-to-the-death stuff.”
Amanda Belcher, 29, of Scranton, Pa., who has a blog (thehob.org) that pays tribute to The Hunger Games, said she doesn’t mind shouting out her love for the books.
“I love Twilight, but I keep that a secret,” she said. “But these books are so great that I’m proud to push it out there and recommend to people.”
As for the premiere, Lawrence promised her own grand entrance similar to her character Katniss’ famous introduction from the book. “I’m going to be set on fire,” she vowed with a smile. “Surprise!”
Source: USA Today