“I don’t know how I ever could have done this movie without Jennifer,” he said. “I’m not sure I would have done it without her. She’s that important. More important than any other piece — including me. She’s Katniss Everdeen.”
Ross was introduced to the novel by his then 14-year-old twins and became fascinated by the story’s premise and the evolution of its main character — from stoic survivor to moral linchpin for an oppressed nation. He flew to London to meet with the film’s producer Nina Jacobson and aggressively pursued the job.
“I thought the idea that the way we amuse ourselves could devolve into this hideous spectacle was really fascinating,” Ross said. “Plus it has all the things I love in the movies: technical challenges, size, spectacle, amazing narrative drive. And it has a lot on its mind about where we are and where we may be headed as a culture.”
Ross worked closely with “Hunger Games” author Collins on the final draft of the script and then spent four months in the mountains of North Carolina filming the dystopian action movie from every angle he could. “We were hanging off trees, hiking up mountains, shooting in rivers,” he said.
Beyond Ross’ attention to his young cast, which also includes Liam Hemsworth, who plays Gale, Katniss’ hunting pal and closest friend, the director spent a great deal of time examining what first-person experience looks like on film, studying such movies as “Saving Private Ryan,” and “All the President’s Men.” Ross was intent on not giving audiences more information than what’s been given to Katniss.
“If you look at the opening of ‘Private Ryan,’ you are so in the point of view of those guys and there is a whole world swirling all around them,” Ross said. “You are learning that geography as they are learning it.”
Ross also spent many hours refining his vision for the Capitol. The home of the dogmatic central government that organizes the brutal games and oppresses its countrymen by forcing them to live in impoverished, dangerous conditions, the city and its architecture should be rendered without a trace of joy, Ross said.Read it all HERE!
We've been thinking just how amazing this film could be for awhile, and with every Gary Ross interview, the more our suspicions are confirmed. So grateful we have Gary Ross as the director!