Thursday, January 19, 2012

Publishers Weekly Q & A with Amandla Stenberg

Did you picture yourself as Rue?
When I first read the book, I really didn’t picture myself as Rue. Then I read it again, and I did picture myself as her. She’s very musical, and very small like me, and very quick.
How are you musical?
I like to sing. I play guitar, violin, and drums.

Was Rue your favorite character when you were reading?
Rue and Foxface were my favorite characters, probably because they’re not necessarily bad. I loved Rue because of how musical and sweet she is. Now that I’ve read the book a few times, I actually like the character Clove a lot. She’s very skilled with how she can throw knives. And everyone loves Katniss!
How did you find out about auditioning for the role, and how did you prepare for it?
I heard that they were making a movie, and I already loved Rue. I called my agent repeatedly, saying, ‘Please, please, please get me an audition.’ After my many, many phone calls, they got an audition for me. That was my golden opportunity. I prepared and prepared, and I went in and met with the casting director, Debra Zane, who helped me, before I met with Gary [director Gary Ross].
What did you do to get into character and make yourself feel like Rue?
For my audition, I went to Gary’s house. To get prepared, I dressed up like Rue. I wore khakis and a T-shirt, and my mom had rolled around my clothes in the dirt before. And we put twigs in my hair and leaves all over me, and stains were all over my clothes. And I had a little wreath of flowers in my pocket that I thought Rue might have. That was in my pocket as good luck, and also a special rock. Those were my little tokens I thought Rue would have.
Did you show them to the director?
No, I didn’t. It was kind of like my special secret.
How many days was Suzanne Collins on set? And did she give you any pointers on Rue?
She was there for two days in the middle of shooting. It was so amazing to meet her – the creator of all this. We were doing a very traumatic scene, and I was kind of bawling my eyes out. I wasn’t quite sure if this was how Suzanne Collins imagined the scene. And so I talked to her, and she told me just that Rue was trying to be very strong for Katniss. She wanted Katniss to go on, so she tried to be very brave for Katniss. That was very helpful.
So did you cry less?
Because you were trying to be brave?

Read the rest of the article HERE