Berlin is meaningful for Hunger Games stars | Film | DW | 04.11.2015
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Berlin is meaningful for Hunger Games stars

Berlin is celebrating the world premiere of "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2." Many are sad to let go of their favorite characters - but the dystopian tale should spark hope for the future.

It is the final movie of the popular fantasy series "The Hunger Games" and hundreds of excited young fans are flocking to be part of the excitement. Many plan to dress up as their favorite character.

They will also try to catch a glimpse of their favorite stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Francis Lawrence, Nina Jacobson, Sam Claflin, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Willow Shields, and Jon Kilik are all expected on the red carpet.

Some were already on site hours before the evening's big event.

On Tuesday, the cast and crew attended a press conference ahead of the Berlin premiere.

For the uninitiated, the "Hunger Games" series is based on the extremely popular novels written by Suzanne Collins. The dystopian tale is centered on heroine Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence), who fights to survive in Panem, a country where children are forced to participate in reality TV style life-and-death matches.

In the last movie of the saga, "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2," Katniss Everdeen leads a rebellion against the totalitarian government of District 13.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, Copyright: picturealliance/dpa/Studiocanal/M. Close

Despite its dark universe, "The Hunger Games" aims to inspire a better future

A tale of hope?

Although the post-apocalyptic universe portrays doom, Donald Sutherland, who plays the role of the tyrannical President Snow in the films, said he hopes this story of a revolution will spark positive energy and "be a catalyst for young people all over the world, everywhere."

The Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence feels personally inspired by the character she has been depicting in the four "Hunger Games" films: "She is kind, she is ruthless, she is independent-minded. She is strong but merciful," she said at the press conference in Berlin. "I wish that I could have a percentage of her courage and thoughtfulness."

Finale of a box-office mega hit

Many of the young stars of the film also expressed a tinge of sadness knowing it was the last time they would be dealing with the characters they grew to love.

Others, such as Julianne Moore, who plays Alma Coin, president of the rebellious District 13, expressed regret at the "great, great loss" of Philip Seymour Hoffman, as this was his final role before his sudden death. The filming of his scenes was not even completed when he died in February 2014.

The first film in the series was released in 2012 and the franchise set several records at the box office.

Through these movies, Jennifer Lawrence has become the world's highest-paid actress. According to a 2015 list by "Forbes" magazine, the 25-year-old earned $52 million (47 million euros) for the film. Despite this impressive paycheck, the gender pay gap is still a problem in Hollywood, as the actress recently wrote in an essay for Lena Dunham's newsletter, "Lenny."

Berlin locations

Many stars of the film have been in Berlin during the last week. Willow Shields, who plays the character of Primrose Everdeen, posted pictures online during her stay.

The film was partly shot in Berlin in June 2014. Actress Julianne Moore said that one of the filming locations brought back family memories.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, Copyright: Britta Pedersen/dpa

Film director Francis Lawrence stands by Berlin's former airport of Tempelhof, during the shoot in 2014

Some scenes were filmed at Berlin's former Nazi-era airport, Tempelhof, which also played a central role during the Cold War from 1948-1949, when the US military flew in goods to isolated West Berlin.

"As I rolled up to the set, I kept taking pictures of it to send it to my father, who used to fly into Tempelhof when he was stationed in Frankfurt," said Moore. She added that she loved to shoot in Berlin and discover how much Germany has changed since the Wall came down: "To see the city, which is the center of so much culture and so alive has been really fun for me."

Those who will not be lucky enough to be in this lively city can watch a live streaming of the red carpet global premiere.

The film "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2" hits the screens worldwide from November 18-20.

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