Most actors have to work their way up. Willow Shields, on the other hand, kicked off her career off at the top. She snagged the coveted role of Primrose Everdeen, Katniss’ little sister, back in April of 2011 and it’s been non-stop prepping, filming and promoting ever since. All the hard work paid off when The Hunger Games scored a $152.5 million opening week in March 2012 and now even more so as the sequel, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, just kicked off its run with a record-breaking $161.1 million.
In the second installment of the critically acclaimed franchise, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) vies to make Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) pay for defying the Capitol with her stunt with the Nightlock berries in the 74th Hunger Games. While Snow tries to destroy everything Katniss holds dear, Prim is there to pick up the pieces when she can, putting her healing capabilities to use and ensuring the fire within her sister continues to burn, giving the people of Panem a source of hope.
Katniss may have volunteered for Prim when she was reaped for the 74th Hunger Games, but now it’s Prim’s turn to step up. We get a glimpse of what she’s capable of in Catching Fire, but get ready because she’s about to become a pivotal part of the rebellion in Mockingjay, Part I and Mockingjay, Part 2.
Recently, we sat down for an exclusive interview with the young actress to talk all things Catching Fire. She spoke about her experience transitioning from the first to the second film, her thoughts on Prim’s screen-time boost for the franchise’s final two installments, how she unwinds and much more.
Check it out below, and enjoy!
We Got This Covered: To start, can you give me a sense of what you’re up to now? You’re in the middle of the Catching Fire press tour and you’re also in the middle of shooting Mockingjay, too?
Willow Shields: No, I’m just going to start Mockingjay pretty soon. We’re filming them both back-to-back and we’re probably going to start in a couple of weeks, which I’m really excited about.
WGTC: From the moment you got this role, it seems like the franchise never really took a break. Did you yourself get much of a break between the first and second films?
Willow Shields: Yeah, between the first and second films there was a pretty large break and that gave me the chance to just take in everything, but now it’s just crazy because after all the press for Catching Fire, we’re already jumping on to filming Mockingjay 1 and 2.
WGTC: How do you unwind when things get crazy during the press tours and shooting? Anything in particular you like to do just for fun?
Willow Shields: On set I just hung out with Jennifer [Lawrence] a lot, but other than that, I actually had quite a bit of downtime everyday so I did a lot of school and then I hung out with one of my friends that lives in Atlanta.
WGTC: Now, Catching Fire had a much bigger bank account than The Hunger Games, so was there anything noticeably different for you on the two sets?
Willow Shields: No, I don’t think so. Not really, honestly. Everything was top notch like in the first movie as far as great set design, costumes, all of that. On the second movie there was new cast members, which was different, but other than that there was nothing, except for that I was more comfortable on set for Catching Fire than when I went on set for The Hunger Games because on Catching Fire, we all knew each other already.