WGTC: I spoke to you and Amandla [Stenberg] back at San Diego Comic Con for Hunger Games and you two seemed really close. I imagine it must be tough to move on without her and the other original cast members that you got so close with. Did you keep in touch with them while filming?
Willow Shields: Yeah, we kept in touch. It was a little bit harder for me just because I was 12 when filming Catching Fire and I think the next youngest person was probably like 19, so it’s a big difference in age. But it’s still a blast. It’s just different.
WGTC: Have any of your friends from the first film seen the new one?
Willow Shields: Yeah. Actually, a couple of them were at the LA premiere.
WGTC: Did they like it?
Willow Shields: They loved it. They absolutely loved it. It was exciting to see them there supporting the second one.
WGTC: And how about working with Francis instead of Gary? Is there anything specific you missed about Gary and anything new that Francis brought to the table that you were excited about?
Willow Shields: I really thank Gary for casting me in the first movie. I can never forget that. He was such a good director and did a great job of bringing the book to life. Francis did an amazing job with this one as well. There’s differences, but it’s not anything huge. I feel like each director brings their own feelings to each movie they do.
WGTC: Does Francis like to give you a lot of notes in between takes?
Willow Shields: Not really. What was fun about this film set is he’s really chill about me and Jen just hanging out, talking – sometimes we goof around a little too much – and then he’s good at just letting us actors explore and do what we want to do for our roles. He trusts in us and what we’re doing, which was really fun. He’s definitely a great director to work with.
WGTC: Now how about developing Prim? When we see her in Catching Fire, she’s changed big time since The Hunger Games. I’m sure the entire experience of watching Katniss go through the Games is what lit the fire inside her, but is there anything specific that you thought made Prim want to step up more than anything?
Willow Shields: I think it’s that she realizes that Katniss is what’s going to create hope in their world and is what’s going to create the rebellion. Katniss definitely is everyone’s hope at that point so I think with Prim realizing that, it kind of opens up this world to her and her being there for Katniss.
WGTC: How was it delivering that one big line in your scene with Jen when you literally declare just that? Was it hard nailing that line just the way you wanted?
Willow Shields: No. I feel like with me and Jen, because we’re kind of like sisters off camera too, so it’s kind of easy to deliver each of those lines because we’re so connected that it was just really natural to be able to do that.