As the numbers for last night's opening of The Hunger Games have already proved, America is in the midst of Panem-centered fandemonium. Gary Ross's interpretation of the first book of Suzanne Collins' wildly popular YA trilogy is fittingly catching on like wild fire. Every media outlet is marveling at the long lines of fans—many in elaborate self-made costumes paying tribute to their fave Games figure--who stood in line for hours last night to be the first to see Katniss Everdeen in her midnight debut. So it's only fitting that Yahoo sat down with the cast members Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland and Lenny Kravitz, and asked them questions straight from the fans.
Among the questions chosen from Yahoo Movie's Facebook wall:
"Do you think you would have had the courage to volunteer [for the Hunger Games] as Katniss did?"
"How has acting in this movie changed your view on reality TV, and do you fear what might come?"
Many Hunger Games fans—myself included—have insisted that a major element that sets the series apart from other bestselling YA series like Harry Potter and Twilight is the political allegory at the core of the books. Collins' attack on reality television also feeds into this, as the Capital relishes in the slaying of teens like its American Idol, while the rest of what remains of the United States is forced to witness the government mandated slaughter of their children and neighbors.
Collins forces readers to consider the disconnect they take on when watching someone's real life suffering wrung for entertainment. In the books, the Capital utilizes this disconnect to keep the Districts separated and subjugated. But (spoiler alert for those who haven't yet read or seen The Hunger Games) Katniss finds a way to break through their tactics of dehumanization and connect to the viewing audience, ultimately inciting rebellion. So, it's fascinating to hear the cast comment on reality TV, and personally I connect with Lawrence's own struggle with it. Yes, it's often, "sick," but damn isn't it fascinating?