‘The Hunger Games’: Jennifer Lawrence Revealed 1 Intense Scene Was Shot Backwards

Fans of The Hunger Games movies know that there’s no shortage of action within the films. Katniss Everdeen’s dystopian world of Panem is rife with danger and turmoil. Thanks to the work of talented directors, editors, cinematographers, DPs, etc. the popular films are stunning for fans to watch. But sometimes getting the perfect shot requires a little more effort and magic than viewers may think.

Jennifer Lawrence attends the red carpet for the last of The Hunger Games movies
Jennifer Lawrence | Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Making films is nothing short of an art form and The Hunger Games movies are no exception. If you’ve ever sat through the full list of credits after the end of a film, you can see the sheer amount of people that are required to make the project a reality. Action films like The Hunger Games also require tons of editing and special effects to make them dramatic and believable.

‘The Hunger Games’ movies utilized lots of special effects and editing

A great example of a scene that required special editing in post-production comes from the first movie. Katniss and Peeta are aboard the train that will take them to The Capitol to compete in The Hunger Games. Out of their depth, they seek counsel from their mentor, Haymitch. However, Haymitch, an alcoholic, initially seems more interested in eating and drinking than helping them out.

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When Haymitch asks to be passed some marmalade for his bread, Katniss demands information that will help her be competitive in The Hunger Games. Ignoring her, Haymitch reaches past Katniss to get the jam himself and a frustrated Katniss reacts by stabbing a knife through his fingers. Interestingly enough, this tense interaction was actually shot backwards.

Jennifer Lawrence revealed that the ‘that is mahogany’ scene was shot in reverse

Back in 2012, Jennifer Lawrence, who played Katniss in The Hunger Games movies, gave an interview with Collider about shooting the first film. She revealed that to get the unique knife scene just right, it had to be shot in reverse order.

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‘We had a scene where I stab a knife through his fingers on the table, and to do that, you have to do everything backwards, and then they put it forward in post,” The Hunger Games star revealed. “So, we would start [with the knife in the table], and then, slowly, everything would go [backwards].”

‘The Hunger Games’ cast came up with a special name for the technique

Continuing on, Lawrence revealed that Woody Harrelson, who played Haymitch in The Hunger Games movies, really got a kick out of shooting the scene in the reverse order. In fact, he even gave the kind of acting he had to do for the scene a special name. “Woody said, ‘I’m even doing backwards acting. When I get here, I start to feel my desire for the jam.'” Lawerence shared about her co-star. “He was full of gems like that.”

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Clearly, the cast and crew of The Hunger Games movies were ready and willing to use a bevy of techniques in order to get the best shots for the movie. We’re sure fans would love to see the behind-the-scenes footage of how the scene was actually shot, but perhaps the magic lies within the unknown.