Check out this interview from Vogue with Jena Malone as she talks about transforming into District 7 victor, Johanna Mason.
Your role in The Hunger Games sounds physically tough. How did you get ready for the part?
“Luckily, I did [an action] film called Sucker Punch a few years ago, which taught me what I could achieve in a gym. I lifted 235 pounds in preparation for that movie and my whole body transformed. The same stunt team—they’re called 87Eleven—got me in shape for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. We focused on martial arts–type training for the role of Johanna, which helped with stamina and endurance. I also did strength training with Patrick Murphy, who is kind of like a body sculptor. I trained five days a week for two months before we started filming, and then I kept it up during the months of shooting.”
What changed the most?
“My posture. And my mood. Sometimes you just need to get sweaty in a gym and feel pain in your body like you’ve never felt before, and then learn how to rise above it. That was important, because the hardest thing about being Johanna was finding a way to carry her energy in my body for sixteen hours a day. She has this anger that is always bubbling at the surface.”
Johanna is rumored to make a striking above-the-neck transformation in the movie, too. Tell us about it.
“If you Google the name Johanna Mason, there are 7,000-plus fan drawings of what she looks like, what people want her to look like, what her parents look like! It was crazy bringing this iconic character to life. I think we were all a little intimidated. For her first look in the Capitol, she is wearing this long black ponytail with red tips that goes down to her waist, and eyelashes that go on forever. Her look is really about her eyes. So it was about finding the wildest fake lashes from Germany or Japan. We only had a few sets of them, and I had to be really careful taking them on and off. It took about two-and-a-half hours to get makeup-ready each day. Later, in the Arena, she’s stripped down, sweaty, and sexy, which took about forty minutes. We spent almost three weeks trying to figure out Johanna’s hair [for those scenes]. We cut it, we put things in it, we cut it again, and we tried a wig. One day, I just got in there with some scissors and I cut it my own hair. I said, ‘Ok, this is what she would have done.’ It was a bit terrifying.”