Warning: Major ‘Mockingjay – Part 2’ ending spoilers below
Jennifer Lawrence first hinted that her nephew Bear would appear in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 during the film’s panel at San Diego Comic-Con panel. She was fondly remembering the filming of the movie’s epilogue scene when the news accidentally slipped out. “Josh [Hutcherson] was playing with my nephew,” she said before freezing like a deer in headlights. It was the dramatic pause and look of terror that tipped off fans: Clearly her nephew would be in the movie, and playing one of their kids.
Seriously, stop reading here if you don’t know the story’s ending, or don’t want to know it.
But it’s actually nephews, plural, playing both of their kids.
Mockingjay director Francis Lawrence (no relation to Jennifer) confirmed to Yahoo Movies that those are her two young nephews, Bear and Theodore, in the film’s final scene as the young children of now happily-ever-after-living Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) and Peeta Mallark (Hutcherson). The youngsters are also listed in the film’s official production notes as Everdeen Child No. 1 and Everdeen Child No. 2, respectively. (In the Suzanne Collins novel, Peeta and Katniss have a boy and a girl at the end. The kids are commonly referred to by fans as “Everlark Toast Babies,” due to their father’s background as a baker.)
“The one with Josh is her oldest nephew [Bear], and the one in her arms is her youngest nephew [Theo],” Francis Lawrence told us.
Theo was only 9 months at the time of filming, and the director said that like any film that uses baby or infant actors, they needed to have backups on set just in case. But that is indeed a Lawrence you see in the film. “We had multiples just in case,” he said. “Because what we really wanted to do is have a baby asleep, then we wanted the baby to startle awake as if it was having a nightmare, and be able to get shushed. So we timed the shooting with her and the baby to his naptime.” It worked.
As for if these youngsters have what it takes to become stars like their Oscar-winning aunt, Francis Lawrence was complimentary, but noncommittal: “Hard to tell on the young one — he was only 9 months old. But he did great,” he said. “And Bear… he did great, too. He’s charismatic.”
That’s a start.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 is now in theaters.
Watch Jennifer Lawrence talk about her favorite memories from the series: