The Secret Origins of Katniss’s Girl Power in "Catching Fire”


In "Catching Fire" — the feverishly anticipated new installment of the "Hunger Games" franchise — a riled-up Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) kicks major butt once again on the big screen.

As written in Suzanne Collins's mega-selling book series, the bow-friendly heroine is a strong-willed female lead. But when it comes to the sequel, Katniss's infectious girl power can be traced back to an unlikely source: Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and a bunch of other A-list pop stars with attitude!

Turns out "Catching Fire" director Francis Lawrence first made waves in the music video world before moving on up to Panem. So we've scoured some of his greatest videos for moments of badass babes who may have helped inform his latest empowered leading lady.


1. Destiny's Child — "Independent Women Pt. 2" (2000)
This song may have been written for the soundtrack to action-packed chick flick "Charlie's Angels," but the sirens of Destiny's Child proved in the music video that they could pack a serious punch. At one point, Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams put up their dukes while clad in floor-length purple gowns. Before long, they're in the middle of a battle — boasting some impressive and gravity-defying ninja moves that seem straight out of the movie "Inception." Moral of the story: these divas needn't be messed with.

2. Avril Lavigne — "Sk8r Boi" (2002)
Back in 2002, Avril Lavigne was still fresh on the scene and the pinnacle of punk-rock tomboy who played by her own rules. This was all reflected in the music video for her pumped-up breakthrough, "Sk8r Boi." The clip chronicles the misadventures of Avril and her all-male band as they crash the city streets to throw their own show guerrilla-style. And it looks like the girl's qualified — check out her sick air guitar solo as performed in the backseat of some dude's old clunker.

3. Jennifer Lopez — "Jenny From the Block" (2002)
Jennifer Lopez dropped her single "Jenny From the Block" to make a huge statement: no petty rumor would bring her down! Sure, she was a superstar engaged to one of the biggest movie stars around (we'll ignore her then-pending mega-flop "Gigli") — but she was still in control of her own life. Throughout the video Jen takes command of all that surrounds her, swerving onstage like she's the boss (which she is, of course).

4. Lady Gaga — "Bad Romance" (2009)
"Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah!" Even the lyrics to beloved Gaga track "Bad Romance" scream power and the Lawrence-helmed music video is no exception. Throughout the clip, Gaga's seen putting her claws up and taking gorgeous control of the camera. After all, she's a "free b---h, baby!"

5. Beyoncé — "Run the World (Girls)" (2011)
If you didn't already think of Beyoncé of one of music's most powerful women, well, take a look at her pair of rabid hyenas as seen in the surrealist video for "Run the World (Girls)." Bey's in middle of a desert wasteland, but she doesn't let that stop her from killing it in a white evening gown.

6. "What You Waiting For" — Gwen Stefani (2004)
In the video for "What You Waiting For," our heroine Gwen Stefani is feeling uninspired in her studio. Soon, she's tumbling through Wonderland like a pop-star Alice and is full of confusion. Eventually, she allows some advice from her own lyrics to sink in, realizing she is, indeed a "super-hot female" who's got the chops to knock out the competition. By the end of it all, she's back at the studio with attitude to spare. You go, Gwen!

And if there was any doubt about about Francis Lawrence's ability to crank up the girl power on the big screen after seeing these video snippets, it should be wiped away. Aside from a huge opening night and big advanced ticket sales, critics have lauded the filmmaker's efforts" on "Catching Fire" (an 89 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes; and a 75 percent score on Metacritic), and Lionsgate has already reupped Lawrence to direct its next "Hunger Games" sequel.

Katniss is in good company ... and her future is in good hands.

Related Links:
"Catching Fire" Book vs. Movie Breakdown: A Fan-alysis
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