Jena Malone on Making Her ‘Catching Fire’ Striptease ‘Perfect’

Kara Warner
Yahoo MoviesNovember 19, 2013

Watch the live L.A. red carpet premiere of 'Catching Fire' on Monday November 18 at 9 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT right here on Yahoo Movies!

Jena Malone in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"
Jena Malone in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"

As far as grand entrances go, the introduction of District 7 victor Johanna Mason (played by Jena Malone) in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" is one of the grandest -- and most delightfully scandalous -- you'll see. Fans of the very memorable scene in Suzanne Collins' book will be glad to know that Malone's re-creation of it gets the job done and then some.

"For me, it was one of the best introductions to a character that I had ever read," Malone said about Johanna's decision to disrobe at a particularly opportune moment. "It was one of my favorite scenes to film because I think I was so nervous about it because it's so perfect and I wanted it to be absolutely perfect. When we got there, there were all these variables; we were shooting in a real hotel, in a real elevator, there's only 49 floors, it's only six seconds to do a full strip tease, there were all these things that weren't in the script. I was like, 'How do we do this?'

Watch Malone and cast discuss taking their clothes off:

In order to get over her initial nerves, Malone said she practiced the quick removal of her costume in her trailer, so that by the time she had to film the scene she was extra-prepared.

[Related: Play 'Who Said It?' With the Stars of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire']

"By the end of it I was like boom, boom, boom, just ready [to take the costume off], like 'Let's just get naked.' I didn't even care if the cameras were rolling," she recalled with a laugh. "They're like 'No no no, Jena we're not rolling yet!'"

Liam Hemsworth in Catching Fire
Liam Hemsworth in Catching Fire

Malone isn’t the only one who had to shed some clothes for the film: She’s joined in equal opportunity semi-nudity by her co-stars Sam Claflin and Liam Hemsworth. Although it should be noted that Hemsworth’s shirtlessness isn’t really of the celebratory variety since his character is being severely whipped when it happens, a scene that took three days to film. Hemsworth explained that it took extra time to shoot because there were so many people involved, in various ways.

"Particularly in that scene when you have a number of people coming into the scene, multiple shots of me getting whipped, angles, close-ups, Woody comes into the scene … "

“Jen comes into the scene,” Harrelson jumped in.

[Related: 'Catching Fire' Confession: Sam Claflin 'Kinda Liked' His Shaved Chest]

“Josh comes into the scene, the whipper is in the scene,” Hemsworth continued. “There were a lot of extras. It's just me with my top off in front of 500-600 extras, with whip marks. I felt a little bit silly at times.”

Well that's why he got into acting in the first place right? To be shirtless and whipped.

"That's exactly [it], he joked. "To be whipped and take off my shirt."