The stars of The Hunger Games recently completed a tour promoting the upcoming film. The last stop was in Seattle, the site of Sporcle HQ. As fans of the series, we decided to send our Senior Hunger Games Correspondent, Kate Janzen, to cover the event. She returned with the following tale.
The events began at midnight when my three hearty companions and I left for the local mall. The plan was to park, sleep in the car, and wake up in time to get in line with the first 100 people, who were given Hunger Games VIP wristbands. Everything went smoothly until about 2:30am, when we were asked to move the car, and realized, despite the website saying the line up would start at 7am, people had already started lining up. We moved the car and got in line as fast as possible. Thus began the four and a half hour wait.
Although four hours seems like a long time, we were able to entertain ourselves through most of it. I spoke to four lucky individuals at the front of the line named Katie, Miranda, Kevin, and Ellie. They arrived at 5pm the night before to get in line but were forced to move around until about 12am where they were finally allowed to stand across the street from the Microsoft store, where the event was being held.
From the sound of it, they formed a strong bond with the twenty or so people around them. After fighting with security to be allowed to line up, they claimed they were not lining up, but “clumping.” One man went and bought a tarp and handwarmers to protect them from the rain while another woman brought some cookies. One girl even gave them the title of “District 14.”
Unfortunately, this camaraderie was not universal. As the morning wore on controversy began to rise. Many groups were outraged that a line had already formed, and because of its unofficial nature rogue fans began cutting or grouping by the door hoping to rush it at 7am.
All of this drama was quite a spectacle, and the security guards had about as little information as we did. My group was standing between three middle school girls named Kayla, Kelsey, and Jasmine and a woman named Elaine who was saving a spot for her daughter. The the middle school girls were especially good at hunting down crowd rumors and reporting back to our cluster of people. When they returned with a juicy piece of gossip we ‘d discuss its viability. Whenever the tension got high, Elaine never failed to provide the comic relief for all of us, reminding us that even if we didn’t get in to the VIP area, we were still enjoying ourselves.
Around 5:30, security started cracking down on anyone who wasn’t in the unofficial line. Seattle Policemen showed up along with the higher-ups from the Microsoft store, and some semblance of order was restored. At 7am they started taking groups of 20 or so people from the front of the line to a separate area, presumably for the elite 100 first-arrivals. Sadly, we were not in luck and ended up about 30 people away from the cutoff.
We were still able to go to the Q&A session and see the stars as they answered questions. We were packed around hundreds of screaming girls as the stars walked onstage and sat in their chairs. It was interesting seeing them in real life, they acted quite like the characters there were portraying. Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne) was rather stoic and generally only talked when he was addressed, but we did manage to get a picture of him cracking a smile.
Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen) warmed up after a few minutes and soon she was warmly chatting with the host. Jennifer seemed quite sweet and honest with the audience. She often poked fun at herself in a comical way and seemed to get-along with her co-stars onstage. One interesting fact I learned is that she did all of her own archery in the movie. Unfortunately no one asked Josh Hutcherson (Peeta) if he did his own baking.
Speaking of Josh, he was practically the star of the show. From my conversations with people in line, he was the guy people wanted to see the most. He was chatting away almost the minute he got on stage, much like his character. He loved to make jokes and when Jennifer was asked which co-star was hotter, Hutcherson piped in and jokingly said, “I think Liam is sexy. Gorgeous eyes.” This was met with laughter from the other actors on stage and cheers from the crowd.
But like all good things, the interview came to an end after a mere twenty minutes of stage time. As the stars left they were flooded by cheering fans trying to get over railings and fences. As team Sporcle left with our freshly aqcuired Jamba Juices, all we could talk about was our anticipation for the movies and how strange it’ll be to see these actors on screen after having seen them in real life. Finally, after ten sleep deprived hours, we made it back home and fell asleep to sweet dreams of movie stars.
We’ve posted a few more pictures of Kate’s experience at the Hunger Games event below. Check it out: