BSCkids recently got the chance to speak with Willow Shields, once of the breakout actresses from the hit film, The Hunger Games. She talked about her time on the set, her role of Primrose Everdeen, and how her life has changed since landing the role.
Willow Shields plays younger sister to Katniss, Primrose, in The Hunger Games franchise but she has also caught the eye of world-famous fashion designer Marc Jacobs, who dressed the young starlet for a variety of events and awards shows and even coined her as his muse in Nylon Magazine. She has also appeared in the USA Network series,”In Plain Site,” the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie Beyond the Blackboard, and R. L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour. Shields first started acting at the age of seven. During her down time Willow enjoys photography, dance, and spending time with her old brother, twin sister and friends. One day she would like to create her own clothing line where she will be involved in everything from drawing to assembly of the garments. Willow holds the charity “Operation Smile” very near and dear to her heart.
BSCkids: Willow Shields
Had you read The Hunger Games before getting the part?
I was reading The Hunger Games when I got the audition. I auditioned by tape first and then flew to LA to audition with Gary Ross. Once I got the part, I just kept reading and finished all three books.
Why do you think the series resonates so largely with audiences?
I think The Hunger Games has something in it that everyone likes. It has a great hero, who is fighting for things that people care about. She fights for her family and friends at first and then for all her people. It also has some romance and an epic future.
What has been your favorite scene so far in the first two films?
I loved shooting the reaping in the first movie. It was so emotional. I think in Catching Fire, I liked the scenes where Katniss and Prim discuss the future. These scenes show where Prim is going and how much she has grown up.
Jennifer Lawrence seems like a hilarious co-star. What is she like on set?
She is such fun on set. Jennifer has the ability to be joking and having fun in between takes and then the minute the cameras are rolling she just jumps right back into character. It’s amazing to watch.
What has been your best moment so far filming the films?
Just being around the cast. In The Hunger Games I worked mostly with Jennifer and Paula Malcomson, who plays Prim’s mom. In catching Fire I also got to work with Woody Harrelson and Lenny Kravitz. That was incredible.
Who do you think Katniss should have chosen, Peeta or Gale?
Funny, that is not something I have ever really thought about. I think if everything remained as it did and they continued to live in District 12, I think Katniss and Gale were great friends and would have been perfect together. But, because of circumstances in the story, I think being with Peeta in the end made sense.
What is the most important acting lesson you have learned from your famous co-stars?
Not so much acting lessons, but life lessons. Just be who you are and don’t let any of the success of the films change you as a person. Everyone on this series has stayed true to themselves.
You have also worked on television shows. Which do you enjoy more, TV or movies and why?
I like them both. They do not seem that different to me. If I had been in a TV show for a long time I might feel different, but I have only been a guest on a show. Both just seem to have a lot of people who work hard at what they do.
Tell us about Operation Smile and why it is important to you.
Operation Smile is a charity I love that heals children’s smiles. They offer surgeries to children born with cleft palate and cleft lip. It is $240 to cure a smile! It is an amazing charity.
How supportive has your friends and family been about your acting career?
Everyone has been very supportive and helpful. It has been pretty amazing.
What has been the most awkward thing to happen to you since you became famous for your role in The Hunger Games?
It’s kind of awkward when a Hunger Games fan comes up to you in a bathroom or something. Just weird places, where you are caught off guard.
What is the hardest part about being a young actor?
I think the hardest part is when you have to spend time away from your family. I have a brother and a twin sister and they obviously can’t always travel with me when I work, so I am sometime away from them for a while. But, we really do try and make it happen where one or both get to be with me while I am away…at least for a little while.
What has been your most rewarding moment so far?
Every fan event. Wherever the cast of The Hunger Games goes, the fans are amazing. They are so sweet and generous.
Do your friends treat you any differently since the premiere of The Hunger Games?
Not at all. I have the same friends since before I was even cast and I think they found it exciting at first, but now they don’t even mention it much. They just want to hang out, go to the movies or shopping just like everyone else does.
If you could meet one celebrity who would it be?
Right now I really want to meet Ellen Page. Huge Juno fan.
Do you have any advice for those who want to get into acting?
Just do it. Work as hard as you can. Enjoy it!