This Hunger Games Star’s Toughest Scene is Actually Your All-Time Favorite

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It feels like only yesterday that we spoke to Willow Shields before the release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1. But, lo and behold, it’s a year later, and the last film of the franchise, Mockingjay — Part 2, is in theaters. Where did the time go??

While it’s taking everything that we’ve got to hold ourselves together — seriously, there’s not going to be another Hunger Games movie next November?? — we’ve got something that’ll perk up all dedicated tributes: a brand-spanking-new interview with the 15-year-old young woman who brought Primrose Everdeen to life (and *SPOILER ALERT* death) on the big screen.

Read on as the blonde beauty talks Jennifer Lawrence‘s best advice to her, the end of the hit YA series and her most difficult day on set. (Her toughest scene is actually the most quoted of the entire franchise.)

We saw Mockingjay — Part 2 earlier this week and it was AH-mazing. What was it like the first time you watched it?
The first time I watched Mockingjay — Part 2 was not until the Berlin premiere. It was exciting, but honestly I think I was so nervous that I missed half the movie! The second time I saw it, at the LA premiere, I think I relaxed a little more and could enjoy the movie. It was thrilling and sad for me. There are so many memories associated with the filming, with the cast and with fans; it is hard to see it come to an end. But, it’s exciting to see what everyone thinks. I hope the fans love it.

What was the scene you were most excited to see come to life on the big screen?
I don’t think I could pick any one scene. The whole last part of the film, when the rebels move into the Capitol, the parachutes falling and Katniss’ final moments of the film were what I was waiting to see. It was everything I hoped it would be.

Was there one scene throughout the franchise that sticks out as the most difficult or challenging?
Out of the entire franchise, for me, the most difficult scene to film was probably the reaping in The Hunger Games. It was so emotional. It was difficult to shoot over and over. Also, it was over a hundred degrees out that day. It was exhausting.

Prim has really transformed from the beginning of the series until the end. How did you get into that mindset of innocent little sister to mature, helpful young woman?
Growing up with Prim was a lot like growing up myself. In The Hunger Games, Prim is young, innocent and terrified. Not too different from how I felt at the time of shooting the first film. I was 10; I was meeting all these amazing actors. I was terrified! By the end of the series, Prim is a young woman who is discovering her path in life. She is training to become a doctor and is no longer fearful for herself. She is more worried about her sister and others. At the same time, I had grown up, too. I was no longer afraid of being on the set. It all seemed very natural, her growth and mine.



Obviously, fans who read the series know Prim’s fate. What was that day like on set for you? Was it your last?
My last day on set was also Prim’s last shot in the entire series. It was mostly just Jen and I that day. We spent some time together alone in my trailer. Said our goodbyes and then finished that last epic scene. It was a special way to end my time with the series. My first shot in The Hunger Games was with Jen, too. It just felt complete.

We actually ranked Prim’s death as the most heartbreaking of the entire franchise. Are there any other character deaths that really pulled at your heartstrings?
All of them! Rue, Finnick, Boggs — I could never rank them. They were all heart breaking. Suzanne Collins is so talented and can make us feel for each and every loss.

We’ve read some really funny stories from the other members of the cast about filming with Jennifer. What’s the funniest moment you had with her on this particular set?
I could not pick just one. She is one of the funniest people I know. We would be shooting a serious scene where she leaves the room, leaving me behind. She would always look back and make a weird face at me, trying to make me laugh. It was a challenge to stay in the moment and not bust up laughing.

What’s the best piece of advice she’s ever given you?
Love what you do. If you’re not loving it, then you should probably get out and find something you do love.

What’s up next for you? We heard you’re filming in New Zealand!
I am in New Zealand filming a movie called The Wonder. We just finished shooting in China for about six weeks and now we are in New Zealand for about that much. It’s a 3D family adventure film about a group of friends, a rainbow, and a fantastic journey. It’s been amazing and I have been able to live in two amazing countries while shooting.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 Spoiler-Free Review

You can reach this post’s author, Kaitlin Cubria, on Twitter and Instagram!

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