Exclusive: Willow Shields Talks Catching Fire, Jennifer Lawrence & More

willowshields-interview-120913The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has been dominating the box office since it’s opening, which comes as no big surprise.

Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, and more return for the sequel which finds Katniss & Peeta back in the games as part of the Quarter Quell. Stepping up and showing off her skills in this film is Willow Shields as Prim, Katniss’ little sister. Prim has taken after her mother to become a healer and we get a peek at that in Catching Fire, but we’ll get to see a lot more of Prim in Mockingjay.

We had the chance to chat with Willow about Prim’s growth, working with Jennifer Lawrence and what’s next for this rising star.

How has Prim changed or grown between The Hunger Games and Catching Fire? Prim is growing up. She is not really a scared little kid anymore. Since The Hunger Games she has become a better healer. People in her life count on her more and more to take care of them when they are hurt or sick. I think in Catching Fire, people will see this change in Prim. It’s pretty exciting.

You and Jennifer Lawrence have such great chemistry on screen. Did you all do anything fun to bond on either film? Have you learned any fun facts about her? I think Jennifer I bonded on the set of The Hunger Games. On that first film I was ten and she really did treat me like her little sister. Now I am thirteen and we have a different relationship. She is still full of advice like any big sister, but we also just have a lot of fun together on set, being silly. She will do anything to make you laugh and people are so relaxed around her, because she makes everyone feel like they are a part of this awesome project.

What scene are you most excited for fans to see in Catching Fire? Well, I think I am most excited for the fans to see the games themselves. This year the games have so much action, so many cool special effects. It’s really amazing. Prim won’t be there, of course, but that’s what I think I want fans to see the most.

You had a chance to premiere the film all over the world and even visit the fan camp here in LA. What has the experience been like meeting fans globally? Our fans are the best ever. Everywhere we go, the fans are so sweet. They love this series and the characters and they support us like crazy.

What has been your most memorable experience from being a part of this franchise? The fans. When we get to go to a fan event, or this year’s ComiCon, the fans will wait in line for hours to be there. It is something I will never forget.

Do you have any other upcoming projects? What would be your dream role/project? I am working on Mockingjay Part One and Two right now. That will take a while. I am also going to work on a Jennifer Lynch thriller with Tim Roth and Vincent D’Onofrio. I’m excited about that.

What advice do you have for young aspiring actors? Just work hard and don’t take yourself too seriously. You have to have fun!

When you aren’t acting, what do you like to do in your free time? I read a lot. I hang out with friends and listen to music. Pretty much whatever you would think any other thirteen year old would do!

Do you have any message for your fans? Thank you for being the coolest fans ever! Hope you LOVE Catching Fire!

Keep up with Willow on twitter at @WillowShields and if you haven’t seen Catching Fire, it’s in theaters now.