“Horrified” Jennifer Lawrence cried before having to sing in latest Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

“She hated me for making her do it,” admits director Francis Lawrence who says the actress will never fully understand the power of The Hanging Tree scene because she's so sensitive about the singing


As if Jennifer Lawrence wasn’t talented enough, in the latest instalment of The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 1 –the Oscar-winning actress stuns with a bluesy rendition of a song entitled The Hanging Tree from Suzanne Collins’ book. But as poignant as the scene is for Katniss and the film as a whole, with scenes of war in the districts interwoven, it turns out the actress was pretty worried about it, even crying on the day of filming. 


“She’d probably tell you it was her least favourite day,” director Francis Lawrence tells RadioTimes.com. “She was horrified to sing, she cried a little bit in the morning before she had to sing. 

“But she did it and she did it all day – and she hated me for making her do it all day – but she did and it’s great. She’ll probably never really understand it because she’s so sensitive about the singing,” he adds with a smile. 

The director admits he didn’t really know how well Jennifer could sing beforehand, but that once he heard her voice he got the band The Lumineers on board to write the melody and a vocal coach for the star. 

“The Lumineers sent the melody over and then we had a vocal coach, who sort of shifted the key for Jen’s voice. Then she started working with Jen once or twice – Jen didn’t really want to do too much of the training [he laughs] –but she recorded it for me as a test so I could hear it. I was worried, I really thought we were going to have to do a bunch of pitch shifting, but she sounded great. What you hear in the movie is what she did on the day in the quarry.” 

Miss Lawrence is the “goofiest of the bunch” the director adds, but her antics around set don’t cause any filming interruptions. “She can usually play through. She doesn’t usually start laughing in the middle of a take. Woody [Harrelson, who plays Haymitch Abernathy] I would say probably messes up the most if he’s been joking around,” he says, concurring with Julianne Moore who joins the cast as President Coin. “He loses track of what’s going on. He laughs a lot.”

But Lawrence says of the cast as a whole, “They’re playful anyway”. And as time consuming as it may sound, he never loses his temper. “Never with the cast, never with the joking.”

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is in cinemas from 20th November


Watch latest clip