With Francis Lawrence now tackling the helming duty for "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire", Woody Harrelson will seemingly be able to explore his character Haymitch Abernathy even deeper. Woody opens up that Francis allows him to get literally high to portray the drunkard mentor to Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark.
Woody once complained that in "The Hunger Games", director Gary Ross didn't allow him to go to the full Haymitch mode. However, things change since Francis signs on to the second film. "I talked with Francis about that," the actor tells MTV News about having real alcohol in the sequel. "I'm going to try to go as far as possible. You know me. I'll try to take it over the top."
The blue-eyed actor explains further that he has done some preparations to portray Haymitch as a fragile man post-Hunger Games. "Francis had asked me if I had studied PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and I actually did in college. I was a psychology minor," he shares.
"So I met a guy who has PTSD in Maui. You know, I like the way Francis is very thorough, very on top of everything. I really feel great. I loved Gary. I thought Gary did an incredible job with the first one, but I do think Francis is going to do great with this."
When asked if he's read the "Catching Fire" script, Woody responds incredulously, "Yeah, I read the script. I took a gander at the script, sure... It's good that you get to do that before they start shooting." He adds, "I think that it's a really good script, a really strong script, so I feel good about that. That's the big question mark, since there was so little time to get that script together."
"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" started its principal photography in Atlanta on Monday, September 10. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth are all set to return as Katniss, Peeta and Gale respectively. Sam Claflin will tackle the part of Finnick Odair.
In the upcoming film, which is scheduled to arrive in the U.S. on November 22, 2013, Katniss Everdeen returns home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games with Peeta. Being victors means they must turn around and leave their family and close friends and embark on a "Victor's Tour" of the district.
Along the way, Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) - a competition that could change Panem forever.