The stars of ''The Hunger Games'' open up about taking on Suzanne Collins' indelible creations

By Karen Valby
March 02, 2012 at 05:00 AM EST
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Katniss Evedeen
”I had a lot of say in the arena clothes because I did a lot of my own stunts and needed to make sure I could run and jump and climb. ‘You have to fix this here, make it lighter here, open it up here.’ The dresses I didn’t care about, just put them on me.” —Jennifer Lawrence

Effie Trinket
”I really wanted to make sure Effie was three-dimensional. Even in the book she can be written off as sort of comic relief. She’s essentially a villain — a really fun villain, but a villain nonetheless. Joel Grey from Cabaret was our jumping-off point for her look.” —Elizabeth Banks

Peeta Mallark
”With Peeta being a baker and also being in love with this girl his whole life, there’s a natural tendency to play him a little softer. But in the world of Panem, everyone has to have the edge of a fighter, and we wanted to give that to him.” — Josh Hutcherson

Caesar Flickerman
”Oh, he’s so creepy — the duplicitousness, the sort of false generosity. He’s an amalgam of a bunch of different talk-show hosts that are out there, past and present. The skin is supposed to be blue in the book, but that was way too much. It would just throw things off.” —Stanley Tucci

Gale Hawthorne
”He’s the kind of guy who doesn’t give in to evil. He wants to stand up for what he believes in, but there’s not much he can really do at this point in the story. He’s constantly frustrated and ranting about what he doesn’t like about the government.” —Liam Hemsworth

”I’ve had people tell me they see him as very flamboyant, like most of the other characters in the Capitol. But we thought it would be interesting to play him more like an Yves Saint Laurent or a Tom Ford, where he’s more classic. His gold eyeliner is his hint of edge.” —Lenny Kravitz

Haymitch Abernathy
”We talked a lot about keeping a balance in how drunk we play him. I was always wanting to add in other drugs, like a futuristic snuff or different spray. Gary was sometimes worried about me going overboard, and he was good at keeping the reins.” —Woody Harrelson

Seneca Crane
”To me, Seneca is a magnified version of a modern-day reality-show producer. He’s young, and he became wildly successful young. I’ve had that experience in my life, and it all went to my head. I lost touch with reality and thought everything I did would turn to gold.” —Wes Bentley

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