Credit: Tammie Arroyo/AP

It’s been a year since Jennifer Lawrence won the role of Katniss Everdeen on The Hunger Games, but it only became real to her last night when she walked the black carpet at the film’s world premiere in Los Angeles. Fans of Suzanne Collins’ trilogy had slept out in the freezing cold overnight just to get a glimpse of Lawrence and her handsome costars. “It’s not really until now that I’m realizing this is different,” said the 21-year-old Oscar nominee (Winter’s Bone). “Getting out of the car 20 minutes ago. It’s so loud. It’s unbelievable to me. The fans are so supportive and passionate and it feels pretty humbling to know they camped out for this.”

Lawrence wasn’t the only Hunger Games star that sent the crowd into a frenzy. “You hear your name being chanted and it seems like it can’t possibly be happening for real,” said Josh Hutcherson, who plays Katniss’ fellow District 12 tribute, Peeta. “I get a lot of marriage proposals. I think I have like 80 wives right now.”

Liam Hemsworth has some experience with this type of celebrity — he dates Miley Cyrus — but even he recognized this outpouring of affection wasn’t typical. “It is such a weird surreal moment,” he said. “I pinch myself everyday and feeling very, very fortunate to be where I am and to be a part of a project like this.”

For many of the actors, this was the first time they watched the film with an audience, and as more and more people see it, battle lines could be drawn between Team Peeta and Team Gale, the two handsome hunks vying for Katniss’ heart. As Gale, Hemsworth himself is invested, but not the way you might think. “I’m Team Haymitch myself,” he said. “I’m a big fan of Woody Harrelson and a big fan of that character. I’m trying to make that team bigger.”

(Reporting by Carrie Bell)

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The Hunger Games
  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • Gary Ross