Fans of Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games novels know that the greenhouse that pops up in the trailer for Mockingjay — Part 2 holds a special significance. It’s where President Snow (Donald Sutherland) has his final confrontation with Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), their final tests of wills.
To create it, director Francis Lawrence was inspired by the Victorian-era structures with slender frames and thin glass paneling. “I think of it as being Old World elegance in this new world [of Panem],” he says.
But finding an existing greenhouse to fit the bill proved impossible. Rather, the filmmakers shot the interiors of the contentious — yet revealing — scene on an Atlanta soundstage, where they filled the room with Snow’s signature roses. The exteriors were filmed on the grounds of an existing château in the town of Rambouillet, outside of Paris. As for all that snow outside, credit the wonders of CG.
The scene, which takes place after the Capitol has fallen, was sprung on the two actors at the last minute when another dropped off the schedule due to weather issues. But that didn’t stop Sutherland from nailing the dialogue-heavy moment. “Springing a scene on him like that was really tricky but he had it completely memorized,” says director Lawrence. “He was unbelievable.”