Donald Sutherland's enthusiasm for The Hunger Games was contagious when we spoke with him at a recent junket for the movie in Beverly Hills. The veteran actor was so engrossed in the book and his character, President Coriolanus Snow, that he and director Gary Ross actually created two new scenes featuring The Capitol's ruler. He also talked about the emotional impact he knows the final scene between Katniss and Rue will have on audiences and why he thinks the book and film can be a call to action for young people. Watch our interview and check out The Hunger Games when it hits theaters on March 23.
I saw within it the possibility of a film that could be a wake up call for a generation of young people. 30 million copies of, it's a movie. Right. 30 million imaginations. Now, did you work very closely, I know with characters in the capital, amazing wardrobe, costuming and hair and make-up, did you work to, sort of, come up with President Snow's look? No, Judianna Makovsky. It was conversations, she's brilliant, Judianna. Right. We did Six Degrees of Separation together and she has a sense of clothes. It's exquisite, you know. It was amazing. But, this character is not like those people in the capital, you know. Those people are like rock and rollers. and I'm like someone who is sixty when rock and roll happened. Well, I'm curious, too. We know so little about President Snow in the book, because it's told from Katness's [sp?] perspective. So, what sort of back story did you create around him to sort of, portray him? None. None. Why? I don't work that way. Take a little bit of DNA of myself and put it in a petrie dish and give it my script and off they go. I read that you actually wrote him an impassioned letter? I was in North Carolina working on the film, and I wrote him a long letter. Okay. Describing some stuff about what it is to be and administer and out of that letter and the conversation that he and I had he wrote those two scenes in the rose garden. I was only trying to explain and some stuff about what I felt about the character. Right. And, he came back with those two scenes. Had one scene about how you administer an oligarchy of the privilege. Right. About How you mainain it with hope not fear,hope,hope is stronger than fear,hope a little bit of hope You read it and the excitement grew for me because, I saw within it, the possibility of a of a film that could be a wake up call for a generation of young people, who had been throughout this country by and large dormant. You know that book has sold thirty million copies. I know. Thirty million copies. It's a movie of thirty million imaginations and Gary Ross has taken it and made a movie that replicates no other movies. Nobody who goes into that film will be disappointed. Nobody, I guarantee you. When Katniss Everdeen, when Rue is killed and she puts the flowers around them and she stands up and does that, what did you feel? Well, I was crying at that point. Oh good, so was I. Ok, goodbye. You passed.