Catching Fire’s District 8 Tribute Elena Sanchez Spills On Set Secrets

November 22, 2013


The Hunger Games: Catching Fire officially hits stores today and is already on its way to breaking records.

The film earned over $25 million on Thursday alone! Talk about amazing. The film is opening to rave reviews and we had a chance to chat with Elena Sanchez, who plays District 8 tribute Cecelia about being part of such an amazing project.

Being a part of The Hunger Games franchise is big. Where were you when you found out you got the role?
I had literally just finished the summer session at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and was on vacation in Switzerland visiting with my parents. I started shaking when I got the phone call. It was so hard because I wasn’t allowed to tell my friends for over a month!

A lot of people are familiar with the tributes because of the books, but how would you describe Cecelia?
Cecelia is the mother of three young children and a winner of a previous Hunger Games. She did what she had to do to win in the previous games but I think being a mother definitely mellowed her out. She doesn’t want to go back into the games but has no other option. In the book, as she is chosen for the games, you see her three little children clinging to her and it’s a very sad moment.

Some of our favorite scenes are the training scenes and the arena. What was it like filming those?
It was lots of hard work. We trained for those scenes for weeks and weeks, so that we would be ready to film anything that might be expected of us. We all became very proficient at using our specific weapons. And it may look tropical in the movie, but we actually filmed the Cornucopia arena scenes in Atlanta, in the middle of November, so the water was freezing cold!

The movie is very serious, but what was it like behind-the-scenes? Any memorable stories?
It was so much fun. A lot of times we’d be shooting serious scenes and once we cut it was back to all smiles. We were all just so happy to be there and got along really well. Also, even outside of work the tributes would get together and train our fights. We’d run to Piedmont Park which is in Atlanta and pick up sticks and start fighting… people probably thought we were crazy. Or we’d sneak into an empty ballroom at the hotel and do it there with our practice weapons from set. It was definitely awkward when people walked in on us.

You just attended the LA premiere of the film. What was it like walking such a big red carpet and coming face to face with the fans?
It was incredible. I’ve never seen anything like it. Meeting the fans was my favorite part… Some of them had been camping out for days so it was nice to be able to meet them, talk to them, and take pictures with them. And of course I loved dressing up and being a girly girl!

If you were in the Hunger Games, how do you think you would do? What would be your survival skill?
I’m generally a peaceful person, so it definitely wouldn’t be easy for me to intentionally hurt anyone. I think I’d just try to stay out of trouble and hide. I was a gymnast my whole life, and uneven bars was my favorite event, so maybe I would swing from tree branch to tree branch and get away that way!

Do you have any upcoming projects?
I just worked on a movie this month called Refugio, which is being directed by Academy Award nominee Demian Bichir. The next movie I have coming out is called Tokarev, with Nicolas Cage, Danny Glover, and Rachel Nichols. In the movie I am involved in an interrogation about what happened to Nicolas Cage’s daughter.

You’ve been a stunt double in so many great movies. Do you have a favorite stunt you’ve gotten to do?
The most fun I’ve had was hanging out of the top of a limo in the final car chase scene of 21 Jump Street. I had never been in a limousine at that point in my life. I got to wear a prom dress and yell at the top of my lungs while hanging out of the sun roof swerving through downtown traffic in the middle of the night. That was definitely one of those moments where I was like, “ wow, I can’t believe this is considered work”!

What would be your dream project?
I’d love to play a sexy secret agent. Like Angelina Jolie in Salt! Plus I speak three languages fluently so I can throw some foreign accents in there.

The Hunger Games has a huge fanbase. Do you have any message for them.
My message to the Hunger Games fanbase is that we love you! Your energy and passion for these books and movies inspires us to do what we do… without you it wouldn’t be possible. So thank you!

Be sure to go see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in theaters now!

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2 Responses to “Catching Fire’s District 8 Tribute Elena Sanchez Spills On Set Secrets”

  1. ft Says:

    I read it was a big challenge making this film. Somewhere on their news is at the botto


  2. Arya Babollah Says:

    Simply a must see


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