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'The Hunger Games' stars meet fans, talk about film at premiere

March 12, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
"The Hunger Games" actors signed autographs and posed for pictures with fans on Monday at the film's premiere in downtown Los Angeles. The stars also discussed the movie that seems to be changing their lives.

"I loved the book so much. To see it all finally come to life and to be with the new cast and put so much work into it, to finally have people come to see it, is very exciting to me," said actor Josh Hutcherson.

"The Hunger Games" takes place in a post-apocalyptic world. The government is behind a mandatory reality show, where almost all the contestants wind up dead. The film also stars Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth.

"I believe it's one of the most powerful films I've seen," said Hemsworth. "I was extremely nervous before I saw it the first time. I think I feel a lot more at ease now that I feel it's a great film."

Elizabeth Banks is part of the ensemble.

"She's a lovable villain, and it's very hard to find those," said Banks. "I was a huge fan of the books."

The plaza outside the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles was packed with fans of the popular book series.

The first 400 fans to line up and camp out overnight were invited to attend the premiere with the cast. Fans said that camping out was worth it, just to see how the books will translate to the big screen.

"For me, it's the translation of it from the book to the big screen," said fan Shea Jones. "The book is such a good, heavy concept that you can't help but think it could make a good movie."

The film's cast is loving a moment in the spotlight for a movie that's expected to be a blockbuster.

"It's a lot of great energy, and it's fun to be around," said Wes Bentley. "I promised myself before I got out of here, I would open my eyes and take it all in."

For many of the actors in the film, it's a beginning.

"I don't know how I'm going to top this," said Kalia Prescott. "I'm like, 'What's next in my career? There's no movie bigger than this.'"

"The Hunger Games" is rated PG-13 and opens March 23.