20 Hunger Games Facts All Panemaniacs Should Know

hunger games facts

Think you know all there is to know about The Hunger Games? Call yourself a true Panemaniac? Knowing how to survive in the Games and rebel against the Capitol aren’t the only things fans of the franchise should know. You may have re-read the entire Suzanne Collins book series and watched all movies time and time again but there are a few facts about The Hunger Games that you may not be acquainted with…

Here are 20 Hunger Games facts that all Panemaniacs should know…

1. Reality TV and the Iraq War Inspired The Hunger Games

What was the inspiration for Katniss’ story? Suzanne Collins revealed that the whole idea for The Hunger Games began when she was watching television, seeing reality TV shows on certain channels juxtaposed with footage from the Iraq War on others. She said that “these two things began to sort of fuse together in a very unsettling way.”

2. Elizabeth Banks Needed Help Going to the Toilet Because of Effie’s Nails

Transforming into Effie Trinket’s character wasn’t enjoyable for actress, Elizabeth Banks. Apparently, the hardest part about wearing Effie’s extravagant costumes was the nails – “The biggest problem was I couldn’t go to the bathroom. I had like ladies in waiting…they would hand me the toilet paper…they would have to unzip.”

3. The Hunger Games Was Banned in Vietnam

The idea of kids battling for survival in a death match is pretty daunting, isn’t it? I mean, we had to watch Rue, a 12-year-old child die in front of our very own eyes. Fake, yes, but for Vietnam, The Hunger Games movies was “too much”. Its sensitive subject led the movie to be banned in Vietnam.

4. Suzanne Collins’ Father Also Inspired The Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins’ idea for a war-appropriate story was inspired by her father who fought in the Vietnam War. She said that her father felt “it was his responsibility to make sure that all his children had an understanding about war, about its cost, its consequences,” and that’s “the heart of” The Hunger Games.

5. There Were Hundreds of Wigs on Set

A lot of work goes on behind the scenes! There’s a reason why citizens of The Capitol look so damn extravagant all the time. There were allegedly 35 full-time makeup artists and 450 wigs on set for the first film.

6. Jennifer Lawrence’s favorite Katniss Costume Was…

Jennifer Lawrence has worn plenty of stunning costumes to play the role of Katniss Everdeen. Her most favourite however the dress she wore during the Tribute Parade in Catching Fire.

7. Suzanne Collins Learned About Hunting From Her Father

Where did Suzanne Collins get all her knowledge about hunting and survival from? Although a lot of research went into writing the Hunger Games novels, her familiarity with poverty came from her father’s stories. Apparently Suzanne’s father grew up during the Great Depression, and his family depended on hunting and foraging to survive.

8. The Peeta Mellark Role Almost Went to Someone Else

Imagine a world where Josh Hutcherson wasn’t Peeta Mellark. No, we can’t. The heartthrob competed against actors including Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Alex Pettyfer, Evan Peters, and Alexander Ludwig for the iconic role. Thank goodness the odds were in Josh’s favour…

9. Jennifer Lawrence’s Salary For All Movies is $26m

Jennifer Lawrence’s combined salary for all four movies is a whooping $26million. The actress was reportedly paid $1m for The Hunger Games, $10m for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and $15m for Mockingjay – Part One and Two.

10. Katniss’ Braid Only Took 20 Minutes to Style

It took a lot of effort to prepare Effie Trinket’s look. She had a different eye makeup design for each outfit in the first movie! Katniss’ appearance on the other hand didn’t need so much preparation. Her signature braid took only 20 minutes to style.

11. Jennifer Lawrence’s Nickname Was “Plays With Fire”

Jennifer Lawrence’s nickname as a child was “Plays With Fire”. This is apparently because her parents “played with fire” when she was born and so “they got burned”. LOL! Little did her parents know that she would eventually be known as the Girl on Fire!

12. “Panem” Dervies From a Roman Expression

Suzanne Collins said that the historical Roman gladiator games inspired the creation of the Hunger Games. Even certain terms that she made up for the novels derive from Roman expressions such as Panem, which comes from the expression “panem et circenses,” which translates to “bread and circuses.”

13. Jennifer Lawrence Trained a Lot For the Katniss Role

It takes a lot of training to be a tribute in the Hunger Games and it takes just as much to play the role. Jennifer Lawrence took archery, climbing, combat, yoga, and running classes to prepare for her role as Katniss.

14. The Hunger Games Has a Connection to Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Avril Lavigne

How on earth does The Hunger Games correlate with Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Avril Lavigne? Pretty random, right? Well, the director, Francis Lawrence who directed Catching Fire and both Mockingjay films also happened to direct Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance, Beyoncé’s Run the World (Girls), and Avril Lavigne’s Sk8er Boi music videos.

15. Jennifer Lawrence Went Deaf in One Ear During Filming

In The Hunger Games novel, blood streams from Katniss’ ear, leaving her permanently deaf in her left ear. Ironically, this actually happened to Jennifer Lawrence whilst filming Catching Fire – “I went deaf in one ear for months. . . . But that wasn’t actually physically challenging. It was just ear challenging because I got all of these ear infections from the diving and the water and all of that stuff. And then a jet from one of the cornucopia scenes punctured my eardrum.”

16. A Buffy the Vampire Slayer Actor Works Behind The Hunger Games Scenes

Any Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans reading this? Remember Jonathan Levinson? Well, the actor, Danny Strong actually wrote the scripts for both Mockingjay films!

17. Jennifer Lawrence Needed an Emergency CAT Scan During Filming

The odds weren’t in Jennifer Lawrence’s favour during the last day of training for the first film! The actress had to get a CAT scan after running full-speed into a wall – “I had to do 10 ‘wall runs,’ where you run at the wall as hard as you can to get traction, I ran at it and my foot didn’t go up, so I caught the wall with my stomach. My trainer thought I had burst my spleen. I had to get a CAT scan and go into a tube where they put this fiery liquid in your body.”

18. There Wasn’t Going to be a Second or Third Book

That’s right! If Katniss hadn’t almost eaten those nightlock berries, there may not have been two more novels. Suzanne Collins didn’t originally plan to make a trilogy out of The Hunger Games. After reaching the end of the first book, she realised there had to be a sequel because she knew Katniss would be punished for almost eating the berries.

19. Philip Seymour Hoffman Had a Few Days Left of Filming When he Died

The actor who played Plutarch Heavensbee – Philip Seymour Hoffman had only eight to ten days left of filming for Mockingjay when he passed away. May he rest in peace…

20. Jennifer Lawrence Gave Josh Hutcherson a Concussion

From falling over at the 2013 Oscars to tripping up at the 2014 Oscars, too, we all know just how clumsy Jennifer Lawrence can be. Apparently, while on set for the first Hunger Games movie, JLaw told Josh Hutcherson that she could kick way over his head. When she tried, she accidently kicked Josh in the head which ended up giving him a concussion. Way to go, Jen! LOL!

There’s one thing we’ve learnt from our list of Hunger Games fun facts – being in a movie with Jennifer Lawrence would not be boring, to say the least!

As a treat to all the Tributes in your life (including you), why not consider buying one of these awesome Hunger Games gifts



Tale Teller
Angela Stephanou

Angela Stephanou

Owner and chief editor of Tell Tales. Angela has a BA in Communications and oversees the content and strategy across Tell Tales, building an audience of pop culture junkies like herself. Her social media follows have more celebrities than real-life friends, music runs through her veins and she’d much rather be glued to her TV screen, piled under an array of snacks than go out on a Friday night. Angela’s guilty pleasure is watching cheesy reality shows like Keeping Up with the Kardashians, but she’s also a sucker for all things Marvel and DC - two entirely different worlds, we know.

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