Woody Harrelson Talks Adding Humor to His Dark ‘Hunger Games’ Character, Haymitch

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We’re still about five months away from The Hunger Games hitting theaters, and slowly but surely the film’s cast is opening up about the highly-anticipated movie.

The latest actor to do so? Woody Harrelson, who plays the hard-drinking Haymitch Abernathy, mentor to Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) as they prepare to enter the deadly arena.

The Oscar nominated actor opened up to 24 Frames (via the LA Times) and said that although Haymitch (and the book in general) definitely has a dark side, he tried to play it with as much humor as possible.

Harrelson told 24 Frames:

“It was my objective to give the character as much comedy as I could without it seeming not to fit. I tried to take a certain comedic aspect and give a sense, through that, that he’s been through a lot and is anesthetizing himself as a result of that.”

For a breakdown on the film, check out the gallery below.

Haymitch is the sole District 12 victor, and has spent a number of the last years watching young kids go to the arena and die immentent deaths which is a large reason for his drinking problem.

“I didn’t want it to feel like just because he’s an alcoholic that he would look just like any bum on the street. So there are things that go against your expectation of what a washed-up guy would look like.”

He also mentioned that:

“The essence of the book is going to be in the film. It’s something we’ve never seen before. We have the best wardrobe, the best costume people, the best makeup people. There’s a level of commitment to innovation that [filmgoers] have never seen. I think they’re going to be very pleasantly surprised by it.”

Are YOU excited for the Hunger Games to hit theaters on March 23? Sound off in the comments to let us know!