‘Hunger Games’ Actress Jackie Emerson ‘So Upset’ Gary Ross Not Directing Sequel (EXCLUSIVE)

By: Amanda Hasaka / April 11, 2012

Gary Not Directing 'Fire'
Gary Ross will not be directing 'Hunger Games' sequel.
After a few days of negotiation, and a bit of back and forth, it was confirmed that The Hunger Games director Gary Ross will not be returning to direct the highly anticipated sequel, Catching Fire.

While millions of fans were upset at the news, the cast of the film is no doubt feeling the same way. Celebuzz caught up with Jackie Emerson, who plays the cunning tribute Foxface, mere hours after the news broke, and got her thoughts on Gary leaving the HG franchise.

“I just heard about it today, and I am so upset! I’m just so sad,” she admitted at at Nylon Magazine’s Anniversary party at Smashbox Studios in Los Angeles on Tuesday night. “He’s such a talented director, and he really helped us connect with our characters in ways that I never have before. He had a method for working with everybody.”

The actress added, “I mean for me, he helped me to get inside my head, and gave me an inner monologue. As I was looking around, instead of telling me ‘Ok, look right, look left,’ he really stressed, ‘You see this backpack, are you going to go for it?’ He really helps you to have that thought process. The whole thing about acting is you need people to see that thought process.”

The 18-year-old actress has plenty of fond memories with the director and her cast, adding:

“He really brought the story to life. It’s sad for me to hear that. But my first day on set, Jen [Lawrence] got pooped on by a bird. [Laughs]. And she’s lying on the field, and they have the EPK (Electronic Press Kit) camera guy there, and Gary had to bend down and was scraping the poop off her leg. He was like, ‘I’ll be the poop scraper, you just do the acting.’ Everyone was cracking up.”

Lots of people are already beginning to speculate who will take over for Gary, and when Girl With the Dragon Tattoo helmer David Fincher’s name was brought up, she replied:

“It’s so sudden, it’s hard to think of. I feel it would take five years to shoot [laughs]. With Gary it took five months, we spent a week  on the Cornucopia, that was pretty fast. Fincher would take a month to do [it]. But I would die to work with him, he’s so talented. I can’t think about that, I’m still in shock.”

So, now not only will a new director have to be chosen for Catching Fire, but there is still the task of casting new characters. Many have been speculating who will play the dreamy Finnick Odair, and Jackie had but one choice in mind:

Armie Hammer! He would be so perfect! But honestly, I don’t want to try to pick out any actors or actresses. I can’t wait to see who they pick, I’m sure whoever it is, they’ll be perfect for the part.”

What about you guys? Are you sad to see Gary go, or is there another director you’d like to see take on Catching Fire? Share your thoughts in the comments!