Before being cast as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, Jennifer Lawrence had never used a bow and arrow before. So she had a pretty big challenge ahead of her: Get so good at archery that audiences watching the film wouldn’t question for a minute Katniss’ shooting skills.
In preparation for the film, Jennifer trained with four-time Olympic archer Khatuna Lorig. Though Lorig didn’t know what to expect from her pupil, she went in with an open mind.
“When they called me, they told me, ‘We want to make her look like a professional, to shoot like a professional,'” Lorig told Hollywood.com. “So, I?m like, ‘Okay, let me give a try. Let me meet the girl,’ [to see] how she looks, physically, and how she does.”
And Jennifer impressed Lorig beyond her wildest expectations! They worked hard, even though Jennifer was tired and sore from working out in the gym before and after their archery sessions.
“By about the fifth day, she was doing really well,” Lorig said. “I made her stand on one knee and shoot like that. I always told her where to put the string on her face to look good for the camera, and to not bend the bow. Millions of archers would look at that and laugh at you. But she looks like a professional.”
And after only 10 coaching sessions, Lorig said that if Jennifer kept practicing, she would be good enough for the Olympics!
But Jennifer’s archery skills aren’t just technically correct, they’re also very necessary for playing the character of Katniss. “It comes from your eyes,” Lorig said. “It comes down to your face. You know right away if the person is scared, or if she or he is confident to shoot against you.” How amazing will it be to see that passion and instinct translate onto the big screen?!