- THE HUNGER GAMES
Recently Screenrant spoke with Lenny Kravitz about his role as Cinna , Katniss’ Fashion Designer in The Hunger Games. Check out the Interview below.
ScreenRant: So when you were working on Cinna, how did you develop the character with Ross? Did you guys create a backstory? Do you work that way or are you still discovering your process as an actor?
Lenny Kravitz: “I mean I thought about it. You know we didn’t go too deep. Really, most of it happened on set each day before the scene. So this is the scene, this is what’s happening. And I thought I already had a decent sense of who Cinna was. He’s this guy who works for the Capitol but you know, he ain’t really buying it but he’s got to do what he’s got to do within the system. And he meets this girl who really, he sees something in her. She’s the underdog, she’s supposed to be the last person who’s able to win and he admires her bravery for taking the place of her sister.
From the day she walks in, he’s got a heart for her. And there’s only so far that he can go, but he’s busting his ass and creating the best pieces for her, to try to help her forge this impression. Because a lot of winning the game is about being likable.”
SR: Could you relate to this character in the sense that he’s an artist and you’re an artists who communicates through your medium? Because Cinna is a fascinating character in that he’s really telling a story with the costumes he creates.
|Lenny Kravitz as Cinna|
LK: “Yeah. Of course, of course. And also people trying to control your artistry too. Because he’s an artist, and he’s a great designer, but he’s working under the government. Almost kind of like how musicians worked under the kings, whether you were Mozart or whoever, there were court composers and people that wrote for the king, and the king said ‘you know, you can’t put that note in because that’s an evil note or whatever.’ So yeah, although I have creative control in my music and always have. That was the first thing when I signed, I have to have creative control, and I got that.
A lot of musicians don’t have that. But I know what it’s like for people to want to control it, it happens all the time, because for them, you’re all about money.”
SR: You’re a commodity.
LK: “Yeah. It’s like you had that big hit, so they want you to do that again. Well, it’s too late, it’s already been done and now we have to move on to the next thing. Or, the fad right now is—you know—electronic gadgets.
Well, I’m not into electronic gadgets. So, you know, people are always trying to control.”
SR: What made you want to transition into acting at this time?
LK: “It’s where I started, when I was a kid. My mother was a theater actress and then went to television, with ‘The Jeffersons’. So I grew up in theater, I did plays, I did television, I did commercials. I started when I was about seven and I made my first commercial. And I gave it up for music, because when music bit me, that was it, right? But now it’s come back, without me asking, it started with Lee just approaching me and saying I want to work with you. And now I’m loving it. And it’s a good time for me.
|Cinna, President Snow and Peeta|
It also contrasts what my musical life is, which is completely self-indulgent. I play all the instruments, I write it, I produce it, it’s my thing, it’s all about me. As it should be. But this is not about me at all. It’s about the director’s vision. It’s about the character. And I love being in that position, because I’ve always been a musician of my own power, and my own vision and destiny and this is like ‘okay, what do you want? I’m here to please you, I’m here to let you mold me’ and it’s such a good feeling.”
SR: There are certainly a lot of film franchises that are appealing to the younger generation at this time, but this is one of the few that really has something to say to them.
LK: “Yes. Which I think has surprised a lot of the people here, who’ve seen it. They’re saying ‘oh, we were expecting this blockbuster, action adventurey sci-fi thing.’ Like they’re surprised. Gary did an amazing job.
Even just talking about the references with him, he was always referencing things that were like high art. Camera work or lighting or this choice of lenses and the way he’s going to paint this thing in the movement. It was all very sophisticated. So he brings this blockbuster, big movie thing to a place where kids can relate to it and where people with a really good eye can relate to it as well. And it’s great storytelling.”
SR: Was part of the appeal of this project in particular that it’s communicating something on kind of a larger level? It’s not just pure bubble-gum movie stuff, just as your music isn’t necessarily just pop music.
LK: “No, it’s a part of popular music, but I never sound like what’s on the radio. Whatever comes out, it’s something that breaks through, and it’s difficult, because I don’t play the game of sounding like what everything else sounds like at that time.”
SR: Right, just as this movie…
|Josh Hutcherson and Lenny Kravitz|
LK: “Isn’t such a pop move?”
SR: Right. I don’t think it is. I mean look, it’s going to be hugely popular, it’s going to be insane, and it’s probably going to be really weird in that way in some senses.
LK: “People are already showing up to my shows, in the arena, with signs that say Cinna. And like after the concert I’m not only signing tour programs but ‘Hunger Games’ books as well. I mean hey, it’s great to be attached to something like this. It’s only going to enhance what I do. I mean, it’s seeping in. Cinna! Those fans are serious about their story.”
SR: They are. But the cool thing about this project, The Hunger Games, is that it’s like sneaking in the broccoli to the kid.
LK: “Yeah, most definitely. I think so, and I think that’s why it’s going to be so appealing to not just kids, but I’m here in LA and I’m seeing friends who are like in their 40s, 50s, 60s—they’re like ‘we can’t wait for this movie!’ And I’m like ‘really? You can’t wait? You know about this?’ But everyone knows about it. And whether it started with kids and then the parents started reading the books, I don’t know how it worked, but adults find those messages, like you said, they find the broccoli within.”
The Hunger Games is out now in the USA, But in RSA we got to wait until the 13th of April.