Liam Hemsworth, Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson at world premiere of ‘The Hunger Games-Mockingjay - Part 2’ in Berlin (Startraks)
It’s not quite comparable to surviving death arenas and waging a full-on revolution, but Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth have been through the moviemaking ringer together a few times now. Since emerging as victors in 2011 to play Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark, and Gale Hawthorne, respectively, in the big-screen adaptations of Suzanne Collins’ insanely popular Hunger Games novels, they’ve shot four action-packed films during which they’ve collectively endured concussions, punctured ear drums, twisted knees and ankles, and hairline fractures.
Of course, that doesn’t count the shenanigans they’ve gotten up to off-set, like the time Hutcherson nearly “ripped his f–king jaw open” playing a game of oral tug-of-war with Hemsworth using Lawrence’s shirt (more on that below). For each film released, they’ve embarked on lengthy promotional tours around the globe, and as each of their profiles has risen, faced off against armies of fans screaming in every language.
And they’ve gotten extremely tight throughout it all. On Sunday the trio gathered at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills to kick off the final press tour in the lead up to the series’ swan song, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2. After sitting down for a press conference, the trio meets us in a suite, where Lawrence, 25, grabbed a cup of tea and squeezed in between Hutcherson, 23, and Hemsworth, 25, on a love seat made for two. The camaraderie is evident immediately, and not the slightest bit Hollywood-phony. They’ve had so many shared surreal experiences together — mostly good, some bad. They’ve even argued over The Dress, that inescapable viral phenomenon/optical illusion that dominated social media earlier this year. “They both saw it as blue, I saw it as gold, because I have a more positive disposition,” Lawrence says decisively. “That thing made me so mad,” says Hemsworth.
As The Hunger Games comes to a close, now its stars must figure out their next moves. Hutcherson wants to direct; Hemsworth has found a niche in action and will next be seen in the Independence Day sequel; and Lawrence, she’s only the most bankable actress in Hollywood and could be on the verge of her fourth Oscar nomination in six years for December’s Joy. Before we say 'See ya later,’ though, we looked back at their final day on set, speculated on what they’d be doing today without these famous roles, and maybe got a little too deep in wondering what fate and destiny has to do with it all.
How are you guys feeling now that this journey’s coming to a close? You’re in the homestretch.
Josh Hutcherson: It feels good.
Liam Hemsworth: It’s exciting to have this tour. Tours are always really exhausting because we’re in different cities every day.
Jennifer Lawrence: [Different] countries.
Hemsworth: But this is the last one, and I’m excited to be with these guys. We’re constantly traveling and doing stuff away from each other, so it’s good to come back and be with each other for a couple weeks.
Lawrence: Buddy time!
Hemsworth: Buddy time.
Hutcherson: And we’re not just colleagues, we’re actually friends. So it’s not like we’re never gonna hang out [when The Hunger Games is over]. We see each other any time we’re in the same place. We text.
Lawrence: [singing as she turns and dots each of the guys above their lips with her finger] I lo-ooove you both sooooooo much.
What was the last thing that you guys shot?
Hutcherson: Well, at the very end of the movie, after Berlin, we went back to Atlanta and filmed the epilogue at the end of the film. So that was the final thing that we shot. But that didn’t really count—
Lawrence: We wrapped the movie in Berlin, [for a scene in which] I’m in prison in the Capitol, and Woody comes in to read a note from Plutarch.
Hutcherson: Ah, I remember that day so vividly.
Lawrence: These two had wrapped the day before but they came, obviously, so that we could all be together when we wrapped. I say “obviously,” but that was very nice of them.
A scene from 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2’ (Lionsgate)
What was that last day like?
Hutcherson: It was kind of weird.
Lawrence: It was emotional and also very numb. I don’t know, I think that we had a lot more anxiety about [wrapping]. We wouldn’t go anywhere without each other. We started riding in the same car, [and] we changed our call times so we could all go to work together. We got really obsessive. And then the movie’s wrapped, and we were like, “Oh, you wanna come over?'”
Hutcherson: “OK, cool.”
Lawrence: And then we realized it was going to be fine. We could hang out not at work.
You friendship would go on, post-Hunger Games.
Hemsworth: We really did spend a lot of time together though in Berlin.
Hutcherson: Remember our dogfight? Our tug-of-war?
Lawrence: Oh my God, I lost the video! They got in a tug-of-war fight that went on for like 12 minutes, with my shirt. I mean, I was wearing a shirt, but a shirt that was laying on my apartment [floor].
Hutcherson: And it was in our mouths.
Lawrence: In their mouths. [To Josh] You won, right?
Hutcherson: Yeah. And I about ripped my f–king jaw open in the process. It hurt!
Lawrence: It was intense.
How does a game of mouth tug-of-war even start?
Hutcherson: Good question, I really don’t know. How did it start?
Lawrence: You know what the scariest part is? We were probably dead sober. We didn’t even have to—
That was my next question, how wasted were you?
Lawrence: Nah. I mean, not that—
Hutcherson: Berlin has a lot to offer in that world, too. And we did all this fun s–t mostly sober.
Watch the final trailer for ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2′:
How do you think your lives would be different if you hadn’t been cast in Hunger Games?
Lawrence: I’d still be stuck in dark indies. Now I’m getting back into dark indies. My agent’s so frustrated with me.
Hutcherson: It’s hard to say, because it’s changed so much, and you don’t know what could’ve come in its place. It’s been four years, so a lot could’ve happened. I probably would’ve actually finally directed something already. Because I’ve been really wanting to do it, and just haven’t.
Hemsworth: You’re going to be a great director.
Lawrence: Yeah you are.
Are you guys big believers in fate? Do you ever think about all the steps that lead up to these roles, and how it all played out? Like “If I hadn’t gone out for that audition for Winter’s Bone, I wouldn’t be sitting here right now.”
Hutcherson: Theoretically, I don’t really subscribe to that kind of thinking, but what I do subscribe to is that you actually have zero choices. Because every experience you’ve ever lived or ever had is informing every decision that you ever make. So right now I could say, “Oh I have free will, I could choose to kick over this coffee table.” Whether or not I do it is dependent upon the [combined] experiences of my entire life. So for me it’s like, it happened because of all the steps that got us to where we are now. Which is kind of crazy, and the fact that three of us became like best friends is kind of mind-blowing. But it’s not like fate in the biblical sense.
Lawrence: That’s the bizarre thing to think about. That the three of us… if I had met either of them [anywhere else], I would’ve been like, “We’re best friends.” And the fact that three of us, and [also] Woody, the four of us, all met and have the chemistry that we do, and the love that we share, it’s really crazy. [Something dawns on her.] You guys were sitting on this couch when I was trying on dresses for the  London premiere [of Catching Fire].
Hutcherson: Was that here?
Lawrence: Yeah! These guys were my gay brothers. They played music and I’d put a dress on they’d be like, [in bro’s voice], “[It] doesn’t show your boobs enough!”
So it was like that mall dressing room music montage in every romantic comedy?
Lawrence: Yeah, exactly.
Hemsworth: Like, “No, no, no!”
Hutcherson: “Do they have that in pink?”
Lawrence: Except everyone was drunk.
Hemsworth: And then right after that we figured out that she didn’t have her passport, and couldn’t come on the jet with us. We had to leave her here.
Lawrence: [in Long Island accent] It was so sad!
Hutcherson: It was horrible.
Lawrence: It was terrible. Because not only did I not leave it at home, I left it in Atlanta. That was a rough one.
I think I know the answer to this, but I’m going to ask it anyway: What are you guys going to miss the most about The Hunger Games?
Lawrence: Each other.
Hemsworth: Each other.
Hutcherson: [Quietly] Paychecks.
Lawrence: [turning to Josh] Did you say paychecks? Oh, you did say paychecks. I assumed I misheard and then I remembered we get paid for these movies.
Hutcherson: Job security.
Lawrence: Job security is pretty sweet.
Hemsworth: You have at least one film to do a year.
Hutcherson: Exactly, it’s like, “Got one a year, man, then I’ll just f–k off for the rest of the time.” Now I gotta actually focus and tried to make a continued career. Whatever, we’ll see what happens.
Lawrence: Well, see ya later!
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 opens Nov. 20.
Watch Jennifer Lawrence talk about her favorite ‘Hunger Games’ memories: