Natalie Dormer on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (Part 1)

Actress Natalie Dormer has performed for various mediums of entertainment, be it theatre, television or the big screen, and has earned great success everywhere. The 32-year-old, who turned heads with her decision to shave off the left side of her luscious locks for her latest release, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, has never shied away from experimenting with her on-screen appearance. The same goes for her choice of characters in films and television shows, as she has featured in a variety of them, ranging from Private Lorraine in Captain America: The First Avenger, Victoria in Casanova, Margery Tyrell in the popular series Game of Thrones, and now, in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay as Cressida, a young media-savvy rebel, who makes “propos” - a mix of viral advertising, on-the-fly news clips and inspirational messages, that is the only way for rebels to communicate with the outside world.

Excerpts from an interesting tete-a-tete with the English actress.
How would you describe Cressida, your character's mission in The Hunger Games?
Cressida is a documentary film maker, who has been given the job of creating propos, the package that will galvanize the revolution. So its a very specific task.

Your look in the film has attracted several eyeballs. What do you have to say about it?
Well, you can see that Cressida comes from the Capitol. I think the whole hairstyle and tattoo tells you that she is different kind of a Capitol resident, or maybe, she has this hangover from a previous existence that she had. So, that’s one of the reasons why Francis Lawrence and I chose to shave off half my hair, as opposed to all of it, because we thought it maybe a more stylistic choice that a Capitol resident would have made. Kurt and Bart (costume designers) are just incredible. Whatever I say will never be enough. They are extraordinary!

Once you got your look right (the half shaved head), what was going on in your mind?
Um, well! I was feeling a lot lighter. Also, spending less time in the shower (laughs). Well, to be honest, it was very liberating. As a woman, you know so much of aesthetic, cosmetics and all, you know. Our identity is bound up in our hair as a woman, and it is also considered to be a sense of attractiveness. So, it is kind of liberating, to just, kind of get rid of half of that. It changed my look dramatically, and voila! There she was - Cressida.

Natalie Dormer sporting the half shaved hairstyle at the Screen Guild Awards earlier this year

How was it working with the director, Francis Lawrence?
Francis Lawrence was fantastic, because he gave me free range, to sort of, ad-lib a bit. You know, I did not specifically stick to what was scripted for Cressida. I felt like I had the control and could order my camera crew, ask Jen (Jennifer Lawrence) to start a line, stop a line, without her knowing I was going to do that. And that, I think, was very useful for both of us. I was literally standing next to her for nearly nine months you know, as a documentary film maker would. Like just don’t mind me, you know, just carry on. So, I mean, it was very interesting. 

And what was it like to work with Jennifer Lawrence?
The energy on set was very buoyant and a lot of fun, We joke around most of the times. Jen has that energy, and so does Liam (Hemsworth) and Josh (Hutcherson). So, you sort of get sucked into that kind of fun in between takes quite easily. And, you need it on that kind of long intensive shoot days, especially with that kind of subject matter, to lighten the load a bit. It was a really good experience.

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Priya Adivarekar

Priya Adivarekar - Founder and Creative Director at Diary of a Dancebee. She is also a renowned Voice Actress and award winning artiste, with serious passion for dance. When not working round the clock, she can be seen reading, enjoying a movie-binge or listening to music.
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