‘Hunger Games’ star Toby Jones praises franchise’s new director

Actor believes Francis Lawrence-helmed 'Catching Fire' will have a new identity

Toby Jones believes The Hunger Games franchise will benefit from its new director.

The actor, who plays Games commentator Claudius Templesmith, says sequel Catching Fire directed by Francis Lawrence will have a different vision and identity to the first film in the series, helmed by Gary Ross.

Jones told BANG Showbiz: “I would say that it’s got a different director with different sensibility. I think he’ll want to bring his own mark to it. It’s clichéd, but you want to respect the books that have been very successful but bring it on a bit.”

He also added he’s a “huge admirer” of Jennifer Lawrence, who plays the series heroine Katniss Everdeen, due to her confidence both on and off screen. “I was at the Golden Globes and I watched her get her award for Silver Linings Playbook,” he said.

“I worked with her on a film called Serena that’s coming out this year. She is remarkable. It’s not that she’s uber-confident, or uber-flashy or arrogant, she’s just an incredibly straightforward person. All of these red carpet events may seem natural for you journalists, but it doesn’t feel natural for actors. She handles it all with such an ease. She has some of that on screen. I’m a huge admirer of her.”

He also admitted his own job on the films isn’t the most taxing.

“Every now and then, they ask me to come in and improvise with Stanley Tucci for an afternoon. They fly me off to America, I improvise for an afternoon – it’s not the hardest, most taxing job. I’m very proud to be part of that because I think the books are tremendous. I know from my daughters they’re compelling books. I’m very happy to represent what they read.”

Catching Fire is expected to be released in November.