Unlocking District 13 with
by Bless Montajes
In 2012, Willow Shields made her debut as Primrose Everdeen in the popular franchise, The Hunger Games. Shield’s character was the spark that ignited the whole series since she was first chosen to take part in the hunger games until her sister Katniss (played by Jennifer Lawrence) volunteered to take her place out of love.
It was such a delight to have quick chat with Shields as she was having her hair and makeup done for her photo shoot. At the age of fourteen years old, Shields already has a strong and vibrant presence that was noticeable when I walked into the Pistola Studios for her shoot. Besides talking about her upcoming movie, I was also excited to speak with Willow about the change her new career has taken her and even her interest in fashion! Make sure to catch Willow Shields in the new Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 movie set to be released on November 21, 2014.
Bitmap: So you started at 11 years old and have been apart of a production that is huge. How was it like when you realized how big this movie turned out to be?
Willow: I felt like it was a little surprising at first and I knew how big the book series but we still weren’t sure how big the film was going to be. It was still exciting and definitely a life changing experience.
Bitmap: You mentioned that is was a life changing experience, how so?
Willow: It has changed drastically! I was only ten when I got the part and at the time acting was just a fun thing to do. Now, it’s what I want to do and I am more serious about it.
Bitmap: The third installment of the movie is about to release, is the feeling getting old?
Willow: No, definitely not. I feel like our fan base is growing more as we go and that brings more excitement with it.
Bitmap: In the series, you play as the character Primrose, who is Katniss’ younger sister. How does Primrose change throughout the series?
Willow: I feel like my character evolves a lot throughout the series. She just grows up a lot and goes from being this little girl to a strong and independent character who is really there for Katniss.
Bitmap: So what was it about the movie or script that led you to audition for the part as Primrose Everdeen?
Willow: I was actually in the middle of reading the first book when I got the audition and my brother had read all the books so he was a really big fan. My mother also read the books and she really liked them. So I was already a fan of the series and when I got the audition, it was like a “no brainer” and had to audition for this part.
Bitmap: When I watched the first movie, I was so surprised to find out that you were only 11 years old because you played the role so well. Is there anything that you were able to relate to with Prim’s character?
Willow: You know there isn’t a lot because she lives in such a different world that it’s hard to relate to that. I think that her love for her sister, throughout the entire series, is what I can relate to the most just because I have a twin sister and the reality of that situation helped me a lot in this story.
Bitmap: I know you can’t give away too much, but what is Prim’s biggest challenge going to be in the third installment?
Willow: I think accepting the world that she lives in but wanting to change it would be her biggest challenge. She is just trying to live her life which is really hard because it is such a scary and intimidating environment but then she has her sister, Katniss, who makes her want to help. Prim is also just a caring person that she wouldn’t do this for herself but for other people. I would say she also encourages Katniss to become the “Mockingjay”.
Bitmap: On a more personal note, I saw pictures of you at the NY fashion week and at the Peter Som runway show sitting next to Shay Mitchel. How was that like for you?
Willow: It was really fun and incredible. It was my first time at New York Fashion Week and I feel that it is such an incredible opportunity to be able to go to a designer’s show and basically just witness their hard work and art on the runway. I was also able to meet interesting people but overall it was just a great opportunity.
Bitmap: Can you describe your personal style and who are your influences?
Willow: I think I just like to try new things and that it is always changing. I mean, one day I would wear jeans and a t-shirt and the next I would try some crazy look with overalls and then just wear dress. So honestly, I feel like it just changes constantly.
Bitmap: The fashion industry is a huge market. Would you want to take your career somewhere down the fashion path someday or is it just an interest for now?
Willow: It’s just a huge interest for me right now and I feel like my thing is acting because it’s what I love. I do love fashion because it’s such a great way to express yourself and love that opportunity.
Bitmap: Lastly, what are your upcoming projects and have you thought about are the things that you would like do in terms of your career as time goes by?
Willow: Right now, it’s just Mockingjay Part 1 coming out and currently auditioning in Los Angeles but I am not working on anything right now. As far as career, I know a lot of actors say this but, after being the same character for four years on such a huge series, I do want to do something really different. Mostly because it’s fun to change roles but also because as an actor you want to try new things and have a challenge.
Feature: Willow Shields
Photographer: Isaac Alvarez
Stylist: Law Roach
Makeup: Allan Avendano
Hair: Ryan Richman
Location: Pistola Studios