This past weekend I was able to represent The Hob, a Hunger Games fansite that I run with a group of my friends, and interview Amandla Stenberg, the actress that portrays Rue. So I woke up insanely early on Saturday morning to hoof it up to Manhattan to meet up with the other fansite reps for a group interview at the Toys R Us in Times Square.
It was pouring, but somehow I got there early–too early actually. I had to kill 20 minutes by standing under an awning in front of the Good Morning America set (I think was GMA anyway). And I was still the first one. (Anyone who knows me will have a very difficult time believing this, but it’s true, pinky swear!)
The store wasn’t open yet, so I went in through the sneaky side entrance and was escorted to one of the upper levels. I found my contact purely by accident and after a little chat about how the morning would flow, I sat and waited. And waited. It seemed like forever, but eventually the other interviewers showed up. Strangely, I wasn’t nervous at all, because I knew it would be a group interview and I wouldn’t be left there by myself with nothing to say.
When Amandla showed up for our interview, I almost didn’t understand what was happening for a few minutes because she walked up to us so casually and quietly. She was taller and skinnier than I expected and wearing a pretty yellow dress. I expected her to be sweet, but that doesn’t really begin to cover it–she’s very down to earth, well mannered, and well spoken. We spoke with her for about 15 minutes, and she was able to handle whatever questions we threw at her with grace. She has said that she is a fan of the books and it comes across very clearly as you speak with her. She has read the series more than me–5 times!–and knows it inside out. (You can read the transcript of our interview here.)
After the interview we waited to take pictures of the fan event–the DVD launch and an autograph signing. We got to snap a couple of shots of Amandla pre-signing, kind of like a red carpet thing but sans carpet and with a lot more windows. To pass the time I ran around taking pictures of the fans once they were brought upstairs closer to the signing area and goofed off with the other fansites. Hence, the movie recreation picture.
Eventually, we were allowed to go in and shoot pictures of Amandla signing autographs. Then we stayed to hang out a little more until a couple of us decided to check out Toys R Us’ HG section. It was a really fast morning. The event itself was less than an hour. Next time, I hope I can take my picture with her.