When it comes to Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games,” few characters are as darkly comic as Haymitch Abernathy, the jaded, seen-too-much type who once won the macabre “hunger games” competition and reluctantly guides Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark in their own bid for survival.
There are several ways to go with a wizened mentor: You could play washed-up for drama or for laughs. Woody Harrelson, who incarnates Abernathy in Gary Ross’ upcoming film adaptation, said he pushed in the direction of laughs as often as possible.
“It was my objective to give the character as much comedy as I could without it seeming not to fit,” Harrelson told 24 Frames. “I tried to take a certain comedic aspect and give a sense, through that, that he’s been through a lot and is anesthetizing himself as a result of that.”