Jena Malone: Former child star grows up to be femme fatale

Jena Malone: Former child star grows up to be femme fatale
Actress Jena Malone arrives at a special screening of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire".


For someone who started out playing brats - Susan Sarandon's angry stepdaughter in Stepmom, a young angry Jodie Foster in Contact, the spoilt youngest daughter in Pride & Prejudice - Malone still can't shake off her manipulative alter-ego even as an adult actress, as seen in Sucker Punch and the award-winning TV mini-series Hatfields & McCoys.


The 29-year-old plays the bristly and cunning axe-wielding Johanna Mason, a Hunger Games victor from District 4 in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, now showing in cinemas. You can't blame Johanna for being angry at everyone, considering her life of luxury is rudely taken away when she - along with other Hunger Games victors - is thrown back into the arena for another death match.


In Catching Fire, Johanna strips naked in an elevator in front of Peeta ( Josh Hutcherson), Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) and Katniss ( Jennifer Lawrence) - though director Francis Lawrence kept it PG13. Malone told Us Weekly: "I think they cut it to the finite degree where it looks so amazing and you can't see anything... but you see enough that it's pretty, pretty hot. "I was such good friends with Jen, Josh and Woody at that point, that it just kind of felt like hilarious that we were doing (the scene) together."


Playing a beloved character like Johanna meant instant adoration by Hunger Games fans. She told MTV that her first experience with screaming fans at a shopping mall left her in tears. "So many girls were crying that literally my shoulder was soaked, and I was anointed by girls' tears." Not that she minded. Malonesaid: "If this could be the only job I ever did, to comfort passionate, amazing, inspiring women, then I will do whatever I have to do. The (publicity) tour has been crazy... but you get out of that car, and it's just heartfelt. I hope (the fans) are having a good time and are treated well."


Besides acting, Malone also dabbles in music. Together with musician Lem Jay Ignacio, she formed The Shoe in 2008, an improvisational music project, and will release a self-titled EP next year.

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