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Bittersweet final battle for The Hunger Games cast

Actress Stef Dawson. Supplied by Lionel Midford Publicity. Please credit photo to Collin Stark.
Actress Stef Dawson. Supplied by Lionel Midford Publicity. Please credit photo to Collin Stark.

DON'T expect a happy ending to The Hunger Games franchise, warns actress Stef Dawson.

The popular young adult series comes to an action-packed climax when the final film, Mockingjay - Part 2, opens today.

"I think it's going to be heart-wrenching, really, with the series coming to a close and what the characters go through," Dawson told APN.

"It's a very dark world, but there are glimpses of hope within it. Hearts will definitely be ripped out."

Sam Claflin, Liam Hemsworth and Jennifer Lawrence in a scene from the movie The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2.
Sam Claflin, Liam Hemsworth and Jennifer Lawrence in a scene from the movie The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2. Contributed

The events of the final film are sure to shock cinema-goers who haven't read the books by Suzanne Collins, on which the series is based.

"It's incredibly bittersweet," Dawson said.

"It's been such an amazing experience for everyone and such a big part of everybody's lives for a while.

"To have it come to an end is kind of sad but also wonderful because the world gets to see the end of the story."

Dawson plays Annie Cresta, a former Hunger Games victor introduced in the second film, Catching Fire, whose experiences during the brutal event left her mentally scarred.

"I felt like I was the new kid at school (while filming Catching Fire) but they completely embraced me straight away and adopted me into the family," Dawson said.

In the most recent film, Mockingjay - Part 1, Annie was tortured by the Capitol in a bid to punish her lover and fellow rebel Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin).

Their characters are set to marry in the final instalment.

FOR REVIEW AND PREVIEW PURPOSES ONLY. Stef Dawson and Sam Claflin in a scene from the movie The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2.
FOR REVIEW AND PREVIEW PURPOSES ONLY. Stef Dawson and Sam Claflin in a scene from the movie The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2. Murray Close

"Sam and I had a pretty instant connection," she said.

"We got on like a house on fire.

"His British humour and my Australian humour really complemented each other."

As the rebels prepare to storm the Capitol in the final film, Dawson also gets to share more scenes with the franchise's biggest names, including Julianne Moore and Woody Harrelson.

"Some of the scenes I was in were quite epic and I got to know most of them pretty well between takes," she said.

"I grew up watching them as performers but then I got to know them as the amazing people that they are.

"It was lovely."

Elizabeth Banks, Jennifer Lawrence and Woody Harrelson in a scene from the movie The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2.
Elizabeth Banks, Jennifer Lawrence and Woody Harrelson in a scene from the movie The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2. Contributed

The Canberra native will get to talk about the final Hunger Games film with fans at the upcoming Supanova Pop Culture Expo in Brisbane at the end of the month.

When Dawson, who is also a classically trained singer and award-winning equestrian, was cast in her Hunger Games role, she had 100 Twitter followers. She now has more than 25,000.

"I love being able to meet people face to face and knowing you have an effect on someone's life," she said.

"I've been overwhelmed by the support from the fans."

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 opens nationally today.

The Supanova Pop Culture Expo plays the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from November 27-29.

Topics:  jennifer lawrence liam hemsworth mockingjay the hunger games


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