Nov. 20, 2013 at 8:28 AM ET
"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," Lionsgate's sequel to the mega-hit YA adaptation, brings to life a bigger dystopian world as the victors of the deadly Hunger Games, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), travel to each of Panem's 12 districts on their victory tour.
As THR reported, Lionsgate upped the film's budget from $78 million to north of $130 million for the sequel, which allowed for more visual effects and a broader scope.
THR spoke to director Francis Lawrence and stars Jennifer Lawrence, Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks and Lenny Kravitz about filming the sequel with a bigger budget.
"Everybody sort of saw eye-to-eye on what was needed for this movie, and what we were going for with the movie. And so I didn't have to really fight for anything, which was really nice," says director Lawrence. "There's always struggles in trying to figure out how to get it all in. There's just so much world in this movie."
Banks, who plays the fashionable Effie Trinket, told THR she has even more stunning outfits this time around, and that she especially loved a red dress that was made out of dozens of fans.
"I think we spend a lot more time in the Capitol and more time on the victory tour, so it was an opportunity to show more of the world that Suzanne Collins intended, that she created," says Banks. "I think that's where it feels more epic."
Another change, according to Harrelson and Hemsworth — who were full of laughs during their interviews just days before the film's premiere — was that some of the stars may have gotten "too big for their britches."
"Jen — you can hardly talk to her," Harrelson said.
Hemsworth also poked fun at the film's leading lady, saying that you couldn't call her "Jen" on set.
"I'm not really going to call you J-Law, am I? Because that's ridiculous," said the Australian actor.
"You can't talk to her directly or look her in the eye," added Harrelson, continuing the shtick about Lawrence, who is well-known for her good humor and friendly personality both on set and with the public.
THR also spoke to the cast about one of the most popular lines from Collins' second book, where Peeta says: "I wish I could freeze this moment, right here, right now, and live in it forever."
To find out what the cast said were their favorite moments with their families, watch the video above.
"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" opens in theaters in the U.S. on Nov. 22.