Woody Harrelson’s portrayal of fan-favorite Haymitch Abernathy in The Hunger Games film series was memorable. While a different romantic subplot was taking center stage in Mockingjay – Part 2, another one might have been developing behind the scenes. This one involved the 62-year-old actor and a Marvel star. Not only did their shared affection for one another translate on-screen, but it might have birthed a mutual lighthearted crush in real life.
Not just that. During the final installment, the Emmy-winning talent also stole a kiss from his co-star in an unscripted scene. The actor, who starred in Now You See Me, expressed his admiration for the actress in several interviews. He additionally confessed that he had always wanted to kiss her. As some may have guessed, the individual in question is Spider-Man alum Elizabeth Banks, who portrayed Effie Trinket in the critically acclaimed Jennifer Lawrence-led film franchise.
Woody Harrelson’s On-Screen Kiss With Elizabeth Banks Was Improvised
Harrelson revealed (via Entertainment Tonight) that the kiss his character shared with Banks’ was improvised. Elaborating on the sequence, the actor divulged how it came to be. In his words, the True Detective star claimed, “I have a crush on Elizabeth Banks, I’m not going to lie.” He stated that his co-star, beyond being a stunning woman, was also a fantastic actress and a joy to be around. Following was his statement:
“I think she’s a beautiful woman, I think she’s a marvelous actress, and I just love her as a person. She’s as fun as can be.”
Mentioning the unscripted kiss, Woody Harrelson candidly confessed:
“She didn’t know I was even going to do it, and I just kissed her. She’s such a pro. When we did it, it wasn’t like just a light thing where we thought it was nothing. Hopefully, once we do the sequel to this that no one’s expecting—including the author—something will pick up for these two.”
The actor’s anticipation for a spin-off or sequel starring the two iconic characters echoes the sentiments of hundreds of The Hunger Games fans. We can only hope that such a dream becomes a reality. For now, however, connoisseurs of the franchise will have to make do with the little of what we got from both characters in Mockingjay – Part 2.
In a separate interview with the Associated Press, Harrelson affirmed, “I personally always wanted to kiss her. I don’t know if it was the right thing to do.” On the other hand, Elizabeth Banks was once questioned about her collaborative experience with Woody Harrelson. In response, the actress jokingly mentioned her “crush” on the actor. Are their feelings mutual?
Does Elizabeth Banks Have A Crush On Woody Harrelson?
Talking to Parade in 2012, before the release of the first installment of The Hunger Games film series, Elizabeth Banks revealed her experience working with co-stars like Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Woody Harrelson. Of Lawrence and Hutcherson, the Charlie’s Angels star had the following to say:
“Jennifer Lawrence is absolutely incredible. She carries the whole movie on her shoulders. She blows me away. And Josh is right there with her. He’s such a lovely actor.”
When the topic came to Woody Harrelson, Banks distinguished the on-screen and off-screen equation that the two talented actors share:
“It was a dream [to work with Woody Harrelson]. I like to say that Elizabeth Banks has a crush on Woody Harrelson. And Effie has a crush on Haymitch, and Haymitch can’t stand Effie. I don’t know where Woody stands on Elizabeth.”
Aside from their mutual, lighthearted infatuation, Banks and Harrelson display respect and appreciation for one another. In interviews, both performers lavished admiration and flattery on the other. This synergy was mirrored when they shared the screen. The characterization of Haymitch Abernathy and Effie Trinket is one of the film series’ cherished highlights. It’s a shame that the upcoming spin-off won’t feature much of the pairing. After all, it takes place 64 years before the first film’s events.
Nevertheless, fans are ecstatic about the return of their favorite record-breaking film franchise.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is slated for a November 17, 2023 release.