The romantic storyline in the final installment of the Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay - Part 2, may have been all about the love triangle between Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) and Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth), but for some fans, there was an underappreciated romance blossoming in the background.
“I have a crush on Elizabeth Banks, I’m not going to lie,” admits Woody Harrelson -- who played former Hunger Games victor and Katniss’ mentor Haymitch Abernathy in the series of films-- in an exclusive sneak peek at the Mockingjay - Part 2 Blu-ray combo pack, out March 22. “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.”
The fan-favorite relationship between Haymitch and Banks’ character, Effie Trinket, took a big step forward at the end of Mockingjay - Part 2 when the former victor planted a serious smooch on the normally prim and polished Capitol chaperone, a move Harrelson admits was improvised by him while shooting the scene.
“She didn’t know I was even going to do it, and I just kissed her,” he revealed. “She’s such a pro.”
And while that might be the last we ever see of the two characters -- the film concludes author Suzanne Collins’ original Hunger Games trilogy -- Harrelson’s holding out hope for some kind of continuation for Haymitch and Effie.
“When we did it, it wasn’t like just a light thing where we thought it was nothing,” he explained of the kiss. “Hopefully, once we do the sequel to this that no one’s expecting -- including the author -- something will pick up for these two.”