Monday, April 9, 2012

Interview With A Hunger Games Peacekeeper

Do you have any questions that we didn't cover during the interview? Now is your chance to ask them! Post a comment to the story below by April 20, and Sgt. Campbell will tell you whatever you want to know about working on the set of the Hunger Games. You can finally know if Jennifer Lawrence is as pretty in real life as she is in pictures, or what kind of weapons they used for filming the movie.

Hunger Games mania has struck, and I’ve been swept away in the excitement along with everyone else who helped make it the number one movie in America. So far, the movie has earned $251 million, putting it in the same category as movie series like Pirates of the Caribbean and Harry Potter.

That’s partly why I was thrilled to get to interview an actor from the movie, Staff Sgt. Timothy Campbell, who also happens to be an Army recruiter Monroe Recruiting Station. He played a Peacekeeper in the movie that was filmed in the mountains of North Carolina, and yes, you may have seen him on posters for the movie, but no, he isn’t actually quite as intimidating in real life.

Here’s what he had to say about being on camera, meeting the actors and similarities between the fictional Peacekeeper force and the U.S. Army:

Have you had any other experience with acting or film before The Hunger Games?
The Hunger Games filming was my first experience with filming, but I have done other extra work for TV and movies since then.

What made you want to get involved with the movie? Had you read the books or known anything about the story before you got involved?
Initially, my wife purchased and read the books. She loved them. So, when we found out that a movie was going to be made, we just had to try and be in it. We found out that there was an open casting call, and we were sure to submit for it.

What effect did the filming of The Hunger Games have on the towns in North Carolina where it was shot?
Fans of the Hunger Games were obviously excited to know the movie was being filmed nearby. LionsGate had to hire tons of security to keep the filming areas cleared out and free of fans with cameras, etc.

 What was it like being on set?
Some of the scenes were with hundreds of people, while other scenes were just a few of us with the main actors. I did get to meet the main actors, actresses, and director. I had them sign my Hunger Games book, of course.  And it was fun because I had a firsthand experience with seeing the bloopers. People were forgetting their lines and wearing parts of their costume wrong during filming. The most memorable parts are definitely going through hair and makeup. Some of the actors looked completely different afterwards.

What was it like being on camera?
The camera definitely took some getting used to. It was a very “cool” feeling whenever the camera was on you. Just making sure not to look directly into the camera during filming took some conscious effort though.

What did you think of your character of a Peacekeeper? Any similarities at all between the Peacekeeping force and the Army, as far as structure, discipline, etc?
It was very easy for me to get into character while filming as a peacekeeper. It was almost as if I was just wearing a different uniform, but still doing Army stuff.

How did you prepare for your role?
I made sure to take everything in that the director was telling us about what he wanted peacekeepers to be. Luckily for me, he basically wanted me to act like a soldier. So, preparation was very easy.
How did acting in a big movie compare to what you thought it would be like?
I actually didn’t realize how many times they had to shoot a scene over and over again; filming a movie turned out to be a lot more work than I expected. It worked out though, because the chain of command was surprisingly cooperative with allowing me to take leave when needed. Of course, I lucked out and some of the filming was on the weekends.

What was it like to see yourself in theaters?
Seeing myself on the big screen, in books, and all over the internet is a really weird, but cool feeling. It’s like I know it’s me, but seems as if it shouldn’t be me, if that makes sense. I have never really thought of myself as being cool. So, when others put me on a pedestal, I feel important (laughs). I even had a little boy ask me to sign his book during the filming. Just the fact that somebody wanted my autograph on a poster was so cool.

Do you plan on doing this again?
I definitely intend to do this again as well as other TV shows and movies. I really have my eye on Iron Man III.

What do most people ask when you tell them you acted in The Hunger Games?
They always want to know how much I was paid and if I met the “real” actors. It has definitely proven to be a useful tool when speaking to teenagers. I’m no longer just some recruiter. I’m that cool peacekeeper guy.


  1. Did you get any photos of the costume up close? I'm making a replica and would like to see anything you've got if possible.

  2. Thanks for the question. Staff Sgt. Campbell is in school right now but I will find as soon as I can.

  3. From Staff Sgt. Campbell: Unfortunately, LionsGate would not allow us to take pictures in uniform or of the uniform. They always took our cameras, phones, etc; however, if you google "hunger games peacekeeper" the first link that google will show you has some pretty high quality up close pictures.

  4. Awesome. Thanks for the info and good luck with everything!

  5. I hav a bunch a questions 4 u cus i luv the peacekeeper uniforms.
    Do how is it like wearing a peacekeeper uniform?
    R u gonna be 1 of the peacekeepers in Catching Fire?
    Did it feel awesome 2 be a peacekeeper?
    Which part of the uniform was ur favorite?(The helmet, the gloves, the boots)

  6. Good day to you Ryan. Well, I'll have to start by saying it was awesome
    being a peacekeeper in the Hunger Games. Just being able to work alongside
    Jennifer Lawrence and the other celebrities was cool. The director and all
    the crewmembers were lively, and fun to be around. They were just people
    though. I now realize that if you're willing to work at it, you too can make
    it big.

    As far as the uniform goes, I viewed being able to wear it as an honor. It
    kind of felt like the first time I wore my Army uniform years ago. It made
    me full of pride. I thought the helmet was the coolest part of the ensemble.
    It looked good in my opinion, and was surprisingly comfortable. Of course,
    the whole outfit was great. I think the uniform that they're using in
    Catching Fire should have been more like the first movie, but oh well.

    In reference to the second movie, I had the opportunity to once again be a
    peacekeeper, but I was transferred from the East Coast to Los Angeles. So, I
    wasn't available for filming this time.


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