Hunger Games Costar Calls Jennifer Lawrence "50 Percent Goofball, 50 Percent Academy Award Nominee"

Dayo Okeniyi reveals what the leading lady’s really like

By Ted Casablanca, Alyssa Toomey Feb 23, 2012 5:54 PMTags
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Mark your calendars, Mockingjays, The Hunger Games hits theaters in only 30 days and we can hardly contain our Capitol-hungry hearts!

And we were oh-so-lucky to chat with Dayo Okeniyi, who plays Thresh in the first H.G. flick, to get the inside scoop on what Jennifer Lawrence is really like—ya know, before she becomes the largest big-screen sensation since Bella Swan (Sorry, K.Stew).

So, what did the H.G. hottie have to say about his costar, and why is he calling the futuristic flick more "relatable" than both Twilight and Harry Potter?!

Let's start with the J.Law deets:

"Jen is 50 percent goofball, 50 percent Academy Award nominee," gushed the tall ‘n' buff Dayo, who's definitely one of the most manly Hunger males (sorry, Liam!). Okeniyi, who was at the Gone premiere in Hollywood to support his pal Wes Bentley, said he was particularly enamored with Jennifer's "goofball" side.

"Right before a take, she'd be like ‘Oh your fly's undone,' then Gary [Ross] would say ‘Action' and then she'd just go into Meryl Streep mode! And I'm like, ‘How do you do that?!'"

Too funny! And we're so glad to hear Jen's still totally down-to-earth—can't wait to see her channel that fun, free-spirit into her Katniss alter ego. But silliness aside, we have to wonder if the pressure ever gets to Jen—we're sure the babe's well aware just how crazy the fan base can be…

READ: Hunger Games Mall Tour Announced—Don't Miss Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and More!

Um, hardly and D.O. only had more wonderful things to say about the leading lady:

"She doesn't take herself too seriously. You would never know for one day she's carrying this movie on her shoulders…She's really talented and deserves everything that's happening for her."

Ya hear that Mockingjays? No Twilight-esque drama on this set, and according to Dayo, The Hunger Games is anything but your typical emo-franchise:

"It's not Twilight where they have vampires and werewolves. Or Harry Potter where you have magic. These are real human beings put it real dire situations that aren't so far fetched from reality," he explained.

Hmmm, do we smell a bit of friendly franchise rivalry? Or is Dayo simply showing his District loyalty to the fans?

Regardless, D was determined to stay devoted to the novel and its dedicated readers:

"We tried to make the best version of Suzanne Collins book we could make. I don't think Lionsgate or Gary Ross set out to make the next Twilight and we felt that on set. Gary was always about the story, about the characters, always about the heart."

Can't wait to see that heart it in action. And be sure to check out The Hunger Games gallery for tons of new flick pics!