Art Eddy: You star in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” Tell me about your role.
Stephanie Leigh Schlund: Cashmere is the victor from District 1. After winning her first time in the games she was used as a prostitute in the capital due to her beauty. She is a natural born killer but is also trained from birth to compete in the Games.
She and her brother Gloss are reaped to re-enter the 75th Quarter Quell and compete not only against each other but also against Cashmere’s nemesis, Katniss Everdeen. She’s confident and cool, her strengths are knowing how to be a manipulative and use knives.
AE: In the film your character and her brother go up against Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson’s characters in the tournament. Did you have to work with a stunt coordinator to get all the moves down for some of the scenes?
SLS: Yes! Immediately after I was told I booked the role of Cashmere I hired a personal trainer to “bulk up” for the role. They were also orders sent directly from Director, Francis Lawrence. I worked for two months with my trainer eating a very specific diet of high protein/low carb. I then started working with the 87Eleven, the stunt team for Catching Fire. We trained for three months prior to filming about three to four times a week. It was around two hours a day and continued training once filming started and throughout.
I was taught nifty knife tricks and also how to properly throw knives both left and right handed in a series of ways. Eventually Alan Ritchson, who plays Gloss, and I had to train together once they coordinated our team work with knives to create Cashmere and Gloss’s highly intimidating moves and tricks.
AE: Have you read “The Hunger Games” books before landing this role?
SLS: I saw the first film in theaters and instantly became hooked! I bought the booked immediately after and read them in a matter of days. I was a complete fan just like those in our awesome fandom. Once I learned of my audition for Cashmere I was ready.
The day of my callback was nerve-racking. They called in a blonde before me, obviously going for the role of Cashmere as well, she came out after about a minute hysterically crying. I just thought okay.
Then my name was called, I pulled myself together and thought “What would Cashmere do” so I walked in and gave it everything I had. I left knowing I either booked the role, or Francis Lawrence thought I was completely bonkers.