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The Hunger Games had kids “dropping like flies

Elizabeth Banks said shooting The Hunger Games was one of the most challenging experiences of her career — but a well-timed dirty joke from a famous co-star always made everything better.

Elizabeth BanksSwitching gears from her comedic role in 30 Rock to a much darker character in The Hunger Games wasn’t the biggest challenge Elizabeth Banks faced while filming the highly anticipated movie. The heat? Now that’s another story.

“The reaping [scene] is amazing. We get to see a heroine step forward and show herself for the first time and come to life, and it was a really remarkable scene to shoot,” Banks told MTV News. “It was difficult to shoot under insane conditions, about 105 degrees the couple days we shot it.”

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“We had all these young kids there dropping like flies,” she recalled. “It was madness, and it’s also the only time we spend in District 12.”

What got her through those long, hot days? None other than Woody Harrelson, who plays Haymitch Abernathy, the alcoholic former Games winner.

“I think whenever it’s difficult, one of my favorite ways to deal with it is to joke around,” Banks explained. “We take the work seriously, but we try not to take ourselves too seriously. Woody is a great partner in crime,” she said of her humorous co-star. “He tells really off-color jokes and is fantastically self-deprecating and fun to be around.”

Banks herself can’t wait to see the completed project. “I have not seen much of the arena, so I’m excited to see the actual Games. It’s very emotional. We really become very attached to the characters, even Cato and Thresh, kind of the bad guys of the book,” she said. “We really are attached to everybody’s journey, and so I’m really excited to see how that all plays out.”

Catch Elizabeth Banks in The Hunger Games when it hits theaters on March 23, 2012.

Image courtesy SplashNews

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