Quinn Hynes, second right, with friends at AMC opening weekend of the Hunger Games. Hynes’ character is featured in the first minutes of the film.
Poverty and defeat are the trademarks of District 12, the coal-producing region of Panem in Suzanne Collins’ box office success, “The Hunger Games.” For Alexandria native Quinn Hynes, however, being a member of District 12 was a dream come true.
When Hynes, a junior at Gonzaga College High School, first heard the film rights were sold to his favorite trilogy he knew there would be a call for extras.
“I didn’t think it would happen, I had no experience and I honestly thought I wouldn’t be in the film,” said Hynes. “Then I got the call at dinner one night.”
Hynes plays the role of a lowly coal miner in District 12, a subject state of the evil Capital. As a youth between the ages of 12 and 18, Hynes’ character is eligible to become “tribute” in the annual Hunger Games, a tradition in which one male and one female from every district must fight to the death on live TV.
Hynes is featured in scenes at the beginning of the film, with a total of six minutes of screen time. As Hynes discovered, six minutes in Hollywood means six days on set.
Taking such a length of time off from school couldn’t have been at a worse time in Hynes’ academic life. When he received notification his scene would be shot in North Carolina during exams, Hynes had to approach school officials and explain the uniqueness of his situation.
“The school was supportive; that situation hadn’t really happened before,” said Hynes. “The first day of filming was the last day of exams.”
All his hard work paid off opening weekend, as the “Hunger Games” broke box office records and grossed an estimated $150 million. To celebrate, Hynes and his family rented a theater at AMC Hoffman and invited 100 of his friends and family to view the film. While the family did not collect money for tickets, they suggested donations and raised upwards of $3,000 for a local shelter.
Hynes’ friends reacted to the film with glowing reviews, and emphasized how neatly the film followed the book. “The action was great,” said Molly Salter, a junior at Georgetown Visitation and long time friend of Hynes. “They did a good job matching the book, it was very accurate.”
While the film may leave most audiences hungry for the next installment, few can match Hynes’ excitement to play yet another part in the series. “I definitely want to be in the sequel,” said Hynes. “I’m keeping my fingers crossed.”