Jena Malone Talks “Challenging” Goodbye to Hunger Games Character

Jena Malone
Jena Malone is showing a photography exhibit in L.A. Mike Windle/WireImage

It's so hard to say goodbye! Jena Malone opened up to Us Weekly exclusively about moving on from her stint as Hunger Games character Johanna Mason.

Malone, 30, played the District 7 tribute in 2013's The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, as well as in both Mockingjay movies. While the role put her through tough physical situations and intense scenes, the actress said the hardest part of playing Johanna was cutting ties with the character.

"For me, probably, the most challenging was just the end," she told Us. "Knowing that it was the end, that funny pressure builds inside the body when you're shooting your final scene. It's like, 'Oh my goodness, I'm saying goodbye to a character that I've fallen deeply and madly in love with for the past two years."

Since 2015's The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 wrapped filming this past summer, Malone has kept herself busy with an active movie schedule and an artistic new project.

When the star wasn't working on the highly anticipated Inherent Vice with Reese Witherspoon, Joaquin Phoenix, and Owen Wilson, she was exercising her artistic eye by trying her hand at photography. 

The Angelica actress is currently showing an exhibit at Los Angeles' MAMA Art Gallery. Called "The Holy Other," the display features photos that Malone took during a 10-day trip to Myanmar. 

The Nov. 21 opening was feted by the likes of Luke Grimes and Emily Browning and introduced the public to Malone's stunning shots, the proceeds of which will go to a charity called Girl Determined, which "works with young Burmese women to educate and empower them through societal shifts in their country."

While her confidence in acting comes through in her films, Malone admitted to Us that this project is a bit harder. 

"I'm nervous," she said of showing her photos. "I feel like you only really get nervous off of things that you care most about in life. You know? So, they're definitely beautiful nerves."

"It's kind of a big deal to able to kind of show 39 prints in a really beautiful gallery," Malone added. "It's the first time I've ever done that."

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