Elizabeth Banks Explains The Improvised Moment In ‘Mockingjay – Part 2’ That Has Fans Cheering

While the reaction to the final installment in the Hunger Games movie franchise has been largely mixed, there’s one part of the final movie, The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay – Part 2, that fans are widely celebrating.

[Warning: Spoilers ahead!]

At the end of the movie, Effie Trinket, played by Elizabeth Banks, does something that’s never mentioned in the original Hunger Games novel. She kisses Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) right on the mouth. While the books barely even begin to hint at any kind of romance between Effie and Haymitch, many Hunger Games fans have imagined them together since the start of the series. This is what the internet calls “shipping,” which is short for “relationshipping.”

Elizabeth Banks and Woody Harrelson

According to the Huffington Post, Elizabeth Banks has said that the kiss at the end of the movie was not written into the script. But it still made it into the final cut of the Hunger Games movie.

“We planned that moment. Woody and I went into that moment, that wasn’t written, we improv’d that,” said Elizabeth Banks. “We decided to do it, and the director was like, ‘I love it. Let’s try it again.'”

But Elizabeth Banks and Woody Harrelson were both open to the possibility that the Effie and Haymitch kiss would be cut from the movie, so they allowed the director, Francis Lawrence, to shoot another version of the scene without the kiss, as was originally intended in the Hunger Games script.

“We also did it without a kiss, and we let him decide in the editing room, and we love that he kept it.”

Though Suzanne Collins seemingly never anticipated a romance budding between Effie Trinket and Haymitch Abernathy when she wrote the Hunger Games series, Elizabeth Banks suggests that she and Harrelson have been dropping hints about the attraction between the two since the very beginning.

When asked if she thought the fans noticed these subtle character clues, Elizabeth Banks said, “I hope so.”

Elizabeth Banks

She also seems to fully believe in the connection shared between Haymitch and Effie, though she admits it may never turn into a full-fledged relationship.

“I think they definitely did [fall in love],” Elizabeth Banks said. “Yeah, I think they have a long shared history and neither one of them is going to the altar anytime soon, so for me it’s just about [how] they have a really deep connection.”

Bustle is convinced that the kiss at the end of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 means that Effie and Haymitch willbecome a couple and provides a list of reasons why the pairing makes sense. Among the reasons are the fact that Haymitch needs somebody like Effie for support since he’s an alcoholic and the fact that Effie and Haymitch can help balance each other out since they are essentially complete opposites.

But most significantly, perhaps, is the chemistry that Elizabeth Banks and Woody Harrelson lend to the characters during the Hunger Games films.

“Chemistry isn’t something you can just throw into a script and say it’s there — it’s up to the actors to bring those vibes to life. Elizabeth Banks and Woody Harrelson sizzle as much as they effortlessly jibe back and forth on screen as their characters, only making me want Hayffie to be real even more.”

To see some of those sparks between Elizabeth Banks and Woody Harrelson, check out the video from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 below.

What do you think? Should Effie and Haymitch be a couple? Do you like that Elizabeth Banks and Woody Harrelson intentionally changed the story from the original Hunger Games novels?

For more on Elizabeth Banks, read about why she decided to make Pitch Perfect 2.

[Photos by Mark Davis/Getty Images and Lionsgate]