Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Villain on How Flogging Will Help His Career

patrick-st-esprit

Patrick St. Esprit has made a career largely out of playing the bad guy.

But the recognizable character actor, who has had a recurring role on TV’s “Sons of Anarchy” since the first season, out-baddies himself in “Catching Fire,” making his mark — quite literally — in Lionsgate’s “Hunger Games” sequel.

“When I was younger, a lot of my guest spots on television were playing bad guys,” St. Esprit, 59, told Variety. “I found that they served me really well. (Being bad) gave me more opportunities to explore a character.”

In “Catching Fire,” which ignited the box office this weekend with a $300 million-plus worldwide opening, St. Esprit delivers a memorable scene – one that even made the film’s trailer – in which he plays the barbarous Commander Thread, who flogs a dissenting Gale, played by Liam Hemsworth.

Spattered in blood, St. Esprit’s sadistic villain is persuaded to stop the flogging by none other than the Girl on Fire herself, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), along with fellow Hunger Games victors, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Haymitch (Woody Harrelson). In fact, the graphic nature of the scene, including Gale’s horrifically scarred back (rendered by Oscar-winning makeup artist Ve Neill), was toned down some to avoid a more restrictive rating. Read more

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