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Viola Davis Had One Request For Her Hunger Games Villain Look

The trailer for the "Hunger Games" prequel, "Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes," features the nefarious Dr. Volumnia Gaul (Viola Davis) revealing her significance as both a Panem citizen and a Hunger Games enthusiast. "I am Dr. Volumnia Gaul, your humble Head Gamemaker, in charge of the war department and all its affiliated concerns," says the scientist. 

Like many powerful "Hunger Games" personalities, Dr. Gaul presents herself in a striking way. Fans can thank Davis for the character's arguably most noticeable feature. While speaking to People magazine in October 2023, Sherri Berman Laurence, who lent her talents as a makeup artist for "The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes," explained that the "Woman King" star believed it would be becoming for Dr. Gaul's baleful gaze to feature varying irises in terms of hue. This would suggest that she unintentionally harmed her eyes while inside the laboratory. 

Trish Summerville, the franchise's long-time costume designer, also mentioned another part of Dr. Gaul's body became damaged prior to "The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes." "Her hands are destroyed from all the experiments she works on. I always wanted to have her hands covered in every scene," shared the "Westworld" costume designer.

Members of the 'Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes' praised Viola Davis

While filming a behind-the-scenes interview, the director of "Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes," Francis Lawrence, shared he was ecstatic about Viola Davis becoming a corrupt member of the Capitol. He explained that as a long-time fan of the actor, he holds her talents in high regard. "I think she's one of the best actors, you know, living now, if not one of the best actors of all time. And as soon as I thought of, you know, Dr. Gaul, I thought Viola would be perfect," said the director.

Peter Dinklage, who portrays Casca Highbottom, also spoke highly of Davis during the behind-the-scenes interview. He shared that he had some difficulty maintaining his composure while near Davis. "I was always nervous I was going to forget my off-camera line, because I was just watching her when she was on-camera... Just because I was in such awe of her," the "Game of Thrones" actor said.

In addition, the actor portraying Coriolanus Snow at the start of his adulthood, Tom Blyth, noted that he had an enjoyable experience acting alongside the "How to Get Away with Murder" star. "As an actor, playing with her, you're just kind of like dodging what she throws and throwing things back. And vice versa. And it just feels so rich at all times," Blyth said.