Jennifer Lawrence has a Top 40 hit in the UK with her song “The Hanging Tree”, which is featured in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, but according to the director, she didn’t even want to sing at first.
Though the actress has shown off her vocal skills in the past–in the movie House At The End Of The Street–director Francis Lawrence says she wanted someone else to provide the pipes for “The Hanging Tree” and was extremely nervous about singing onset.
“I knew she didn’t love the idea of singing, but I didn’t realize how nervous she was until when we started the first take, and she was in tears. Not totally broken down, but she was unhappy. She would have much rather we used somebody else’s voice. I think she said she wanted Lorde [who sings the movie’s theme song] to do it!” Lawrence said.
The haunting song has become a hit since the film hit theaters; composed by James Newton and The Lumineers, the lyrics were written by the author of the books, Suzanne Collins. Director Lawrence says he enjoys the sound of the actress’s voice because she sounds like a real girl singing, rather than a polished performer.
“It should sound like a real girl singing. So she did it. She did it all day. And she has a really cool sound to her voice. There’s kind of a raspy texture to it. So it was not terrible in the slightest,” he said.