EXCLUSIVE: Lenny Kravitz Talks ‘Hunger Games,’ Zoe and His Return to Music
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We’re usually not into guys who rock gold eyeshadow, but when Lenny Kravitz wears it in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (in theaters today), we love it. For his recurring role as Katniss’s stylist Cinna, Kravitz found a kindred spirit in his character’s edgy on-screen style and the movie’s megawatt star Jennifer Lawrence.

The rocker-turned-actor talked to ESSENCE about their relationship (she’s like a sister to his daughter Zoe), the future of Cinna (spoiler alert!) and why he’s ready to sing again.
ESSENCE: In The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, why is Cinna the last person Katniss sees right before she’s released to fight the other Tributes?
LENNY KRAVITZ: He’s the one putting together Katniss’s outfits and her gear. He’s walking her there to make sure she’s together and ready to go. And you saw what happens next.

ESSENCE: Yes! I haven’t read the books but does Cinna live?
KRAVITZ: He’s pretty much out.

ESSENCE: If you could be a Tribute, what would be your skill?
KRAVITZ: I’m a survivor. So I would find my way out of the problem. I’m pretty good at seeing through problems and getting out of the other end.

ESSENCE: About Cinna’s fashion, you’ve said in past interviews, that Cinna’s look is a good bridge between what you wear in your personal life and with the character. What did you love about his clothes?
KRAVITZ: We’re both stylish people. Cinna’s a bit hipper in this one. I don’t dress like Cinna. But there are similarities and pieces that I would wear. I took one of the leather jackets from the set that I still wear.

ESSENCE: I loved his gold shadow.
KRAVITZ: That’s definitely Cinna.

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ESSENCE: In the movie, there’s a moment when Katniss spins around and her bridal gown turns into a mockingjay dress. What’s the trick?
KRAVITZ: I know the secrets, but I cannot tell you. That’s that how I make my designs. [laughs]

ESSENCE: You and Jennifer Lawrence (who plays Katniss) have a really great relationship. How did you two become so close?
KRAVITZ: We met years ago through my daughter [Zoe]. My daughter and Jennifer made X-Men: First Class together. I live in Paris, so while they were filming in London, they would visit, hang out and spend the weekends at the house. Jennifer felt like family from day one. She’s humble; she comes from a great family and she’s raised well. Jennifer has a great sense of humor. I’m so happy for what’s happening with her.

ESSENCE: Is your daughter Zoe a fan of The Hunger Game films?
KRAVITZ: Oh yeah. She’s obviously like a sister to Jennifer. It’s just funny I ended up being in the film with her.

ESSENCE: When you weren’t on set, did you work on a new album?
KRAVITZ: Yes, I started writing and putting it together. After I’d done The Butler and Hunger Games, I was hungry for the music again. I’m in the Bahamas finishing the album. It’s a really exceptional record. I think it’s my best work, ever. I’m really excited to put it out and go on a world tour next year.

ESSENCE: What’s the music like?
KRAVITZ: It’s very stripped down. It’s primarily guitar, bass, drums and vocals. There are some horns here and there. It’s a very powerful, up record.

ESSENCE: Back to the film. Although President Snow is very evil, in the movie he says something very inspiring: “fear won’t last as long as there’s hope.” What are your thoughts about that message?
KRAVITZ: Hope is a lot, isn’t it? I mean look at your life, anybody’s life, where we are? Hope is that magical element… that light at the end of the tunnel, the end of a dream. I’ve lived my life, definitely always having hope and faith. Those are magical elements.