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‘Hunger Games’ star Natalie Dormer a history buff

Natalie Dormer plays Cressida in ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2.’
Natalie Dormer plays Cressida in ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2.’ LIONSGATE FILMS

Before she became an actress, Natalie Dormer intended to major in history — she came this close to getting accepted at Cambridge — so it’s no surprise that when she talks about The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2, the element that fascinates her the most is the film’s message.

“Whenever there is a power vacuum, it is going to be filled by a new leader,” she says via telephone from Berlin, where she was on a press tour. “It isn’t mandatory that power corrupts absolutely, but a large number of people who become leaders aren’t strong enough to not be corrupted by it. What I love about [Hunger Games author] Suzanne Collins is that she writes such an accurate portrayal of this phenomenon we’ve seen recur throughout history. But she does it from the safe distance of a fantasy world. It’s a perfect way to introduce young adults to these themes and ideas, so when they turn on their TV at home and watch the news, they understand what they’re seeing.”

In Mockingjay — Part 2, Dormer reprises her role as Cressida, the filmmaker recruited by rebellion leader Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) to shoot footage intended to fuel a growing revolt against the tyrannical President Snow (Donald Sutherland). The previous film set the stage for an epic confrontation. The new movie is almost entirely about war. Just as in the other entries in the franchise, women — including the main protagonist, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) — take to the battlefield alongside men and no one ever makes a big deal out of it.

“It’s Nov. 11 [Veterans Day] today, and we’re all wearing poppies to honor soldiers in past wars in which people fought against tyranny,” Dormer says. “Of course, we are not thinking about the gender of those fallen soldiers. That’s what I love about this series: You’re fighting for the freedom of your homeland and it’s irrelevant whether you’re male or female.”

Dormer is best known for playing the conniving Margaery Tyrell on HBO’s Game of Thrones, currently filming its sixth season. Fans of the HBO series have a little surprise in store: Gwendoline Christie, who plays the imposing warrior Brienne of Tarth on the show, appears briefly in Mockingjay — Part 2.

But if you’re curious what Margaery and Brienne might have had to say to each other, Dormer laughs and says sorry, but no luck.

“I’m not in that scene, so unfortunately Gwendoline and I didn’t see each other,” she says. “I missed her altogether. But it was lovely to have her join me in our little Hunger Thrones crossover.”

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