'Hunger Games' star comes to Knoxville for charity event

'Hunger Games' star comes to Knoxville Tuesday night for charity event

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Fans lined up for hours ahead of the premiere for the chance to see the film's star, Liam Hemsworth Fans lined up for hours ahead of the premiere for the chance to see the film's star, Liam Hemsworth
The film's director, Francis Lawrence, says there will be some surprises. The film's director, Francis Lawrence, says there will be some surprises.

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Knoxville rolled out the red carpet Tuesday night to welcome the director and star of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and fans showed up by the hundreds.

The star of the popular franchise, Liam Hemsworth, was greeted by hundreds of cheering fans at the Regal Cinema in Turkey Creek.

The second installment of The Hunger Games series comes out Thursday, but 1,000 fans got an early screening. Hemsworth says he can't wait for them to see the new film.

"We have such an amazing cast and director. Francis Lawrence is incredible. He's brought such an epicness to the whole film. It feels big. Its very emotional. It's a great film," Hemsworth said.

The film's director, Francis Lawrence, says there will be some surprises.

"There's a couple of little things that we added. We worked with the author, but we added a few little moments. Even for fans of the books, who know the books, will get something new," explained Lawrence.

With a series as beloved as The Hunger Games, we asked if it was a little nerve-racking to make changes.

"No, we're working with Suzanne [Collins, the author]. It's all part of the same world, we're not changing anything in a drastic way. It's like a nice little bonus," he said.

Fans lined up for hours ahead of the premiere for the chance to see the film's star.

"I'm really excited and just want to see him and I want him to sign my phone real bad," said Knoxville native Sierra Younger, who waited in line with friends for nearly three hours.

Many fans held up homemade signs and carried copies of The Hunger Games books.

"I'm so excited to see him. I'm a huge Liam Hemsworth fan, so I really just want him to see us cheering for him," said fan Mallory Stare of Knoxville.

The money raised from Tuesday's event goes towards Variety of East Tennessee. It is a children's charity that helps under-privileged children in the region. It's a cause that is near and dear to Hemsworth's heart.

"It's something I've always felt passionate about. My father worked for child protection for my whole life. It's good to be able to do things like this," said Hemsworth.

Over the years, the annual event has raised more than $5 million in donations for East Tennessee.

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