Movieline spoke with Lenny Kravitz, and asked him a lot of questions about The Hunger Games – specifically about Cinna’s sexual orientation.
When it comes to Cinna, though, maybe given the fact that he’s a fashionista some readers of the books infer that he’s gay, even though his sexuality remains ambiguous.
Right, they assume. And that was a question: How far do we take it? If we had gone the outrageous route, it would have been just another stereotypical statement. Immediately I’m thinking science fiction, crazy costumes, this sort of possibly effeminate costumes. I started thinking Chris Tucker in The Fifth Element, because I didn’t know where Gary was going stylistically. Then when I got to the set I thought, this is really smart. The look of the Capitol and the way everybody dressed, it was real – it wasn’t this outrageous costumey stuff. There were a lot of outrageous colors and big statement, but there were a lot of old things and new things mixed, just like it is now. We’re in 2012 and we’re still wearing clothes that look like clothes. We’re not wearing silver space suits with helmets and all that… well, some of us are. [Laughs]
Did you take inspiration in terms of Cinna’s style or carriage from any real life figures?
I thought about Yves Saint Laurent and Tom Ford, who are both very inspiration design characters for me. And both of them are kind of right down the middle and very classically dressed, not say, like a Galliano or someone who is more outrageous and flamboyant in dress. That was the way we decided to play him and I think that was definitely the right choice.
So then: Is Cinna gay?
I have no idea. I have no idea. I played him right in the middle, and one of the inspirations is a friend of mine, actually, who I grew up with. He’s bisexual and you could think he’s gay, you could think he’s straight, you’re not really sure. It’s very subtle. You wouldn’t know it, but Cinna’s speech patterns and the way he enunciates was kind of based on this person that’s just a friend of mine, who I thought was a good example.
It’s worth noting that the way you play Cinna, what stands out a bit more than in the books is that he comes off as more of a strategist than a stylist. Was that an important element to highlight?
Most definitely. When people think at first, ‘So, what is Cinna?’ I play a stylist, but it’s hard to just say I play a stylist. What does that mean? He’s not that, he’s trying to help Katniss make an impression and he’s trying to save her life, and he wants people to like her because that’s part of the game. So that’s a good word, strategist.
You can read the entire interview at Movieline.