Jena Malone, star of the Hunger Games series of films, has revealed that she was sexually assaulted during the production of the mega-popular franchise. In a lengthy Instagram post, the Sucker Punch actress candidly described her painful emotions at the close of filming the final movie, Mockingjay – Part 2, which were exacerbated by a painful break-up and being “sexually assaulted by someone I had worked with.” Jena Malone did not give further detail about who the individual might be or whether it had been someone who worked on the Hunger Games.
The image in Jena Malone’s Instagram post shows the actress standing in a large, sunny field of wheat (heavily color-corrected), with the caption saying that she had just said goodbye to everyone on the Hunger Games set. She goes on to say that the movie had been filming on a French estate and she had asked her chauffeur to pause so she could cry in the field and “capture the moment.”
Jena Malone’s post describes her gratitude for being part of the Hunger Games, but also her regret that the experience was linked in her life to a very traumatic and violating event. According to her, in the years since, it has been painful for her to discuss the series and her character Johanna Mason, but that she is ready to try to move through that and “reclaim the joy and accomplishment” she felt. Jena Malone concludes the post by asking any fellow survivors to reach out to her via Instagram DM.
Sexual assault is sadly common, with RAINN (the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) estimating that an American is sexually assaulted approximately every 68 seconds. That Jena Malone experienced that during the Hunger Games production, the largest film event of her career to date, is unquestionably a tragedy.
Jena Malone describing her mixed emotions about the Hunger Games and sexual assault can be thought of as part of a sea of change in the entertainment industry, often described as #metoo. More and more actors and other members of the industry have come forward with revelations of their assaults and abuse, like Evan Rachel Wood’s allegations against singer/actor Marilyn Manson or the recent accusations against Wednesday actor Percy Hynes White. Sadly, there seems to be no end to these stories and likely will not be for some time, if ever, but candid and human statements like Malone’s hopefully help.
Malone’s next project after the Hunger Games was Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as Jenet Klyburn, a S.T.A.R. Labs top scientist. Unfortunately, her part was cut from the theatrical release of the film, but has since been restored by the “Ultimate” cut. Malone seems to have a good working relationship with Snyder since first working with him on Sucker Punch, and will be part of the cast of his upcoming Netflix science fiction film Rebel Moon. She will also be starring in the upcoming epic Western from Kevin Costner, Horizon.