Katniss feels betrayed at first, but she realizes that she and Peeta will soon be trying to kill each other in the Games anyway. Katniss spends four hours training with Effie on presentation, learning to smile more and walk in high heels, before she moves on to train with Haymitch for content. Haymitch tries to find an angle for Katniss, but she’s unable to pull off witty, charming, funny, humble, etc. Finally, he gives up and tells her just to try not to reveal how openly she despises her audience.
Katniss resents Peeta for wanting to train separately, but she also realizes that that’s the nature of the Games—they’re meant to be competitors, not teammates. Effie and Haymitch both work on essentially the same thing: how Katniss will present herself. How she appears during her interview can make a big difference in how many sponsors she can get.
In frustration, Katniss smashes all the plates in her room that night, and the red-haired girl is surprised when she enters to see the mess. Katniss tells her that she regrets not trying to save the girl, but the girl motions for her to be quiet before cleaning up the mess and tucking Katniss into bed.
The redheaded girl seems to forgive Katniss with her gestures. Their unlikely relationship is another sort of rebellion in the face of the Capitol, since an Avox’s punishment is that she should never be able to talk and form troublesome relationships with others again.
In the morning, the prep team gets Katniss ready for her interview. Cinna has designed a dress for her that’s made out of gems, fashioned to look like flames. He advises her to be herself for the interview, to pretend that she’s answering the questions for a friend. He says that Katniss will be able to see him on the main platform during the interview and that she should pretend to address her answers to him.
Cinna helps Katniss get ready for her interview. He designs a beautiful dress that will make an impression and tries to get her to relax. He and Katniss have also become friends—another unlikely friendship, considering that he’s a stylist from the Capitol and she’s a tribute from District 12. Though the fact that he chose to work with District 12 suggests that he sees something in Katniss, that his sympathies are with her.
The tribute interviews begin, and Caesar Flickerman, the talk show host who’s conducted the Hunger Games interviews for the past forty years, is spending three minutes with each tribute. When it’s Katniss’s turn, she’s extremely nervous but tries to be honest as Cinna advised her to be. When Caesar asks her what’s impressed her most about the Capitol, Katniss responds that the lamb stew with the dried plums has been her favorite. She also shows off her costume, twirling for the audience. The interview concludes with Katniss repeating her promise to Prim, that she will try extremely hard to win.
Because the interviews are so short, appearances are very important. It’s crucial that a tribute makes an impression quickly. Katniss’s most memorable moment is when she thinks of her little sister, Prim—it brings back her determination to win for her family.
When it’s Peeta’s turn to interview with Caesar, Peeta makes several jokes that get the audience laughing. Caesar asks whether Peeta has a girlfriend back home, and Peeta shakes his head unconvincingly. Peeta admits that there is one girl he’s liked ever since he can remember, but his feelings have always been unrequited. Caesar assures Peeta that if he wins the Games, the girl won’t refuse him—but Peeta reveals that winning won’t help because the girl came to the Games with him.
Peeta’s revelation that he loves Katniss causes the Capitol to see the tributes in a different, humanizing light. The audience now sees how they might relate to two star-crossed lovers, rather than focusing on the differences of their social class.