'I had never read a character that was more like who I am as a person,' he tells MTV News of playing Peeta.
By Kara Warner
Josh Hutcherson in "The Hunger Games"
All right, "Hunger Games" fans, are you ready for a little exclusive interview with soon-to-be superstar Josh Hutcherson?
We've been hinting about it ever since we named Hutcherson "Most Likely to Play a Superhero" as part of our New Class, and the time has finally come to unveil this nifty bit of footage that will have you convinced (if you weren't already) he's one to watch in 2012.
For those unfamiliar with the talented 18-year-old, he made a splash in Hollywood last year with his buzzed-about performance in the award-season darling "The Kids Are All Right," and now he's embodying the pivotal and beloved role of Peeta Mellark in the highly anticipated big-screen adaptation of Suzanne Collins' dystopian best-seller "The Hunger Games."
MTV News was very lucky to catch up with Hutcherson recently, when he discussed the importance of landing the role, what Peeta means to him and his favorite scene to film.
MTV News: Talk to us about what the role of Peeta means to you and why you love him.
Josh Hutcherson: It's so crazy. When I read the books, I had never read a character that was more like who I am as a person and had kind of my core values and what I believe in. So it kind of drove me crazy in a way, because I felt like I was so right for it, then I had to go through this crazy audition process. So to finally be making the movie and now we're finished, it's like, somebody please pinch me, because I still don't believe this is actually happening. For me, it's just an honor to be a part of such a great story. Gary Ross is such an amazing director, and Jennifer Lawrence is perfect, and everyone else we cast was really great.
MTV: What was the audition process like? Did you do specific scene work?
Hutcherson: For the audition process, I came in the first time and read a few scenes for Gary Ross and [author] Suzanne Collins and some of the other producers involved. Then maybe about a week or so, maybe two weeks later, I came in and did a screen test with Jennifer, where I actually read the scenes with her so they could see how the chemistry worked. Both of them felt really great, but as an actor, you just pick apart every single thing that you do, so for me, I was on pins and needles waiting to find out. And then when I finally found out, my jaw hit the floor. I was so excited.
MTV: What were your favorite scenes to film?
Hutcherson: It's very similar to the book. Probably my favorite scenes are all the scenes with myself and Katniss in the cave, because they're really emotional and you get to see a lot of their relationship develop there, so for me as an actor, I liked that a lot. And then of course all the physical running through the forest -- that was really fun as well.
MTV: Did you guys get a lot of bumps and bruises from all that stunt work?
Hutcherson: There were tons of bumps and bruises, yeah. It was pretty intense.
Check out everything we've got on "The Hunger Games."
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