Josh Hutcherson Talks Catching Fire

The Hunger Games official DVD was released this week and recently the star of the film and subsequent films, Josh Hutcherson sat down and answered questions about the world phenomenon series.

Hutcherson plays Peeta Mellark, the fellows District 12 tribute alongside Katniss Everdeen. But just because he has been in the media for a while already doesn’t mean he isn’t still nervous.

“I was really nervous about it to be honest,” Hutcherson said about embarking on the film franchise, based on a trilogy of best-selling books by Suzanne Collins. “It’s crazy because living up to ‘The Hunger Games‘ coming out, everybody was talking about how it’s going to change everything, your whole life — it’s going to be so different,” he explained. “I like my life! I didn’t want that to happen and it didn’t… I’m still me and I’m still doing my normal things that I have always done.”

Hutcherson also spoke about the fans of the series and their passion.

“‘Hunger Games fans’ are ravenous and extremely passionate.  They’re the absolute best,” he said.

And when he says passionate, he isn’t lying.  Hutcherson remembered a time when fans showed up at his home in Kentucky.

“I had a couple of fans who showed at my doorstep in Kentucky,” he said, adding that they arrived the day after Christmas last year. “They just wanted to meet me and say ‘hi.’ They were freaking out and crying.  They drove eight hours on the chance that I might be home…  That was intense.  I was like, ‘Whoa!  This is my home in Kentucky.  Why are you here?’  It was crazy.  There are some crazy fans out there.”

Now that the DVD has been released, Hutcherson is looking toward the future and the filming of Catching Fire, the second film in the series.

I’m so excited it’s finally here, the time to start making it is finally here. I can’t wait to get shooting.” Given that a script didn’t exist just a few short months ago, it’s hard to believe everything is, in fact, prepped. But it is, according to Hutcherson: “I do have a script in hand and it’s awesome.  I love it so much,” Hutcherson confirmed, revealing that he met with newly-installed director Francis Lawrence (“I Am Legend,” 2007, “Water for Elephants,” 2011) to discuss the film’s vision. “We talked about how important it was to really make the movie version of the book and that was Francis’s goal from day one — and the script definitely portrays that.  It’s a very true-to-the-book rendition of the movie.”

Hutcherson also confirmed that fans will see a bigger and buffer Peeta this time around.

 “I’ve been working out a lot, getting back in the right shape for the role — because this last year, I sort of split my time and enjoyed myself — so I’ve been paying for that for the last month-and-a-half or so, getting back into the gym and eating healthy,” Hutcherson said.

One of the most enticing subplots of the series is the love triangle between the lead characters, Peeta, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), and Gale (Liam Hemsworth).

“It’s such a tough position that I know Peeta is put in where he is in absolute love with this girl and she acts like she’s in love with him, but he knows that she isn’t — and that is heartbreaking. As an actor, it’s something that I’m really excited play because it’s such a a conflicting emotion… It’s a very conflicting, confusing kind of thing and I can’t wait to play it out.  It’s really, really intense and exciting, I think.”

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is set to be released in theaters November 22, 2013. Filming will begin soon and will see all the lead characters returning.

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