Josh Hutcherson Wants To Be Peeta Mellark in 'Hunger Games'

by Catherine Scott
March 13, 2011 11:29 AM
20 Comments
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Reveals He's Met With Director Gary Ross



"The Hunger Games" casting mania has started in full earnest as Oscar-nominee Jennifer Lawrence is almost locked down for the lead female role of Katniss Everdeen. Now her male lead, and main love interest, Peeta Mellark has to be cast, and there's a bevy of new twenty-something males vying for the part.

Recently that vapid, Robert Pattinson-wannabe Alex Pettyfer expressed that he was in the running for Peeta. Our money, however, is on newcomer Josh Hutcherson of this past summer's indie hit "The Kids are All Right," who told EW that he has met with director Gary Ross and really, really wants the part. “I love Peeta. The character is so much who I am—self deprecating, a people person. And he’d be such a great character to play! Like in the third book? Oh my God.”

Hutcherson is at SXSW right now, promoting his film "Detention," an R-rated horror/time-travel comedy, that he starred in and produced. About his character, he said, "He’s the guy everybody wishes they were, who I wish I was. He gets all the girls. Nobody hates him because he gets along with everybody, except for the school jock because he stole his girlfriend inadvertently.” He also just finished shooting a role in Benicio del Toro's directorial debut, a short vignette for "Seven Nights in Havana." This summer he'll move on to "Aaron and Sarah" with Emma Roberts; the film marks Neil Patrick Harris' first feature as a director and focuses on two high school friends whose relationship changes over time.

After that his schedule is wide open, and he hopes to fill that void with the "Hunger Games" trilogy. It would be a huge boost for his career, showing that he's marketable as a lead actor. He claims he's read an old script (Pettyfer said he hadn't seen one), but Hutcherson remains wary of actually landing the role. "But they’re meeting a lot of people right now,” he said. “One can only dream.” Oh, we will dream Josh.

What do you think of all the "Hunger Games" news? Think Lawrence is right for the part? Have you seen enough of Pettyfer like we have? Can newcomer Hutcherson pull off kind, yet strong Peeta? Sound off in the comments.

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20 Comments

  • Milkyway | June 13, 2011 2:16 AMReply

    Jennifer Lawrence is an amazing actress. I started reading The Hunger Games books because of her. And I can totally see her in the character, especially because of the many nuances and expressions and feelings that she'll have to portrait as Katniss. Finally, a great actress hired for a great part. I've seen her movies, such as The Poker House, The Burning Plain, The Beaver and Winter's Bone... she's all about acting, and she doesn't even have to say anything with words, because her eyes, her face, her body act, too!

  • hunger games fan | May 14, 2011 4:07 AMReply

    I personally think that Nina dobrev from the vampire diaries would have been perfect for the role of Katniss Everdeen, she is an AMAZING actress and has the brown hair and everything. Jennifer Laurence is all wrong for the part. NINA DOBREV!

  • Angelica | April 12, 2011 12:51 PMReply

    Have people seen Alex Pettyfer act?! No offense but I strongly disagree with everyone who wants him as Peeta. I absolutely LOVE Josh, he is a down to earth kind of person and he really loves being different types of characters. And he's good at it too! I think he's totally perfect for the role and in time people will realize that too. He has Peeta written all over him. His personality matches perfectly. His hair is starting to grow a bit, just add not too blonde hair dye, not too noticable contacts and voila! There's our Peeta.

  • EmmyRT | April 7, 2011 12:37 PMReply

    Let's put it this way: I love Alex Pettyfer to death, but he's too old for this part. I love Josh Hutcherson just as much, and he's only about 2-3 years older than the character. But hey, that's what make-up is for.

    The girl, personally, I haven't heard of her, so i can't judge; I hope she does her role well.

    Oh, and I don't even want to get started on who they casted for Gale. It's just....no.

    I actually think Josh Hutcherson DOES fit the part. But that's my opinion...

    :)

  • XxSimbaxX | March 20, 2011 9:31 AMReply

    nonono. Alex. He's an actor so what if he has attitude he's a ACTOR so i'm pretty sure he can act like Peeta.

  • eeeb | March 14, 2011 9:10 AMReply

    Jennifer looks way too old to be Katniss, it wouldn't work with those two paired together either. I pick Josh as Peeta and think they need to find a better female lead.

  • ILOVETHEHUNGERGAMES | March 14, 2011 2:56 AMReply

    Either Josh or Alex P. for Peeta.
    & newcomer/unknown Lauren Whiteley for Katniss.
    Look at her info and pics:
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3601292/
    She's Like the perfect actress for Katniss.
    Lauren WHiteley!

  • Hutcherson | March 14, 2011 2:45 AMReply

    Pettyfer better not get this role!!! I just had to suffer through Beastly with Vanessa Hudgens and Pettyfer and it was excruciating for so many reasons (there are the obvious ones) BUT he is such a TERRIBLE actor! I cannot express this enough...horrible. With every movement it was as though he was letting us know "I'm acting, this is acting, we are acting"...he overacted and was phony.

  • Lisa | March 14, 2011 2:29 AMReply

    He can act and he's a hard worker (so he's two ahead of Pettyfer already), but his look is all wrong with Jennifer Lawrence.

  • Bubba | March 14, 2011 1:48 AMReply

    His Spiderman audition tape was comedy gold.

  • Brooke | March 14, 2011 1:44 AMReply

    None of them! They are all too old. Hailee Steinfeld all the way, and for Peeta, Jeremy Irvine. He's in the new Steven Spielberg film War Horse. Saw his stills and thought of Peeta instantly.

  • DanielF23 | March 14, 2011 1:40 AMReply

    He just wants to make out with Jennifer Lawrence.

  • Lucyann | March 14, 2011 1:33 AMReply

    Josh as Peeta no but Josh to play Gale...YES! :)

  • Cat | March 14, 2011 1:31 AMReply

    Just remember that these aren't their only choices for casting. These are only some names that have come up. I'm sure they have a very long list for both Katniss and Peeta in case their first choices pass or there are scheduling issues.

  • Barria | March 14, 2011 1:00 AMReply

    I don't know. I'm a HUGE Jennifer Lawrence fan and an equally HUGE Hailee Steinfeld fan. I'm rooting for Hailee because I think she'll be great but at the same time I'd love Jen too.

    One thing's for sure, though: no way in God's name should Alex Pettyfer be Peeta. I'm sorry, that is a freaking mistake. And as much as I seriously adore (better to say I absolutely love) Jhutch, I don't think he's right. I'm very torn between their prospective casting choices. I hope to God they don't screw up.

  • Max | March 13, 2011 12:56 PMReply

    No no no no no !!!!!!! Alex pettyfer all the way!!

  • Alisha | March 13, 2011 12:24 PMReply

    Josh seems perfect as Peeta, even down to the descriptive details of appearance from the novel. HOWEVER, put him next to Jennifer Lawrence and it's all wrong. She can't make a good Katniss next to him. Even though she's young, Hailey Steinfeld needs to be Katniss. She's got the perfect look of, 'I'm a pretty girl and you'd never expect it but I've the potential to rip your head off if I have to'.

  • Vi | March 13, 2011 12:14 PMReply

    He would be a terrible Peeta. No, just no.

  • alie374 | March 13, 2011 12:12 PMReply

    please Gary Ross, if you are reading this, give him the role!!! He's a good actor and he already cares about the character's evolution during the third book! He's just perfect for Peeta.

  • Chase Orsini-Liberatore | March 13, 2011 12:02 PMReply

    I am rooting for Josh. I have been a huge fan of his ever since his debut in Little Manhattan. And unlike Alex Pettyfer, he’s likeable and appreciative of his career and how far he’s come. Aside from that, the kid can actually act. Unlike Alex Pettyfer…who can’t even act his way out of a paper bag…

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