By Catherine Scott | The Playlist March 13, 2011 at 11:29AM
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.