August 18, 2012

INTERVIEW: Josh Hutcherson on Peeta: "He's such a genuinely nice guy. He just wants love."

In a new interview with IGN, Josh Hutcherson talks about fan support and approval of his portrayal of Peeta, The Hunger Games Blu-ray/DVD release, Catching Fire, Peeta's arc in the books and more.
IGN: Now that the film has come out, how would you describe the reaction from the fans after seeing it? 
Hutcherson: It’s been incredible. I’m still blown away by it. I think that when we started to make the movie we had an idea that there were a lot of fans of the books and whatnot, but I don’t think that anybody really expected it to be this well received. So for me it’s just a dream come true to make something that you love, that you’re really proud of, that people also really loved. 
IGN: Do you feel vindicated now that the fans approve of you as Peeta? 
Hutcherson: It does feel good. Especially when you have so many people who have so many different opinions of what the character should be like. It’s good to know that all in all, they’re pretty satisfied with it. It’s definitely a little nerve wracking when you’re making it because you’re like, “Wow, a lot of people like this character so I hope I’m doing it the right way.” So I’m very happy and the response has been really great. 
IGN: Now that the movie is coming out on DVD and Blu-ray, do you feel that anticipation ramping up all over again? 
Hutcherson: I’d say so, yeah. It’s very similar to when the movie opened, because there are a lot of people who maybe didn’t get a chance to see it in the theater and now they’re going to see it for the first time. So I hope we get it right by them as well. So there’s definitely some of that same nervousness I’d say, of just hoping that people respond well to it, even though it came out and people mostly did respond well to it. But yeah, there’s definitely a bit of that, “Oh, god. I hope people like it” again. 
IGN: Do you think the movie holds up on DVD? 
Hutcherson: Definitely. I love watching movies on DVD. I love the moviegoing experience because of the popcorn and the big screen and the sound and everything with the audience is awesome. But there’s also something nice about being able to sit and enjoy a movie in the privacy of your own home. It’s really nice and calm. I feel like when I see it in the theater I’m there for the experience, and when I see it at home I’m there for the actual movie, seeing the movie itself.
IGN: There are a lot of special features on this disc, including that three-hour behind the scenes feature. Were you aware of the documentary crew hanging around while you were making the film? Was the future home video release even something you thought about back then? 
Hutcherson: Yeah, Lionsgate was really proactive about making sure they got a lot of really good footage of the making of the movie. But it was never invasive, which is nice. You were aware that they were there kind of doing their thing, but it never really affected you, which is nice. I’m really excited for the fans to see what it’s like from the beginning, just being a book, through the whole process that it went through to become a movie. Because as a moviegoer, for me that’s always interesting. Especially with a book that’s very popular. I think that’s a cool process to see. 
 IGN: It’s always a bit of a trick appealing to the fans of the books as well as people who have only seen the movies. Do you feel like there’s something here for everyone? 
Hutcherson: I actually haven’t seen it yet, so I’m not sure, but I definitely feel like it would. I know that Lionsgate put a lot of work into it and took their time with it and wanted to make something really special, not just half ass it. So they wanted to give the fans and people who really loved the book a very real, up close experience of what it was like making the movie so they can feel like they were part of the making. And based on what I’ve heard about it and all the filming they did, I’m pretty sure they accomplished that. 
IGN: Since The Hunger Games is a trilogy, did you keep the direction of Peeta as a character in your mind when you were making the first movie? 
Hutcherson: I really tried not to, because in reality these characters don’t know where they’re going. So I thought it would be weird if I was too focused on what’s happening in the future, because it would take the characters out of that moment and they would be knowing things they weren’t supposed to know. I mean, obviously we all knew where it was going but I tried not to think about it too much while we were shooting. But now that it’s actually coming and we’re going to start shooting the second one, I can’t wait. I can’t stop thinking about it. And I’m really excited. 
IGN: Peeta has one of the most interesting arcs of all the characters in the trilogy. Without spoiling anything for anybody who hasn’t read the books, are you looking forward to what’s coming for him? 
Hutcherson: That’s one of the things I’ve been most excited about with the whole series, the fact that Peeta does have such a really great arc, and he really goes through a big transformation. I mean, in the second book, he’s caught in a situation where he’s in love with this girl and she pretends to love him back, but only as a show. And that’s like, I can’t even imagine how deep that cut has to be, to be with this girl and be parading around and kissing and holding hands and pretending like you’re in love, when you really are in love and you know that she really isn’t. That’s just a cool mind screw and I can’t wait to play that out because it will be really fun. 
IGN: Yeah, you’ve just got to feel sorry for the guy. 
Hutcherson: I know! He’s such a genuinely nice guy. He just wants love. 
IGN: Separately from playing the role, just as a person watching the story, do you find yourself rooting for that relationship versus the Katniss and Gale relationship? 
Hutcherson: Honestly, it’s so hard to say. Because both have things that really make sense. Gale has been in Katniss’ life forever, and they’ve been super close and now that they’re older it’s like, wait, what is this? And they’re trying to define what their relationship is. [Peeta] is so in love with Katniss and has known it since the first time he saw her, but then never really acted on it. He’s just kind of admired her from afar. And so to see that come to fruition as well, that’s really intriguing. So it’s really hard to say which one is the sole winner. I feel like just because Peeta has been in love with her for such a long time and it’s this kind of undying love that he’d do anything for her, that’s the one I’m rooting for. But at the same time, who’s to say that Gale doesn’t feel that same way? Gale’s totally in love with her too. So it’s really hard to say. 
IGN: Did you learn anything on the first film that you’re taking with you into the second? 
Hutcherson: I think probably just how I learned how to work with our cast. There’s a very cool, very dynamic cast and our relationship was so strong that we really built that up in the first movie. That’s been something that will continue on in the second film with all the cast. And with the new people coming in I’m excited to get them into our group too. So I’m really excited to get back into it with these guys. I think in the first one I learned a lot about our dynamic. And to know that we have a couple of movies to do with that, it’s nice to know that it’s a good dynamic. 
IGN: I read that you were in the gym bulking up to get ready for the next film. Is that what’s going on for you right now? 
Hutcherson: That is what’s going on. I’ve been working on that for the last four weeks or so and it’s going great. I’m very excited about it. I’m very proud of it. It’s been a year since we filmed Hunger Games so I’m excited to be getting back into it. My hair’s dyed blond now. So everything’s coming back to life. It’s really exciting.

Read the rest of the interview HERE.


Post a Comment

Discuss with other Hunger Gamers: