Some people disagree with me, but I think the most important character in The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins (for ages 12 and up) is Peeta. Therefore, I also think that the actor who plays Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) has the most important role in The Hunger Games movie (rated PG-13), in theaters March 23. In my eyes, for the movie to really work, Peeta has to be just right. That’s why I am so excited to read this interview with Josh talking about Peeta because it sounds like he really gets him. It makes me even more excited to see the movie!
Q: How did you prepare for the role of Peeta, a baker who becomes a fighter? Did you have to train in baking and fighting before the movie?
Josh: [Laughs] Actually, one of the things that drew me to The Hunger Games so much is how much I felt like myself and Peeta had in common. I think we’re very much the same person. We have a very similar outlook on life . . . about being genuine with people. I think that’s something that Peeta always is. He’s very good at working with people. He’s very outgoing, and he really believes in not letting anything change you. You always need to make sure that you are true to yourself and you’re being the truest version of you. For me, that’s kind of how I’ve been throughout the movie business. People can really change you and you can sort of lose who you are. But I’ve always believed in maintaining myself as a person.
As far as preparing for the role, I felt like I was really already there mentally. You know, the books give a lot of insight into the characters, which is really great. So, having that as a reference was awesome. And Suzanne Collins was great. I had a great conversation with her. She asked me if I had any question about motivations, to just give her a call and she would happily talk it out with me.
As far as the baking and fighting goes, I actually love to bake, funnily enough. That’s another thing Peeta and I have in common. I’ve always been into cooking and baking. And with the fighting element, Peeta doesn’t fight a whole lot in the first Hunger Games. So, I didn’t have too much training for that. I did, however, put on 15 pounds of muscle weight for the role to get that beefier, been-lifting-bags-of-flour sort of look. Basically, I was eating a ton of protein and working out every day, lifting a lot of weights and stuff like that. Peeta is “farm boy” kind of strong, so he’s not like the cut surfer model type. He’s a little bulkier and a little bit bigger, so that’s what we were going for with the look.
Q: Do you think Peeta would be a friend of yours in real life?
Josh: I definitely think so. We’d definitely get along because we’d pretty much have the exact same view about life, and our demeanor would be very similar.
What do you think? Isn’t he perfect? Leave a Comment! And if The Hunger Games is your favorite book, don’t forget to vote for it in the Kids’ Choice Awards!
Interview by Marie Morreale