Five Favorite Films with Josh Hutcherson
Plus, he discusses excitement about bringing the Hunger Games to big screen life and why the movie's action scenes reminded him of his childhood in Kentucky.
You've been in a couple movies based on literary properties. When you read the book as a fan, are you thinking, "How am I going to do this?" And if you're a fan of the book, are you thinking, "Man, people are going to have expectations about how I'm going to play this." Do you think about stuff like that?
Josh Hutcherson: Sort of. I mean, I'd be lying if I said that I never thought about it once. But for me, it's acting, and no matter if it's this movie or another movie, I'm going to kind of go into my on-set personality the way I normally would. So I don't let it affect me that much, but it's really cool being a part of something that has this big of a following built up before you even release the movie. It's really cool to be a part of it. There is a bit of pressure to kind of keep it true to the book and do a good portrayal of the role, but I feel like that happened. I feel like the script was a great adaptation of the book, and I think that people will be, overall, pretty happy with it.
You were a fan of the Hunger Games series going in?
Yeah, well, I read the books when I found out they were making [The Hunger Games] into a movie. I read all three books in like five days and became totally obsessed with it, and obsessed with Peeta, and was on board from that point on.
Similarly, you're also in the remake for Red Dawn. With a book, you can kind of visualize something unique, but if you're in a remake, how do you avoid doing an impression or something? I heard your parents really loved Red Dawn -- how do you do them proud on something like that?
I think the way we did it, we updated it. We took the original movie and sort of made it work with modern times. I think that the original movie had a really great story and a really great idea. I think that we just kind of took that same core idea of a country invading another country and having these teenagers, more or less, fighting back against the army. So we just updated that. What's cool about Red Dawn is that every kid -- at least, I know I did and all my friends did, growing up -- always played army man and ran around the woods and that kind of thing. And so to kind of have that captured in a film where they're actually fighting back against a real army is definitely pulls in the nostalgic action themes.
You talk about running around in the woods. Obviously the setting of The Hunger Games is different, but did that bring you back to your childhood games?
Totally. I mean, there's something to be said, because when I was little, I was running around the woods playing make believe, and now that I'm older and have a job, my job is to run around the woods and play make believe, so it was pretty cool. It definitely was a very freeing experience because it was so? not juvenile, but it really took me back to being a little kid.
One of your grown up things is you're an executive producer on Detention. What's that like? Is it just more stuff you have to keep track of?
Yeah, pretty much. I mean, with Detention, I was really involved more so with the casting process and doing a little bit of the script work, so that was kind of my main role in that. But for me, I've always, since I was little, been interested in all aspects of filmmaking, so kind of getting behind the camera is definitely something that I'm into.
I've read that you said you wanted to start acting when you were around four. How do you make that a reality?
It's not easy, especially being from Kentucky. There's not much of the industry there, as you can imagine, and so it was one of those things where I knew what I wanted to do, and I told my parents that, and we didn't really know how to go about it. But I got a small agency in Cincinnati, Ohio, and we met an acting coach and he said, "We should just go out to California for pilot season," because he felt that I could work. And of course, you tell somebody that who wants to be an actor, that's like the ultimate goal, so I was like, "Yes, we have to do it." My parents were obviously reluctant, because we knew nothing about it, but lo and behold, my mom went out there with me to California to become an actor, and it worked out.