Josh Hutcherson: Catching Fire is Very True to the Book

Yahoo! Movies has an exclusive interview with Josh Hutcherson in which Josh talks about Catching Fire, Peeta, and the Hunger Games DVD. Here’s an excerpt from that interview.
About the Joining the Hunger Games Franchise

“I was really nervous about it to be honest,” Hutcherson said about embarking on the film franchise, based on a trilogy of best-selling books by Suzanne Collins. “It’s crazy because living up to ‘The Hunger Games’ coming out, everybody was talking about how it’s going to change everything, your whole life — it’s going to be so different,” he explained. “I like my life! I didn’t want that to happen and it didn’t… I’m still me and I’m still doing my normal things that I have always done.”

About fans

While Hutcherson says everything has been going smoothly for him post-“Games,” there was one jarring fan experience he opened the door to — literally. “I had a couple of fans who showed at my doorstep in Kentucky,” he said, adding that they arrived the day after Christmas last year. “They just wanted to meet me and say ‘hi.’ They were freaking out and crying.  They drove eight hours on the chance that I might be home…  That was intense.  I was like, ‘Whoa!  This is my home in Kentucky.  Why are you here?’  It was crazy.  There are some crazy fans out there.”

About the Hunger Games DVD

 “[It is] a very up-close and personal look into what it was like throughout the entire process, from start to finish of turning the book into a movie,” Hutcherson said, being coy about further details. (The film is also available for digital download August 18.)

About Catching Fire

“I’m so excited it’s finally here, the time to start making it is finally here. I can’t wait to get shooting.” Given that a script didn’t exist just a few short months ago, it’s hard to believe everything is, in fact, prepped. But it is, according to Hutcherson: “I do have a script in hand and it’s awesome.  I love it so much,” Hutcherson confirmed, revealing that he met with newly-installed director Francis Lawrence (“I Am Legend,” 2007, “Water for Elephants,” 2011) to discuss the film’s vision. “We talked about how important it was to really make the movie version of the book and that was Francis’s goal from day one — and the script definitely portrays that.  It’s a very true-to-the-book rendition of the movie.”

His Catching Fire Training

The physicality required to play Peeta is still as rigorous for the sequel. “I’ve been working out a lot, getting back in the right shape for the role — because this last year, I sort of split my time and enjoyed myself — so I’ve been paying for that for the last month-and-a-half or so, getting back into the gym and eating healthy,” Hutcherson said.

Peeta-Katniss-Gale Love Triangle

When it comes to the ensuing love triangle depicted in “Catching Fire” between Peeta, Katniss (Lawrence) and Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Hutcherson happily anticipates the challenge: “It’s such a tough position that I know Peeta is put in where he is in absolute love with this girl and she acts like she’s in love with him, but he knows that she isn’t — and that is heartbreaking. As an actor, it’s something that I’m really excited play because it’s such a a conflicting emotion… It’s a very conflicting, confusing kind of thing and I can’t wait to play it out.  It’s really, really intense and exciting, I think.”

About Peeta

“Peeta is a little bit of a wrong place, wrong time kind of guy and he kind of gets hurt a little bit,” Hutcherson says with a laugh. “I think that it’s good to have a female hero who can step up because that’s real. It’s not always the girl that gets hurt in the story and the man has to protect her. That’s not how it works.  So it’s cool to have a different take on that.”

Hutcherson appears to be well aware that the sky is the limit: “It’s been an amazing ride and it’s only just beginning, so it’s very, very exciting.”

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