411mania.com interview both Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth about their characters and the movie Hunger Games. Josh Hutcherson discusses the tension between Peeta and Gale, his training, and playing a character on not being “trustworthy“. On top of that Liam talks about Gary Ross, what he took away from the experience, and the phenomenon of Hunger Games.
Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson discussed The Hunger Games, based on Suzanne Collins’ novel. Hemsworth plays Gale Hawthorne and Hutcherson plays Peeta Mellark.
In the film, Gale and Peeta are part of a love triangle with Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), “a young girl from one of the poorer Districts of what was once North America. She takes center stage in the new nation of Panem when she volunteers to take her sister’s place at the annual “Hunger Games,” a bloody winner-take-all competition in which 24 teens fight to the death for the amusement of the evil Capitol. Also participating in the Games is Peeta while Gale, left behind in their shared District, can only watch Katniss’ fate on the television broadcast.” The film will be released on March 23.
Hutcherson on the tension between Peeta and Gale: “I think the rivalry between Peeta and Gale is an unspoken tension, because they never really have it out. It’s never like “Hey, she’s mine!” We’re in the reaping, but I don’t know if we’re in the same, shot once. Eye contact, once?”
Hutcherson on training: “Physically, it was pretty similar to what I’d done before, but what was different was that I had to put on weight, which I hadn’t done before. I put on fifteen pounds of muscle, so that was a lot of eating chicken and a high protein, low-carb diet. Also a lot of heavy lifting and a very different kind of training with an ex-navy SEAL guy who wanted to kill me every time I got with him. In a good way.”
Hemsworth on the development of his character in the later books: “At this point, I’m happy to be part of something special. As an actor I liked to choose scripts that I’m passionate about. Yeah, I read all the books before I met with anyone about the movie. I’m a fan of the books.”
Hutcherson on playing a character that may not be trustworthy: “It’s interesting because, in the book, you have Katniss’s internal monologue and dialogue to help you understand that she’s confused about Peeta. In the movie, you have to rely on how the scenes are structured and other performances. For me, if you watch it, I felt like I was right along with Katniss the whole time as a viewer. So I think it came from how it was edited together. You only see Katniss’ interactions with Peeta, so as an audience, you have to live off of that. Like when he runs off with the other faction, you wonder if Peeta is not who you think he is. So it’s got a lot to do with the structure of the film.”
Hutcherson on striking a balance between being grounded and well-motivated: “I think that came from his self-deprecating humor. I think those that are holier-than-thou don’t make jokes. They take themselves too seriously and Peeta doesn’t take himself too seriously. This is what I believe in and I’m comfortable with that and I can make a joke here and there.”
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