A few weeks ago, Lionsgate reached out to several of The Hunger Games fansites with a very exciting offer: the opportunity to interview Peeta himself, Josh Hutcherson. Of course, DWTC jumped at the chance to talk to the boy with the bread (you know after we picked ourselves up off of the floor), but there was a catch– much like the Tribute interviews in The Hunger Games itself, our time with Josh would be brief.
Each fansite would only get one question.
So on an otherwise unimpressive Sunday afternoon, eleven representatives from around the net sat, holding their breath, cell phones clutched in white knuckled hands, waiting for the hold music to end on our conference call. Finally a click, a brief introduction from a Lionsgate representative, and then we were on the line live with Josh.
Our order had been pre-assigned, reaped and given a number that would determine when we would ask our pre-approved questions. And so, one by one, we took a deep breath and began our brief (yet totally incredible) Peeta-view:
Josh: Hey guys! How are you? First off, I just want to say thank you. I mean everything you guys have done with your sites is incredible, and there’s so many fans for this book and to see you guys out there kind of rallying them together really means a lot a definitely does not go unnoticed by everyone involved with making the movie. So, thank you, first and foremost.
More after the jump!
Question One, Gabby from TheHob.org: What scene did you find the most challenging in The Hunger Games, and did it lead to any changes while filming it?
Josh: It was hard because some scenes were more physically challenging, some were emotionally challenging. The cave scene was tough for us. I think that, number one, we had to shoot all the stuff that happened in the cave in one day so we didn’t have a lot of time to really get it, but, at the same time, in that scene, Peeta can have a tendency to kind of go a little more on the softer edge, and I thought that between myself and Gary and Suzanne, cinematically we decided that it made more sense if Peeta had a little more backbone. So in that scene it kind of took a little bit of adjusting with the dialogue and performance to get to that point. So, in the sense of emotionally, that was probably one of the more challenging scenes, and it did slightly change a little bit from the book but in no way that I think most people would really notice.
Question Two, Kimmy from Mockingjay.net: What was the craziest stunt you had to do, and what was the preparation like to prepare for that stunt?
Josh: The craziest stunt was probably the end fight with Cato and Katniss up on the top of the Cornucopia. For me, the training was the choreography- memorizing that was extremely challenging and it was pretty elaborate and a lot of movement and a lot of weapons involved and things like that. It was pretty intense. We shot it over the course of three nights, and it was challenging. We were very hot, and it was humid outside and we were sweating up a storm. It was very challenging, but it was such a cool scene to shoot. I loved it.
Question Three, Kate from HungerGamesTrilogy.net: If you were a Capitol citizen, what crazy fashion trend would you start?
Josh: I’m a fan of crazy hair things, so I’m thinking like maybe mohawks. Those are pretty rock and roll kind of awesome. Mohawks and I’m personally a fan of tank tops. I think they’re perfect and extremely comfortable and I think that that wouldn’t be crazy, but that would be the fashion trend I would try to hook them on.
Question Four, Shylah from DWTC: We know that Katniss brings the Mockingjay pin into the Arena- what would Peeta’s token be, and what would yours be if you had to go in?
Josh: It’s hard to say. Peeta- well most people would probably bring something from their family, but Peeta has had a very tried relationship with his family. I would like to think that maybe it was something from a grandparent of his, something that maybe they don’t really talk about in the books. Maybe some sort of pendant or something that he could keep in his pocket as a good luck charm. For me, I think that, it’s kind of weird, but, my grandma makes the best friend chicken in the world, and maybe like a bone from one of her pieces of fried chicken as a good luck kind of thing. Maybe that would be what I would bring.
Question Five, Summer from MyHungerGames.com: Your face has been on everything lately, from action figures and pillow cases to cardboard cutouts to t-shirts, how does that make you feel?
Josh: It’s crazy. It’s such a crazy feeling. I mean, it’s something I never really expected to happen to me in my lifetime, and I keep on getting pictures of my friends sending me of them holding up a magazine with my face on it; and it’s mildly embarrassing and slightly traumatizing. At the same time, it’s cool. To be a part of such an amazing movie with such an amazing story, and to have so many fans out there and see their support, it’s very reassuring. It’s very nice.
Question Six, Will from HungerGamesMovie.org: What was the most difficult part to film from a technical aspect?
Josh: From a physical thing, one of the more challenging things was dealing with the heat while shooting. It was almost a hundred degrees in a lot of scenes, especially in the Reaping. We had like 400 extras there and they were all young kids, and it was a hundred degrees outside and we shot that scene for five days and it was extremely hot and humid. Dealing with that was just adding on, but it kind of added on a sort of real element to it, too, because it was frustrating and it was hot and hard to handle and it kind of gave us a bit of an edge when shooting some of those scenes.
Question Seven, Shelia from HGGirlOnFire.com: You said that you are very similar to Peeta and that you just had to have the part. What was most important for you in bringing this character to life?
Josh: So much. I connect with Peeta on so many levels. When I went to the audition, Suzanne Collins was in the room and I said to Suzanne and Gary Ross our director: “I’ve never said this before in an audition, but I feel like I’m so much like Peeta it blows my mind a bit. I really don’t know how, Suzanne, you were able to write a book based on me as a person.” It sounds so horrible as an actor to go into the room and be like “hey, I’m so much like the part,” but I feel like I had to say it. For me, I think that Peeta has a strong belief that you can’t become a piece in someone’s game. You’ve got to be your own creator of your own life, and I believe that wholeheartedly. I think that Peeta, because of that, I’ve gone through a lot as an actor, and had to not change who I am and I think that that’s probably the biggest way I connected with Peeta. On top of that, he’s good at talking with people. He knows how to turn it on when he needs to, and that’s something that I’ve been doing my whole life. So I definitely identify with that.
Question Eight, Elena from HungerGamesMovies.net: You took a very long hiatus from twitter- what prompted you to come back and what the fan feedback has been since your return?
Josh: The fan feedback has been amazing. I tweet something and get 900 responses right away, so it’s pretty cool. For me, I was in London and Paris and I was doing some pretty cool stuff and seeing some amazing things, and I kind of wanted to share it with somebody. I was like “who should I share it with– oh, I have a lot of followers on twitter, let me try that!” I’ve been trying to keep up with it. It’s a different world for me. It’s something that I’m definitely new to, and I think that it can be abused sometimes. People can kind of go overboard with twitter, so, for me, I’m going to tweet when exciting things are happening and when I’m doing things that I think people will find interesting.
Question Nine, Tiffany from VictorsVillage.com and WelcomeToDistrict12.com: If President Snow forced you onto a present day reality show, but you could pick which one, what show would you choose and why?
Josh: I don’t watch reality TV all that much. I watch Bear Grylls like Man vs. Wild, which, I guess, is technically a reality show. I would probably choose that one because he’s epic and amazing and learning the survival skills would be pretty awesome. Or I would choose Jersey Shore just to try to knock some sense into these people.
Question Ten, Savanna from HGFiresideChat.com: As you know, we run Hunger Games fansites, so we’re obviously very passionate about the series (some might even say obsessed). Imagine for a moment that you’re not a famous actor about to be in the biggest movie of the year, what fansite would you start?
Josh: I would probably start a UK fansite, University of Kentucky basketball because I’m a diehard Wildcats fan. I have been my whole life and I’m obsessed with the team and I know a bunch about the stats and the players and all that so that would probably be the route that I would go down.
Question Eleven, Samus from SparksWillFly.org: Since you’re running and you’re in the Games, the actors are bound to get some sort of injury or bruise, which scene, for you, resulted in the most bruises or injuries?
Josh: Well, surprisingly, it was a scene that wasn’t supposed to have any kind of action in it entirely. It was just me and Jennifer running through the woods and we were kind of messing around, just having fun not filming, and Jennifer said she could kick over my head and I was like “there’s no way.” So she tried to show me and she actually kicked me in the side of the head and gave me a mild concussion. That was the most injury sustained and it wasn’t even while shooting. But she felt so bad. At first, we were laughing about it because I didn’t want her to feel bad, and then afterwards I talked to somebody and said “I think I might actually have a mild concussion.” They did the whole eyeball check and everything, and I did so she felt horrible She was crying and was like “I’m so sorry. You can kick me in the head.” And I was like “I am not going to kick you in the head, it’s fine.” But it was pretty funny, and she felt pretty awful about it.
Was that filmed?
Josh: No it wasn’t. It was just like a thing. Yeah, I know, I wish. God, I wish that was on camera. Then I would never let her live it down.
And so after some awkward goodbyes, we bid adieu to Mr. Hutcherson and returned to our normal, Peeta-less, lives…
What did you think of our fansite-wide Peeta-view? Did we ask all of your must-know questions to Josh?