UNIVERSAL CITY, California — “The Hunger Games” stormed the box office to the tune of nearly $400 million, and at Sunday’s MTV Movie Awards, the man fans know and love as Peeta Mellark clutched a different type of riches in his hand: a Golden Popcorn. Thanks to the massive number of fans who voted for him, Josh Hutcherson took home the award for Best Male Performance at the 21st annual awards show.
“Oh, my god. I’ve wanted to hold a Golden Popcorn since I was like 4 years old. This is incredible,” he said from the stage, as he accepted the award from Emma Watson, Logan Lerman and Ezra Miller. “It’s insane too, because every single one of those actors I admire and I want to be, so to even be up here is blowing my mind right now.”
Hutcherson thanked “Hunger Games” author Suzanne Collins, director Gary Oldman, his producers like Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik, Lionsgate and, of course, the fans.
“You guys are the best fans in the world,” he gushed. “You’re crazy and passionate and you make our job amazing.”
The 19-year-old Kentucky-born actor joined an esteemed list of A-listers, guy’s guys and heartthrobs who have taken home the esteemed award, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Denzel Washington, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Leonardo DiCaprio.
The former child star beat out a formidable array of challengers who all more than earned their places in the category: Daniel
Radcliffe, Channing Tatum, Ryan Gosling and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Radcliffe was nominated for his final performance as the world’s most beloved boy wizard in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.” Tatum cruised into the category for his role opposite Rachel McAdams in the tear-jerking romantic drama “The Vow,” which also earned him a nomination for Best Kiss. Gosling, who won the Best Kiss category once upon a time (with McAdams) thanks to “The Notebook,” was nominated for the darkly pensive and critically acclaimed drama “Drive.” Gordon-Levitt, who we’ll be seeing again in “The Dark Knight Rises” this summer, gave a nuanced performance in “50/50.”
Anticipation for the next entry in the “Hunger Games” series, “Catching Fire,” is already running high. Earlier in the week, “John Carter” star Taylor Kitsch shot down rumors that he’d play dreamy District 4 tribute Finnick Odair, something Robert Pattinson debunked himself, as well.