There’s been incessant buzz surrounding the big-screen adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ wildly young adult novel “The Hunger Games.” Aside from being imminently readable, the book is essentially a mixture of “Mad Max” meets “Battle Royale” meets Stephen King’s “The Long Walk” – for the tween set. And there are three of them – triple the addictive fun!
Last month’s news that Jennifer Lawrence signed on as the film’s protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, had fans all aflutter – but yesterday’s announcement regarding the casting of Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth as her two leading men sealed the deal: not only is this movie going to give the “Twilight” franchise a run for its money, but it’s going to showcase some of the best up-and-coming talent the industry has to offer.
As our friends at Hollywood Crush have extensively reported, initial reaction to the casting has been very mixed. But before you make up your mind on either actor, we figured it’d be wise to introduce you to the filmography of our future Peeta and Gale. Who knows – maybe their resumes will make them pass your job interview!
Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark)
Hutcherson is no stranger to the Hollywood scene – he’s had bit parts in TV shows such as “ER” – as well as various TV movies – since he was 10. He voiced characters in 2004’s “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “The Polar Express,” then moved on to work with heavy-hitter Will Ferrell in 2005’s “Kicking and Screaming.”
You may recognize him as Jess Aarons from “Bridge to Terabithia” (2007) or from playing Brendan Frasier’s son in “Journey to the Center of the Earth” (2008), but his standout role in last year’s critically acclaimed “The Kids Are All Right” put him on the map. As the sensitive, vulnerable and – ultimately – rebellious son of conflicted lesbian mothers, he afforded audiences a glimpse of the good-natured, charismatic, brave temperament embodied by Peeta Mellark.
Before you catch him in “The Hunger Games,” you’ll see him in genre-bending slasher “Detention” opposite Dane Cook, action vehicle “Red Dawn” opposite “Thor” star (and Gale's brother) Chris Hemsworth, and the coming-of-age drama “Carmel” with Hayden Panettiere.
Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne)
Unlike Hutcherson, hunky Australian Hemsworth is a recent fixture on the big-screen circuit. He made his feature film debut in 2009’s “Knowing” starring Nicolas Cage, but his role as Miley Cyrus’ love interest in “The Last Song” (2010) set teenage hearts racing. Lest you think Liam isn’t cut out to be a leading man, his charm extended well beyond celluloid – he and Cyrus were an item after filming wrapped.
Before he (presumably) dyes those golden locks black to tackle the role of Katniss’ brooding District 12 hunting partner, he’ll play Ali Baba in “Arabian Nights,” alongside Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Hopkins.
How do you feel about Hutcherson and Hemsworth as Peeta and Gale? Tell us your thoughts on the casting in the comments section and on Twitter, and head over to Hollywood Crush for more on "The Hunger Games"!