‘Hunger Games’ First Look: Josh Hutcherson As Peeta, Liam Hemsworth As Gale

Pssssst! Hey, all you who despaired over the “Hunger Games” casting of Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth in the male leads of Peeta and Gale! Not that we don’t understand, but you might want to take a look at the upcoming cover of Entertainment Weekly before passing further judgment…because Panem’s most eligible bachelors are front, center, and lookin’ fiiiiiine.

Josh and Liam, both sporting the requisite dye jobs, are photographed in the same woodsy wilderness that stood behind Jennifer Lawrence in her first appearance as Katniss, and the magazine sat down with both actors to talk about their potentially star-making turns. Josh, rather cutely, did his best to reassure fans that Jennifer does not in fact tower over him (a concern some raised upon his casting). “Jennifer’s not two feet taller than me!” he said. “If anything, maybe she’s a half inch taller.”

Director Gary Ross sat down with the magazine, dispelling any notion of Liam being too much of a heartthrob for the complex, hunterly role of Gale. “On first glance he’s such a hunk that it’s easy to just sort of ascribe a hunk-like simplicity to him,” Gary said. “But this is a phenomenally subtle actor.”

This first look is great and all, but March 23 just can’t come fast enough.

The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, featuring full interviews with Josh and Liam, hits newsstands on Friday.

What do you think of this first look at the “Hunger Games” guys in their hungry, gamey getup?