Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Hutcherson Tries Animated Films

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Hutcherson Tries Animated Films

Article excerpt

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Normally, you work your way into the off-the- wall questions with movie stars. But with Josh Hutcherson, the big one is just hanging there, demanding to be asked:

"How often does the average 12- to 19-year-old girl come up to you and propose marriage?"

The 20-year-old "Hunger Games" hunk, nicknamed "our Boy with the Bread" on some of the many fan sites devoted to showing their devotion, takes it all in stride.

"More often than you think," he cracks. "I get it. I get it. It's the CHARACTER they're in love with, right?"

Right. Well, maybe. A Kentucky native, a child star since "The Bridge to Terabithia" and "Journey to the Center of the Earth," an actor of some repute since "The Kids Are All Right," Mr. Hutcherson's world was rocked from the day he was cast as Peeta Mellark, love interest to archer-heroine Katniss Everdeen in "The Hunger Games."

The movie was a teen-girl driven blockbuster, selling millions of tickets and millions of copies of the books and fan magazines about the series.

What George Lucas once said -- "If you can tune into the fantasy life of an 11-year-old girl, you can make a fortune in this business" -- applies, in spades, to "The Hunger Games." Mr. Hutcherson is just along for the ride. And he knows it.

"It's been a great experience. Things are obviously different for me than they were a year ago, two years ago or five years ago. I'm still doing my thing, being myself. I'm just grateful for the attention, for all the people that come out and see the movies."

He's in it for the "storytelling," Mr. Hutcherson says. Pitch him a compelling tale, and he'll do your movie.

That's how he landed a role in "Epic," the first big animated film of the summer. It's a tale of a battle between good and evil forest sprites in which a human teen (voice of Amanda Seyfried) is drawn.

Nod, his character, "is a warrior and a Leaf Man, sworn to protect Mother Nature. …

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