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Josh Hutcherson took on the role of Peeta Mellark in the film adaptation of the book series by Suzanne Collins when he was just nineteen years old. He had previous work as a child actor when he starred in the memorable and heartbreaking Bridge to Terabithia. Going from a child actor in a small role to a popular actor in a major franchise had a significant impact on him.

It was worlds apart from anything I have ever experienced. It’s like a double-edged sword. Obviously the benefit of having more projects come your way is great. But when I set out to become an actor at 8, being famous and being recognized was not on my radar. I just wanted to make movies. That naiveté followed me until The Hunger Games slapped me in the face. It’s hard for anybody to digest, especially being a kid from Kentucky. It made me realize the kind of actor I wanted to be. The idea of doing big, big projects that make you even more well-known doesn’t sound as appetizing. If that opportunity came up again, I would have to think about it more.

Josh Hutcherson, EW.

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But he doesn’t look back on it in a bad manner, he was very grateful for the opportunity that was presented for him and marked it as his ‘coming-of-age’. The film lasted for four years until it finished with Mockingjay – Part 2. He wasn’t alone in feeling like this, however, as his co-star Jennifer Lawrence had only recently come to the front of public admiration following her Oscar-nominated role in Winter’s Bone. The Hunger Games propelled her forward into further fame and she has been a household name ever since. Hutcherson hasn’t been in anything major following it.

What did you think of his portrayal of Peeta? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow for more film news.

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