This week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine is a MUST OWN for any fan of The Hunger Games because Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson grace the cover in character as Gale Hawthorne and Peeta Mellark respectively. As you may recall, we learned last Spring that the young actors scored the coveted lead male roles in the big screen adaptation franchise but, until now, we haven’t seen them officially in character (who we saw Liam unofficially HERE and Josh HERE). Click below to get your FIRST LOOK at the two guys who will be vying for Katniss Everdeen‘s heart (as well as their very lives) in the upcoming film The Hunger Games.
It was a love-fest when Liam Hemsworth (The Last Song) and Josh Hutcherson (The Kids Are All Right) learned they’d landed the roles of Gayle and Peeta, respectively. The guys first met after Hutcherson worked with Hemsworth’s big brother, Chris, on an upcoming remake of Red Dawn. Says Hutcherson, ”I sent him a text: ‘Dude, we have The Hunger Games! I’m so stoked, man, this is awesome!”’ Before arriving on set, Hutcherson hit the gym for an intense round of training to better embody a boy who’s spent his childhood heaving sacks of flour. He put on about 15 pounds of muscle in three weeks. Director Gary Ross on Hemsworth: ”On first glance he’s such a hunk that it’s easy to ascribe a hunklike simplicity to him. But this is a phenomenally subtle actor, totally in control of what he was doing.” Hutcherson and Lawrence have become playful friends, but he’s a little concerned about the payback she might give him for a prank he played on her. ”I’m sure she’s going to pay me back,” says Hutcherson. ”I’m just terrified because she’s someone I can see taking it to the next level, and somebody could get hurt.” Hemsworth and Hutcherson may be rivals on screen, but they bonded hard during their weeks on set together. ”I think it’s going to blow people’s minds when they see that Peeta and Gale are actually best friends in real life,” says Hutcherson.
OMG … I love this so much. As you may recall, we got our first look at Jennifer Lawrence in character as Katniss Everdeen on the cover of EW back in May … so EW is doing an AMAZING job of giving us the best Hunger Games coverage around. I think I’m warming up to Hutcherson as Peeta … as I’ve said many times before, my heart was set on Hunter Parrish getting the role but … now that I see the guys side-by-side, I’m OK with his casting. These photos are great. This is a nice little snack to enjoy for a while until we get our next Games update. What do y’all think of these photos? Do you love?