'The Hunger Games': Jennifer Lawrence defends her Peeta and Gale -- EXCLUSIVE

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Image Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images; Scott Barbour/Getty Images

After weeks of hand-wringing about whether Jennifer Lawrence was the right girl to pick up Hunger Games heroine Katniss Everdeen’s bow, fans seemed to have taken heart from both EW’s exclusive first look and Lawrence’s sensitive take on the character. That frees up some mental energy to concentrate on other matters surrounding Gary Ross’ movie adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ epic adventure. Like, will Josh Hutcherson look good blonde? And is Liam Hemsworth an interesting actor, or just a muscular one? Here, Lawrence offers her take on what makes them the right guys to play Katniss’ District 12 homeboys Peeta and Gale.

PEETA (Josh Hutcherson): “Josh is so charming,” she says. “He’s so charming! And when you read in the books about Peeta being able to manipulate anybody — I mean Josh could get, well, I don’t know a metaphor for [this scenario] except for dirty ones. But he’s charming, he’s sweet, he’s down to earth, he’s normal. He embodies all of it and brings it all to Peeta. So when you meet him he’s got all of these great qualities and every single one of them come across in every line he says out loud as Peeta.”

GALE (Liam Hemsworth): “Liam is just a solid brick of muscle and you look at him and you’re like ‘Oh, okay great!'” she says. “But he’s got depth and he’s interesting and at the same time he’s natural and he flows.”

For more on The Hunger Games, including photos of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss and a guide to the film’s other characters, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands now.

Read more on The Hunger Games:
Exclusive first look at Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss
‘The Hunger Games’: Meet the Cast
What scene from ‘The Hunger Games’ is Jennifer Lawrence most excited to shoot?


Comments (42 total) Add your comment
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  • AM

    If Jennifer gives them the green light then they are ok by me. I just can’t wait for the film to hit theaters!.

    • myra

      Who will they cast as buttercup?
      a) a very old geriatric cat that is also a great actor because after all in movies and tv old cats always play kittens.
      b) a red or black cat with acting experience and awards nominations because after all color is not important they will dye its hair and acting is more important. Plus it’s impossible to cast a yellow cat that also has acting talent.
      c) a black old cat that became famous not because his acting but its singing but had a 5 minute role in a movie and gary ross liked his acting.
      d) Cate blanchet! She is an oscar winner actress and because of that she can pull off anything. If you don’t think she is the right one watch all of her previous movies. She even played BOB DYLAN!
      e) a yellow mashed-in nose,half of one ear missing, eyes the color of rotting squad.
      f) a squirrel or a dog because there is one thing called makeup and there’s also Hollywood magic.
      G)None of the above they will just cut out Buttercup because he is a minor role.

      • Megan

        If you dont mind, I will be sharing this comment because it is perhaps the funniest thing (and slightly passive aggressive) I’ve read regarding the movie yet.

  • m1

    She didn’t say much about Liam.

    • Cara

      I think there’s a reason for that… he seems like the weaker of the two. I noticed Josh Hutcherson when he was just a little kiddo, and he already was an interesting actor. Liam Hemsworth seems like such a boring teen eye-candy choice. But I guess he could surprise us!

    • Anne

      I think thats because the fans need to be convinced more that Josh Hutcherson could make a good Peeta (I’m still on the fence myself)

    • Larissa

      i knew the twilight movies would suck because the actors their don’t have much experience but Josh Hutcherson has been in movies since a young age so I don’t know.

  • Shannon

    I trust you Jennifer! Josh wasn’t my first choice, but he does have more lead-man experience in accepting this role, than, say Pattinson did. He has an open face, which is important for anyone who plays Peeta. I know Parrish fans loathe Huncherson, but hey, give him a chance. I am still a little unsure of Liam. Acting opposite Miley Cyrus doesn’t impress me…I know Jennifer said he is this big block of muscle, but can the muscle act?

    • m1

      About Liam, he was able to spark a decent amount of chemistry with Miley in The Last Song. He was also one of the few good things about that awful movie, so I wouldn’t really worry too much.

      • ash555

        i’m a parrish fan, but i think hutcherson will do great. And as far as Liam goes the role that hes best known for is a corny miley cyrus flick. I mean, it’s hard to be taken seriously in a movie where miley is trying to be a rebel. (and i read the last song,great book= which miley ruined). i think liam will surpise us!

  • Jon

    Hair color and height and other physical characteristics are not the things people should be getting worked up over. I never understand it when fanboys get caught up in discussing every small detail.

    • lefty

      When our hero and heroine are the same height…I don’t think that’s a small detail.

      • Jennifer

        Why, because guy has to be taller than girl so she would fall in love with him? Or he can`t protect her if they are same height? I don`t understand your comment!

      • Jon

        If Keanu Reeves were blonde would Constantine have been better? If Michael Clarke Duncan was white would Daredevill have been better? I am saying that in terms of the final product of a film small things like this are not of concern. It is an ADAPTATION. It is the chosen writer/director’s interpretation of the material. Why is height an issue. Did you know Elijah wood isn’t really 3 1/2 feet tall?

      • whatevs

        Jennifer, most girls prefer guys who are taller than they are. That’s just a fact.

      • hmmm

        welp. in the movie katniss is gunna end up with a josh hutcherson sized peeta. so just get over it.

      • Kim

        I think height is a small detail and it is very common for shorter men to prefer tall women. Does that make the shorter man any less attractive I think not. The question is can they act the part. I might offend some Gale fans by saying he doesn’t have much depth in my opinion but lets be honest the most important acting besides Katniss is going to be Peeta. Can Josh pull it off we will see!

      • Danielle

        Plus!!! I think Tom Cruise is like a hero and he’s so small

  • cheri

    I can’t wait to see pictures. Are they going to dye Josh and Liam’s hair? It will be interesting to see. I was one who wanted Hunter as well, but have moved on. Ready to hear who Cinna will be. All the more intrigued that it will be Lenny Kravitz now that we have seen Portia will be played by a African American actress.

    • Chozen

      Yani – EWWWW I think he looks terrible like this. I know it’s a fan who made it and a good job they did, don’t get me wrong but he looks like a weird alibno blonde. This is NOT what I pictured Peeta like at all. Coma Calm – oh come on now, there’s always time to rant some more! LOL

  • Liz Lemon

    WHY? So many Hunger Games articles. Please slow it down EW. Give the movie a chance to actually be filmed first. Jeez.
    I’m not going to be confident in any of the main three actors they’ve cast until I see them in character on-screen.

  • n

    I just finished the first book and the whole time I pictured Peeta as Josh w/ dark hair so i almost wish they would just leave his hair dark–he is so damn handsome! Very excited about this franchise– I think they did an outstanding job with casting.

    • em

      I know!! i pictured peeta as dark-haired too!! have no idea why..

  • n

    Also, Liam has a weird head. Perhaps it is just the pic. Either way, his brother (aka THOR) is much finer. Aaaaand done! with my schoolgirl analyzing.

    • jenn

      i agree, liam’s head looks like an egg and he’s not that preety if you ask me…on the other hand chris is a HUNK! :p

  • Wolf

    Fist Twilight, then Glee, now this. I’m so sick of EW’s obsessions.

    • n

      I’m so sick of your obsession with EW!! Leave if you don’t like what they cover! GTFO.

    • John

      Except that The Hunger Games is better than both of those things. I don’t even like Glee and I hate Twilight. This is so different. It actually has a story.

  • Dannielle

    Personally, I’m happy that Josh is playing Peeta. I’ve been a huge fan of his for a long time and she’s absolutely right about his strength of character. He and Peeta have a lot of similarities, pyhsically and emotionally! Looking forward to his performance!

  • Allie

    The character of Peeta is all about the portayal, not the appearance. Alex Pettyfer may have looked the part, but I don’t think he has the skill to play Peeta. Dying his hair blond is such a minute detail if he is otherwise perfect for the role. Jennifer seems to think so to. She doesn’t really say much about Liam though!

    • anonymous

      alex pettyfer does not look the part of peeta. more like cato. josh hutcherson has a boyish-nice face… like peeta!

    • Anadery

      I can’t see the images eitehr. I’m cool with the castig so far! At least these people can act…well, not sure about Liam’s acting ability. He looks good without a shirt though!

  • Llai Mina

    I honestly though Peeta and Gale looked completely alright. It was Katniss I was worried about, seeing as she is dark haired and grey eyed, but Jennifer is blond haired and blue eyed. Then I saw pics of her as Katniss and I was like COOL! She loks perfect and in my opinion, so do Josh and Liam.
    just one thing though, maybe Gale, in my opinion, would just look a little tougher, like, maybe not so happy as he looks in the pic. I know it’s supposed to make the actor look not so unapproachable or something, but at least for Gale, I think he should’ve looked a little less soft.

    • Leah

      you do realize the pictures of the actors in this article are not them in character right? just promo shots.

  • Hunger games #1fan

    cannot wait for the movie it will be so cool!!!!! and i am pretty sure josh is taller than jennifer! he is probably taller than you’d think! also i am excited to see who cinna is because he is one of my favorites in the whole book!!!! Twilight sucks it is mainly for girls, but i know a lot of boys who’d see this movie!

  • Becca

    I love these actors but they are so wrong for these roles. And if this movie turns out like other movie remakes it will turn an amazing book into a horrible movie. I would rather sit through a 4 hour movie just like the book then a two hour one that butchers Collin’s beautiful action-packed and love-filled words.

    • Stephanie

      The movie hasn’t even came out yet. How do you know they are wrong for the role? Suzanne Collins WAS THERE FOR THE AUDITION’S.

  • Brandon

    Our blonde is actually a brunette and our brunette is actually a blonde? Suzanne is acting as if she didn’t even read her own book.Plus, these actors/actresses are like 20 years older than they’re supposed to be.It’ll still probably be a decent movie though.

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