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Josh Hutcherson may only be 27, but he’s been in the business for.a really long time, starting out as a kid with roles in The Polar Express, Bridge To Terabithia and Journey to the Center of the Earth. Yet, it was The Hunger Games franchise that has had a major impact on his career. He recently spoke out about the movie in context with his Hulu series Future Man, noting why he had mixed feelings about when projects like these end.
To be clear, Josh Hutcherson did appreciate his job playing Peeta Mellark between 2012 and 2015. He noted he was happy to finish out the franchise with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 2, but his feelings on ending the series are not straightforward
[Goodbyes are] always weird. After I finished The Hunger Games and stuff, leaving that whole world was like such mixed feelings. Missing the crew, the people, the cast and the experience. But then you finished it, so that feels good. Same thing with Future Man. Anytime you do a project that lasts over multiple years and you’re connected to this character, this world, and these people, there’s such a mixed feeling.
The comments come just a few weeks after Hutcherson admitted in another interview that The Hunger Games and the fame it brought was a slap in “the face” in some ways. In fact, if he were offered a similar franchise role at this point he’d have to have a long, hard think about whether or not he’d say yes, mostly because he didn’t have all the facts the first time around.
There is something similar about the experience of going and working with the same crew. But TV is way harder than doing a big studio film. Because of the page count you have to shoot every day. In Future Man specifically, each episode we had a big set piece. It was a very heavy workload. On TV you had to shoot them that day.
From the sounds of things, Josh Hutcherson might trade the notoriety from playing Peeta Mellark with the work a TV series entails. He’s been taking smaller project in the time since The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 including The Disaster Artist as well as Hulu’s mentioned TV series Future Man. This year, he has two smaller movies The Long Home and Rita lined up.
He’s not the only major franchise actor to go on to take smaller and more unique projects. That was Robert Pattinson’s modus operandi for a long time following the Twilight movies, at least until he signed on for Matt Reeves’ The Batman. Jamie Dornan’s also taken some roles off the beaten path since Fifty Shades of Grey. (Though he did try to be part of another potential franchise with Robin Hood, which didn’t do so well at the box office.)
I’m just saying, big budget franchises aren’t for every actor and that’s absolutely alright. We’ll have to wait and see what Josh Hutcherson gets up to in the coming years, but from the sounds of things the bigger projects may not be for him.
In the meantime, The Hunger Games is hardly a forgotten franchise. In fact, author Suzanne Collins recently published a prequel book The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.