'Hunger Games' Star Josh Hutcherson On His Connection To Peeta & When 'Catching Fire' Stars Filming

Access Hollywood
Josh Hutcherson chats with Access Hollywood at 'The Hunger Games' junket in Los Angeles on March 3, 2012 -- Access Hollywood

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Josh Hutcherson chats with Access Hollywood at 'The Hunger Games' junket in Los Angeles on March 3, 2012 -- Access Hollywood

Josh Hutcherson will soon become a household name due to his leading role as Peeta Mellark in one of the most highly anticipated films of 2012, "The Hunger Games," and the actor told Access Hollywood he'd never been more sure he was destined to play a role prior to reading the screenplay.

"I never really read a character before that I connected with more than Peeta," Josh recently told Access Hollywood's Shaun Robinson at "The Hunger Games" in Los Angeles. "So, for me, if I couldn't get that job I was like, 'Well, if I can't play practically myself in a movie, what can I play?'"

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Josh said auditioning for the mild-mannered District 12 tribute was nearly as terrifying as being in the arena, as his audience included "Hunger Games" director Gary Ross and the trilogy's author, Suzanne Collins.

"It was probably like six people in the room, including Gary Ross and Suzanne Collins, which was intimidating, as well as some other producers and camera people and what not," he told Shaun. "So, it was a very nerve-wracking experience."

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While Josh's co-star Jennifer Lawrence has admitted she took three days to decide before signing on to play Katniss Everdeen, Josh said didn't hesitate for a moment when the casting call came.

"It took me about all of a tenth of a second to [agree]," he told Shaun. "It was an understood yes. It was like, as soon as the offer came in there was no thinking about, 'Hmm, should I do this or not?'"

And rest assured "HG" fans, Josh said production on the big screen imagining of the series' second book, "Catching Fire," is set to begin soon.

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"I'm thinking like the fall time," he told Shaun, when asked when shooting the next film will commence. "They're still working on the script -- they've got to get that nailed down and they want the first movie to come out obviously, not get too ahead of themselves.

"But yeah, it's looking good," he added. "I love the second book a lot as well, so kind of diving into that is awesome."

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"The Hunger Games" hits theaters on March 23.

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