Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth are gearing up for the highly anticipated release of "The Hunger Games," but beyond the career-changing power of the film, the actors are most excited about sharing their work with fans.
"I'm dying for people to see it, you know? There's so much expectation and so much hype, I just--I'm ready for it to come out and people to watch it and hopefully love it," Hemsworth told OnTheRedCarpet.com in a recent interview.
The 20-year-old Australian actor plays Gale Hawthorne, the best friend of heroine Katniss Everdeen, portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence. Hutcherson plays Peeta Mellark, her other love interest. The movie was directed by Gary Ross.
"I'm so excited to be a part of this project," Hemsworth added. "I think it turned out above and beyond what I expected and Gary's done such a good job of making it so real and keeping it so real. From beginning to end, it's so powerful and you really do care about these characters."
In "The Hunger Games," Everdeen lives in a post-apocalyptic future where a boy and girl from various districts are chosen and taken to a massive area where they must survive and fight to death.
This annual event, dubbed The Hunger Games, takes place in front of cameras, which broadcast their every move to viewers. Everdeen volunteers to be a tribute, or fighter, for her District 12.
"You have normal characters that people can relate to in some way or another that you can care about and they're in these horrible situations," Hemsworth said. "I think as an audience, you keep on reading because you want to see if they can get out of the situation and see if they fight back and if they stand up to it. This one girl, who provides hope and courage to everyone and allows everyone to stand up and come together and then say 'No, we don't have to live in this situation.'"
"As a viewer watching it, I definitely felt the brutality and felt the suppression that people felt from the government and what not so it was very, very intense for a viewer to watch," Hutcherson said.
"The Hunger Games" is based on a book series by Suzanne Collins. The stories already have a fan following, mostly among teenage girls, and hundreds attended the Los Angeles premiere earlier this month.
"It's a little crazy," he said about the premiere. "I feel very fortunate to be where I am and be a part of this process. I'm trying to prepare for [the craziness] as much as I can. I feel like I'm really on a crazy ride right now. I feel very happy to be where I am."
Hutcherson, 19, dyed his hair blond to play Peeta Mellark, a fellow fighter who competes for Everdeen's affections. He has joked he's already been getting marriage proposals.Reporting by Cari Skillman of KABC Television, which produces the entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).