On the eve of a national press tour to promote "The Hunger Games," one of its stars, Josh Hutcherson, was feted by castmates, friends and well-wishers at a dinner celebrating his appearance on the cover of Nylon Guys magazine's March 2012 issue -- his first-ever solo cover as it turns out.
"It's not my first cover -- that was Entertainment Weekly with Liam [Hemsworth, a 'Hunger Games' co-star], but to have my own solo cover is kind of blowing my mind completely.”
By all accounts, Hutcherson, a 19-year-old whose acting career spans a decade and includes movies such as 2008's "Journey to the Center of the Earth," its 2012 sequel "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island" and 2010's "The Kids Are All Right" should get used to blown-mind syndrome, since the hotly anticipated big-screen version of Suzanne Collins' novel "The Hunger Games" was already breaking online ticket sales a month before its March 23 release.
Hutcherson, who plays Peeta Mellark in the movie, turned out to a PF Flyers-sponsored dinner at West Hollywood's Palihouse wearing jeans, a pair of boots and a black, hooded Superdry puffer vest layered over a flannel shirt layered over a gray V-neck T-shirt and nursing a slight cough.
"I’ve traveled for work before but nowhere near this much," Hutcherson said about the nationwide media blitz that he was about to embark on the next day. "The itinerary is 30 pages and it's going to be every day in a different city with traveling [to the next city] at the end of each day. ... There's going to be a lot of Emergen-C and vitamin C and stuff like that."
He'll also be packing an iPod ("An iPod is the No. 1 thing -- 100%," Hutcherson told us, "You've gotta have your music"), blue jeans ("All Saints is my favorite jean") and Timberland boots. "I’m pretty simple, I don't use a hairbrush or a certain kind of hair product," he said. "I’m all about flannels and layers, so that's pretty much what I rock."
Of course there are occasions when that level of laid-back just doesn't cut it (such as premieres, press tours and the like), which Hutcherson will be doing a lot more of in upcoming weeks and months. "I love getting dressed up doing the whole premiere look. I have a lot of Band of Outsiders shirts and ties -- they have really well-fitting shirts -- and most of my suits are J. Lindeberg though I have some Z Zegna as well."
Hutcherson says he's been working with stylists (sisters Wendi and Nicole Ferreira, who were part of Melissa Magsaysay's recent piece about award-season celebrity styling) for about two years. "I really love my stylists, they really get what I like. I was with them for about four hours yesterday and tried on six suits -- all of which are out getting tailored for the press tour."
And whether it's layered flannels or sharp-looking suits, Hutcherson is guided by the same sartorial principle: "The most important thing is being comfortable in it, and being yourself and not just being a monkey that they put clothes on.
"So everything I wear is very much what I want to wear, it's not just a matter of someone handing you clothes and saying: 'Here, play dress up.'"
-- Adam Tschorn
Photos: Top, fellow cast members from "The Hunger Games" including Alexander Ludwig, left, and Jacqueline Emerson, middle, turned out to a Nylon Guys and PF Flyers-sponsored party for Josh Hutcherson , right, who makes his first solo cover appearance for the March 2012 issue. Credit: Alexandra Wyman / Wireimage. Bottom, Hutcherson as he appears on the cover of the March 2012 issue of Nylon Guys, Credit: Nylon