The characters in "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island" encounter all manner of unusual animals on the film's Jules Verne-inspired island, but the only creature actress Kristin Davis wanted to pet Thursday was costar Josh Hutcherson.
The "Sex and the City" star revealed that she was a big fan of Hutcherson’s performance in "The Kids Are All Right" and said she prepared for playing the 19-year-old's mother by getting tips from Mama Hutcherson herself.
"I talked to Josh's mom. I said, 'I always want to pet him,'" Davis told Ministry of Gossip at the film’s L.A. premiere Thursday at Grauman's Chinese Theatre. "She said, 'You can’t really touch them when they get to this age, 'cause they feel like you're making them like a kid.' ... In the movie I had to scold him. But I felt bad because Josh is such a mature young man."
The family adventure movie, a sequel to 2008’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” takes 17-year-old Sean (Hutcherson) and his stepfather (Dwayne Johnson) to a mystical island in search of Sean’s grandfather (played by Michael Caine).
In preparation for filming underwater scenes, Hutcherson and Johnson got scuba-diving certification.
"I've always wanted to get scuba certified, and this was a great excuse, and I didn't have to pay for it!": said Hutcherson, who will next be seen in the much-anticipated "The Hunger Games" in March.
Johnson, a.k.a. "The Rock," may be most recognized for his wrestling career and tough-guy roles in movies like last year’s "Fast Five," but Hutcherson busted that stereotype.
"He's fun, he's charismatic, he's outgoing. He has a sensitive side," the actor told reporters. "But he’s also very physical and has the whole action hero side as well."
Luis Guzmán, who plays the helicopter pilot who takes Sean and his stepfather to the Mysterious Island, said of Johnson, "He is the man. I'd work with Dwayne any day of the week. He certainly made an action hero out of me. I'm just waiting for my action figure to come out."
"Journey 2" brought Johnson home to Hawaii, where he grew up, a location that costar Vanessa Hudgens took plenty of time to enjoy.
"The adventures I got to have in my downtime –- I would take my car and drive around, go to the North Shore, hang out, check out the waves, go on a bunch of dives cause I'm certified," Hudgens said of filming on Oahu. "I'm such an adventurer, and I love being on the island."
"Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” hits theaters Feb. 10.
–- Emily Rome
Photo: Kristin Davis and Josh Hutcherson at the L.A. premiere of "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island." Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images