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Category: The Hunger Games

'Hunger Games' star Josh Hutcherson to receive GLAAD honor

Exclusive: Josh Hutcherson will get GLAAD's Van Guard award
The Ministry is happy to exclusively tell you that Josh Hutcherson, "The Hunger Games"'s Peeta Mellark, will receive a top honor from GLAAD come Saturday.

As part of the Los Angeles stop on their annual Media Awards circuit Hutcherson is to receive the Van Guard award, handed to one who increases the visibility and understanding of LGBT folks. 

"Emerging as a leader in a new generation of equality advocates, Josh Hutcherson has consistently used his platform to help young people understand that no one should face discrimination simply because of who they are," said newly christened GLAAD President Herndon Graddick in a statement.

Hutcherson is involved in "Straight But Not Narrow," a campaign backed by several young actors including "Glee's" Cory Monteith, encouraging straight youth to accept their LGBT peers. 

Josh is the award's youngest recipient. Previous winners include Jennifer Aniston, Charlize Theron, Whoopi Goldberg and the late TV mogul Aaron Spelling.

The GLAAD Media Awards will take palce at Downtown L.A.'s Westin Bonaventure hotel, with additional honors going to Chaz Bono, a musical performance from Jason Mraz and a special show opener from Ellen DeGeneres.  

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— Matt Donnelly
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Photo: Josh Hutcherson attends a "Hunger Games" book signing at Barnes & Noble in New York on March 20. Credit: Charles Sykes / Associated Press.

 


'Hunger Games' nabs its first award, thanks to Josh Hutcherson

Josh Hutcherson of "The Hunger Games"

In the first of what we assume will be a number of accolades, "The Hunger Games" landed a new kind of tribute — for star Josh Hutcherson.

The man who plays Peeta Mellark just picked up a NewNowNext award from Logo TV in the category of Next Mega Star. (The awards, held Thursday, were broadcast Monday night.)

"This is so much better than the Oscars," Hutcherson cracked. "I get so bored at those award shows." 

"For me, I just love making movies, and the fact that anybody shows up to them is just a bonus," he said. Yes, Josh. A few people did show up to see "The Hunger Games." 

While his costars Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth are empty-handed at the moment, talk at NewNowNext turned to the coveted best kiss trophy handed out annually at the MTV Movie Awards. Hutcherson and Lawrence could go head-to-head with reigning couple Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart.

"[Rob and Kristen's] was so passionate. Ours was like — I was on my deathbed, wasn't very sexy. I don't know. We'll see. Maybe. I'd be so lucky. One can only hope!" Hutcherson told VH1. 

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— Matt Donnelly
twitter.com/MattDonnelly

Photo: Josh Hutcherson backstage at Logo's NewNowNext Awards, held April 5 at the Avalon Theater. Credit: John Shearer / Getty Images.




'Hunger Games' actors talk race, weight at Kids' Choice Awards

Amandla Stenberg signs "The Hunger Games" autographs

"The Hunger Games" has dominated the box office for two consecutive weekends now -- but with that success has come some vitriol from critics of Suzanne Collins' beloved young adult series.

Last week, stars Lenny Kravitz and Amandla Stenberg found themselves the subjects of some vicious attacks from fans questioning why the filmmakers cast black actors in those roles. The character Stenberg plays, the wide-eyed Rue, has "dark brown skin and eyes" in Collins' book.

Despite the critiques, the 13-year-old actress was all smiles at the Kids' Choice Awards on Saturday, and said she's appreciated all the support she's received from fans during the last week. She even got a message from an unexpected supporter: M.C. Hammer.

"He said, 'Respect for the people!'" Amandla said with a smile.

Oh, but that's not all some "Hunger Games" viewers are in a tizzy about. A slew of reviewers have criticized Jennifer Lawrence and the rest of the cast for not looking "hungry" enough in the film.

"A few years ago Ms. Lawrence might have looked hungry enough to play Katniss, but now, at 21, her seductive, womanly figure makes a bad fit for a dystopian fantasy about a people starved into submission," said Manohla Dargis of the New York Times.

Dayo Okeniyi, who plays the character Thresh, called that sentiment "beyond ridiculous."

"Suzanne Collins said in an interview, if Josh [Hutcherson] was blue and came from Mars, she would still cast him in this movie because his soul is the soul of Peeta," the actor said on the orange carpet. "I wish all movies were cast like that."

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-- Amy Kaufman

twitter.com/AmyKinLA

Photo: Amandla Stenberg signs autographs at the Grove. Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images


Was Jennifer Lawrence too well fed for 'The Hunger Games'?

Is Jennifer Lawrence too heavy for "Hunger Games"?

It can't be all victory tours and dessert buffets for "The Hunger Games": The film has some critics making controversial statements about star Jennifer Lawrence -- specifically regarding her weight.

The film tells of a malnourished North American nation, Panem, under the control of a sleek and excessive capitol city, with the participants in the annual fight-to-the-death Hunger Games depicted as skin-and-bones teenagers clawing for survival.

Some folks find that Lawrence looked a little too well-fed to play the bow-toting Katness Everdeen.

"A few years ago Ms. Lawrence might have looked hungry enough to play Katniss, but now, at 21, her seductive, womanly figure makes a bad fit for a dystopian fantasy about a people starved into submission," said Manohla Dargis of the New York Times. 

A bold indictment, if you ask us, of a 21-year-old star who currently captivates the attention of impressionable young females and her same-aged peers in show business. But are the critical sentiments -- Vulture has a comprehensive roundup -- correct? 

On the one hand, the content adapted from Suzanne Collins' dark novels dictates that these oppressed citizens are in fact emaciated. But by all standards Lawrence is hardly overweight, though widely attributed with that dread celeb magazine buffer of "curvy." 

Chew the fat on this "Hunger Games" debate in comments. And if you need some photographic evidence, check out how Lawrence killed it on the carpet at the Los Angeles "Hunger" premiere. 

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-- Matt Donnelly
twitter.com/MattDonnelly

Photo: Jennifer Lawrence attends a special screening of "The Hunger Games" hosted by the Cinema Society and Calvin Klein Collection on March 20 in New York. Credit: Evan Agostini / Associated Press

  


'Hunger Games': Lenny Kravitz had bisexual inspiration for Cinna

Lenny Kravitz based Cinna on a bisexual pal

"The Hunger Games" is like Hollywood in that choosing the right stylist is a matter of life or death.

In the film, Lenny Kravitz has the task of playing Cinna, the man responsible for Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss Everdeen making a solid aesthetic impression to save her life — and now the rocker and actor is speaking up about the fluid sexuality he installed to bring the visionary guy to life.

"I’ll be quite frank with you, I didn’t know about 'Hunger Games,' so when I’m telling kids and they say, 'Who are you playing?' and I say Cinna, they go, ‘Oh, you’re playing the gay guy.' That was an actual answer," he told Celebuzz. 

"So I thought about it, and I read the book, and I don’t see that he is or isn't [gay]. He's a designer, he's a stylist, he has gold eyeliner — that doesn’t mean anything either way."

So how did Kravitz build the sleek bone and tissue for Cinna? By basing him on one of his friends.

"I actually have a friend who is a dancer who is bisexual, and he was a lot of inspiration for my speech pattern and my rhythm, and kind of the way I sauntered in and out a little bit," he said. 

Kravitz goes on to say the gist was to play Cinna down the middle, like legendary designers Tom Ford and Yves Saint Laurent. 

While Lenny put some thought into the sexual motivations of the Capitol citizen, his costar Elizabeth Banks took a broader view.

"I always read the Capitol as [messed] up pansexuality, everybody is doing everybody," Banks told the site. "Back to Greek and Roman times! It's all happening."

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— Matt Donnelly
twitter.com/MattDonnelly

Photo: In "The Hunger Games," stylist Cinna (Lenny Kravitz, left) talks strategy with Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). Credit: Murray Close / Lionsgate.



‘The Hunger Games’ premiere: Everyone loves Jennifer Lawrence

Josh Hutcherson, Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth

“The World Will Be Watching,” pronounces the tagline for “The Hunger Games,” in reference to the reality-show approach to the killing arena in the story's post-apocalyptic future.  But those words were definitely true in the present for the stars of the popular young adult novel’s upcoming adaptation, as talent like Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth walked the black carpet at a world premiere built for a blockbuster.

The event was held outside L.A. Live’s Nokia Theatre, the same place where fans had been screaming for their favorite vampires and werewolves four months earlier at the premiere of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn –- Part 1.” Monday night, in true "Twilight" fashion, the carpet was lined with fans holding aloft homemade posters bearing the names of their favorite stars.

"Jennifer, can I please have a hug?" read one. "Josh, you make my heart go Peeta-Patter," read another.

But though the movie’s stars are quick to call themselves fellow fans of the books, they’re not so eager to side with Team Peeta or Team Gale –- the two men fighting for the heart of lead character Katniss Everdeen, played by Lawrence.

PHOTOS: "The Hunger Games" black carpet arrivals

"It’s so hard to choose. I can't choose because I know them both so well," said Dakota Hood, who plays a District 10 tribute. "I want to say Peeta, and I want to say Gale, so I'm just gonna leave you at that."

While some were indecisive like Hood, many claimed alliance with another character entirely.

"I'm definitely Team Katniss," said Jacqueline Emerson, who plays Foxface, a District 5 tribute, “because it's not a love story. It's not a love triangle. It's really just Katniss and her battle and her struggle and what she’ll do for the ones she loves."

As for their opinion of Katniss' real-life counterpart, the film’s large cast of new and experienced talent had continual praise for Lawrence's talent and her humor.

"She is 50% Academy Award [nominated] actress and 50% stand-up comedian," said Dayo Okeniyi, who plays District 11 tribute Thresh. "She had the ability to make anyone feel comfortable around her."

Another young actor in the film, Jack Quaid, son of Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid, shared with reporters a story of Lawrence asking a co-star to "remind me to tell you this great fart joke" a mere second before the cameras started rolling and she went into stoic Katniss mode.

For Paula Malcolmson, who plays Katniss’ mother, developing a mother-daughter relationship with Lawrence was nothing new, as she had done just that briefly for a "Cold Case" episode in 2007. But she continued to be impressed by Lawrence, who received an Oscar nomination last year for "Winter’s Bone." Malcolmson described the 21-year-old actress as “savvy” and “just certain of [her] work.”

The premiere was a massive celebration after many months of build-up via various marketing strategies. It was a fan-flanked event (and full of fan-provided sound effects –- yes, there was a lot of screaming) that went beyond the stars' expectations of scope and size, many of the film's fresh faces said. But even young pros now accustomed to fan mania had to stop and take in the moment, like Miley Cyrus' beau Liam Hemsworth, who plays Gale.

"The fans around this thing are so passionate," the Australian actor said. "I’ve just been trying to keep my head on, realize what’s happening right now .… It's a little crazy. It’s extremely crazy actually."

“The Hunger Games” hits theaters March 23 and also stars Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland and Toby Jones.

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–- Emily Rome

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Photo: Josh Hutcherson, Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth at the world premiere of "The Hunger Games" on Monday in L.A. Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images


'The Hunger Games' premiere: Live streaming from the red carpet [Video]

"The Hunger Games": Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth. Click to see more cast members

"The Hunger Games" premiere is upon us, and the Ministry has good news: The live-stream viewing odds are in your favor.

Watch the red carpet, live streaming in the video below, for star arrivals at Los Angeles' Nokia Plaza at L.A. Live. Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson will all be present for the world premiere.

Also expect supporting cast members, including Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland and Stanley Tucci.

PHOTOS: 'The Hunger Games' premiere

"Games" has created quite a stir in the past weeks, as fan anticipation has transformed the premiere venue into an exciting camp known as "The Hob," named for the fictional black market where Lawrence's Katniss Everdeen sells the fruits of her hunting trips.

Over the weekend, Lawrence herself visited camped-out fans, 400 of whom were lucky enough to nab wristbands granting access to viewing bleachers and the world premiere screening. 

Catch the full red carpet arrivals beginning at 5:30 p.m. PDT, and stay with the Ministry for full coverage!

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Photo: Jennifer Lawrence, left, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth kick off "The Hunger Games'" mall tour at Westfield Century City on March 3. Credit: Jesse Grant / Getty Images.



Taylor Swift's 'Hunger Games' song, and an upset union [Audio]

Taylor Swift is excited about her new release for "The Hunger Games," but it seems that the American Federation of Musicians is upset at Lionsgate for runaway music production

This post has been corrected, as indicated below.

Taylor Swift is excited about her new release for "The Hunger Games" movie, but it seems someone is playing a few dissonant notes.

The pop-country singer-songwriter revealed on her Twitter page last week that "Safe & Sound," a new song featuring the group the Civil Wars, will be included in "The Hunger Games." But it seems that an American Federation of Musicians honcho, while not singling out Swift, had a bone to pick with the film's producers.

Ray Hair, international president of the union, took to YouTube to express his disappointment that Lionsgate chose to record music for the film in London instead of employing musicians in the U.S. under AFM contracts.

PHOTOS: Meet the main cast/characters of "The Hunger Games"

"For the 'Hunger Games,' Lionsgate is paying the actors, the writers, the directors, the stage crew and the other workers according to agreements with their unions. But for AFM musicians: zero, zilch, nada. For the Americana, Appalachian-style music that the movie needs, Lionsgate is going to Europe so that the company can escape having to pay AFM healthcare and pension contributions."

Ouch. Appalachian-style music? There's merit in that, because part of the post-apocalyptic tale is set in the rural District 12, home of main characters Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson).

Commenters are choosing sides in the musical debate, with some standing with the AFM president while others take a "get over it" attitude, pointing out that some of the cast members are British and that London has some of the best and most iconic soundstages and musicians in the world.

But back to Swift: There's also debate about which scenes this soft and sweet song could be used for. We'll try not to spoil the movie for those of you who haven't read the books (get on that, people), but -- though there's already a song in place -- one haunting and tragic scene comes to mind.

You know the one.

Where do you stand? Listen to the tune, below, and let us know in comments.

[For the record, 1:15 p.m., Dec. 27: The headline on this post originally read "Taylor Swift's 'Hunger Games' song has a union upset." Though AFM President Ray Hair has criticized Lionsgate for its choice to record "The Hunger Games" music in London, he did not refer specifically to Swift's new song. The headline has been changed to reflect that.]

 

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-- Jevon Phillips

Left photo: Taylor Swift. Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times 

Right photo: "The Hunger Games'" Jennifer Lawrence, playing Katniss Everdeen. Credit: Lionsgate


Josh Hutcherson on 'The Hunger Games' -- and apple pie

Josh Hutcherson talks 'The Hunger Games;

Josh Hutcherson, one third of "The Hunger Games" lead trio, is ramping up promotion for the much-anticipated flick with some talk about the film's fan base and his baking skills.

As Peeta Mellark in the tale of a dark sport that pits young people against one another in a game to the death, Hutcherson isn't blind to what's resting on the shoulders of him, Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth: expectations from devotees of the trilogy's first book.

"I definitely want to do that right by them ... ," he tells Celebuzz, "but at the same time it's kind of exciting that so many people want to see it."

Peeta is the son of a baker, so in the film Hutcherson was called on to do some handiwork in the kitchen, loaves of bread and such.

"I make a mean apple pie. A French apple pie, that's how good I am," he said. But his heart is truly raked over the coals.

"Being from Kentucky, the barbecue -- that's more up my alley."

"The Hunger Games" also features Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Donald Sutherland and Woody Harrelson.

 

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-- Matt Donnelly
twitter.com/MattDonnelly

Photo: Josh Hutcherson. Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press


Donald Sutherland wins 'The Hunger Games' presidency, is cast as Coriolanus Snow

Donald Sutherland lands the role of President Snow in 'The Hunger Games' This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.

 Someone get Donald Sutherland a place setting — the legendary actor has been cast in "The Hunger Games."

Sutherland joins a laundry list of recent additions to the highly anticipated franchise, which landed Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson as leads.

Sutherland will portray tyrannical President Coriolanus Snow, the “snake-like” ruler of the state of Panem and the administrator of a series of brutal competitions.

Sutherland joins supporting actors Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Toby Jones and Woody Harrelson.

[For the Record, 12:04 p.m. June 2: A previous version of this post stated that Chris Hutcherson was cast as a lead in "The Hunger Games." In fact, Josh Hutcherson has been cast as Peeta Mellark.]

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— Matt Donnelly
twitter.com/MattDonnelly

Photo: Donald Sutherland in February. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times.

 


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