Josh Hutcherson: Woody Harrelson made me up my game

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Gary Ross directs this sci-fi/action epic based on Suzanne Collins' novel of the same name. Set in a futuristic American landscape, Jennifer Lawrence is Katniss Everdeen, the main character of the story. As a young girl living in a dystopian future, Everdeen replaces her sister in a survival contest that will save her community if she can make it until the end. Also starring Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Toby Jones and Elizabeth Banks.
March 15th, 2012

Josh Hutcherson says Woody Harrelson made him want to ''step up'' his acting during 'The Hunger Games'.

The 19-year-old actor - who plays Peeta Mellark in the movie based on the novels by Suzanne Collins about teenagers forced to fight to the death on TV for entertainment - found it ''really helpful'' to get tips from his idols Woody (Haymitch Abernathy) and Stanley Tucci (Caesar Flickerman) during filming.

Speaking at the European Premiere of 'The Hunger Games' at London's O2 Arena last night (14.03.12), he told BANG Showbiz: ''Every movie I do I'm improving as an actor. It was especially great to work with such big actors I've admired all my life like Woody Harrelson and Stanley Tucci because these are guys I've admired all my life.

''They definitely made me want to step up my game and become better. They really helped me during the film, just watching the process of what they do and seeing how they get into character was really helpful.''

Josh stars alongside Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne), Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen) and Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket) in the book adaptation and Jennifer was ''thrilled'' to play such an ''iconic character''.

She added: ''I was thrilled with playing a character like that because she grabs so much attention, she has such substance and she's good role model and is an iconic character.

''I wish I saw more of myself in Katniss, but really we just look alike.''

As well as the stars of the movie, Liam's brother Chris Hemsworth - who plays the titular character in 'Thor' - Spice Girls singer Mel B, and reality television star Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace also walked the red carpet.

American Express Cardmembers attended the premiere as part of the American Express Preferred Seating programme. For more information visit amex.co.uk/access