‘The Hunger Games’ Testing Actors for Peeta & Gale

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 23rd, 2013 at 3:19 pm,

The Hunger Games The Hunger Games Testing Actors for Peeta & Gale

For those who have been following the progress of Lionsgate’s upcoming adaptation of The Hunger Games, it’s become clear that fans of Suzanne Collins’ popular trilogy of books are quite opinionated (and vocal) about how the source material is being translated to the big screen.

For proof of their devotion, look no further than the divisive mixed reaction they had to the casting of Jennifer Lawrence in the lead role of Katniss Everdeen. The backlash actually made director Gary Ross feel like he had to come forward and defend his decision. Collins herself would later join in with her support of Lawrence in order to help the dust settle on that particular battle.

Regardless of what side of the fence you fall on in that debate, a reaction that strong demonstrates that this is a property that means quite a lot to a large number of people. Hollywood’s been on the hunt for the next Twilight or Harry Potter since the early success of both of those franchises – and if the level of passion that’s been on display the past few weeks is any indication, it looks The Hunger Games might be the next great page-to-screen success story.

After Lawrence was confirmed as Katniss, speculation turned to who might be playing the role of Peeta Mellark – a fellow contestant in the titular games who’s been carrying a torch for Katniss for several years. Now, THR has revealed a list of up-and-coming young actors that the studio is considering for the role. They also have a rundown of who’s being eyed for the part of Gale Hawthorne – Katniss’ good friend and hunting partner.

As far as Peeta is concerned, it looks like a few names that have popped up in the past are still in the running – specifically, Josh Hutcherson and Hunter Parrish. Hutcherson’s star has been on the rise the last few years thanks to his involvement in films like Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Kids Are All Right, and the upcoming Red Dawn remake. He was also one of the top contenders for the role of Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man before Andrew Garfield nabbed the part. Parrish made numerous appearances in film and television, but is probably best known as Silas – Nancy Botwin’s oldest son on the Showtime series Weeds.

The list also includes Alexander Ludwig (Escape to Witch Mountain), Lucas Till (who co-stars with Lawrence as Havok in X-Men: First Class), and Evan Peters (who played one of the best friends in Kick-Ass). Although several of them bear a certain resemblance to the way that Peeta is described by Collins, my personal favorite of the group is Parrish hands down. I think he definitely has the right look and attitude for the character. Evidently, all of these actors screen tested today – so we should know soon enough which one has landed the role. Interestingly, it looks like Alex Pettyfer (I Am Number Four) is no longer in consideration.

For the part of Gale, THR claims that the studio’s list includes names like Liam Hemsworth, David Henrie, Robbie Amell, and Drew Roy. Hemsworth’s most notable role to date has been opposite Miley Cyrus in The Last Song, but I think he could definitely pass as a relative of Lawrence’s – a trait that’s fairly important for the character.

Henrie is a regular on How I Met Your Mother, Amell has recently appeared as Fred in two straight-to-DVD Scooby-Doo movies and starred in the Nickelodeon series True Jackson, VP, and Roy can be seen in the upcoming TNT sci-fi series Falling Skies.

Should The Hunger Games prove to be successful, adaptations of Collins’ two follow-ups (Catching Fire and Mockingjay) will likely follow. Since the film is being set up as the first in a franchise, a certain degree of foresight is no doubt being utilized when it comes to finding the right actors. Given what an important role Peeta and Gale continue to play in subsequent installments, whoever they cast in those roles can’t just be an appropriate fit for The Hunger Games – they’ll have to convincingly evolve the same way that the characters in the books do.

In my opinion, The Hunger Games is in far more capable hands than a lot of other recent literary adaptations that have attempted to target the same demographic. I know many fans are still apprehensive about the way certain aspects of the production are materializing compared to how they imagined them as they read the book, but I feel pretty optimistic that the core of what made this story so memorable will be preserved.

We’ll find out when The Hunger Games hits theaters on March 23, 2012.

Source: THR

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  1. Due, Hunter Parrish looks pretty and sweet, but not a heroic figure– not some one whom the crowd and capitol will believe. People are too focused on Peeta’ unconditional love for Katniss thinking that is sweet, but forget Peeta is also badass hero.
    Lucas Till charming with some action/heroic figure– that is what needs to bring Peeta’s personality on screen– Peeta has ability to put the right words together and win over the crowd, make the public believe what he says.
    I really do not think hunter can do that.

    • I agree Hunter Parrish is not a good fit for the film. But I have to say Peeta is not a “badass hero”. Yes, he is big and strong, but he is not one to use a knife, he instead manipulates through the use of his uses word. He is more of a passive, but forbodding, hero; one who is selfless and thereby protective. The actor who plays Peeta has to be someone who looks innocent and by extention he is assumed to be truthful. The question is which actor if they stood on a stage or sat in a chair in front of the populace would have enough flair and showmanship to deliver Peeta’s quick and smart responses. And also have the body to be a wrestler, but the grace to be painter and cake decorator.

      If that is the only list of actors left to play Peeta’s, then I don’t know. They are all not very good actors, just decent. But I would have to say no to Josh Hutcherson. Although he is likable, he looks too young compared to Jennifer Lawrence. But I guess they could always make him look older.

      • *manipulates through the use of his words.

      • Ahem Chord Overstreet no? I’m not some obsessively-crazed fan of his alright but something about the way he looks. So innocent and naive, yet when it comes to his woman (haha) he’ll get serious. When I was reading the book I just imagined him as Peeta.

    • I totally agree w/you!!!!

  2. Geez, will you look at these tools?

  3. As for Gale, everybody but David Henrie looks the part. Robbie Amell isn’t really a good actor. Maybe he needs a good oppurtunity to immerse himself.

    • David Henrie has black hair and grey eyes like Gale should, and he’s good actor if he got the right materials to showcase his acting ability more

  4. I’m still confused between Hunter Parrish and Lucas Till, but I just hope they pick one of the two.

  5. out of those i would have to say Hunter Parrish and David Henry for Peeta and Gale.. Hunter is not necessarily someone i’d choose but out of those he is the best. i’d rather see more though. and i think David Henry is a good choice. the others looks like their much older than Gales age. and i dont think that Gale should be like a sex symbol either lol.

  6. I think casting Jenifer Lawrence was the BEST decision LIONS GATE has made. This is post apocalyptic America and Katniss needs to be strong, beautiful, and I am sure all of the children in this story look older due to the hardships they encounter in their daily lives. I think she is going to be great. Winters Bone was a griping story and she was so good. Suzanne Collins is writing the screen play and she personally hand picked Jenifer so who can argue with this selection. I have the utmost respect for Suzanne’s selection. Really anything Suzanne does. She is the creator of our favorite heroine Katniss so how could we possible doubt her genius. I am already picturing Jenifer in the Girl on Fire outfit.

    • NOT AT ALL!!

  7. Is it just me or does Drew Roy look a lot like Tom Cruise?

    • I was just thinking that very same thing!

  8. I don’t care who they get as long as Suzanne has a hand in the selection. Hunter would be great and is my first pick. I think he has done a good job of not being type cast as the son of a drug dealer. Peeta should be gentle yet able to get a crowd to follow him because of his sincerity and charm. I think that some people need to re read the 1st book. The reason the viewers of the Hunger Games fall in love with the couple is because of their dynamic together. Yes Katniss is the strong powerful girl who hunts and takes care of Peeta but Peeta is equally important to the Capitol and the Viewers in all 12 districts (opps I for got District 13 was watching too). They love Peeta too they love the love story. He is the one who gives his winnings to Rue, and Thresh’s Family this in turn pushes the rebellion along. I am good with who ever Susanne Collins is good with. I trust her fully! She is the true hero.

    I am undecided about Gale, he should be rugged yet smart. Good luck Casting Director!! It’s on you guys. But with Jenifer Lawrence already cast as Katniss, I am in and looking forward to it!

  9. I have always imagined Chord Overstreet as Peeta Mellark.
    I think he’ll be amazing. I hope he have him audition for the role.

    It will be Gary Ross who’ll decides if really got what it takes.

  10. Are these the Peeta Contenders?

    I’m expecting someone like Logan Lerman and Chord Overstreet.
    Speaking of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, these two are perfect to be her pair.

    • RIGHT? I was thinking Chord Overstreet too!

  11. Definitely Hunter Parrish should play Peeta. I don’t really care bout Gale but he has to be big and strong with dark hair and olive skin like Katniss

  12. Lucas Till has the perfect look for Peeta. He’s muscular, yet tender. He has a cutesy face, but sterdy. And it doesn’t matter what he says as long he flashes that magnificant smile afterwards. Beautiful. I just hope he can really bring it with this part. It is one of my favorite characters afterall.

    As for Gale, I’d say Drew hands down. The others either lack the ‘Gale look’ or acting skills. Although Drew’s no pro yet either. And yeah…he does look like Tom Cruise lol.

  13. Robbie Amell is perfect for Gale (Liam Hemsworth is my second choice). AS for Peeta well…Lucas Till? But I’d rather go with Chord Overstreet. I don’t know why but when I was reading the book his face just came to mind, his and Robbie Amell for Gale.

  14. HUNTER PARRISH! hand down no questions asked i dont even need to explain more than half the people here have done it for me HE IS PEETA, and i love weeds!

  15. Dude, they will RUIN this movie. I am NOT watching it…………

    • amen. they are seriously going to put josh as peeta NOT hunter parrish?? this is BS the movie is ruined i hate u gary ross

  16. these guys arent really the bunch that i would want to chose from, but either way my 2 faves are in there. Hunter Parrish hands down is the identical image of what peeta is and should be portrayed as. The gale picks sort of suck except for Drew Roy. He looks the part, and from what ive seen in his acting, he is the best of them, and i feel like he can not only pull it off, but succeed with flying colors. i hope that many others agree with me on this!! PARRISH AND ROY!!

  17. the guy that looks like Tom Cruise is Robbie Amell (bottom left ) He is my pick for Gale !!

  18. I am actually in the Josh camp. Too many fans seem preoccupied with appearance alone as the deciding factor for Peeta, but it is his presence and wit that make him who he is. He needs to be able to command an audience not only to fall in love with him and his story but to be willing to rebel against their oppressors. There is something about Josh and those sympathetic eyes that say “Peeta” to me.

  19. DREW ROY FOR GALE!!!!!!!!

  20. Jennifer=NOT KATNISS!!!!!!!

    • i dont necessarily agree that she doesnt fit the part because i have never seen her act but i wanted the girl Haylee (i think that was her name) from True Grit to play as Katniss… Also i dont really think that Jennifer looks like Katniss but i guess thats what make up and hair dye is for… what i dont get is why the directors and other people arent looking for and getting olive skinned colored actors.


  22. i personally think david henry or robbie amell should play Gale because they have the looks and somewhat of the personality. Drew Roy has played a rebel before too though. I just dont think Liam can be as bad ass as Gale from the book. For Peeta, i like Lucas Till or Alexander Ludwig because i think that they have the personality and looks for Peeta. Also because i think they can bring and show who Peeta Mellark is. I have read all the books and my opinion is those two for Peeta and David Henry or Robbie Ammell for Gale.

  23. I’m going to be very upset if the brunette boy is cast for Peeta. Peeta us blonde in the book, come on, please don’t ruin this movie. STAY TRUE TO THE BOOK. Does anyone know how to contact Suzanne Collins directly, other than through scholtastic ?

  24. I am Just Happy that the movie is finally coming out next week

    • I know right? Its so exciting and I can’t wait to go to the premiere! :) I hope the movie is as good as the book.

  25. I really enjoyed the hunger games movie. It was really good.

  26. When looking at this a few months ago i knew Josh and Liam would fit the roles. They were perfect in the film. They really captured the essence of the characters, exactly how i imagined them whilst reading the books. Alexander definatley fitted Cato more! He also played the part incredinbly well. The film was definatley worth number one in the world :) …. to all of you who said choosing Josh as Peeta would ruin the movie… Pfft! Ha!

  27. I would’ve liked Lucas Till to play the part of Peeta, but I still like Josh in it.

  28. I would’ve liked Lucas Till to play the part of Peeta, but I still like Josh in it. I loved the movie and can’t wait for Catching Fire to come out!