5 Things to Know About 'The Hunger Games' Star Josh Hutcherson

Josh Hutcherson is one of those actors we recognize, but hasn't gained household status - until now. "The Hunger Games" actor is about to become a huge star, thanks to his role as Peeta Mellark in the popular franchise.

What do you need to know about Hutcherson before you see him on the big screen? Plenty, of course.

He Wears His Heart on His Sleeve

At his age, most boys are trying to act tough - not Hutcherson. The actress described his "Bridge to Terabithia" co-star Bailee Madison "the most adorable little kid on the face on the Earth." He also likened her to a sister.

"I love her so much; I honestly don't think I've met anyone like her in my whole life," he said of the co-star seven years his junior.

All together now: Awww.

He Used to Rap

Hutcherson once thought he had the chops to make it as an emcee. He was filmed rapping in the 2006 flop "RV." Yes, he was seriously rapping. Luckily, all he's rapping about these days is his love of "The Hunger Games" fans.

"I hear some things people are saying, and it's pretty cool," he told MTV News about the fan excitement. "It's exciting to hear people are that interested in something you're doing, so it's a little nerve-racking, but I'm onboard. The fans for 'The Hunger Games,' they're die-hard. They're the best fans in the world so I'm really excited for them to see the movie."

Suzanne Collins Hand-Picked Him for 'The Hunger Games'

It's pretty impressive when the author of a book picks you out as the ideal actor to portray the person she created. Hutcherson has that distinction - "The Hunger Games" author Suzanne Collins picked him out for the role of Peeta.

"I tell you, if Josh had been bright purple and had six foot wings and gave that audition, I'd have been like, 'Cast him! We can work around the wings,'" she told Entertainment Weekly in 2011.

He's an Animal Lover

The actor is a bona fide animal lover with four pets - two dogs named Diesel and Nixon and two cats, Jell-O and Paws, according to Celebuzz.

He's From a Tiny Town in Kentucky

Hutcherson might have portrayed a boy from the big city in "Little Manhattan", but in reality he came from the tiny town of Union, Kentucky - population 5,310.

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