Josh Hutcherson already had a bank of successful movies under his belt when he became Peeta Mellark.
He'd already starred in a series of movies alongside co-stars most adult actors could only dream of, including Tom Hanks in The Polar Express, Christian Bale and Billy Crystal in the English version of Howl's Moving Castle, and Robin Williams in RV.
His first breakthrough role came in 2007 when he portrayed Jesse Aarons in the award-winning fantasy drama (and guaranteed tear-jerker) Bridge to Terabithia.
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A reviewer at The Philadelphia Inquirer labelled him the "Jodie Foster of Generation Y" after his next film, Firehouse Dogs, and he starred alongside Brendan Fraser in Journey to the Centre of the Earth, and Julianne Moore in the Golden Globe winning, Oscar-nominated The Kids Are All Right.
Hutcherson was already an established actor. But in 2011, Lionsgate announced the then 18-year-old had been cast as Peeta Mellark in The Hunger Games series, and he became a star.
The first film in the series, based on the massively successful book series by Suzanne Collins, was released in March 2012, and became one of the highest-grossing films of the year.