Josh Hutcherson: Playing Peeta Mellark in 'The Hunger Games' Drives Me Crazy

Sharing his bittersweet experience in portraying the baker's son from District 12, Hutcherson says, 'Mentally it was tough because I'd never connected with a character more than I did with Peeta.'

AceShowbiz - Though he has sealed the coveted role as Peeta Mellark in "The Hunger Games", %cJosh Hutcherson% admitted that playing the character was actually not an easy job. To Total Film, he shared that tackling the part of Katniss Everdeen's partner from District 12 in the highly anticipated movie has driven him "crazy."

"Mentally it was tough because I'd never connected with a character more than I did with Peeta," said the actor who will be seen starring opposite %cVanessa Hudgens% in "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island". He added, "I felt he was so much like who I am as a person that I was like, 'If I don't get it, I won't understand.' It drove me crazy."

While "The Hunger Games" has been dubbed as the next big thing after "Twilight Saga", Hutcherson admitted that he's a bit worried of the possibility. "I'm terrified of what my life could become," he shared. "As an actor, everyone hopes one day to be that well known but at the same time to be thrust into it instantaneously is overwhelming. If it does happen, I'll be grateful and terrified at the same time."

Hutcherson will be seen playing Peeta, a baker's son who is chosen to participate in the annual brutal game in Panem called Hunger Games. He joins Katniss who replaces her little sister Prim in the game, and together they struggle to survive in the fight-to-the-death show in order to return home to District 12.

Directed by Gary Ross, "The Hunger Games" will open wide in the U.S. theaters on March 23. Starring as heroine Katniss is %cJennifer Lawrence%, while %cLiam Hemsworth%, %cWoody Harrelson%, %cElizabeth Banks% and %cLenny Kravitz% portray Gale Hawthorne, Haymitch Abernathy, Effie Trinket and Cinna respectively.

A follow-up to the film, "Catching Fire", has been scheduled to be released in theaters nationwide on November 22, 2013. While the first movie is written by Billy Ray, the sequel has just tapped Oscar winner Simon Beaufoy as the screenwriter.

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