LI kids talk to 'Hunger Games' star

Actor Josh Hutcherson who plays Peeta in the

Actor Josh Hutcherson who plays Peeta in the movie "The Hunger Games" with Kidsday reporters Lauren Simonelli, Jarielys Quijano, Arly Cisneros, Wardha Malik, ages 12 and 13, East Meadow and Westbury, at the rubenstein offices in Manhattan. (March 21, 2012) (Credit: Newsday/Pat Mullooly)

The movie "The Hunger Games," based on the novel by Suzanne Collins, is a journey full of emotion and adventure. We think it lived up to the excitement that has been building for the past few months, and it will be a big hit, especially for kids who read the book.

The plots of the novel and the movie are almost identical. The incredible design of the setting and scenes is exactly how we pictured it when reading -- the director and producers did an awesome job.

The casting also was perfect, with Jennifer Lawrence in the role of the underdog Katniss Everdeen. She, along with 23 other Tributes -- kids randomly selected from 12 districts -- must fight for her life in a game of survival while being watched by millions throughout the Capitol. She is so likable that you can't help but root for her when she takes on the other Tributes.

Josh Hutcherson, who plays Peeta Mellark, delivers an emotional performance that leaves you at the edge of your seat, breathlessly waiting to see who can survive the brutal environment designed by the Game Makers in the 74th annual Hunger Games.

The action and adventure scenes starring the main characters, Katniss and Peeta, keep you alert and glued to the movie screen. Teenagers and adults can easily relate to the relationships and alliances formed among the characters during the Hunger Games.

This movie is rated PG-13, and we think that is right. There is violence throughout much of the second half of the movie. We don't think you will be shocked if you read the book. We think the movie will keep you talking about it for the rest of the night.

We give this movie a 4.5 out of 5.

AN INTERVIEW WITH JOSH

On Wednesday, we sat down with Josh Hutcherson and asked him a few questions about playing Peeta.

What was the best experience you had in making any movie you've been in?

"On this movie, just being with the cast. Jennifer and Liam and I . . . became very close during shooting and just hanging out with them. Just so much fun; it was the best."

What was your favorite scene to shoot?

"I really liked the cave scene, not because of the kiss, but because I think that as an actor it was cool to play the scene where Peeta spends his entire life admiring Katniss from afar and never really told her how he feels about her. Now this is his moment to actually tell her why he feels this way about her. It was a great scene to play."

Did you have to prepare for the role?

"I did. They wanted me to put on about 15 pounds for the role. So I had to eat a lot of high-protein-diet-type things. That was a challenge, and working out quite a bit. I had to dye my hair blond, too, which was a crazy experience where it turned every single color besides blond before they got it there."

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