TIFF 2014: Josh Hutcherson defends Jennifer Lawrence in nude photo hack scandal
Josh Hutcherson (Ernest Doroszuk/QMI Agency)
Sneak attacks, back-stabbing, theft and deception – all necessary to survive in the world of The Hunger Games. But when it bleeds over into reality, as it did with the recent theft of hundreds of celebrity nude photos from private online accounts, things have gone too far, says star Josh Hutcherson.
“My reaction was anger, initially, and truly disappointment in society as a whole,” Hutcherson said of the nude photo hack over the Labour Day weekend, which resulted in the theft of hundreds of images from dozens of celebrities, most notably his Hunger Games co-star and friend Jennifer Lawrence.
“It’s not something that any of us signed up for,” Hutcherson said. “When Jen started acting she was 12 years old. I started when I was nine. People say if you’re an actor, you have to think about being in the public eye. No, that’s not true.”
The 21-year-old Hutcherson, who will be back as earnest Peeta Mellark in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 this November, also stars in Escobar: Paradise Lost, a romantic thriller about a young Canadian traveller who falls in love with the niece of infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar, played by Benicio del Toro. The movie debuts this week at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Hutcherson is an affable, easygoing guy, but his eyes darken when he talks about the celebrity photo hack, and how it affected Lawrence and dozens of other actresses, singers and models.
“You have a certain public recognition and whatnot. But it’s not about having your private life literally looked into and stolen from you,” he said. “Becoming an actor shouldn’t mean that you have to deal with being stalked.”
Hutcherson knows of what he speaks, thanks to the international stardom that The Hunger Games has propelled him into. He’s already wrapped shooting on Mockingjay – Part II, set to come out next November, but his final scene as Peeta had no dramatic thunder: it was a simple reshoot to get an angle that hadn’t been covered during principal photography.
“It’s me putting Katniss out when she’s on fire. It was literally a camera looking up at me, I had a blanket and I was throwing it at the camera,” he said with a laugh.
“It was definitely a bittersweet moment, but it was one of things where you finish it, and you’re like, ‘That was it. That was the last moment of all these movies.’ It really was anticlimactic!”
He was there the next night for the wrap of the movie, though. “It was not like of a big bang kind of ending. I think everyone was really sad,” he said. “We’d created something really special together for so many years, and the time to say goodbye was tough.”
Hutcherson loves his job and loved working on The Hunger Games, but maintains that the price of fame shouldn’t include invasions of privacy.
“When we’re doing our job, yeah we’re in the public eye. When we go to press events, yeah we’re in the public eye. Because you choose to go to it,” he said. “The fact that we don’t have a choice sometimes? That’s completely illegal, and it’s completely unfair.”
Although he’s fast friends with Lawrence off set, he hasn’t talked to her yet about the photo hack. Because, appropriately enough, he respects her privacy.
“I didn’t really want to bring it up to her, it’s a personal thing that she’s going through, and if she wants to talk to me, she’ll talk to me about it,” he said. “It’s hard. I feel horrible for it all.”