As Peeta Mellark, Josh Hutcherson certainly knows something about the Capitol, the center of Panem’s government and sight of a certain dual to the death among teens and preteens.
But the 19-year-old actor who plays Peeta in “The Hunger Games” is not as familiar with the nation’s capital, as in Washington, D.C.
Saturday's White House correspondents’ dinner marked the actor’s first visit to the District, he said during a brief interview at Saturday’s celeb-wonky event. Here are the questions and answers we were able to exchange with the Kentucky native over the course of roughly 60 seconds during Time/People’s pre-dinner reception. Among the topics covered: recently announced “Catching Fire” director Francis Lawrence and whether or not Hutcherson truly got punk’d when he recently appeared on “Punk’d.”
This is your first correspondents’ dinner, isn’t it?
Hutcherson: This is my very first one.
Are you feeling overwhelmed a little bit?
Hutcherson: No, I’m actually doing okay with it. This is actually my first time in Washington, D.C. at all, so very exciting all around.
Have you gotten to see the sights at all?
Hutcherson: I got in at 10 o’clock last night so today we went over to Georgetown and walked around some. I got to see that a little bit. But tomorrow we’re going to see the [Washington] Monument and I think I’m going to get a tour of the West Wing.
Oh, excellent. So has your life changed a lot since “Hunger Games”? Is there something palpably different?
Hutcherson: No. The run-up beforehand was a lot more crazy. Now it’s calmed down a lot. In the beginning, it was absolutely unreal. Now I’m just enjoying it.
And how do you feel about the new director, Francis Lawrence, for “Catching Fire”? Have you gotten a chance to talk with him?
Hutcherson: I haven’t met him yet, actually. But I’ve heard nothing but awesome things about him. I love Gary [Ross] so I’m sad to see him go. But I think at the same time, Francis is going to bring a lot to the table.
I saw that you were on “Punk’d” recently. Did you really have no idea what was going on?
Hutcherson: I had a hankering that something was up. But I wasn’t fully aware of the situation until the very end.
You were suspicious.
Hutcherson: I have a pretty good intuition. I was able to figure out what was going on.