It was a love-fest when Liam Hemsworth (The Last Song) and Josh Hutcherson (The Kids Are All Right) learned they'd landed the roles of Gale and Peeta, respectively. The guys first met after Hutcherson worked with Hemsworth's big brother, Chris, on an upcoming remake of Red Dawn. Says Hutcherson, ''I sent him a text: 'Dude, we have The Hunger Games! I'm so stoked, man, this is awesome!'''
Before arriving on set, Hutcherson hit the gym for an intense round of training to better embody a boy who's spent his childhood heaving sacks of flour. He put on about 15 pounds of muscle in three weeks.
Director Gary Ross on Hemsworth, here with Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss: ''On first glance he's such a hunk that it's easy to ascribe a hunklike simplicity to him. But this is a phenomenally subtle actor, totally in control of what he was doing.''