Almost three weeks ago Josh Hutcherson was on top of the world. He’d just experienced another well-received premiere for his upcoming dramedy “The Kids Are All Right” and was at the epicenter of swirling rumors about the casting of a new “Spider-Man.”
Hutcherson, who is best known for his roles in “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and “Bridge to Terabithia,” was up or the role of Peter Parker along with a truckload of every 18 to 30-year-old actor in Hollywood. However, Hutcherson was rumored to have made the cut to the final few candidates and some outlets were reporting it was his to lose. Speaking to the 17-year-old, it was clear he didn’t know whether he’d landed the role, but the excitment in his eyes betrayed that he really wanted it. Instead of asking the obvious, I was curious what it was like to experience such a public casting call (something becoming all too common these days for numerous reasons) where whether you “win” or “lose” becomes daily media fodder. Keeping a fresh face, his answer showed a youthful enthusiasm that director Marc Webb and the Sony brass ultimately decided to pass on.
In “Kids,” on the other hand, Hutcherson’s charismatic wit and natural instincts shine and it’s arguably the first film where he proves he’s more than just another sharp looking teen actor. As Laser, Hutcherson plays the son of two lesbian mothers (Julianne Moore, Annette Bening), who is understandably curious about the sperm donor father (Mark Ruffalo) he’s never met. After convincing his older sister (“Alice in Wonderland’s” Mia Wasikowska) who was also conceived from the same donor to contact their biological dad, he soon realizes his expectations for about the man were seriously out of whack. And by the end of the story, he’s left with one of the most memorable moments in the movie — a reaction that could never be written in a screenplay and this writer won’t spoil., but thank you Mr. Hutcherson for your natural instinct.
In a wide ranging conversation, the 17-year-old talks about how he had little qualms playing in a “gay” film (although that is a bit antiquated terminology these days) and also provides a preview of the hard work he put in on the remake of “Red Dawn.” Now, considering the state of MGM, whether that film ever sees the light of day is another matter entirely, but you can watch the entire interview embedded immediately before this post.
“The Kids Are All Right” opens in select cities this Friday.