Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth may share a lot in the latest Hunger Games film Catching Fire, namely the affections of Jennifer Lawrence's character Katniss Everdeen, but there is one moment in the sequel that Josh was glad to miss out on - Liam's whipping scenes.
Josh reprises his role as Peeta Mellark in the second big screen adaptation of Suzanne Collins' hit novel series. This time though the District 12 Tribute is a beefed up, more manly version of the timid Peeta fans saw in the first movie.
Sounding pleased with his character's transformation, Josh told EntertainmentWise at last night's world premiere for the movie:
"Peeta has a great arc from the beginning of the story to where he is now he grows a lot as a character. For me I grew a lot as a person too between the movies. So I definitely think he grows up quite a bit in this film. It's fun for me to play a character that gets to develop over multiple films."
Liam Hemsworth, Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson get cosy on the Catching Fire premiere red carpet (WENN)
The actor added that Peeta isn't just Mr Nice Guy, insisting: "There's definitely a lot to him. I think he could be labelled a nice guy, I think he could get that label. And in his case, yeah the nice guy does finish last, but a nice guy doesn't necessarily care if he finishes last or not because he's doing the right thing."
Whilst Peeta and Liam's character Gale might be fighting it out for Katniss' affections in the film, Josh reckons the boys are actually more friends that foes: "Oh no, there's no rivalry", he told EntertainmentWise when we asked about the characters' relationship.
"I personally don't think there's a rivalry between the characters. I think that they both understand each of their places in Katniss' life. So I don't think there's rivalry there but me and Liam absolutely not, we're best, we're really good friends.
Josh reprises his role as Peeta in the anticipated sequel (Lionsgate)
Whilst Josh is adamant that he and Liam are super close, he did tell us that he was pleased Liam was the one who had to deal with one of the most horrific scenes in the new movie. Gale is seen being brutally whipped up to 40 times by the Panem Peacekeepers for his disobedience in the District 12 uprisings, with Josh saying of the torture scenes:
"It was a lot, it was a lot. He was whipped for three days straight in that scene. I mean they had a softer whip than a real one but it's still being whipped, it's not easy".
Catching Fire hits UK cinemas on November 22.