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‘Hunger Games’ Fans Weigh In: The First Image of Liam Hemsworth And Josh Hutcherson As Gale And Peeta

Gale and Peeta on EW CoverJust a few months back, Entertainment Weekly gave The Hunger Games’ leading lady, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), the cover treatment and now the same courtesy is being extended to her main men, Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). The issue doesn’t hit stands until the 29th, but PopWatch at has a preview of the article as well as a sneak peek at the boys on the cover.

Sure, seeing Gale and Peeta in the flesh for the first time is exciting, but the sensation is well abated as compared to getting our first glance at Katniss. This is likely primarily due to their no-frills costumes, which while not as much fun to look at, are quite appropriate. Something also seems a little off in terms of the proportions. We all know Hutcherson is a bit on the small side compared to Hemsworth, as he even points out in the article, but I’d like to bet they weren’t photographed side-by-side for this image. It looks like the designer opted to go the cut-and-paste route rather than position Hutcherson closer to camera to bulk him up a bit.

However, beyond that, the guys look pretty good. Hutcherson is clearly packing a bit more muscle than usual, but not the gym rat type, rather something that makes him stockier looking, matching the description in the book. As for Gale, he’s far leaner, which implies he could be more agile, fitting to his knack for hunting. Digging a little deeper, their facial expressions actually manage to get across quite a bit in terms of the tone of the tale. This isn’t some frilly romance mixed with glorified fighting; these are tough times these mere teens are struggling through, not to mention the years prior during which typical childhood playtime had to be replaced with work and caring for their loved ones. They’re hardened souls and it shows.

This new image is going to stir up quite a bit of talk and perhaps even debate, so to round out this discussion, I turn it to the fine writers from The Hob, Down With The Capitol, Hunger Games Movie and Hunger Games Network for their thoughts.

The Hob
Our immediate thought is that Josh looks absolutely adorable as Peeta in this image. While we’d like to see Josh exude a bit more charisma and charm, we’re pleased to see that he’s sporting blonder hair and bigger arms than the last time we saw him! At the same time, Liam looks leaner than normal and certainly appears to have the hunky, brooding, rugged look down. As for their costumes, the simplicity of the clothes may at first look, appear boring or lazy, but they’re actually perfect for residents of District 12. Our one complaint about the image is the obvious Photoshopping of the height difference between the two – while we love that Josh defended the height difference (or lack thereof) with Jennifer in the article, it’s safe to say we all know that Liam is a fair amount taller than Josh. By making them look closer in height for this cover, it ends up looking a bit awkward. Regardless, everything about this cover image and article just makes us more excited to see the final product in March!

Liam Hemsworth with Miley Cyrus

Down With The Capitol
Even though we knew this was coming, thanks to Josh Hutcherson telling our staffers, Mary and Flo, about it when they met him in North Carolina a few weeks ago, we were still not prepared. Our staff’s first reactions, we are not ashamed to admit, were filled with a lot of fan girl excitement over Josh’s transformation into Peeta. We knew he would not be super blonde, and we are very glad they chose to make his shade a bit more of a sandy color. It suits his skin tone well. And those muscles? Well, we can certainly see him being able to “chuck 100 lb bags of flour.” As for Liam as Gale, we love his look, but admittedly after seeing photos of him on tour with Miley and also on the set of his latest film, we are a bit used to his look. It suits his character though and we are very pleased with what we see. We are looking forward to Friday with immense anticipation to see what else EW has in store for us in this issue.

Hunger Games Movie
I’ve  never doubted that Liam Hemsworth would rock the role of Gale.  From the moment he was cast it was an instantaneous feeling that he was perfect for the role.  On the other hand, I was hesitant when it came to Josh as Peeta as he didn’t fit the description that we were all accustomed to. However, now that an image has been released of Josh as Peeta, there is no doubt that he is and will be the perfect Peeta! In the picture, he looks a bit tougher than I thought Peeta would look in the first book/movie, but nonetheless, I think that Josh really will do Peeta justice. Kudos to Lionsgate. The first picture of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss was amazing, and the first pictures of Liam and Josh as Gale and Peeta are just as great!

Josh Hutcherson in The Kids Are All Right

Hunger Games Network
Josh Hutcherson as Peeta is suddenly perfect. I was blown away with the obvious changes in him from The Kids Are All Right. It’s kind of like the same thing with Jennifer Lawrence, how we all took so well to her after actually seeing her as Katniss. On the other hand, Gale looks slightly odd. In fact, I was more pro-Liam before this. Then again, maybe the shirt tucking idea is for the day of the Reaping. I don’t know; I would love to know what they’ll actually be doing in these costumes. Overall, they look great!

You’ve read what we think; now it’s your turn. Are you digging Gale and Peeta’s big-screen looks?

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