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‘The Hunger Games’: Jennifer Lawrence defends her Peeta and Gale

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After weeks of hand-wringing about whether Jennifer Lawrence was the right girl to pick up Hunger Gamesheroine Katniss Everdeen’s bow, fans seemed to have taken heart from both EW’sexclusive first look and Lawrence’s sensitive take on the character. That frees up some mental energy to concentrate on other matters surrounding Gary Ross’ movie adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ epic adventure. Like, will Josh Hutcherson look good blonde? And is Liam Hemsworth an interesting actor, or just a muscular one? Here, Lawrence offers her take on what makes them the right guys to play Katniss’ District 12 homeboys Peeta and Gale.

PEETA (Josh Hutcherson): “Josh is so charming,” she says. “He’s so charming! And when you read in the books about Peeta being able to manipulate anybody — I mean Josh could get, well, I don’t know a metaphor for [this scenario] except for dirty ones. But he’s charming, he’s sweet, he’s down to earth, he’s normal. He embodies all of it and brings it all to Peeta. So when you meet him he’s got all of these great qualities and every single one of them come across in every line he says out loud as Peeta.”

GALE (Liam Hemsworth): “Liam is just a solid brick of muscle and you look at him and you’re like ‘Oh, okay great!’” she says. “But he’s got depth and he’s interesting and at the same time he’s natural and he flows.”

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