Fresh Faces: Josh Hutcherson


Josh Hutcherson may be only 17 and spends a lot of his time out of the Hollywood limelight in suburban Kentucky, but he’s already amassed a lifetime’s worth of movie experience. He’s got the performance capture thing (“The Polar Express”) and the 3-D visual effects thing (“Journey to the Center of the Earth”) down cold, but the co-star of this summer’s “The Kids Are All Right” can sound a bit like an actor generations older then he is. “I like old-fashioned acting on film,” Hutcherson said by phone from Kentucky. “There’s something amazing about performance capture and ‘Avatar,’ but my preference is film.”

In director Lisa Cholodenko’s breakout Sundance hit, Hutcherson and actress Mia Wasikowska (from Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland”) play the children of an upscale lesbian couple ( Annette Bening and Julianne Moore), who track down their sperm donor father (Mark Ruffalo) and turn their family unit on end when they invite him into their lives.

“When we met with Mia and Annette and Julianne, we knew right away we’d have no problem hitting it off as a family,” Hutcherson said. “I really acted like myself a lot of the time. Though I think Laser, my character, is a little more hip and cool than I am.”

The film’s subject matter hits home for Hutcherson. “I had two gay uncles who unfortunately passed away of AIDS,” he said. “So equal rights is a big, big issue in our family.”

This Thanksgiving he’ll be shooting all kinds of guns in the remake of “Red Dawn,” but meanwhile, the actor just finished executive-producing his first film, “Carmel,” with Alfred Molina and Lauren Bacall. “It was intimidating to sit down and hear her talk about Bogie, for sure,” he said. “It’s crazy to be right there with a Hollywood legend.”

Hutcherson’s long-stated goal has been to appear in films of every genre. After this year, it looks as if his mission is on its way to being a success.