Despite The Hunger Games being leagues more thoughtful and incendiary than the Twilight series, it’s still fallen victim to at least the debate of which guy Katniss Everdeen should choose. (Or, if you’ve actually read all three books, should have chosen.) Even if it’s only ironically, fans and media outlets alike are declaring their allegiances to Team Peeta or Team Gale based on what they saw in the movie.
But lo and behold, now that Peeta and Gale are inhabited by real people, there’s another dimension added to the debate: The idea of not caring. Liam Hemsworth was on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno last night, and he told a charming story from filming about how he and co-star Josh Hutcherson visited a White Castle and — gasp — became friends.
As Liam told Leno, he and Josh had a few days off during filming and decided to head up to Kentucky. There, Liam was introduced to the American treasure of White Castle:
“The only time I’d ever seen it was in Harold & Kumar; it was my favorite movie when I was 15. When I was living in Australia, I didn’t know that White Castle even existed; I thought they’d made it up for the film.
I honestly think I ate close to 20 of those little burgers. We thought it was a good idea to play basketball after; we played for about an hour, and then we threw up together. It was a bonding experience.”
Here’s the whole segment; the male bonding part is at the beginning.
Obviously this isn’t the first time that castmates have bonded while filming. After the final Harry Potter movie hit theaters, we were buoyed to see that Rupert Grint, Matthew Lewis, and Tom Felton went to New York City to support Daniel Radcliffe during his Broadway run. And thanks to Twitter, we saw how the other Hunger Games tributes all became friends — or maybe more, for Leven Rambin and Alexander Ludwig – during filming.
But in the Hunger Games films Josh and Liam, while not on-screen enemies, aren’t supposed to be too chummy since they clash over Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence). Especially in Catching Fire, once Katniss is back in District 12 and gets closer to her best friend/fellow hunter Gale; not to mention that Peeta is pissed off that Katniss was only pretending to care for him to get sponsors. You saw a similar plot pattern in Twilight, as Bella kept swinging back and forth between werewolf and vampire. After all, it’s not as if you ever saw paparazzi photos of Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner hanging out!
But I think that Liam and Josh’s genuine friendship is yet another notch in The Hunger Games‘ favor. Back when the movie was first announced, I wrote a half-joking conspiracy theory post proposing that the producers would enforce method acting by not letting the tributes bond, but that quickly got debunked once we saw all the twitpics from on-set. It’s clear that Lionsgate doesn’t deal in these mind games to get fans to choose one hunky guy over the other. In fact, that will make it even sweeter to see Liam and Josh compete on-screen but still binge on White Castle when the cameras stop rolling.
Update: It gets worse—there’s now a documentary called, no joke, Liam vs. Josh: The Heartthrob Games.
Photo: HG Girl on Fire