Last night was Lucy Hale‘s Punk’d episode, where she played some fairly imaginative pranks on her Pretty Little Liars co-star Ian Harding, Vanessa Hudgens, and The Hunger Games‘ Josh Hutcherson. We’re focusing on Josh because his prank was the hardest to pull off: Lucy and the Punk’d team had to make him think that he was being followed around Hollywood and that he was caught in some massive government conspiracy.
On April 25, Lucy enlisted two of Josh’s less famous friends — one of whom is his Detention co-star Shanley Caswell – to drive around with him and freak out when they first notice they’re being followed by someone in an unmarked police car. (Because if it were him, Jennifer Lawrence, and Liam Hemsworth, he’d assume it was just paparazzi and shrug it off.) It all starts when Shanley takes a coffee cup with “J” on it at a cafe; then comes the sketchy car, and soon they’re picking up radio frequencies reporting, “The subject is wearing a dirty, one-size-too-small tank top, and has two female bogies…” etc.
What I loved about the original Punk’d, which is kind of lacking here, is the realism of the pranks. Like, shady government surveillance is a bit too fitting for Josh after he shot The Hunger Games. I wouldn’t be surprised if at one point during the filming — even while on the phone with “911,” who turned out to be Lucy herself keeping a straight face — he had asked if he were being punked. But of course, they would have edited something like that out of the final cut.
Things come to a head when Josh, Shanley, and Hayley turn into a police station and are met with a bunch of government suits who berate them for tampering with a federal investigation. “You’d better have an attorney,” they warn Josh, who looks slightly pissed off but mostly freaked out as he leans against the wall thinking on how to get out of this. And then… in comes Lucy!
While the episode aired last night, Lucy provided some commentary over MTV’s Twitter:
And here comes the one tall have all been waiting for …josh. – LH
Fun fact: I never knew him before this prank. – LH
Everyone in that coffee shop except for an old woman was an actor. – LH
Poor thing is so so nervous. – LH
It’s hard to tell how well MTV punked Josh, because he never gets too upset even when calling 911 or when meeting the feds. So either he gullibly believed it and was a good sport when Lucy revealed it (as you can see above in the .gif), or he always knew that he was getting pranked and played along anyway. Check out Josh’s whole segment below and judge for yourself; we can’t find an embeddable version, but you can watch the whole episode on MTV’s site.
.gif: flaming souls on Tumblr