100 Days of ‘Hunger Games’: Actors Who Almost Became Peeta Mellark (PHOTOS)

Meet the 'Games' Cast
Get to know the 'Hunger' cast and who's in talks.
Potential Katniss?
Meet the actresses who auditioned for 'Hunger Games'.
Casting for Hunger Games’ Katniss Everdeen may have been tough, but casting fellow tribute Peeta was even harder! Although many of Hollywood’s hottest hunks (including a few current Hunger Games actors) were interested in the role, the part was eventually given to Josh Hutcherson.

As a part of Celebuzz’s countdown to Hunger Games’ release on March 23, we’re taking a look back to see who auditioned for Peeta Mellark. Click through the gallery above to find out who nearly made it into the arena with Jennifer Lawrence!

In April, director Gary Ross revealed to Entertainment Weekly that the casting of the baker’s son was an arduous process.

“When I read the book, I thought Peeta would be the hardest role to cast,” he said. “And I feel so lucky that we found someone who embodies every aspect of such a complex character.”

But according to Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins, Josh won her over in a heartbeat.

“I was fortunate enough to be in the room with Gary Ross when Josh came in to audition,” Collins said in a statement. “Three lines into the read I knew he’d be fantastic. Josh totally captured Peeta’s temperament, his sense of humor and his facility for language.”

We also recently sat down with Josh to discuss differences and similarities between himself and Peeta. One thing he has in common with his character? His baking ability!

“I can bake. I can bake a mean apple pie. A French apple pie!” Hutchinson proudly proclaimed with a grin on his face. “That’s how good I am. I can bake a little, I made some loaves of bread that weren’t that bad actually. I’m more of a grill master.”

Do you think Josh was the right fit for Peeta? Sound off in the comments below!

Don’t forget to follow us through the 100 Days of Hunger Games by bookmarking our Hunger Games page. Be sure to check back tomorrow for more HG goodies!