As much as we dig squeeing over celebs who make us swoon, sometimes there are celebs that we* looooove, but just Not In That Way. One such shining example of this phenomenon is Mr. Josh Hutcherson. 

*I keep using the royal ‘we’ — because I’m presumptuous and pretentious like that — but the opinions of this blogger do not necessarily reflect that of her FYA colleagues. YET.

“Hold up,” you may say. “Weren’t y’all adamantly against the Peeta casting?” Why, yes indeed, hypothetical reader with impeccable memory. (And generally skeptical re: most of the major Hunger Games casting, if you want to get in a whole “THE INTERNETS IS WRONG ABOUT CASTING” discussion.) But dang it all, Josh grew on me — GASP like actual Peeta grew on Katniss! Although unlike actual pita, since it’s a flatbread, or actual Josh, since he probably stopped growing way too early. (Been there, broseph.)

While Josh may never be my ideal Peeta, he’s a really cool dude all on his own. So allow me to give you the down low on your new fake little brother. Why little brother? Because we adore little brothers, but would NEVER swoon over them. (There I go with the plural again. *I* won’t be swooning over Josh, but you’re more than welcome to!)

Biographical Details

Fake Little Brother Name: Joshua Ryan Hutcherson

Name says: The boy next door. Even though both names are on a bit of a downswing now, pretty much everyone (in the U.S. or Canada) knows at least one Josh(ua) or Ryan.* The parents Hutcherson** chose a combo of popular names for their eldest child. 

*Looking at actors alone: Joshes BowmanBrolinCharlesDallasDuhamelGadGomez, Hartnett, Henderson, Holloway, Jackson, Lucas, Malina, Meyers, Peck, Radnor, Zuckerman; and Ryans Devlin, Eggold, Gosling, Guzman, Hansen, Kwanten, Lee, McPartlin, Merriman, O’Neal, Phillippe, Reynolds. Including Hutch, the ages span from 21 to 47, and 17 to 72. (And on a sad note, the actor who played Timmy on Passions was also a Josh Ryan.)

**Dubbed elsewhere as Hutchermom and Hutcherdad, to which I lol’d because I’m addicted to hilar-wful puns.

Date of Birth: October 12, 1992

Age says: Your new fake li’l bro just turned 21, so you won’t have to buy beer for him and his buddies. (Not that you’d ever do something like that, I mean.)

Place of Birth: Union, Kentucky

Birthplace says: It’s pretty safe to say that Josh is the biggest name to hail from Union so far (sorry, other people on this list). I totally project Josh as having that down-to-earthness that I attribute to small towns. Which is to say, I know NOTHING about Union, KY, other than it being 80 minutes away from Jennifer Lawrence’s hometown of Louisville, in addition to its city government’s URL ( reminding me of Funions Funyuns and making me look up the proper spelling for Funyuns. (Anyone else craving Funyuns right about now?)

Educational Background: New Haven Elementary School; Homeschooling

Education says: Even though Josh knew he wanted to act at a young age, it took the Hutcherparents several years before they pulled him out of school to pursue his career — at age nine. If you’re in the same boat as me, that means Josh has been working for nearly a decade longer than you have. WAY TO OVERACHIEVE, FAKE LI’L BRO.

Where You Have Seen Him:

OMG SO MANY THINGS. Josh appeared in a few TV movies and shows at the start of his career, but he’s stayed in films for the most part. He’s def. amassed quite a résumé; you could easily play Six Degrees of YA Movies with him as the Kevin Bacon.

  • Miracle Dogs
  • Motocross Kids
  • Kicking and Screaming
  • Little Manhattan
  • Zathura: A Space Adventure
  • RV
  • Bridge to Terabithia
  • Firehouse Dog
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth
  • Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assisstant
  • The Kids Are Alright
  • Detention
  • Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
  • The Forger
  • The Hunger Games

(Total armchair psychology here, but the fact that he worked hard for so long before his big breakthrough probably has a lot to do with keeping him grounded and avoiding the typical pitfalls for child actors.)

Not included in the summary above are Josh’s voice acting credits. Most recently, he was in Epic with a bunch of people I usually like in other things, and most importantly, he provided the English voice of Markl in Howl’s Moving Castle (with Christian Bale and Jena Malone, among other less YA-relevant — but still super awesome — names).

But back to the live-action stuff. Josh’s first major starring role was in Motocross Kids, which looks like MVP: Most Valuable Primate on motorbikes. (We really liked our sport-playing animals, didn’t we, fellow Y2K kids? I obviously needed to mention this movie because it also featured the girl from Motocrossed.)

He was also Kristen Stewart’s younger and presumably annoying bro in Zathura; the son of Robin Williams and Cheryl Hines in RV, in which Wardrobe Choices Were Made; Jesse in Bridge to Terabithia, the adaptation of the book that made you cry in Grade 3.

Then came a slew of movies to prepare him for the biggest role of his career thus far. Journey to the Center of the Earth and its unimaginatively named sequel, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, gave Josh plenty of experience in traipsing through the wilderness for a big-budget franchise. In The Kids Are All Right, he worked with Julianne Moore. (OMG PEETA’S MOM IS PRESIDENT COIN. ¡Escándalo!) And Red Dawn taught him how to be tiny next to a Hemsworth. 

Chris has got to be pulling a Boys II Men (i.e. on bended knee) to stay in frame, right? 

And, finally, Josh can be seen in the Hunger Games movies, OBVS. But we all know what he looked like in those, so let’s not unnecessarily relive the Peeta hair from the first movie.

Where You’ll See Him Next:

Josh just finished up Paradise Lost, playing a young Irish surfer that falls in love with Pablo Escobar’s niece, so we’ll discover if his Irish accent is as atrocious as Brad Pitt’s in The Devil’s Own. (Spoiler alert: not possible.) He’s also expected to return for Journey 3: Don’t Stop Believin’ From the Earth to the Moon. And in other sequel news, MOCKINGJAY PARTS 1 AND 2 OMG GIMME NOW.

Why You’ll Love Him:

“That’s all well and good, but why elevate him to little brother status?” OH, LOOK — PUPPIES.

Anyway. What are younger siblings but the targets of our ridicule? Josh having grown up in the public eye means there’s plenty of fodder to embarrass the shizz out of him. Like the time he tried to emulate his idol. (Full video here — with bonus LFO!)

But we’d never have to worry about going too far with the teasing — based on how Josh has a super healthy attitude towards his short stature, or so I’ve decided. He’s confident and comfortable in his own skin. He’d have to be; by virtue of Jennifer Lawrence being the star, the Hunger Games trio are almost always lined up by height at press events.

OK, you’re not doing yourself any favours here, Josh.

And this isn’t really making it better, y’know.

And when J-Law’s not there as a buffer, ALL HOPE IS LOST. 

But that’s OK! Josh has a good sense of humour about himself. And a good sense of humour, in general. 

The comment at the end of this post is spot on.

Circumstantial Evidence

He’s willing to make fun of himself — and he did a decent job of that when he hosted Saturday Night Live. (Granted, I may be biased, being the supportive fake older sister that I am. It’s like watching someone walk for the first time! “You’re doing so well, YOU CAN DO IT!”)

It started in the monologue:

He also showed off his slick moves as a subway dancer named Lil’ Peanut.

And the jokes weren’t just limited to his height, either. (Video here, even if one of the punchlines — HAR HAR — has been spoiled.)

Bobby Moynihan: “Look, I’m sorry. This had to be done.” Josh Hutcherson: “Nah, it’s all right. My jaw can handle it.”

And OMG we thought the Peeta hair was bad!? Check out all the arguments his scalp lost to these wigs.

He also made out with a (woman dressed as a) turkey.

WHY, YES — THAT’S A MULLET THAT YOUR EYES DID SEE. (The video is regretfully unavailable.)

Underneath all the silliness, you new fake little brother is a hopeless romantic at heart.

He believes in love. ALL love. Josh constantly uses his celebrity in support of LGBTQ equality, like his participation in the Straight But Not Narrow campaign (shown above). Just last year, he received the GLAAD Vanguard Award for his activism.

“I would probably list myself as mostly straight. […] Maybe I could say right now I’m 100% straight. But who knows? In a fucking year, I could meet a guy and be like, Whoa, I’m attracted to this person. […] I’ve never been, like, Oh, I want to kiss that guy. I really love women. But I think defining yourself as 100% anything is kind of near-sighted and close-minded.”

Out Magazine

So yeah. The kid has his priorities in order.

That also applies for TV: 

Lazy Sundays (although maybe not spelling nor capitalization — which is why he needs a fake older sibling like you!): 

Food (and he bakes, too!): 


And, of course, friends:

Y’all donnevenno the horrors I had to traverse during my research. There’s a vocal segment of the internet that ships these two IRL — complete with requisite portmanteau and terrible Photoshop.

No, they cannot.

Even these two have their own fandom. 

Everyone just wants a piece of Josh… 

… and the feeling is mutual.

So ‘fess up, y’all — on a scale of Stoic Junior Hemsworth to Magnificence Personified J-Law, how would you rate Josh Hutcherson? (And feel free to speak up, even if you have Feelings for him; if anyone’s going to fake date my fake little brother, I’m glad it’s you, internet friend.)


Mandy (she/her) lives in Edmonton, AB. When she’s not raiding the library for YA books, she enjoys eating ice cream (esp. in cold weather), learning fancy pole dance tricks, and stanning BTS. Mandy has been writing for FYA since 2012, and she oversaw all things FYA Book Club from 2013 to 2023.