TV & Movies

Austin Butler Reveals He Auditioned For The Hunger Games

Katniss could’ve had a very different Peeta.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 17: Austin Butler attends the Los Angeles premiere of Focus Features 'T...
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Jennifer Lawrence almost had another blond actor as her Peeta Mellark. In a recent interview, Austin Butler revealed that he tried out for the role of Peeta in The Hunger Games movies. However, he didn’t come close to getting the part.

Speaking to BuzzFeed with his Bikeriders co-star Jodie Comer, Butler was asked to name a film that fans would be surprised to know he was up for. “I auditioned for The Hunger Games, and I didn't get it at all,” he said. “I don't even think I got a callback. What's the character, Peeta?”

Indeed, Peeta is the male lead of The Hunger Games, who was selected to represent District 12 in the 74th Annual Hunger Games alongside Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen in the first film, and got embroiled in a love triangle with her and Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth). Josh Hutcherson eventually landed the role and played Peeta in all four films.

Playing Peeta probably would’ve skyrocketed Butler’s career much earlier, considering that he had his one-season arc on Zoey 101 and guest-starring roles on Hannah Montana and iCarly under his belt then.

Austin Butler speaks at a Q&A during the BAFTA New York Screening of The Bikeriders on June 20, 2024 in New York City.Jason Mendez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

However, Butler doesn’t seem to resent not landing the role, describing Hutcherson’s performance as simply “great.” That said, he’s done quite well since losing out on Peeta, earning an Oscar nomination for playing Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s 2022 biopic.

Who Else Auditioned For Peeta?

Naturally, Butler wasn’t the only high-profile actor who wanted to be in The Hunger Games. Other actors who auditioned for Peeta include Lawrence’s X-Men co-star Evan Peters, Hannah Montana: The Movie alum Lucas Till, Beastly star Alex Pettyfer, and Weeds actor Hunter Parrish.

In fact, Parrish even opened up about his audition in 2011 as the film was still being cast, stating that he felt support from fans of the original books. “I'd be grateful to get the opportunity,” he told E! “You don't get much better than that. The true fans of the book. So regardless of whether I'm a part of the film or not, I feel honored to just sort of be thought of.”