Josh Hutcherson: From Union, Ky., to movie fame

Posted at 5:12 PM, Nov 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-18 17:12:27-05

By the time Union, Kentucky, native Josh Hutcherson was 10, he was spending at least half his time on television and movie sets in Los Angeles, New York, Toronto and elsewhere.

Josh Hutcherson in "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 2."

Now a budding producer and aspiring director, as well as a very busy actor, Hutcherson is immersed in publicity for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2,” which opens Friday. It's the fourth and final entry in the film series, which has already sold in $2.4 billion in tickets worldwide.

Here's how Hutcherson went from a small-town boy to an international mega-star.

1992: Baby Josh is born on Oct. 12 in Union, Kentucky.

2000: Stubborn Kid Josh, 8 years old and obsessed with becoming an actor, looks up a local talent agent in the phone book and persuades his parents to sign him up. He books some commercial work.

2002: Promising Talent Josh moves to Los Angeles with his mother, Michelle. He soon lands several TV appearances, including “Eddie's Father,” a well-received but ill-fated attempt to remake “The Courtship of Eddie's Father” series. He plays voice roles in a few movies, including “Howl's Moving Castle,” and lands a part in the Paul Giamatti indie film “American Splendor.”

2004: Motion-Captured Josh stars in “The Polar Express,” a big-budget production directed by Robert Zemeckis. Working on the film with Tom Hanks, Hutcherson said he learned to keep himself occupied. “I learned that (because) you have to sit around on set a lot, you have to come up with things to do when you're bored. … Watch a lot of television, you play football, basketball, baseball, a whole bunch of different sports, in a small area. Also, you do schoolwork."

Hutcherson in "RV."

2005: Child Actor Josh wins his first Young Artist Award for Leading Young Actor for “Zathura: A Space Adventure.” He also stars in “Little Manhattan.” (Kid brother Connor also appears in the movie but quickly decides show business is not for him.)

Hutcherson appears in “Kicking & Screaming” and “RV” and gets invited to the Teen Choice Awards. He sets his sights on wrapping up high school by age 16 via year-round home-schooling and on-set tutoring. He already has decided his long-term goal is to be a director and producer.

Hutcherson and AnnaSophia Robb in "Bridge to Terabithia."

2007: Teen Idol Josh begins to emerge with the release of “Bridge to Terabitha” -- along with rumors of a more-than-friendship with his co-star AnnaSophia Robb. He laughs off the gossip, but his face becomes a regular feature on fan magazines and websites catering to teens.

(From left) Dwayne Johnson, Josh Hutcherson, Luis Guzman and Vanessa Hudgens in "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island."

2008: Action Movie Josh stars with Brendan Fraser in family-film hit “Journey to the Center of the Earth.” He reprises his role alongside Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.” He is scheduled to return in “Journey 3: From the Earth to the Moon” at a date yet to be determined.

2008: Political Josh backs “Rock the Vote” and then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.

2009: Low Profile Josh is seen in “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant” while filming a movie that will earn him a new level of professional respect.

(From left) Mark Ruffalo, Josh Hutcherson and Julianne Moore arrive at the premiere of "The Kids Are All Right" on June 17, 2010, in Los Angeles. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.

2010: This-Guy-Is-For-Real Josh shows his mature acting chops in the hit indie “The Kids Are All Right,” holding his own as an actor alongside Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo and Mia Wasikowska. The movie is nominated for Best Ensemble at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Josh Hutcherson's NOH8 ad campaign.

2011: Producer Josh debuts. His first outing as actor/executive producer is the comic slasher film “Detention,” a low-budget indie that appeared in a handful of theaters. He also becomes a major supporter of Straight But Not Narrow, a charitable organization for straight people to support LGBT causes and appears in the NOH8 ad campaign. “As soon as I got any ounce of notoriety to bring attention to any kind of issue, it was just an obvious choice,” he says.

2012: Workaholic Josh shows up in a fistful of movies: “Red Dawn,” “The Forger,” “7 Days in Havana,” “Journey 2” and the movie that would launch him into worldwide mega-stardom, “The Hunger Games.” He also makes a visit back home to help raise money for a former Ryle High School classmate who was severely injured in a traffic accident.

2013: Grown-Up Josh marks his 21st birthday by hosting "Saturday Night Live" the day after “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” opens. In an interview with Out Magazine, he talks about his support for Straight But Not Narrow. The magazine reports that when asked about rumors he had posted nude pictures of himself to a dating site, “... He shrugs off any comment except to say, 'I find it so shocking still that nakedness is so shocking.'”


So cute! #joshhutcherson and girlfriend and costar Claudia Traisac #escobarparadiselost @eonline @enews

A video posted by marcmalkin (@marcmalkin) on


2014: Full Tilt Josh is executive producer and star of “ Escobar: Paradise Lost,” in which he plays a Canadian surfer who falls in love with the niece of the notorious drug lord. He also meets his girlfriend, Spanish actress Claudia Traisac. He signs on to make political thriller “Backstabbing for Beginners” with Ben Kingsley, tentatively due out in 2016.

2015: Full Circle Josh films “In Dubious Battle” (due for release in 2016), directed by James Franco. who liked Hutcherson's performance so much he brought him to Hamilton to star in Franco's “The Long Home,” due for release in 2017.