Austin Butler reveals the major Hunger Games role he got rejected from

Austin Butler has revealed that he unsuccessfully auditioned for the leading male role in The Hunger Games, sharing that he didn’t even get a callback.

In a new video for BuzzFeed Celeb to promote his new movie, The Bikeriders, with co-star Jodie Comer, Butler was asked: “What’s a role people would be surprised to find out you auditioned for?”

The 32-year-old Elvis star replied: “I auditioned for The Hunger Games, and I didn’t get it at all. I don’t even think I got a callback.”

“Their loss, Austin,” Comer, 31, quipped.

The dystopian trilogy’s lead role of Peeta Mellark ended up going to Josh Hutcherson, who starred alongside Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth.

Butler praised Hutcherson’s performance, calling him “great” in the role.

Comer, meanwhile, revealed that she had once tried out for a part in Mamma Mia! at the same time she was auditioning for Killing Eve. She added that she would love to do a musical someday.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter in 2022, The Hunger Games director Gary Ross said: “Josh was pitch-perfect… these were honestly easy decisions for me.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the other actors considered for the role of Peeta in 2011 included the American Horror Story alum Evan Peters, X-Men actor Lucas Till, Broadway star Hunter Parrish, and Alexander Ludwig, who was eventually cast in The Hunger Games as Peeta and Katniss’s rival Cato.

Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark and Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ (Lionsgate)
Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark and Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ (Lionsgate)

Hutcherson, now 31, was a popular child actor, having starred in The Bridge to Terabithia, Firehouse Dog and Little Manhattan.

In recent years, he’s shifted more towards independent films, including A24’s The Disaster Artist (2017), 2022 war drama Across the River and into the Trees and the 2023 thriller sci-fi 57 Seconds.

Butler also shot to fame as a child actor, appearing in the Nickelodeon shows Zoey 101Hannah Montanna, iCarly and Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide.

He’s since gone on to garner mainstream acclaim for his portrayal of Elvis in the Oscar-nominated biopic, Elvis. He most recently featured in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two and the Apple TV+ miniseries Masters of the Air.

The Bikeriders is out now in cinemas.