The Journey 2: The Mysterious Island actor revealed that his role in Suzanne Collins's young adult dystopian story was one that he immediately connected with on multiple levels.
"Peeta is all about staying true to yourself. He goes into the Games and does everything he can to maintain what he believes in and not become just another pawn," Hutcherson explained in a new interview with Parade.
"Growing up in the acting world, you have a lot of opportunities to change who you are and what you believe in based on how people treat you. I never wanted to do that. And that's what Peeta's driving toward through the series."
However, Hutcherson went on to say that portraying Peeta was not without its challenges, adding: "[Director] Gary Ross and I wanted to make sure that we did not let Peeta become too sappy, just because he's admitting his love to Katniss. He takes a lot of strength from Katniss. And Katniss learns how to open up emotionally from Peeta."
The Hunger Games opens in cinemas worldwide on March 23.
> 'Hunger Games' premiere interviews: Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks
> 'The Hunger Games' video: Peeta Mellark's pre-games interview
Watch Josh Hutcherson and his Hunger Games co-star Liam Hemsworth speaking to Digital Spy at the film's European premiere below:
See a picture gallery from the European premiere of The Hunger Games below: