You can add Josh Hutcherson to the list of actors who are also directors.
The Hunger Games star makes his directorial debut with Ape, a new short about a young man (Hutcherson) with mental illness. The film is part of The Big Script, a series of five shorts produced by Hutcherson and his mom Michelle Hutcherson's Turkeyfoot Productions, Indigenous Media and Condé Nast Entertainment.
"I've always wanted to direct," Hutcherson tells me. "Directing definitely preceded acting for me. Before I really actually started in the business, I was directing my friends in movies in Kentucky. But they hated every moment of it and would quit often, so I didn't finish one of those projects. Now I'm going for redemption."
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This definitely won't be his last time Hutcherson will be calling the shots from behind the camera. "I'm absolutely addicted to directing," he said. (You can watch Ape and the four other The Big Script shorts now over at TheScene.com.)
At the same time, Hutcherson can now be seen in In Dubious Battle, James Franco's movie adaptation of John Steinbeck's 1936 novel of the same name. The film includes a scene in which we see Selena Gomez giving birth.
"That was intense," Hutcherson recalls. "She went for it. I wasn't in that scene but I was on set and you could her screaming and going for it a f--king half-mile away. She really went all in."
"I loved the experience, I loved playing the character. I love the crew and our cast was great, the best," he said. "If it felt natural and right and not like a milking-the-cow money grab then I would for sure be down. I have no qualms at all about that—as long as they don't create some s--t story so they can make some more money."