Alexander co-hosts MAINroom #077 with Sarah Main, talking in details about The Hunger Games, his favourite music, his song and his plans to visit Ibiza this summer!Episode aired on: Mugasha, Redseadance (Egypt), FG Radio (France and Belgium), Alpha Radio (Bulgaria), Radio AS (Serbia), Energynet (Argentina), Rise FM (Hungary), m2o (Italy), Radio Studio 1 (Belgium), DanceParadise (Brazil), Deejay FM (Honduras), Ascendance, Radio Saturn (Guatemala), Lima Express (Peru), Traxx FM, Traffic FM (Greece)… and iTunes.Listen to the podcast HERE
As you see I’ve put up a brand new layout here at Alexander Ludwig Online! I hope all of you enjoy it and please let me know if you see any problems by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, below you can listen to “Liv It Up” when it was played in Italy on M2O Radio, and you can also view a few videos from the Kids Choice Awards 2012. Enjoy!
Even though for a majority of TheHunger Games you’re made to despise Cato, you have to admit, his final scene really makes you think!
Celebuzz caught up with Alexander Ludwig, the 19-year-old actor who took on the role as the vicious District 2 tribute, at the Kids’ Choice Awards in LA this weekend and asked him what shooting that final scene was like.
If you have yet to see Hunger Games in theaters, read no further! Spoilers ahead!
Though Cato kills many a tribute during his time in the arena, he just can’t seem to pull the proverbial trigger when it comes to Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson). Cato has Peeta in a headlock on top of the Cornucopia, where he points out if Katniss shoots him, Peeta will go with him. Also, since “career” kids are essentially killing machines produced by their districts to win the games, and Cato refers to himself as “dead” already.
It’s been a wild couple of days for actor Alexander Ludwig – he did a cross-Canada promotional trip for his latest movie, was mobbed by fans in Toronto and again back home in Vancouver – and hardly anyone had seen the movie yet.
Just wait until next week. The movie is The Hunger Games, and Ludwig co-stars as ruthless killer Cato.
“Some people had been waiting since 7 a.m. (at a Metrotown book signing),” Ludwig said last week during a rare quiet moment. “I can’t believe that – I wouldn’t wait for me for five minutes.”
The book signing was Tuesday. Wednesday was a round of interviews, including our afternoon sitdown, where he recounted how a carful of young women followed him to a morning radio hit.
“These girls wanted some pictures, but it was a live airing so I couldn’t stop to talk. They followed us in their car and waited at the station.”
The Hunger Games is based on a hugely popular book series, a sci-fi story about teens forced to fight to the death by a cruel dictatorship. There’s an appealing female star (Jennifer Lawrence) and a romantic triangle, all of which calls to mind the Twilight series.
The difference is that director Gary Ross’s movie version of The Hunger Games is actually good. So moviegoers of all ages will crowd theatres with teen fans of the books, and Ludwig and the rest of the young cast are perched on the cusp of the next movie phenomenon.
“Yeah, people keep saying that,” says the 19-year-old actor, already a screen veteran since starting his career as a kid. “It’s amazing to get that kind of attention before a movie has even come out. That’s odd.”
Ludwig previously starred in the 2009 box office hit Race To Witch Mountain when he was a squeakyvoiced 16-year-old. He counts a Harry Potter toy commercial he made when he was 12 as his first acting gig, though he got his first taste of movie work at nine when family friend director Robert Vince gave him an extra role on the kids flick Air Bud: World Pup. “We were family friends – that doesn’t count.”
Despite scoring a box-office hit with Witch Mountain, Ludwig opted to turn his back on movies to go back to West Van’s Collingwood Secondary and finish the last two years of high school.
“I had to get my grades up; it’s a struggle to do school and work,” he says, adding he was able to have a regular school life despite the movie profile.
“I was friends with everyone in my grade before I had done Witch Mountain,” he says. “The younger little girls would kind of freak out once in a while, but it was nothing too crazy. I still had a really normal childhood.”
Ludwig got into the theatre program at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where he just finished his second year. Filming on The Hunger Games happened last summer in North Carolina, after he was approached a year earlier about a role on the movie.
He read the books and saw something in the ruthless villain Cato, a teen raised from birth to be a fighter in an annual televised death match.
“A twisted soul, the bad-ass,” says Ludwig, adding the role was a change from his earlier nice-guy characters. “With Cato, this is all he’s ever known. At the very end of the movie there’s a beautiful scene, and it’s the reason I took the role. It really plays on the whole theme of the movie, which is that there’s hope and humanity in all of us.
“Cato does some unforgivable things, but at the end of the film, if I’ve done my job, the audience will have a very little hint of sympathy for the character.”
As to becoming Cato physically, it helped that the little 16-year-old of Witch Mountain had since had a growth spurt, topping six feet in height. As well, Ludwig trained with a former U.S. Navy SEAL.
“Hand to hand combat training, fight training, sword training. Free running – it’s like parkour, you’re doing stuff over objects around you in the environment.”
On that score, it helped that Ludwig already had an appetite for outdoor sports from growing up on the North Shore.
“Every since I was 17 months old, my dad would take me up to Whistler. We had a cabin up there,” says Ludwig, who has three siblings. “I would ski, that’s all I’ve really known. I love anything that goes fast or gives me a little bit of adrenalin.”
He says he only realized after filming how big The Hunger Games was going to be, and he’ll be taking some time away from university to pursue his career.
“I’m reading quite a few scripts and I’ve met some directors,” he says. (Spoiler alert: Cato won’t be back in the sequel.)
“I absolutely have every intention of getting my degree – but right now is my time to sprint really with my career and jump on every opportunity that comes my way. I love it, and hopefully this goes well. Then I’ll catch up with school.”
Alexander recently did an interview with The Canadian Press promoting “The Hunger Games”. You can read the interview below and can see the HQ photoshoot that was taken for the interview. Enjoy! If you repost the photoshoot please credit us!
TORONTO – The rivalry between “The Hunger Games” co-stars Josh Hutcherson and Alexander Ludwig started well before they took up roles as bitter adversaries on the post-apocalyptic feature.
The matinee idols say it began in the audition room, where the two 19-year-olds battled it out for the role of the principled hero Peeta, which Hutcherson eventually won.
“It was between me and Josh and I think one other kid for Peeta, originally,” the Vancouver-bred Ludwig says during a recent stop in Toronto with co-stars Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, who plays hunky love interest Gale.
“And then (director) Gary (Ross) came up to me and said, ‘Hey, have you ever thought about playing a bad guy?’”
The towering, blond and blue-eyed teen was offered the part of Cato, a ruthless killer who stalks a sprawling outdoor arena where kids are forced to battle-to-the-death in front of TV cameras, lucrative sponsors and hard-hearted gamblers.
The savage annual showcase is organized by a fascist capital city to keep an oppressed populace in submission — it’s billed as a cautionary reminder of a failed uprising that cemented a brutal rule of law in which the modest spoils of outlying districts support the outlandish opulence of The Capitol.
Jennifer Lawrence stars as the gifted hunter Katniss, a resilient 16-year-old who enters the Hunger Games to spare the obligation of her timid 12-year-old sister, and possibly win a year’s worth of food that could offer her poverty-stricken family brief relief from unrelenting starvation.
Hutcherson says he wanted the role of the sweet-natured Peeta “more than any role I’ve ever wanted in my life.”
Of course, he wasn’t the only one — the former child star acknowledges that filmmakers “talked to literally every single actor about Peeta.”
But while it’s tempting to draw analogies between life in Hollywood and the cut-throat world of “The Hunger Games,” Hutcherson says he’s learned not to take show business personally after logging roughly a decade in front of the cameras.
The day is finally here!! You can now see “The Hunger Games” in a theater near you! To celebrate today, I’ve composed a bunch of interviews Alexander did within the last week or so promoting “The Hunger Games“. (Thanks to all the original posters!)
In case you’ve spent the last few months locked in an iron capsule deep inside a volcano on Uranus, then you’re probably aware that The Hunger Games hits theaters this Friday. And all signs point to this thing being huge. If you haven’t read the Suzanne Collins book the movie is based on—the first in a trilogy—then all you need to know is that it features kids killing kids for the entertainment of a future society. Jennifer Lawrence plays the film’s reluctant heroine, Katniss, while 19-year old Vancouver native Alexander Ludwig sneers as one of her foils, Cato. To play the role, Ludwig had to tap into his inner badass, something he hadn’t done before onscreen. Here, he talks about what it’s like to be part of the movie event of the year.
You’ve been acting since you were 12. Did you always know that you wanted to be an actor?
It was definitely something I was interested in doing. I’ve always loved telling stories, and inspiring people, and making movies is such a magical experience. I first realized I wanted to do it when I saw my first James Bond movie starring Roger Moore when I was 9.
How were you discovered?
My mom is actually an actress, and when I was about 9, I begged my parents to let me act. They were very hesitant towards it because kids get very messed up in the whole Hollywood business. I got out a phonebook and called my mom’s old agent without telling my parents, and I was like, Listen I want to book a meeting,and she was like, Well, if a 9 year old has enough balls to call me, then maybe he deserves a meeting. She gave me a meeting and it’s been all uphill from there.
How did it feel, being on the set of your first big movie?
I was definitely more excited than nervous. You got the whole movie on your shoulders and everyone’s depending on you to carry this multi-million dollar film. It can be stressful at times, but for the most part I was just so thankful to have that experience.
Speaking of The Hunger Games, how did you first hear about the project?
I was actually a huge fan of the books before the movie. I had read them a year before they were even considering making the film. Originally they were considering me for Peeta. I started traveling Europe with a couple buddies after my senior year, and while traveling Europe, I made it my goal to physically sculpt my body so I could portray the character. I was really getting ready for that role. When it came down to it, it was between me, Josh, and one other kid. Gary (Ross) thought my persona was more of one of those leaders, and Josh really did a great job of portraying Peeta’s overall essence. So Gary was like, Listen, I’d really love you to just try reading for this really quickly while I’m in the room. He gave me the script and asked me to read it as a cold read.
What did you like the most about channeling Cato?
My favorite part about portraying Cato is obviously playing the bad ass and getting to be very evil. Usually I’m always playing the nice guy, and it’s fun playing the bad guy once in a while. I got to really experiment with a side of me that I’ve never seen before and definitely the audience hasn’t seen before, so it’ll be really fun to see how people respond.
What was the atmosphere like on such a top secret set?
It was very locked down, and we have fans trying to get on set all the time. It was definitely wild. One of the funniest stories I have was we were shooting for Vanity Fair and I remember looking towards bushes, and suddenly I see these little girls pop out from behind the tree. I remember being like, Yes, I’m so happy that she was able to make it past security. Then she got chased off and I was like, Oh no.
It looks like you do a lot of fantasy as a genre, is it by choice?
No, it’s just been the way it has worked out. As an actor, when you’re younger that’s kind of more the genre. This is definitely fantasy, but I think it’s a little bit more drama and action, and I’m a big fan of that. My idols are Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt. I love the way they’ve chosen their careers and paths with movies likeBlood Diamond and The Departed.
Today, Alexander along with co-stars Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth visited The Marilyn Denis Show to promote The Hunger Games while they are in Canada. You can view the pictures in full size in the gallery below and you can also watch a behind the scenes video from the show by clicking on the picture.
EDIT: Here’s the interview part of the show. Enjoy!