Josh Hutcherson certainly knows how to give a provocative interview.
As the young actor, who turns 21 on Saturday, gears up for all the hoopla surrounding the release of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" (out November 22) — the second of four movies based on Suzanne Collins's best-selling book series — he's not holding back at all about who he is and his attitudes towards sexuality.
"I would probably list myself as mostly straight," he tells Out magazine in its November cover story. "Maybe I could say right now I'm 100 percent straight. But who knows? In a f---ing year, I could meet a guy and be like, 'Whoa, I'm attracted to this person … I've met guys all the time that I'm like, 'Damn, that's a good-looking guy,' you know? I've never been, like, 'Oh, I want to kiss that guy.' I really love women. But I think defining yourself as 100% anything is kind of near-sighted and close-minded."
Hutcherson jokes in the article about how sex is sometimes complicated and messy, demonstrating a maturity beyond his two decades. "Sometimes the rhythm isn't right or you're trying to make a new position work and it really doesn't, and you have to laugh," he says.
The actor also explains how the AIDS-related deaths of his two gay uncles, Steve and Jamie, in the early '90s played a big role in shaping his progressive outlook on life. In fact, he recounts how Steve died the day after his mom told him that she was pregnant with Josh. "[My mom] was really sad that I never got to meet them," he notes. "I am, too — they sound amazing."
Sounds like they'd certainly be proud of the path their nephew's chosen to walk.
In the "Hunger Games" films, Josh plays Peeta Mellark, a baker's son from the impoverished District 12, who finds himself in an unconventional love triangle with heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth). In the movies, Peeta and 23 other "tributes" are forced to battle to the death in a game-like arena.
When asked if he thinks a threesome might be "a more expedient solution to at least some of Peeta's problems," he replies: "I know Peeta would be into it, for sure. He's very sensitive, in touch with his emotions. I think it really might solve a lot of their problems. You know what? I'm going to pitch that idea. Let's make it a — what's it called when three people are in a relationship together? A triad? … That'll go over well with Middle America."
Peeta sounds a lot like Josh. And despite what Middle America thinks, Hutcherson is extremely progressive in his views about equality, and has a strong history of activism in the gay community. In fact, he co-founded the group Straight But Not Narrow, which helps equip heterosexual-identified young people with the tools they need to fight homophobia.
"As soon as I got any ounce of notoriety to bring attention to any kind of issue, it was just an obvious choice," Hutcherson tells Out. "Look at any voting map, and even in a state that's completely red, if you look where a college is — young, educated people — it's blue, without fail. That's got to show that the next generation, and people who get an education, are less ignorant."
In 2012, Josh was presented with the Vanguard Award by GLAAD in recognition of his work, an honor that's given to a straight ally who fights for LGBT equality.
In his acceptance speech, he spoke about why he launched Straight But Not Narrow. "We wanted to create a place where straight people felt safe coming out and saying, 'It’s okay to be gay,'" he said during his acceptance speech. "And I didn't know one, so we decided we were going to make one and we have. It's gaining momentum and it means the world to me."