Liam Hemsworth: 'I'm more grounded than ever'
FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 18, 2013 file photo, Liam Hemsworth arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," held at the Nokia Theatre LA Live. The actor says he is, “More comfortable in my own skin than I’ve ever been in my whole life.” Returning as Gale Hawthorne in the film releasing in theaters on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, Hemsworth said hanging with the film’s crew, especially co-star Jennifer Lawrence, also helps him stay positive. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The post-Miley Liam Hemsworth says he's in a really good place.
"I'm more comfortable in my own skin than I've ever been in my whole life," said "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" star, who broke up with fiance Miley Cyrus in September. Hemsworth had proposed to Cyrus in 2012 after they met on the set of "The Last Song" in 2010.
"Over the last five years I've learned so much," said the 23-year-old Australian-born actor, who moved to Los Angeles at 18 to take on Hollywood. "The first few years in LA were really tough and scary, but I had to figure things out for myself."
Hemsworth's popularity jumped after he appeared in the first "Hunger Games" in 2012, but it was his relationship with Cyrus that generated the most publicity for him.
He was unfazed by the tabloid attention, however.
"What I always keep in mind is that I know what the truth is and that's all that matters," said the actor at a recent studio event to promote "Catching Fire." ''I know I'm a good person and these days I feel like I'm more centered and grounded than I've ever been."
Hemsworth's big brother, 30-year-old "Thor: The Dark World" star Chris Hemsworth, applauds his sibling's thick skin.
"I am far more sensitive to that stuff and would probably take it more personally," he told The Associated Press recently. "My No. 1 rule is don't Google yourself. But Liam can just close the door and go 'Yeah, whatever.' I admire that."
FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 18, 2013 file photo, Liam Hemsworth poses for a photo with fans as he arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" at Nokia Theatre LA Live. Hemsworth’s popularity amplified after he appeared in “The Hunger Games” in 2012. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
What contributes to the younger Hemsworth's calm nature? "I read a lot of Zen books," he said. "And I grew up surfing, so that has always been my escape."
He also has a fondness for kick-boxing. "But I don't fight people," he insisted. "It's a mental release to go and beat the (expletive) out of a bag for an hour."
Returning as Gale Hawthorne in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," which opens Friday, Hemsworth said hanging with the film's cast, especially co-star Jennifer Lawrence, helped him stay positive.
"For a few years I went down a path where I forgot to be in the moment and enjoy the moment," he said. "But being around someone like Jen, who is so honest and laughs all day long, I am forced to be in the right now. I'm much happier."
Follow AP Film Writer Jessica Herndon on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/SomeKind