Just Gonna Say It: Josh Hutcherson Was The Tom Holland Of His Time

josh hutcherson surrounded by emojis.

Everyone and their mum is obsessed with ultimate sweetheart Tom Holland but when will we credit the king of boyish politecore: Josh Hutcherson?

Those of you who didn’t grow up in the early 2000s may not remember the absolute chokehold this man had on horny teen girls of 2012 but trust me, Tom Holland is just history repeating itself.

Josh Hutcherson first appeared on my own radar as the lead in Bridge To Terabithia (2007). As traumatic as that movie was for my nine-year-old self (who TF decided this movie was for children?!), it preempted the love affair that would carry me throughout my teenagehood.

A year later, Josh was 16 years old and starring in Journey To The Centre Of The Earth (2008). I was a literal child at the time so of course I was crushing on him HARD, but as far as I’m aware none of my friends were. I realise in hindsight that peak hot Brendan Fraser is where my attention should have been, but hey, that’s womanhood.

It wasn’t until 2012 that Josh Hutcherson *really* catapulted into teen hearts and became a mainstream sensation: introducing The Hunger Games. And also Journey To The Centre Of The Earth 2 but who cares about that.

The Hunger Games saw Josh transformed.

Instead of the sassy, scruffy Percy Jackson-esque personality we knew and loved, he became Peeta Mellark — the fictional character who, in my opinion, laid the groundwork for Tom Holland’s heartthrob status today.

Josh’s Peeta was the classic polite boy character we’ve come to expect in most fictional media. Sweet, caring, funny, sensitive. Will definitely have a scene where he’s bloodied, cut up and ready to sacrifice himself for his love. Bonus points if he’s an underdog with a hobby not typical for most boys (in this case, frosting cakes).

You can already see the similarities with Tom Holland’s Peter Parker.

Both Josh Hutcherson and Tom Holland are white, brunette short kings with big brown puppy eyes, a sad smile and a relatable sense of humour. Part of their appeal is being ~normal~. Unlike other popular stars of their eras, they aren’t intimidating — their appeal is their boy-next-door qualities.

On Wattpad and other fanfic media Josh Hutcherson became the blueprint for sensitive, puppy-eyed boys with kind smiles and hearts of gold. Nevermind that he and Peeta were not actually the same person. Who cares! 2015 Wattpad sure as hell didn’t.

A decade later in our lord’s year of 2022, Tom Holland is experiencing the same mythification Josh Hutcherson did with Hunger Games. Just look at how fans are conflating Tom and Peter Parker’s personalities:

A screenshot of a tweet conflating Tom Holland's personality with Peter Parker's.
Babe, it’s called acting????

Fans are obsessed with the idea of Tom being the gentle sweetheart Peter Parker is. But really, Tom Holland to teenage girls now is just what Josh Hutcherson was to teenage girls in the 2010s.

Josh Hutcherson walked so Tom Holland could run, and it’s time our king was recognised for it. Josh Hutcherson renaissance era when???