Josh Hutcherson on the Final Season of 'Future Man' and the Legacy of 'The Hunger Games'

After three seasons on Hulu's Future Man, Josh Hutcherson knows a thing or two about strange situations. "We go to some very weird places," Hutcherson told Newsweek about the third and final season, premiering Friday, April 3.

Future Man, produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and created by Kyle Hunter, Howard Overman and Ariel Shaffir, follows Hutcherson's character Josh Futterman, a gamer slash janitor who gets recruited by Tiger and Wolf, two characters from a game Josh plays, to save humanity from extinction. Over the course of the series, Josh, Tiger and Wolf have gone back and forth through the past, present and future. While Hutcherson won't give away too many details about exactly how they will save humanity, he does admit it's his favorite season.

"It's my favorite season of all three. I think that we kind of found where we want these characters stories to end and sort of worked backwards from there creatively," Hutcherson says.

Josh Hutcherson on the Final Season of ‘Future Man’ and the Legacy of ‘The Hunger Games’
Josh Hutcherson in Season 3 of Hulu's 'Future Man.' Hulu

Hutcherson has been acting since he was nine years old, saying he started then "because I liked movies." He appeared in critically acclaimed films like American Splendor and The Kids Are Alright before being cast in The Hunger Games franchise, which catapulted him to success. He says it took some "adjusting" to the fame Hunger Games brought the young actor, but now, nearly 10 years later, he has "a better perspective on it and feel fortunate and lucky that I was able to be a part of something like that."

Hutcherson spoke with Newsweek about the final season of Future Man, The Hunger Games legacy and how he's coping with the coronavirus pandemic. Edited excerpts follow:

Josh Hutcherson on the Final Season of ‘Future Man’ and the Legacy of ‘The Hunger Games’
(Left to Right) Derek Wilson, Josh Hutcherson and Eliza Coupe in Hulu's 'Future Man.' Hulu

Newsweek: How did Future Man come about and what was your first reaction when you first got the pitch for the show?

Josh Hutcherson: I had a small, small part in this movie, The Disaster Artist, that Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg were both very much creatively a part of, and Seth was in it as well. I worked on it for two days. They sent me an email afterwards and were like, 'Hey, I didn't know that you were funny. We have the show we're doing and I think that you should do it with us.' They gave me a pitch of what the show would kind of be like and sent me the pilot. I had never done TV and I'd never really done comedy. But, I mean, what better way to do it then with that group of people? So I just thought, let's go for it and see what happens. And so here we are three seasons later.

Before Future Man, the vast majority of your work was dramatic. Was it intimidating joining a project with comedy heavyweights like Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg?

Honestly, it really wasn't. They're so good at what they do and one thing that they do really well is take actors and actresses who are kind of known for not doing comedy, and they make it work with them. James Franco is a great example with Pineapple Express. So I kind of just believed in their process. I was like, I don't think I'm going to have to try to be funny. I'm just going to act. And they're going to write it funny. So then people will laugh. That kind of worked out, thankfully. But yeah, in a sense it is slightly intimidating going into a new medium, doing television, cause you know, the schedule on a TV show is just nuts. We were shooting five days per episode. And each episode has like some big action sequence in it. It was a lot of work, but it was great.

Josh Hutcherson on the Final Season of ‘Future Man’ and the Legacy of ‘The Hunger Games’
Josh Hutcherson in Hulu's 'Future Man.' Hulu

What can people expect from the upcoming final season?

It's my favorite season of all three. I think that we kind of found where we want these characters stories to end and sort of worked backwards from there creatively. It's a very cohesive season and extremely funny. We basically are crime bandits on the run for breaking time crimes against humanity. It's like jumping through different millennia and all over the world and everything. So it's really fun, really high energy. We go to some very weird places. There's this one thing that I specifically can't give away that I'm excited about.

There are so many weird things on the actual show, it's probably going to be difficult to decipher exactly what that one thing is.

I mean, yes and no. It takes place in a very weird world that we go to and time becomes a rather funny thing. With that information, you'll definitely figure out what it is.

What do you think it is about apocalyptic shows that make them so popular with viewers?

You're really learning a lot about problems of the world and future worlds that could exist if we don't do things differently now and what can happen. I think our show has set itself apart because it's so weird. We leaned into the weird from day one. I think finding that kind of odd voice for the show took some time. Our whole writing team, and Seth and Evan being as involved as they were, I think we found this really interesting lane that hadn't been explored, which is mixing very raunchy, like dick joke humor, with time travel and saving the universe.

It's very that but also broad enough to be inclusive to all sorts of viewers like women, queer audiences, etc.

Exactly. I think so too. We play with everyone, you know what I mean? Sometimes the bro-ish humor can get very sexist and homophobic. We were trying to be as conscious as possible to not let that become our fate because it's 2020 and we can be funny without doing that, you know?

Josh Hutcherson on the Final Season of ‘Future Man’ and the Legacy of ‘The Hunger Games’
Josh Hutcherson in Hulu's 'Future Man.' Hulu

You mentioned that you leaned into the weirdness and your character definitely finds himself in some very strange situations. Was there ever a situation where you thought, 'OK, this is getting too weird?'

It was definitely a situation where they'd send me a script and I just kind of brace for impact. For instance, in season one or season two, I can't remember, my dick and Wolf's dick get swapped. When I read that his massive penis flops out, I was just like, 'Wow. How are we gonna do that?' So it's stuff like that where I was just game. For stuff like this to really work, you have to just dive all in. You know?

How did you make that work?

With a lot of glue, a very large prosthetic, and getting very personal with the application makeup artists. It's a very, very weird experience.

How similar are you to your character?

Penile speaking?

Well, if you like, but also otherwise?

I think me and Futterman have some similarities. He's more neurotic and panicky than I am. I'm generally more laid back and I don't get quite as worked up about things as he does. But I think that he's someone that throughout the show has mostly tried to find ways to help people and tried to find ways to make things better. I like to think that I have that in common with him.

You were in a number or successful films before The Hunger Games, but that really catapulted you. How did that change your life?

I don't think there's really any way you can prepare yourself for that. It changed everything. It changed my entire public life for a long time. And then notoriety and recognition, all those things. It's crazy. When I started acting, I was nine years old and did it because I liked movies. That was a job and I was like, that's what I wanna do. So the idea of fame and all that stuff was really never on my radar. With a movie franchise like The Hunger Games, it's a lot and it's crazy, but I'm super grateful for everything it brought me. The actual experience of making it was amazing. Working with that group of people was incredible. The personal life stuff was hard for a time, adjusting to that, as it would be for anybody. But I think now, just having been out of it for a long enough amount of time, I have a better perspective on it and feel fortunate and lucky that I was able to be a part of something like that.

Right now Hollywood, like the rest of the United States, is grappling with the coronavirus pandemic. How is it impacting you?

Every day is up and down. Some days you wake up and you're feeling great and you're like, I'm going to be productive, I'm gonna write something, I'm gonna paint, I'm going to see movies I haven't seen, and you feel great and you go about your day and it's fantastic. Other days, you know, it really impacts you, what's happening to the world. The difficulties that so many people are facing, people are sick, all the healthcare workers, all the people on the front lines of this battle. It makes you depressed. I think it's very important to stay in contact with your with your friends, with your family, your community. Just try to be productive and know that we'll get through this and hopefully come out of it on the other side and make some big changes to some of the things that got us to this point we're in right now.