Being in the principal cast of a movie nominated for an Academy Award for best picture hasn't ruined trips home to Kentucky for Josh Hutcherson.
"I was just back home a week and a half ago," says Hutcherson, 18, who hails from Union, in Northern Kentucky. "I'm pretty sure I've personally met every person in my town, so they're all like, 'Oh, it's just Josh,' so it's no big deal at this point. They're pretty much over me."
Hutcherson's career took a significant turn last summer with The Kids Are All Right, in which he played the pivotal character of Laser, the teenage son of a lesbian couple who asks his older sister to find out who their sperm-donor father was. The film has been nominated for four Academy Awards: best picture; best actress for Annette Bening, who plays one of the moms; best supporting actor for Mark Ruffalo, who plays the donor dad; and best original screenplay.
Hutcherson was not nominated for any prizes, but The Kids Are All Right's nominations have kept him busy attending awards ceremonies, including the Golden Globes. At the Screen Actors Guild Awards, he was a nominee along with the rest of the ensemble for best performance by the cast of a motion picture (The King's Speech ensemble won).
"It's been fun," Hutcherson says of the awards shows. "Everybody's been telling me, 'It's so boring, and it goes on for four hours,' but I've been enjoying it. Just being around people I've looked up to my entire life has been really cool."
At the SAG awards, Morgan Freeman was sitting behind Hutcherson, and Bening's husband, Hollywood icon Warren Beatty, sat next to him. His mother, Michelle Hutcherson, was on his arm for those ceremonies, as she will be again at Saturday's Independent Spirit Awards and Sunday's Oscars.
"I told her a long time ago that if I ever got to the level of these award shows, I would take her to the first round," says Hutcherson, who will wear a tuxedo by Italian designer Moschino to the Oscars.
When they made the movie, Hutcherson says, no one was looking ahead to the Oscars.
"I knew it was going to be a cool movie while we were making it, just because of everybody's performance and the direction it was going in," he says. "But I don't think you can ever anticipate how others are going to receive it."
For Hutcherson, whose previous films include Bridge to Terabithia (2007) and Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008), it represented a new chapter in his career.
"I love doing all types of movies," says Hutcherson, who has just wrapped filming the Journey sequel, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, and will star in the remake of the kids-save-America-from-terrorists film Red Dawn, due later this year. "For me, it's really cool to be part of a small type of independent, really great story, actors-type of movie. For me, this opens up the avenue to the indie world, which I'm a big fan of."