Cody tells HollywoodLife.com about spoofing Josh Hutcherson and reuniting with Brant Daugherty in ‘The Starving Games.’ Plus, what was Mike really up to during his absence from ‘Pretty Little Liars’?
You know him best as Aria’s brooding brother Mike on Pretty Little Liars, but Cody Christian is done playing A’s twisted games (for now) as he switches gears to another game with a very different set of rules. The Starving Games, a hilarious spoof on The Hunger Games, is officially being released on demand and in select theaters Nov. 8 — and Cody tells HollywoodLife.com to prepare for a side of him you’ve never seen before.
Read On For My Q&A With Cody Christian
>> Were you a fan of The Hunger Games before you did this movie?
[Laughs] Eh, not really. I mean, it’s a good movie. I watched it with my girlfriend, and she really liked it. I didn’t go crazy over it; I thought it was pretty decent. It was a well-rounded film, but I’ve never read the books, so I wasn’t a fan from the beginning. I was glad I could go with my girlfriend, though.
>> So you didn’t feel badly goofing on the franchise?
No, I did feel badly. When I first read the project, I was like, “Damn, this could be really awkward if I ever sit in front of Josh Hutcherson. Like, ‘I didn’t mean to make you feel like a bitch or anything.'” I mean, this kid was on his rise to fame and he put his heart and soul into this movie, and I’m just making fun of it.
>> Your version of Peeta was definitely not what I was expecting.
That’s what we wanted! We didn’t want to follow the film, so I actually didn’t watch it before I started production on this project. I saw it a couple months after the movie was out, however much time had passed.
>> I know you from Pretty Little Liars, so it was fun seeing you in a lighter role. You pulled it off nicely.
Thank you, that actually means a lot to me. Right now, I feel like comedy is my weak point, so this project was great for me to grow as an actor. I’m glad I was able to achieve the comedy aspect, which is so important for this film to thrive. … I want to be the actor that takes on roles that puts me out of my comfort zone and scares me.
>> Speaking of PLL, what was it like working with Brant Daugherty?
It was so much fun. When we went in for the auditions, the actual readings, we had both been called in for a chemistry read. I hadn’t seen him in almost a year, so he was like, “Cody?” And I was like, “Who is this guy?” And he was like, “Dude, it’s Brant!” It was a trip, man, he’s such a cool guy. We established a pretty well-rounded relationship with each other. He’s just a good guy to be around early in the morning when no one wants to be at work.
>> Brant’s coming back to PLL in season four. Will we see more of you, too?
I think Mike’s going to swoop in and make some appearances, yes, so people need to be on their toes.
>> People joked that he’d been stuck in the basement for a while, just working out in the dark for months.
Right? He actually was stuck in the basement, so he found some dusty old dumbbells and a bench and went at it. He did steroids, actually! He didn’t know what they were at first, so he just started injecting, and then felt this tingly feeling in his body. And look what happened!
>> Makes sense. Was it weird for you to get all that attention for your physical changes?
It was actually humbling. I’ve been busting my ass at the gym, so it was nice to have some recognition for it. I’ve been gone for a year, almost a year and a half, so of course I was going to grow! It was a nice warm welcome back. Our fan base is incredible.
— Andy Swift
WATCH: ‘The Starving Games’ Trailer