HUNGRY FOR MORE. Former child actor Alexander Ludwig is all grown up and starring in the film sensation of the year, The Hunger Games
The former Abercrombie & Fitch model also has a knack for looking stylish behind the still camera, as seen in this exclusive fashion shoot.
Twenty-year-old Alexander Ludwig is a veteran actor of more than a decade. That may sound like fuzzy math, but it’s because the Vancouver, Canada native and son of actress Sharlene Martin Ludwig (Breaking Point; 1994) began his career at the age of nine (in a Harry Potter toy commercial).
After that he was able get an agent, which led to more acting work. He would later make appearances in movies such as Air Bud World Pup (2000), MXP: Most Extreme Primate (2003), Scary Godmother: The Revenge Of Jimmy (2005), Eve and the Fire Horse (2005) and The Sandlot: Heading Home (2007).
As well as doing those movies, he has also done some made-for-TV movies like A Little Thing Called Murder (2006). Alexander later earned himself a lead role in The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007).
His next big break was playing the leading role of Seth in the huge box office success Race to Witch Mountain (2009) alongside AnnaSophia Robb (Soul Surfer) and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson (Fast Five). Getting that role was for breeze for Alexander Ludwig as the director knew that he was the ideal Seth after his audition.
Now going to college at Southern Cal, and living near Hollywood, his world is changing rapidly after starring in the movie sensation of 2012—the cinema adaptation of the wildly popular Suzanne Collins novel The Hunger Games. In the film, Alexander he plays the role of the ‘bad boy’ Cato.
Here, he tells us all about how it came to pass and expounds on his other interests, specifically, music.
DA MAN: Your mother was an actress, but from what we’ve read, your parents were a bit apprehensive about letting you get into acting at a young age (nine); how did you persuade them to allow you to get into acting?
Alexander Ludwig: My parents know how passionate I’ve always been about acting. I convinced them this was something that I was going to put my heart and soul into.
DA MAN: Do your parents now encourage you with your acting or are they still a bit wary?
Alexander Ludwig: They encourage me 100 percent. I couldn’t do it without their support.
DA MAN: Your latest movie, of course, is The Hunger Games, what can you tell us about your experience and role working on that movie?
Alexander Ludwig: In terms of my role as Cato, I was very fortunate to have a lot of creative freedom to develop my character. It was a career-changing experience to learn from and work with [Director] Gary Ross. On set, everyone became my family. In any off time, we were able to explore the sights of our shooting location [the wilds of North Carolina].
DA MAN: Do you feel fully prepared for the immensity that is The Hunger Games franchise?
Alexander Ludwig: I’ve been told many times that my life is going to change and, in many ways, it already has. I’m trying not to feel overwhelmed and just take it as it comes. I’m not sure there’s any way to fully prepare for something like this.
DA MAN: You said you were “not big” physically, and had to undergo a rigorous diet and training to be intimidating for your role in The Hunger Games. Now that you’re done with the shooting and almost done with promoting it, would you rather go back to the not-so-big you or do you plan to build on your current physique?
Alexander Ludwig: I gained almost 40 pounds of muscle for this role. I’m currently working on getting back to how I was before Cato. As an actor, I feel that it’s important to make a physical commitment to create a character and it’s also important for me to return to my normal self.
Tank top by American Apparel
DA MAN: You’re playing one of the ‘bad guys’ in the movie, so who’s your favorite villain/antagonist of fiction?
Alexander Ludwig: Heath Ledger as the joker in The Dark Knight.
DA MAN: The Hunger Games had a huge cast, who did you work with the most and/or become closest to?
Alexander Ludwig: Everyone became really close. I worked mostly with Jen [Jennifer Lawrence, who portrays Katniss Everdeen] on set. Off set, I spent most of my free time with Jack Quaid [portraying Marvel] and Dayo Okeniyi [portraying Thresh].
DA MAN: Were you ever awed working on The Hunger Games alongside big names like Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Lenny Kravitz, Woody Harrelson and Jennifer Lawrence?
Alexander Ludwig: Absolutely, it was an honor.
DA MAN: Who influenced or mentored you the most in pursuing your dreams to become an actor?
Alexander Ludwig: My mom.
DA MAN: If you had to pick (just one) between being an actor, musician, model, athlete or student, which would it be?
Alexander Ludwig: That’s impossible to choose just one.
Shirt by Roark
DA MAN: Are there any classic, old movies or TV shows that you can point to, which definitively gave you motivation to pursue a career in acting?
Alexander Ludwig: Stand By Me, The Goonies, James Bond Films, Indiana Jones films.
DA MAN: You’ve been repeatedly chosen as one of today’s hottest young actors by various publications. What’s your take on that?
Alexander Ludwig: (laughs) Well, it’s very flattering. I’m humbled by it.
DA MAN: A while back we noticed you were tweeting about recording singles. Would you tell us more about your musical career?
Alexander Ludwig: Check out my new song “Liv It Up” currently available on iTunes! I’ve always been very passionate about music and am currently working on creating an album.
DA MAN: Any guilty pleasures, musically speaking?
Alexander Ludwig: I don’t think this is a guilty pleasure, but you might be surprised to know that I’m a fan of country music.
DA MAN: Who are your favorite musicians and/or bands?
Alexander Ludwig: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Eminem, a variety of country artists including Rodney Atkins.
DA MAN: You’ve also been a model for Abercrombie & Fitch. How did that come about?
Alexander Ludwig: I was walking through campus at USC my freshman year and I was approached about an opportunity to do a photo shoot for three days in the Hamptons [an exclusive region of New York state] for Abercrombie & Fitch.
DA MAN: Can you tell us about any upcoming movie or music projects?
Alexander Ludwig: I’m definitely going to take some time to put a lot of focus into my music.
DA MAN: How do you measure ‘more successful’… is it more fans, more headlines, more money, more respect from peers, family, friends?
Alexander Ludwig: That fact that I get to do what I love and always dreamed of doing defines the epitome of success.
DA MAN: What natural gift would you most like to possess?
Alexander Ludwig: I’d like to be a good dancer.
DA MAN: What is the quality you most admire in a man or a woman?
Alexander Ludwig: Anyone that’s truthful to themselves.
DA MAN: What do you do when it’s time to relax?
Alexander Ludwig: Chill on the couch with a blanket and read.
DA MAN: What’s your most marked characteristic?
Alexander Ludwig: I have an extreme personality. I tend to do everything to the max.
DA MAN: What is your dream of happiness?
Alexander Ludwig: Doing what I love with the people I love.
DA MAN: Is there anything you can’t live without?
Alexander Ludwig: My family, my friends and their support.
DA MAN: Do you have any regrets?
Alexander Ludwig: Of course I have regrets, but mistakes are a part of one’s life experience that contributes to who you are.
Photographs: Mitchell Nguyen McCormack
Styling: Brian Primeaux
Grooming: Lina Hanson
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