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'Hunger Games' cast: Cheat sheet for stardom

By Mike Hess, Special to CNN
updated 10:31 AM EDT, Fri September 2, 2011
Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth will star in
Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth will star in "The Hunger Games."
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Hutcherson and Hemsworth will see instant Hollywood fame after "The Hunger Games"
  • Lawrence experienced an instant rise to fame when she was nominated for an Oscar
  • Any form of success or notoriety means everything in your life is fair game

Editor's note: Mike Hess is the Managing Editor at Celebuzz.com.

(CNN) -- Four years ago, if someone said "Robert Pattinson" or "Taylor Lautner" to you, nine out of 10 people would have shrugged their shoulders and said "Who?"

Now, they're pretty much among the most wanted and talked-about actors in Hollywood -- and it's all thanks to the whopping success of the "Twilight" franchise. And while the "Breaking Dawn" films will mark the end of that series, nearly everyone in the know has pegged "The Hunger Games" as the next "Twilight."

So, take note of these names: Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth -- the next young megastars who will face the gift and curse of instant Hollywood fame. As the two male leads in "Hunger," their careers will receive an instant injection of megawatt star power and credibility, they'll be remarkably wealthy and among the A-list ... but they'll also be scrutinized and trailed by the paparazzi and media everywhere they go.

That's the trade-off these days, where any form of success or notoriety means everything in your life is now fair game -- chum in the water for the media sharks. Most actors and Hollywood stars gradually work their way up the ladder, but with the cult teen followings of "Twilight" and "Hunger" -- and both series' decisions to go with less-than-well-known names as the leads (save for Jennifer Lawrence in "Games") -- the transition from working actor to on-the-cover-of-everything can be a tough one to swallow.

Thankfully for Hutcherson and Hemsworth, they have co-stars, girlfriends (Hemsworth has been dating Miley Cyrus on and off, and Hutcherson was linked to Vanessa Hudgens) friends and past co-workers who can help steer them through the blinding headlights of fame that are bearing down on them.

Their "Hunger" co-star Lawrence experienced the same instant rise last year when she was nominated for an Oscar for her turn in "Winter's Bone." She went from relatively unknown actress to hot-new during awards season and will surely serve as a fame coach for her male counterparts.

She recently opined on her methodology for avoiding the pitfalls of fame in a Washington Post interview, saying: "As long as you remember what you're here for -- you're here for the work, you're here to make a film. ... There seems to be some very bizarre habit where as soon as you become big and famous, you think that you don't have to work anymore. And it's just such a weird trend that I'm starting to see. But I run into grounded people all the time. Given, most of them are behind the camera. But I definitely by no means think I'm the only one."

So with that mindset, what can Josh and Liam do to stay (relatively) grounded once they become the next big things? Here's a good checklist.

1. Choose wisely: This should apply to every aspect of your life, from who you surround yourself with and who you date, to what movies you are thinking of tackling. All of the minutiae of your life is now in full view, and a certain portion of the media loves nothing more than to exploit every misstep. Take a look to your left or right the next time you're in a business meeting or out with friends and ask yourself: "Is this person here for me, or for their own benefit?"

2. Stay (somewhat) private: We've already discussed the nosy media, but now with Twitter and other social media, celebrities can live out every action, thought and event in real time for all of the world to see. Sure, it's a great promotional vehicle, but it's one more trap that is 100% avoidable. Don't want your Twitter account hacked where someone posts nasty things in your name? Well, don't have a Twitter account. If you keep access to yourself somewhat limited, when you do actually have something to say, it makes it that much more powerful. Otherwise, people will get bored with hearing you tell them what you ate for lunch that day and miss the good stuff when you've got it. Plus, it adds a bit of mystery and allure to you.

3. Don't live in Los Angeles: Yes, it's where most movies are made and where all of your agents and associates are. Yes, it's got great weather, killer clubs/restaurants and all that. It also has a cannibalistic, frenzied media who pay their rent by looking to capture your lowest moments. Naturally, not having "low moments" is the more prudent option here, but keeping an apartment in L.A. for work trips and residing elsewhere ('Captain America' himself Chris Evans recently told us he couldn't take L.A. and moved back to his hometown of Boston) will surely minimize the paparazzi hassle.

4. Charity, charity, charity: You've struck it big -- now give back. Not only will it make you feel fulfilled (Josh has already been working with Straight But Not Narrow , a clever gay rights PSA), but it'll expose you to new audiences and groups who may not be drooling over "Hunger Games."

5. Don't be a jerk: If being well-adjusted and great acting travel at the speed of sound, news of being a difficult you-know-what whips through Hollywood at light speed. Agents, publicists, writers -- we all know each other, and we all talk about who's nice and who's a nightmare. Simply put: Just be nice.

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