Speaking at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner over the weekend, Josh Hutcherson offered additional behind-the-scenes details about his talk with Hunger Games director Gary Ross after he decided to leave the franchise.

From Entertainment Weekly:

“I called him and I was like ‘Gary what’s up? What’s happening? Tell me it’s not the truth,” said Hutcherson. “I’ve never heard someone sound more dejected on the phone than he was. He was so sad he can’t be doing it.”

Though Hutcherson said he was “sad about Gary not being there,” he explained he’s eager to start shooting Catching Fire and looks forward to working with new director Francis Lawrence, whom he referred to as “extremely talented.”

“I think we’re going to make a good movie nevertheless and I’m excited to see what Francis brings to the table,” said Hutcherson.

We’re sad to hear Ross felt so “dejected” – it must’ve been a rough phone call.

Lionsgate has not yet officially announced a deal with Francis Lawrence, but they’re reportedly close.

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