Little Manhattan, RV, and Bridge to Terabithia star Josh Hutcherson's all grown up — and starring in the first film from the Cirque du Freak Saga called The Vampire's Assistant. He chats exclusively with J-14 about evil vampires, werewolves, and his celeb pals.

J-14: What kind of vampire do you play in The Vampire's Assistant?

Josh Hutcherson: My character Steve is a vampaneze, which is basically an evil vampire. And the difference between the vampires and vampaneze is that the vampires live by a certain code – they can't kill, they can't do certain things, and they only drink blood to survive. But the vampaneze just do whatever they want. So my character is the reckless type and that was really fun to play. It's definitely different than anything I've played before because I haven't ever really got the chance to play the bad guy kind of role.

J-14: What was the most evil thing you had to do?

Josh: There's a big fight scene between me and Chris Massoglia, who plays Darren. We became good friends during the movie and I literally have to throw him across the room because the vampires and vampaneze have super strength. I throw him and he lands in a pile of chairs and then I was like, "I'm sorry, I don't really mean this," but you gotta do what you gotta do! It was fun playing the bad guy — you really get to let loose and just be mean and aggressive.

J-14: So how do the vampaneze compare to the Cullens from The Twilight Saga?

Josh: The vampaneze are much more hardcore and open about being vampaneze. The Cullens are kind of shy and reserved and they don't want anybody to know. But the vampaneze are out there like, "Aah! We're vampires! We're going to do whatever we want and drink everybody's blood and go crazy!"

J-14: At first, your character Steve is reluctant to become a vampire, but he does it for his friend. Have you ever done anything like that for a friend?

Josh: For me, my friend recently tried out for American Idol. We had to get up at 3:30 in the morning and drive out to Pasadena's Rose Bowl. We had to sit on the blacktop for like four hours before we even got to go in. Then we got inside and had to sit there in the boiling sun for like another three hours until he got to audition, so it was really hectic. I can't sing, so I didn't audition. He didn't make it past the first round, unfortunately — he's actually a really, really good singer, but it really depends on what they're looking for. But it was crazy — and you see a lot of crazy people there.

J-14: Speaking of good friends — you're good pals with Spectacular!'s Victoria Justice, Avan Jogia, and Simon Curtis. Tell us about your friendship.

Josh: We all like a lot of the same things – we all like going to the movies, we like the same kind of music, and we're all pretty easygoing people. It just seems to work — we hang out all the time. We actually love laying on the floor listening to old records. We have this rug in my house that's the softest rug you've ever heard of. So we lay on that and listen to records that were handed down from my parents. I think we're all just really compatible with each other and that makes for a really great friendship.

J-14: And ironically Victoria is playing a werewolf in an upcoming Nickelodeon movie. So who do you think would win the werewolves vs. vampires battle?

Josh: Honestly, I think that the werewolves would. Werewolves just seem so strong, big, and powerful. Vampires are really strong as well, but I think there's something about a wolf, like the wolf integrity. I think they would prevail, unfortunately. Victoria and I haven't had a chance to duke it out — werewolves and vampires yet — I'll let you guys know when that happens!

Photos: Courtesy of David Lee / Universal Pictures

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