A Smile So Genuine (Josh Hutcherson)



1. Chapter 1

"And now on E!, we will take a look into the life of one of the most iconic young actresses, Charlotte Madison, better known as Charlie. Beauty, brains, and talent, Charlie was on her way to the top from the beginning. Starting as a child actress in numerous television shows, her big break came when she starred next to Tom Hanks as his lovable, wise daughter who had just lost her mother. This role, earning her countless awards including an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress, sky-rocketed Charlie to instant stardom. Unlike most child actors, she continued getting roles, showing off her pure talent as an actress, as well as a singer. Charlie released her first album shortly after she turned 17, receiving extraordinary praise for her country-sounding voice, as well as a few Grammy awards. It had been rumoured she is writing her sophomore album, expected to come out in the following year..."


I snapped my head up to the sound of my voice singing live at some stadium in Texas. I stretched my arms, and rubbed my eyes, slightly irritated that the TV woke me up from the first nap in weeks. I glanced over at the screen, watching myself strum a guitar and smiling up at the crowd, winking as the lyrics poured from my lips. I sighed and began thinking of all the things I could have done differently. What could have been better. I have a habit of doing this, yelling at myself to sing better, time my lines perfectly, sit up straight in my interviews. I'm my own worst enemy, what can I say?


No one had anything bad to say about me usually. The fashionistas praised me for my style choices, on the red carpet and in everyday life. The critics never gave one of my performances a bad critique, usually quoting me as "breathtaking" or "astounding".


But to myself, I wasn't any of that. I never focused on my looks or how I dressed. I never focused on the enormous following I had in my fan base. I never focused on the critiques admiring words. I focused on my passion for acting and singing. I put everything I had into these aspirations, working myself to the bone. But to me, it wasn't a job. It was how I felt alive. I made me feel like something was right in the world, like this was what I'm supposed to be doing.


I grabbed the clicker and turned the TV off, enjoying the silence that enveloped the room. I was placed in a dressing room, waiting patiently for the crew to set up my photo shoot scheduled for today. My entourage must have left when I fell asleep. No doubt Henson, my security guard, was waiting outside to make sure no one stepped inside without permission. My overbearing manager made sure of that. My eyes flickered to the blue book on my lap, a dark book mark sticking out of it. A beautiful grey and white bird, with its wings outstretched, covered the book, the title written bold in white. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.


A deep feeling turned in my stomach. I had read the Hunger Games trilogy three times, taking up much of the sparse spare time I had in my life. I tried out for the second movie, Catching Fire, a long and tedious process that took three weeks. I was still waiting for the call that said I got the part. God, I wanted that part so bad, I dreamt about it. I was never sure, though. Never sure if the producers liked my performance.


There was a light knock at the door and my manager, Lisa, stepped in with a clipboard glued to her hands. "Charlie, everything's all set up. You ready?" Lisa raised an eyebrow and tapped her foot impatiently. I pushed out my thoughts and got up from the couch, following my manager out the door. I didn't want to do the photo shoot. It was last minute and they paid very well, not that I cared, but her manager certainly did. I smiled up at my body guard as he closed the door behind me. "Henson, could you watch my phone? If anyone calls, just let it go to voice mail." Henson nodded, smiling down at me. Holding the phone use to be Kelly's job, my assistant, but she lost it once and risked all of my phone book numbers being leaked to the public. Thankfully, Lisa shut down the phone before anything could happen. I had to practically beg Lisa to not fire Kelly. She was the closest thing I had to a friend.


Sometimes I felt like a puppet, doing interviews, photo shoots, and talk shows because my manager told her too. Like I had a choice anyways. The only thing I had control of was my songs and my movie roles. That's why I kept them so close to me. My photo shoot went by pretty quickly, and the photographer praised me for giving him inspiration and motivation for this photo shoot, whatever that meant. I smiled graciously and practically ran to Henson. Today was suppose to be the day. After weeks of waiting. Henson handed me the phone instantly, waiting impatiently for me to listen to my voice mails. Henson had been my body guard since I was just starting out. He was like a brother to me, family. Two missed calls, one from my sister and one from the studio. Henson knew I was waiting for a long time to hear that voice mail. He knew how much it meant. I was shaking, my thought were clouded. Please just let me get the part. I could be great. I could bring a new light to the role! God, I wanted it so bad, I'm begging an imaginary person. Then I heard it. Excited and loud in my ear, the producer's happy tone. I felt chills role up my spine and my stomach do a flip. "Henson..." I whispered soft as I pulled the phone away from my ear, "I got the part. I'm gonna be Johanna Mason in the next Hunger Games movie."

This part is going to be hard. I didn't think about it, but there are thousands of fans waiting in anticipation to see Johanna come alive on screen. And that was my job. I've never done movie that was based off a book that held such a big fan base, like the Hunger Games. What if I screw this up? I could feel my hands shaking, I tried really hard to stop them. They can't see my nervousness, I need to be confident. Or the producers will regret their choice. The doors to the studio were right in front of me, the first script reading being today. I tucked my script away in my purse, afraid to even look at it. This was a big deal to me, and if i started to look at the script, I'd get nausea. Why the hell did I do this to myself? No, I'm suppose to be this part. I'm suppose to be Johanna Mason.


I walked into the studio room, my heel clicking on the floor. I look around and instantly regretted not bringing Henson with me. Everyone's eyes were on mine, smiling and whispering. I'd prefer screaming fans to a collection of my peers, people who can judge me. People who can agree I'm not good enough. I shifted my purse on my arm nervously and walked towards the one familiar face in the whole room, forcing a smile on my lips. But before I could make it, a hand grabbed my arm. I looked up to the producer, smiling down on me. "Charlie, how are you? I would like you to meet some people before we start." He ran off a list of people beside him, who all shook my hand vigorously. I smiled politely, trying not to seem nervous. My eyes fell on a skinny girl behind one of the assistant directors. She reminded me a lot of Kelly, small, short brown hair. I smiled at her and she started shaking, dropped her water bottle, her eyes starting to water. She was a fan. "Bethany, are you alright?" the director turned to her quietly. I chuckled under my breathe and outreached a hand, "Hi Bethany, how are you? I'm Charlie". She squeaked and laughed, taking my hand over a moment. I complimented her shoes and she smiled graciously. These were the kind of fans I adored. The ones who didn't faint. I always felt guilty after they fainted.


The producer lead me to a long table, were I noticed a few actors already seated. I pulled out my script, a highlighter, and a pen. I wrote my name on the first page, something I remember doing from elementary school to make sure it didn't get lost. I started noticing the actors seated, each in their own conversation. The first girl I noticed instantly was Jennifer Lawrence, who played Katniss. Her resemblance to my image of the fictional girl was remarkable, her long, brown, wavy hair up in a pony tail, revealing her face. Next to her was Liam, who I tried to talk to earlier. It's nice to see a familiar face, it makes you more comfortable. He smiled at me across the way and waved, bringing a smile to my face.


Woody Harrelson was a bit more down the table, talking with wild hand gestures to Lenny Kravitz, who chuckled every now and then. My eyes searched farther down the table and fell to a guy in a baseball cap talking to Willow Shields, who I met before at a party. His eyes were hidden, but I could see the strong, square jaw jutting out from his face, light freckles splashed across his nose. His lips were turned into a crooked smile, bright white teeth flashing out from underneath them. His arms looked lean and strong, his chest lifting up and down every time he talked. I could see tufts of almost black hair coming out of his hat. I know I know him from somewhere. How could I forget that face, he's handsome alright. I squinted my eyes in concentration, trying to place him in my mind. Square jaw, black hair, freckles. He was so familiar, so imprinted in my mind, I just couldn't bring the name to my mouth. His head turned towards me and I caught my breathe. Deep, hazel eyes pierced into mine, and I instantly recognized him. Josh Hutcherson

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