March 21, 2012 at 03:30 PM EDT

So on one hand, it’s nice stepping into a franchise with a fan base as rabid and passionate as the one surrounding the Hunger Games books. On the other, there are a lot of expectations that go along with bringing that text to life on screen. Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, who star as Peeta and Gale  — the boys battling for Katniss’ affection — understand both sides of that extreme fandom and in the video below try to explain how they worked to keep their performances true to the story.

Read more:

‘Hunger Games’: Jennifer Lawrence on becoming Katniss

‘Hunger Games’: 11-year-old Willow Shields talks playing Prim

How ‘Hunger Games’ star Elizabeth Banks brought Effie Trinket to life

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