Gale Hawthorne: Liam Hemsworth
Yes, his blonde hair can be died dark but I don't think there's any way he can shake the "big, dumb jock" vibe he gives off. Hunger Games producer Nina Jacobs said, "Gale is a young man who uses words very sparingly, so the onus was on the actor we cast to capture him by showing not telling." How lucky for Liam since I doubt he has much of a vocabulary. And not to delve into his personal life but dating Miley Cyrus? Really? I suppose we've all made terrible dating mistakes so maybe he can overcome the odds stacked against him. Needless to say, this is NOT the Gale I pictured while reading the books.
Peeta Mellark: Josh Hutcherson
Again, bring on some hair color. But not so sure this pretty boy will look convincing as a blonde. He has a better resume than Liam and will probably pull off this role. Author Suzanne Collins is a fan of Josh's. She said, "Three lines into the read I knew he'd be fantastic. Josh totally captured Peeta's temperament, his sense of humor and his facility for language. I'm thrilled to have him aboard." If Suzanne likes him, hopefully that's a good sign.
In conclusion, when I first saw these two, Amy pointed at the two side by side photos on her computer screen and said, "It's Peeta and Gale." Naturally, I assumed Josh was Gale and Liam was Peeta....though I'm not sure that would be a good fit anyway. The next roles rumored to be cast are Katniss's sister, Prim, and her mentor Haymitch. Can't wait to see who is chosen.