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First look at ‘Red Dawn’ trailer: Connor Cruise steps out, Josh Hutcherson weighs in

Meriah Doty
Movie Talk
August 10, 2012

If you think Connor Cruise has a conspicuously familiar last name, that is because he does. The 17-year-old adopted son of star exes Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman is stepping out in his first major film role in the remake of '80s teen action film "Red Dawn."

In the trailer -- seen here first on Yahoo! Movies -- Connor appears sporadically in the latter half of film preview. At one point he is wielding a gun, positioned in a sniper-style pose.

[Related: Find showtimes and tickets for movies near you]

The film is about teens who decide to defend themselves against an enemy force that has parachuted in to occupy their Washington state town. It also stars Chris Hemsworth, Isabel Lucas, and Josh Hutcherson -- who recently spoke to Yahoo! Movies about Connor and the film. (We shamelessly squeezed in these questions during our discussion with Hutcherson about the upcoming release of "The Hunger Games" DVD. Come back next week for the story!)

"Connor is a really cool kid," Hutcherson said of his costar -- who plays his best friend in "Red Dawn."   "When you look at his upbringing and how it's been different than so many people, he is very well-rounded, grounded, extremely smart, physically -- just great at all sports... You can see where he gets that from his dad," Hutcherson further described.

"Connor, like me, loved the action stuff," Hutcherson said of his on-set experience. "Any time there were explosions or gunfire or whatever, he and I were two of the most excited people on the set. That was pretty cool, to have somebody that shared my enthusiasm for explosions," he added.

While "Red Dawn" marks Connor's first breakout role in which he plays a key character in a film, he did make a short appearance in "Seven Pounds" in 2008, playing a young Will Smith. Smith later noted Connor's professionalism on set and the benefit of his powerhouse Hollywood parents: "He's got a couple good role models in his life, so I think he might be able to put something together."

[Related: 'Red Dawn' Poster Reveal]

Hutcherson pointed out that Connor is also a DJ: "He is such an entrepreneur." Indeed, Connor, who goes by the alias DJ C-Squared, recently said in an interview that he tries to DJ everywhere he can, and added, "I would kill to open for [Swedish DJ] Avicii."

As for "Red Dawn," the film was made years ago -- even before "Hunger Games." "It's been a long time," Hutcherson said, noting he was 16 or 17 years old when it was shot (Hutcherson is now 19)."I'm super excited about it," he added.

Hutcherson already knew one of his "Hunger Games" costars because of his experience shooting "Red Dawn": "That was my first introduction to the Hemsworth family, with Chris. That's actually how I met Liam, and Liam and I became friends before I got cast in 'Hunger Games.'"

He later noted eerily thematic ties between the two films: "['Red Dawn'] is sort of similarly themed when I really think about it -- because a group of these young people band together to rise up against this big government that's invading and taking over...  That's what 'Hunger Games' is," he pointed out.

Poking fun at the similarity, Hutcherson joked, "After these movies [all] come out, I'll really know how to lead the charge -- a rebellion leader."

"Red Dawn" parachutes into theaters November 21.

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