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A Grown-Up’s Guide to Teen Celebrities

The Teen Choice Awards will air this Sunday on Fox, and — hey, wait. Where are you going? Listen, we know you’re sick of awards shows, and that a celebration of teenyboppers’ favorite pinups probably isn’t going to prevent you from watching True Blood and Breaking Bad. That’s totally fine. But does anything make you feel older than scrolling through a list of the telecast’s nominees and presenters and finding that you’ve never ever heard many of the names on the list? Oh, sure, there are the big stars who get nominated for everything. And you know Justin Bieber and the Twilight kids now, and how could you have made it halfway through 2012 without encountering Carly Rae Jepsen? Still, a slew of Disney and MTV and ABC Family and teen movie stars remain, so you may as well memorize who they are in case you find yourself in conversation with a 12-year-old One Direction superfan. After the jump, we’ve compiled a guide to the massively famous (but only to people under 18) TCA nominees you should know, if only to avoid the dreaded teenage eye-roll (but also because some of them are talented actors and musicians who will likely break through to the grown-up mainstream in the years to come).

Josh Hutcherson

Nominated for: Choice Actor: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Choice Movie Liplock (yes, that’s a Teen Choice Awards category)

Who is he? Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games. Yes, adults saw this movie, most of us were too preoccupied by Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss (a name we already knew from her Academy Award-nominated performance in Winter’s Bone) or familiar faces like Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, and Donald Sutherland to investigate the sweet baker boy who would do anything to save Katniss. But wouldn’t you know it, the 19-year-old actor’s existence has not escaped the notice of teenage girls, who have become very fond of Hutcherson indeed. This may partially have to do with his pre-Hunger Games work, in such kids’ films as The Polar Express, Zathura, and Bridge to Terabithia. Meanwhile, if you thought Peeta looked a bit familiar, you may have encountered him — with his natural hair color — as Mia Wasikowska’s little brother in The Kids Are All Right.

Talking point: Hutcherson is slated to appear in no fewer than five movies this year, including a long-delayed remake of 1984 war movie Red Dawn and the Spanish-language anthology film 7 Days in Havana.

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