"The Hunger Games" co-star Josh Hutcherson is taking a left turn in his career with the lead role in the upcoming drug drama 'Escobar: Paradise Lost."

HitFix's Drew McWeeny recently caught up with the actor at the Toronto Film Festival, where Hutcherson discussed the benefits of "The Hunger Games'" popularity and how it can affect a smaller film like "Paradise Lost."

In the film, Hutcherson plays an American vacationing in Colombia who discovers that his girlfriend is the niece of the ruthless drug kingpin Pablo Escobar (Benicio Del Toro), drawing him into a dangerous world.

For Hutcherson, both big and small projects can be a labor of love. "I don't think I'm very career-minded," he explained. "I think I'm project-minded and character-minded. And so for me I want to do the stories that I want to tell and things that I want to do. But the good thing is I want to do good things [and] different things; I don't want to just play one character."

"It it's not the career that I care about," he added, "I care about the work. So if my career crashes and burns, at least I can say I did good work along the way and that's kind of what I hope for."

Hutcherson's profile has certainly been boosted by the "Hunger Games" films, and he expressed his wishes that the series' loyal fans will tune into his more offbeat projects, including the upcoming "Paradise Lost."

"'Hunger Games' has afforded me a lot of incredible opportunities," he said. "And just now with the kind of fan base that I have from the 'Hunger Games' and also to be associated with such incredible actors and films it's really helped me elevate my overall notoriety within the industry. So [I'm] kind of getting a lot more interesting projects and interesting filmmakers that want to do business with me. And that's really exciting as well."

"I think that by having a really loyal fan base that that means they'll go out and they'll see 'Paradise Lost' or they'll see some crazy weird psychological thriller movie that I'll do in the future, at least I hope they come out. That's the hope."

"Escobar: Paradise Lost" opens in the U.S. on November 26, one week after "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part I."

Dave Lewis has been a Los Angeles-based entertainment writer and editor for nearly ten years. Originally hailing from Minneapolis, he moved to L.A. in 1996 to attend USC, before working for various periodicals and web sites including a lengthy stint at Variety.com. He joined the HitFix staff in 2011.