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Josh Hutcherson has seen those ‘Whistle’ edit memes: ‘I don’t get it’

‘But I’m here for it’

A photo of Josh Hutcherson sitting in a chair while holding a mic on stage. He’s smiling as he looks off to the side. Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Hulu
Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

Five Nights at Freddy’s and Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson has seen those “Whistle” edit videos people have been sharing online, featuring images of him edited over a cover of Flo Rida’s song “Whistle.” The Rickroll-like meme format went viral on platforms like TikTok in late November, and continues to inspire viral videos. Now, Hutcherson has responded: In an interview with Entertainment Tonight published on Tuesday, the actor said he’s seen the memes, and that while he doesn’t “get it,” he’s “here for it.”

In the video interview, Entertainment Tonight’s Ash Crossan asks Hutcherson to talk about “the ‘Whistle’ edit.” “I love it. It’s great,” Hutcherson says. “It’s like — somebody said it became like the new Rickroll, and I’m like, This is just wild. I don’t know where it came from. It’s the most random video, and then when I saw it, I was like, Oh, it’s that ‘Whistle.’ Ahhh, OK. I was like, I don’t get it, but I’m here for it.

In late November, a fan edit using several photos of Hutcherson went viral on platforms like TikTok. Set to an acoustic cover of “Whistle,” the video became a viral trend when people started editing it into other videos as a surprise. The meme went viral, with top videos garnering more than 2.2 million views.

Hutcherson says he’d heard of the trend, but isn’t on social media platforms, so he didn't know much about it. Then over the holidays, his brother and brother’s boyfriend sat him down for a talk about it. “So they gave me a rundown, they showed me all these videos, we were all laughing about it,” he says. “It’s wild.” The actor also spoke about the videos when he appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Hutcherson also speculated on one key detail of the edit: the potential origin of the iconic opening photo. In the interview, the actor speculated that it could have been from a Saturday Night Live shoot, but says he just doesn’t know.

A photo of Josh Hutcherson. It has a Ken Burns effect filter and he’s leaning back with his hands behind his head. It’s shown in the viral meme edit set to Whistle. Image: MetroGirlzStation/YouTube

It’s all a bit surreal. Hutcherson has starred in a variety of major media projects, including the Hunger Games franchise and Bridge to Terabithia, and he plays the dirtbag villain in the new Jason Statham movie The Beekeeper. But now, he’s become the face of a 2012 Flo Rida cover.

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