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Former child star Josh Peck scarred by ‘Red Dawn’

This film image released by Film District shows Josh Peck  left Josh Hutcherscenter Chris Hemsworth scene from 'Red Dawn.'

This film image released by Film District shows Josh Peck , left, Josh Hutcherson, center, and Chris Hemsworth in a scene from "Red Dawn." (AP Photo/Film District)

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Updated: January 3, 2013 6:18AM

People get hurt in the battlefield, and Josh Peck carries the scars from battling North Korean invaders in “Red Dawn.”

“I ended up with two stitches in my head and a big scar on my arm from a scene when I was running and chasing a bus,” he says. “I jump on the bus to find my girlfriend and my gun caught on one of the seats. It butted me in the head.”

He laughs. “I got a free tour of the Detroit Trauma Center,” he says. “My doctor even asked me why I didn’t use a stunt double, which made it all hurt more.”

The former star of Nickelodeon’s “Drake & Josh” is part of the ensemble in the “Red Dawn” reboot, finally seeing the light of day after a long delay.

“There were moments when I’d wonder if this would ever come out,” he says.

The film revamps the 1984 teen favorite that starred Patrick Swayze. Shot three years ago, the new version takes advantage of the fact that Josh Hutcherson (“The Hunger Games”) and Chris Hemsworth (“The Avengers”) became major stars.

“Working with Chris and Josh was a dream,” Peck says. “Chris hadn’t done ‘Thor’ yet and Josh hadn’t done ‘Hunger Games.’ Chris was preparing for ‘Thor’ and I was staying in shape for ‘Red Dawn.’ We would go to Benihana for a treat. We just had to stay away from the fried foods.”

Peck, 26, avoided watching the original. “I wanted to take a different approach,” he says.

The idea of a foreign invasion of the United States, he says, is good movie fodder because it pushes so many nerves. “There is a visceral response to this storyline,” he says. “It’s the fight being brought to your front door or your core. Everyone can identify with that feeling of defending your home and your family.”

Peck has been working since he was 10. On “Drake & Josh,” h was the pudgy one, but he changed that by shedding pounds as a teen. “I lost the weight seven years ago,” he says. “I really love working out now. I’m addicted to the stress relief of it.”

The training for “Red Dawn” wasn’t easy. “We had a week of boot camp with the Navy Seals and Marines that bonded us as a cast,” he says. “Then I had a week of football camp because we open the movie with a high school football game.”

Also, “I had to learn how to reload a gun smoothly. The military guys told me, ‘Smooth is fast.’ ”

Next up for Peck is “Battle of the Year: The Dream Team.”

“It’s a 3D dance film,” he says, adding, “This body just isn’t made for sitting.”

He says, “I’m trying to keep it diverse.”

Big Picture News Inc.

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