The Hunger Games actor helms and stars in short film Ape as part of a project called The Big Script, which plucked five scripts from up-and-coming movie makers to help them develop their content.

Hutcherson plays Travis, a young man who suffers from schizophrenia, and despite already being tipped for success the actor admits his lack of confidence put him off following his dream.

“I think directing is a huge responsibility and it’s not something where you can just be like, ‘Yeah, sure, I’ll give it a go!’ I think it’s something you really need to focus on, and put a lot of effort and attention into. So, doing a short, for me, was always a target first,” he explained to Collider, noting he’s written several short films over the years. “I was always too nervous to really go for it... For the last five years, I’ve written a few shorts and my friends were like, ‘Dude, you have to go make this! Just pick up a camera and go shoot it!’ I’m not a perfectionist, but if I’m going to make something, I want to have the best set-up I possibly can.”

It was only when The Big Script came along, with organisations Indigenous and Conde Nast in tow, that Hutcherson took the leap with his company Turkeyfoot Productions.

He’s also been busy appearing in other projects recently, including James Franco’s The Disaster Artist, based on the book detailing the making of cult classic The Room by Tommy Wiseau. Released in 2003, The Room is about a woman who has an affair with her fiance’s friend and has been dubbed one of the worst films of all time due to its poor script and shoddy editing.

“It’s just the weirdest thing, and so amazing,” the star gushed. “(James Franco) is nuts, for sure. He’s insane! But he’s prolific.”

The Disaster Artist, which will have its world premiere at South by Southwest next month (Mar17), also stars the likes of Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Sharon Stone and Bryan Cranston.