The star of Terminator Salvation and James Cameron’s Avatar talks about his rise to fame
Sam Worthington’s not exactly a household name right now, but that is all about to change. Tipped as one of 2009’s hottest stars Sam, 32, has already got two of the year’s biggest blockbusters under his belt – Terminator: Salvation and James Cameron’s sci-fi thriller Avatar.
In Terminator: Salvation, Aussie hunk Sam plays Marcus Wright – half-man, half-machine. Here he talks about becoming a mean machine, going ‘toe-to-toe’ with hot-headed Christian Bale and getting beaten and bruised for the love of his life – his work.
Q: How did you find working on Terminator: Salvation?
SW: “Intense. Working with Christian Bale was a learning experience for me. He is a very passionate and dedicated actor. So if you’re going toe-to-toe with him you have got to have your f***ing game on. You’re going toe-to-toe with f***ing Batman, y’know? But I love him and hope fully we have made a gritty and real Terminator movie. It’s not for pansies, that’s the thing. We want a movie that kicks you in the balls.”
Q: Who do you play in the movie?
SW: “I play a guy struggling to find out who he is and what he is.”
Q: So is it true you got injured shooting this movie?
SW: “I think I got injured everyday. I got a bit cut up and pulled some muscles but it’s Terminator not Pride and Prejudice so you are going to get beat up.”
Q: What were you hoping to achieve with this movie?
SW: “Our mission is to show the fans we are true to the mythology of Terminator and that we’re not screwing around with it. We want to make the war that they’ve been waiting for since Terminator one. It’s gritty, visual, it’s like Black Hawk Down with Mad Max.”
Q: You’re a bit of different Terminator though aren’t you because you still have a bit of human feelings right?
SW: “I’m one that doesn’t know what he is. He’s trying to figure out is he human? Is he a machine? It’s about a journey of identity. Y’know. What makes man?”
Q: Is this movie like the first ones?
SW: “I think this movie holds true to the first movie in particular and that the mythology is continued and we are making this version gritty and real as if this war could have happened and within that its going to be a kick-ass popcorn ride.”
Q: Were you a fan of the Terminator movies when you were younger?
SW: “I remember T2 when I was younger. I remember the liquid man, how blown away I was by that. How everyone was. Then I rewatched them before I did the job. The first one was a horror movie the second one’s a great chase movie. The third one’s like a romp. And hopefully ours is the war movie.”
Q: What is it like to square up to Christian Bale?
SW: “Christian’s the most dedicated, passionate and intelligent actor I have ever worked with and he only makes you better.”
Q: This is your first action movie wasn’t it? How did you find it?
SW: “I’ve never ever done a movie on this scale before. Apart from filming Avatar. But this is its own beast and it’s great to be part of the family. I loved it.”
Q: Did you do all your own stunts on this movie?
SW: “We did as many stunts as we could without getting killed because that would kind of screw up filming. But we were making a war movie and we all wanted to get our hands dirty. In this movie I’ve been blown up, shot at, mined, blown a few mines, napalm, you know name it, I’ve f*cking had it. And how do you prepare for that? You just get in and do your job, simple as that.”
Q: What is it like to be on a Terminator set?
SW: “It was pretty dark and nasty. We tried to make this movie really visual. We were trying to make the audience feel this post-apocalyptic world could happen, that this war against the machines could happen in the near future. And so when you’re doing it you’re covered in dirt and grime and you’re fighting your heart out.”
Q: The director McG had a lot of vision about this movie – so how does that help you?
SW: “McG is extremely enthusiastic and extremely passionate about getting this right. He said to me ‘I don’t want to make a McG movie. I want to make a Terminator movie.’ And that’s what’s made me sign on and ensure a lot of the others. Therefore when you’re working you want to make it the best you can be and you want to please him. He is like an Energiser bunny and I love him.”
Q: You also have a love interest in this movie too right? So you have to play a softer part to a Terminator?
SW: “It’s more about showing how people connect in times of trouble and when a war is on or when a disaster’s happened people bond. From all walks of life, black, white, robot or machine. People are connecting – that’s what we’re trying to show.”
Q: What are your hopes for the next twelve months?
SW: “No one knows what’s going to happen next year. No one. That’s the thing – all I can do is my job and do it to the best of my ability. That’s it and we’ll see what happens next year. You might think I’m sh*t. Talk to me next year. At the moment I’m just enjoying the ride. That’s all I can do.”
Q: Are you ready for all the attention you’re going to get after this movie comes out?
SW: “(Laughs) Yeah, I’m going to dig it.”
Terminator : Salvation is at Irish cinemas now