Sam Worthington on Marcus Wright
By Adam Smith
Transcribed by SFZ from
Empire April 2009 Magazine
How do you think Salvation compares with the previous Terminators?
I think if the first one is a horror movie, the second is an action movie and the third is a romp, then this is a war movie. A band of people fighting against a common enemy in a visceral, gritty, ball-busting world.
And what's it been like making this 'war movie'?
There's real bombs going off around you - you don't really have to act that much when you're running through a minefield! That's real. But I wasn't going to sign on if it was just wham-bam, explosions-for-your-buck. If there was no meat, there's no point in doing it.
Where does Marcus Wright fit into the story?
I look at him as a bridge between John Connor and Kyle Reese and their destinies. And in myself, it is an exploration of what it is to be human. And what it is to be good and what it is to be evil - so it's a pretty massive kind of thing!
So is he a Terminator? Half-machine?
It's more, "Who the *beep* did this to me?" That's the way I looked at it. You wake up one day, mate, and you find out that you're *beep* half-metal, you're going to want to know who the *beep* did this! I always looked at it like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Dorothy wakes up and she meets The Scarecrow, The Lion and The Tin Man, but primarily she just wants to get to Oz and *beep* get home. That's the journey of Marcus.
What's it like working with Christian Bale?
I love him. He's extremely dedicated. People call him intense, but I say it's his *beep* job. That's what he does: he rocks up, does his job, does it to the best of his ability and then he goes home. That's primarily what you want to work with, someone whose function on set isn't to muck around but to get the job done.
Is it true James Cameron - who's directed you in Avatar - recommended you for the job?
I'm sure McG phoned Jim up to say, "What's this bloke like?" Nobody knows who the hell I am. Jim would have said, "He's a pain in the arse but at least he gets the job done." That would have been it.
What can you tell us about Avatar?
The only thing I can tell you is it's a Jim Cameron film. [laughs] I've seen quite a bit of it, but that's all I can say, mate. Sorry. Jim does have spies. Jim does have guys that will get me!
Sam Worthington Talks Avatar
TotalFilm Exclusive: Sam on making the biggest
film of the year
In the latest issue of Total Film, out this Thursday, we sat down for a chat with the hard working actor, and found him surprisingly relaxed, refreshingly down to earth, and eager for the world to see what James Cameron has cooked up.
Do you feel like the ďitĒ actor right now?
Sam: Cousin It, more like! I try to keep my life ordinary because I have an extraordinary job. I wake up and do the washing as much as I can, because I go to work and battle aliens. Thatís my job: alien killer! Or Terminator. I put that on a passport once and the guy just looked at me and went, ĎEh, whatever...í
Is Cameron a tough taskmaster?
You work 18-hour days. I was on it for 14 months. Jimís still editing. Weíll still be filming it up to the day itís released... Probably after the movie comes out, knowing Jim! That commitment is what makes him the man he is. Itís life or death. Itís war. Thatís how he approaches movies.
Does he ever laugh?
Yeah, he has a laugh with me all the time. He finds me amusing! But he knows more about trivia and science and jobs and philosophy than most. And that kind of big brain needs to be motivated. Sure, he does relax Ė heís been relaxing for the last 13 years, doing expeditions and hanging out with his family. But when he works, thereís an intensity.
What are the alien love scenes like?
Have you met Zoe? When you see her, you realise that those scenes arenít that hard! This guy said to me, ďItís an interspecies love story, isnít it? Thatís a bit yuk, man...Ē And I went, ďYouíre an idiot.Ē
Surely you donít find blue chicks hot?
When this beautiful Naívi flies over the top of him and he falls in love at first sight, heís obviously not looking at that going, "Man, thatís a really nice looking nine-foot-tall blue chick there!" What heís fallen in love with is her spirit. This is a movie about showing itís not what you damn well look like, itís your heart that matters.
Sam Worthington Teases James Cameron's Avatar
By Meredith Woerner | Excerpt: io9.com
We got Sam to answer a few questions about the meaning behind Avatar at the Terminator Salvation press day, and found out not only that he auditioned for the part for 6 months, but what his opening line to Cameron was.
Have you seen the Avatar footage yet?
I watched it before I went on Clash of The Titans.
Is it going to outdo Titanic?
Well its a totally different movie isn't it? One's about a boat, the other's about a planet. [Laughs]
Can you talk about what you've seen?
Well, Jim is very special. Especially with me and Zoe [Saldana], he would show us a lot as he was filming it. I have a very collaborative relationship with Jim. I consider him to be my best friend. Not only because of what he's offered me, but because of this world he's brought me into. But he backs me, as a man and as an actor. I think what he has done is pushing the boundaries of what going to a movie, and experiencing what the movies, [are] all about.
This isn't going to be the big end-all, be-all, but it is certainly going to show you motion-capture at its finest. Performance capture at its finest. 3D technology and computer animation and graphics at their best ó and hopefully that starts a revolution.
How did you get involved with this project?
I auditioned, and put something on tape. A week later, they flew me in to meet him, and they told me to be on my best behavior, which I wasn't.
What did you do?
I just went in and said, "Look, I've got nothing to lose. Let's *beeping* get to work." And that it. For six months you worked to get the job. It took 6 months for me and Jim to convince the studio that you can put an unknown actor ó an untested actor to be honest ó in a mega blockbuster. So for six months with Jim, we would do auditions for the studio. But it was more a sense of me getting to know this man, that you're going to be spending a year of your life with... It was about six months before we even started filming.
Sam Worthington talks AVATAR
By Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
Steve Weintraub: . . . The fact is, not only does Sam play Marcus in ďTerminator SalvationĒ, heís also one of the leads in Jim Cameronís ďAvatarĒ and heís currently shooting ďClash of the TitansĒ under director Louis Leterrier.
Clearly Hollywood believes in him, and after watching ďTerminator SalvationĒ, so do I. Anyway, with info on ďAvatarĒ so rare, I figured youíd like to read what Sam said about watching some footage from the film.
Have you seen the final version of Avatar?
Sam: Iíve seen the latest cut. A lot of it isnít all rendered. Whatís my thought on that? Itís a *beeping* beast thatís going to kick everybody in the head.
Can you talk about your character?
Sam: Heís a former Marine who goes to another planet to drive these remote controlled bodies called Avatars. Thatís basically it.
Whatís more challenging, Terminator or Avatar?
Sam: Two different beasts. Totally different. With Jim it was 13 months non-stop, eight months of motion capture. This we shot four. Avatar was 13 for me and I was short. Jimís been working on it five years.
Have you seen it in 3D?
Sam: Yeah. You see the playback in 3D. 3D for Jim is like digital for Danny Boyle. Thatís just the format Jim likes. He believes it brings the audience more into the screen. Itís not ooga-booga, itís literally youíre looking around shit.
And with it being photorealistic it actually pings in a lot better. Your brain starts to buy it. It doesnít get distracted and distanced. You believe youíre on Pandora.
Did you have that kind of immersive experience while watching it?
Sam: Yeah from what Iíve seen in 3D, yeah. It looks like we shot it in Hawaii, itís that *beeping* real.