All we've heard from the official faces of James Cameron's epic space tale is "motion capture" this and "revolutionary" that, but what's the message behind it all? Avatar star Sam Worthington shared his thoughts.
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. He swears like a sailor and looks tough as hell. Of course, we're big fans.
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 — 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 fucking get to work." And that's 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 — an untested actor to be honest — 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.
Some actors have think he is a very harsh taskmaster, or even a brutal taskmaster. What's you take on it?
He's all of that, and a genius. Probably the best acting director to work with, bar McG. Even though it's all technology, both of them have a real sensitivity towards character and actors. But yeah, just like any director should, he demands the bar [be set] really high. And if you don't come up to that, yeah, he'll bark. Good on him. If people don't come up to that in any job, you're not going to do it half-assed. He's extremely harsh, but in the best possible way, because he brings out the best of you.
All I've heard about is the motion capture of Avatar and how it's going to change everything, but I'm curious about the story, how does that speak to you?
With Jim it's always about story first, as I said, he's very direct. You can put all the bells and whistles you like on it, like with Terminator, but if it's not about revealing some of the human spirit... I can't see, people are going to chew him out. Jim's very in touch with personal relationships. What it means to be, especially in Avatar, what it means to be a man, I can take that from it. Help people who are affected by bullies. I think all those kind of themes and a sense of hope. If you say all that, and then surround it with great technology and fucking whiz-bang explosions, then you're on the path to making something people will remember when they leave the cinema.
Until Avatar comes out in December, you'll have to check out Worthington in his big killer robot debut in Terminator Salvation out May 21st.