Beginning of a whole new 'Avatar'

Beginning of a whole new 'Avatar'

Sam Worthington

Sam Worthington is Jake Sully in Avatar, the spectacular new film from James Cameron — the Oscar-winning director of Titanic, that takes us to another world: the extraordinary far-off world of Pandora.

Excerpts from an interview

Tell us about your character Jake Sully.
He is a former marine who gets the opportunity to go to Pandora on a military mission, to be part of the Avatar program. On Pandora, they have created genetically controlled bodies, which are hybrids formed from the DNA of the humans and the DNA of the Na’vi, its indigenous inhabitants.

Working with James Cameron must have been a fantastic experience.
It was amazing. Jim is very brave — not only in what he was trying to achieve with Avatar and the technology we use in the film, but also because the last film he made was Titanic almost 13 years ago. It was the biggest movie of all time and now he’s come back with this one.

How tough was the experience of filming?
I worked for 14 months non-stop and everything changed during that time. I didn’t see my friends as much, my relationships and my life had changed. But with Jim, you have to be dedicated. You get up, go to work, don’t complain about it and he pushes you to excel.

How was it to work with the new technology pioneered on this film?
We were working with the most advanced technology on a movie set, but when we were filming, it was quite rudimentary. We were like five-year-old kids, diving into a world that wasn’t actually there and using our imagination. I found it very liberating.  
 How about the love story central to the film?
The first time Jake Sully sees the Na’vi woman, Neytiri  (Zoe Saldana), he falls in love with her. He is seeing her soul and her heart and that is what he falls in love with straight away. This is a movie that shows no matter what you look like, it is your heart that matters. It also shows that we should respect other cultures.

You’ve been working in Australia for years. But how did you become an actor? Did you ever dream of it?
Not at all. Nobody dreamt of acting or working for the movies in the place where I came from.
My dream was to get out of town. I was a bricklayer;
I built houses and the acting came about accidentally, when I accompanied my friend for an audition,
and landed up getting
selected.  
How did you get the part in Avatar?
I auditioned in Australia. It was a ‘blind’ audition, I didn’t know what the movie was about and I didn’t know who it was for. Two weeks later, I got a call saying: ‘would you like to meet Jim Cameron?’
   I met him and he said there was something in that two minutes, some kind of sparkle in the eye, a rebellious nature that he liked.

Would you work with James Cameron again?
I would love to work with him for the rest of my life – every second of the day.    

What do you think is the underlying appeal of the film?
It is an amazing journey. Jim took you on the journey to
Titanic; he’s now taking everybody into outer space. My dad’s blown away by it; my best friend who’s an actor is blown away too, and my nephew has seen bits of it and fell off the seat. People can look forward to a real experience.
Jim’s always said to me that he wants to bring the people back to the cinema.
We live in a world of DVDs and downloads, and there’s something really unique about going to the movies. With this engrossing 3D movie, everyone will be transported to Pandora.

Do you have passions or hobbies outside work?
Making films is my hobby! It relaxes me; it is my life and it’s one of the best jobs in the world. I go to work and solve problems, fight robots, kill aliens and kiss beautiful women. I’m a very lucky man, to be honest.  

(Avatar releases on December 18 and will be dubbed in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.)

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