There are few things as refreshing as an honest celebrity. And Sam Worthington is one of them.
The 35-year-old Australian actor, best known as the star of “Avatar” and “Clash of the Titans,” appears this week in the action-thriller “Man on a Ledge.” The film features Worthington as Nick Cassidy, a convicted felon who breaks out of prison and perches himself on the ledge of a New York City hotel in an effort to prove his innocence. Elizabeth Banks co-stars as an embattled negotiator who is brought in to talk him down.
“Man on a Ledge” is fun, exciting and probably the best action film of the year so far. If it has any flaw, it would be that Worthington – who plays an American in the film – can’t quite keep his Australian accent under wraps when he acts angry.
Curious about the difficulties of taming the Aussie twang (among other things), I caught up with Sam to ask him about it. Unfortunately, it’s not the first time it’s been brought up. Fortunately, he was pretty cool about it.
David Onda: Do you have trouble hiding your accent?
Sam Worthington: Yes. Everybody knows that. I’m useless at [expletive] accents. [laughs] What, you don’t read reviews and blogs? Everyone has an opinion about my accents and I’ll be the first to admit it – I find it extremely difficult, but I try my best.
Onda: Tell me about the process of filming “Man on a Ledge.” Were you actually on a ledge?
Worthington: Yeah, we built several ledges, some in a sound studio – because no one knew how much we’d be able to do on the actual ledge [in New York] – but when I got out there it was 225 feet high and we realized that the more I was up there the more my confidence grew and the more scenes we could do up there.
Onda: So I take it you don’t have a fear of heights?
Worthington: Um, I think when you’re 225 feet up, you do. And it’s not the fear of heights. I think it’s more the fear of falling and landing. That’s what gets you.
Onda: It must be a nice to take a break from green screens after “Clash of the Titans” and “Terminator: Salvation.”
Worthington: Yeah, I don’t pick my movies on whether it’s a green screen or a practical movie like this or a small movie or a big movie. I pick ’em on whether I would wanna pay $16 to go see that film. If the story would be interesting enough for me, then you can try to make it more interesting for everybody else that has to pay $16.
Onda: I read an interview where you talked about your upcoming “Clash” sequel “Wrath of the Titans,” and I really appreciated your candor about your disappointment with the first film.
Worthington: I think I have a responsibility and I have an obligation – I’m the lead of that film and I don’t really like what I did in it. I won’t necessarily judge anything other than my own performance on it, but I believe I should have pulled my socks up a bit better and done a bit better and created a character, rather than just being a conduit for the action. So, in the second one, I tried my hardest to create a character, Perseus, that you’d want to continue in other adventures and empathize with. I wanted to try a bit harder. And that’s what I felt my responsibility to the audience was.
Onda: In “Man on a Ledge,” you play a wrongfully accused man. When you were growing up, did your parents or teachers ever accuse you of doing something you were innocent of?
Worthington: I get blamed for everything all the time, man. [laughs] Not just when I’m a kid. I’m not going to get into specifics. I think if you go into specifics you incriminate yourself. So I’ll just play innocent.
Onda: Tell me why people should go see this movie.
Worthington: It’s an unashamed popcorn movie. At a time where we’ve got “awards season,” this is something where you can pay your $16 and have a good time out at the cinema and not think too hard. That’s how I look at it. It’s fun.
Onda: Do you have any dream roles you’re looking at next? Maybe a romantic comedy?
Worthington: I don’t get offered them, mate. I’ve always wanted to do a romantic comedy with Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, people like that. I reckon that would be funny.
Onda: I would go see that. I’d pay $16 for that.
Worthington: [laughing] It would be successful. It would go down in history!
Check out Sam Worthington in “Man on a Ledge,” in theaters everywhere now.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.