The Sam Worthington ‘Clash Of The Titans’ Interview

It’s not exactly clear what Sam Worthington was referring to with all his talk during this conversation on the girly man side, about mythological fashion statements and how liberating skirts can be, in Clash Of The Titans. Though you might say that it seemed pretty Greek to me. With his warrior instincts now focused more on green screens than the blue people of his recent stint in Avatar, Sam also delved into tunics, rubber swords, a preference for women who man up, and cheap shoes on the Red Carpet. Back from the future, way back, following Avatar and Terminator Salvation, the blockbuster brawler was still in fighting form, though the most fearsome thing tossed around during this comedic encounter, were his rapid fire punch lines.

It can be a mystery, wondering how women in short skirts keep from showing more than they’d like to. So how did you solve that problem?

SAM WORTHINGTON: Ha! I wanted to show more than I show! Hey, those tunics back in that time, were a lot of fun. But that’s how you know what the tone of the movie is.

And what would that be?

SW: It’s a bunch of guys in skirts, fighting monsters with rubber swords. So we kind of knew the world we were getting into. You know, it’s not a history lesson. We’ve got flying horses, and scorpions the size of dump trucks.

And so you’d wake up the first morning and see your mates wearing a dress, and you have a couple of laughs. Then you go and take it seriously. So the audience doesn’t have to!

Did you get hurt at all with that rowdy stuff going on?

SW: It’s a boisterous movie, so you’re gonna get your bumps and bruises. But we were dumb enough to dive in!

How authentic did you want to be, about the Greek mythology?

SW: If you go look at Perseus, he was naked. And I didn’t want to go that far into it! But this was like Charles Bronson on a revenge spree. And he’s struggling with dilemmas about where he fits in the world.

Did you go and see the original movie first?

SW: Sure. Because I wanted to see if it was worth remaking! You know, you’ve got to be careful with things like this, man. Because you’re touching stuff that people have fond memories of in their heart.

How about that Alexa Davalos in action mode?

SW: She’s a gutsy actress. Most actresses would bring in a stunt double, but not her. She manned up, and that was good! That’s why we were wearing dresses, man. We’ve got to bring the girls into the thing somehow, and let them be like us.

Do you think people will be upset if you haven’t payed enough homage to the original?

SW: Uh…I don’t think my nine year old nephew will care! To be honest, this is hopefully a Clash Of The Titans for his generation. And for the people who will remember the one from their childhood, it will probably bring their childhood back out of them.

We do give a couple of nods and winks to that one. But if you do too many of them, they can be a bit cheesy. And as I said, it goes over the heads of the people who don’t know the original. But you have to be careful, just as you had to be careful about remaking the movie.

But you know, we’re not remaking Casablanca or Godfather, are we. Those movies stand by themselves. So hopefully what we’ve done, is ramped it up, with things relevant to this generation.

So what has your transformation been like in these blockbuster movies, and do you see yourself as the next big thing?

SW: You mean, like did I used to be a woman!

No, more like being more out there now, and less quiet.

SW: I am quiet. I am quite shy, man. I may play tough guys, but I’m not a tough guy in real life.

Well, does it mean you’re ready for the big time?

SW: Hey, I had a career in Australia for ten years. And a successful career, in a massive way, And it put me in there with the big boys. But there’s no rule book to what you do. You just keep your head down, stay out of trouble, and try to do the best you can.

But you have to keep the caliber of your work up, or I won’t be here in ten years time. Because there’s always somebody better than you, snapping at your heels. But how it’s changed me, I don’t know. I kinda keep myself grounded, and just try to figure it out.

I didn’t set out to be a star. What I did was set out to do movies that I like to do, and that I like to see. And hopefully you do that to the best of your ability, and give the audience their bucks worth. And that hasn’t changed much, that’s been in my head since Australia.

With Avatar and now Clash Of The Titans, what was the challenge of fighting with that other formidable opponent, the green screen?

SW: That’s what acting is all about, and you’ve got to get into it. Which is just using your imagination and playing for a bit.

How pissed are you about the gossip around those cheap shoes you wore to the Red Carpet?

SW: Ah I don’t give a crap. They were comfy!

It seems that afterwards, they got all sold out at that bargain store where you bought them, Payless.

SW: They did? That’s kinda cool! Hey, I don’t worry about it. All the tinsel in Tinseltown doesn’t bother me. I’m not there for an image job, I’m there to make a movie.

And the shoes they gave me to wear, they made me look like a hobgoblin! If J-Lo wore them, she would have fallen off the stage and ripped her dress. It was ridiculous.

Do you feel like you may be setting a new Hollywood trend in shoes?

SW: Yeah, like the Payless poster boy! Hey, I went for what was comfortable, and that was the closest store!

Okay, thank you.

SW: Cool, thanks…

Prairie Miller is a New York multimedia journalist online, in print and radio, who reviews movies and conducts in-depth interviews. She can also be heard on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network’s Arts Express.