The Verge: Liam Hemsworth
Liam Hemsworth may have landed a starring role opposite Miley Cyrus in The Last Song at age 19, but that doesn't mean that his young career hasn't had its fair share of false starts. The Australian native thought he got his big break when he was cast in Sylvester Stallone's upcoming The Expendables, but being cut from the film made him nearly throw in the towel. Next, Kenneth Branagh flirted with the idea of handing him the title role in the big-budget Marvel adaptation Thor, but instead chose his older brother Chris. Still, The Last Song soon came along -- as did a high-profile romance with Cyrus -- and now Hemsworth is the hot property Hollywood's always intended him to be.
Just as he was being cast in a new 3D adaptation of Arabian Nights, Hemsworth sat down with Movieline to discuss what exactly went down with The Expendables, why he think his brother beat him out for Thor, and the racy, naked role he had before he made his way to America.
I wanted to start by asking about The Expendables. You were cast in that when you were still in Australia, right?
How did you get into that film, and how did you get cut out of it?
How did you know about that?
I did my research.
I didn't realize people knew about that! Yeah, I started sending tapes over from Australia for a couple of things, and I sent one over for The Expendables and one over for Thor. The Expendables one...I've never really talked about The Expendables in an interview!
I sent a tape over, and a week later, my Australian agent called me and said that Stallone was gonna call me in a few days. I was like, "Wow. OK."
Between that call from your agent and the call from Stallone, how were you feeling?
I was just telling all my friends, "Yeah, I'm just getting a call from Stallone in a couple of days. No big deal." [Laughs] It was weird, man. It was really weird. Stallone was gonna call! And then I chatted with him on the phone...
Did he sound like the Stallone you knew from the movies?
He sounded like Rocky, pretty much. "Hey, how you doin," that kind of thing. Then we chatted and he asked me if I wanted to do the film and I said absolutely. I was supposed to be coming over in two weeks from that phone call, and then a week later I got another phone call from my Australian agent and the script had been rewritten and they'd cut, like, six characters from it.
How'd that feel?
Yeah, it was a big kick in the face. I'd celebrated and told all my friends and then that happened. I was so down about it because I was about to come to America and I'd landed this big film and I was going to be working with Stallone and then suddenly it all went out the door. I was questioning whether I even wanted to go over to America at all -- you think really bad stuff after something like that. But it was good, because that same afternoon that all went down, I got a phone call -- I'd sent a tape in for Thor -- and they wanted to fly me over and do a screen test for that.
So suddenly you're like, "Yay!"
Exactly, Thor happened and it was like, "How cool! I'll at least get over there now." So I went over for that and it was really cool, I spent a day with Kenneth Branagh and screen-tested.
What was that like?
The screen test? It was pretty amazing! I'd been in America for like a day, and the next day I had this screen test with Kenneth Branagh directing me down at the Marvel studios. He's a real actor's director and makes you feel comfortable. My brother got the part and he's been working on it for the last few months, and he says the same thing. He's so good to work for because he's an actor himself, so he knows what it's like.
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