The Verge: Teresa Palmer

palmer-apprentice.jpgIt can't be argued that Australian men are having a bit of a moment in Hollywood -- just ask actors like Ryan Kwanten or the Hemsworth brothers, tapped to play roles that America's slender man-boys can't quite muster up the strength for -- but what of the Australian actresses who'll follow in the footsteps of Nicole Kidman or Naomi Watts? Enter Teresa Palmer. The 24-year-old Adelaide native has appeared in productions like December Boys and Bedtime Stories, but things are about to ramp up considerably; next month, she'll be seen as Jay Baruchel's love interest in The Sorcerer's Apprentice, then she's primed for a big action moment in the alien adventure I Am Number Four, where she'll star alongside other rising stars like Alex Pettyfer and Glee's Dianna Agron.

Palmer called up Movieline last week to chat about the crazy training regimen she's currently undertaking for Number Four, the big movie she swears she isn't actually attached to (no matter what IMDb says), and how the swerves of her early career have made her stronger.

So Teresa, you've got some big films in the works. I know you've been acting a while, but does it feel to you like things have been kicked up a notch lately?

You know, I think that for me, you never really get to the point where you think "I've got it!" or "This is it!" I'm still building my career and really auditioning hard and fighting it out with the other actresses to get great roles. It's a challenging industry to be a part of. I've had a good last year and that's great, but there are really no guarantees in this industry, so I'm not getting too excited just yet.

So let's talk about The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Do you get to take part in all the special-effects-heavy sequences?

I get to dabble in the magic side of it, and I get kidnapped and get to help in saving the world, but in terms of having magical powers and the CG and special effects, that's all happening to me for the first time on the film I'm shooting now, I Am Number Four. My character in that has alien powers like invisibility and she can walk through fire, so it's a very cool thing. I've been in stunt training for the past few weeks, learning backflips, front-flips, choreography for swordfighting, wirework, the whole experience. I'm very excited to be in a physical role like that. It's challenging, but it's so rewarding because I've never pushed myself that hard for a role.


In that film, you're playing Number Six, another alien. What is she like?

She's one of nine aliens who are hiding out on Earth because our planet's been destroyed. She's a kick-butt alien, highly skilled in martial arts, and she rides around on her Ducati. She doesn't take crap from anybody and she's definitely a very strong figure and a dark character. She's always on the run from the aliens who are trying to kill our species, so she's had a turbulent life so far and puts on kind of a tough facade.

Number Six might know how to ride a Ducati and do martial arts, but did Teresa Palmer before this?

The balance on a two-wheel bike is like a whole other thing. I've had to learn from scratch, basically. We started on a regular bike and then moved up slowly to a more powerful bike, and then I finally got on the Ducati last week. It's cool! I definitely feel like a very cool chick.

I know that the book it comes from is supposed to be the first part of a six-part series. Did they plan ahead and sign you for those?

I mean, there are no guarantees to whether or not it'll become a franchise. People believe in the film and we hope it'll be successful. I signed on for three movies, and I think that's where we'll start. We've all got our fingers crossed, and from what we've heard so far, they're very happy with the dailies.

Let's talk about George Miller's Mad Max reboot. I heard you were cast in that...

You know, I'm not allowed to talk about that, like, at all. I'm so sorry. I know it's on IMDb, but I don't know where they got my name from or that I'm attached to it. I haven't signed on to anything, so.. [Laughs]

Maybe your name was tossed around because you were supposed to work with George on the scuttled Justice League of America?

Yeah, I was involved in Justice League, so I think that's where the rumors must have came from. Since I have that relationship with George, it got put on the internet that I was involved in Mad Max.

So it was never in the works at all?

You know, there were some discussions, but I'm shooting I Am Number Four at the moment, which sort of goes into when I believe they plan on shooting Mad Max. I don't know how it got stuck on the IMDb. I was like, "Oh, that's interesting!" [Laughs]

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