Sam Worthington on the Fan Response to Avatar


Last week, most of the movie discussions taking place Thursday and Friday were about James Cameron’s upcoming sci-fi fantasy flick Avatar thanks to the release of the first teaser trailer and the unprecedented ‘Avatar Day’ screening of 15 minutes from the movie. Reactions were mixed, but it certainly got people talking about the movie and whether or not it will deliver on expectations when it opens in roughly four months.

Ironically, and a group of online journalists had a chance to talk to Sam Worthington on “Avatar Day,” and we were surprised to learn that the Australian actor does pay a lot of attention to what the fans say on the internet, even admitting they sometimes influence his career decisions. With that in mind, we asked him whether he was anxious about all the hype and buzz surrounding Cameron’s movie despite it not coming out until December. “It’s gotta hell of a lotta hype,” he admitted to us. “I read all what was said yesterday about the trailer. I can see their point, but as I said, it’s not meant to be built for an Apple Mac, it’s built for IMAX, it’s built for 3D, that’s what he’s designed it for. He’s designed it to bring people back to the cinema. It’s interesting that he’s released that trailer and the next day, he shows it on IMAX. It’s one extreme to the other. We get the criticism and then we get the rave reviews of what it really looks like in its own formula. That’s obviously going to get people to think and go, ‘Damn right! I’m going to go and see this at the cinema.’ Jim has always said to me that he wants to bring people back to the movies, and he’s a smart enough man for that to be tactical.”

It certainly seems like Worthington is trying to be more collaborative in the projects he does, so we wondered how that worked when you’re working with a director like James Cameron, who is considered a visionary director who probably knows exactly what he wants. Worthington called Cameron the “ultimate collaborator” and elaborated on the statement. “He’s the boss and he’ll have final say, but he’ll tell you, ‘Gimme what you’ve got’ and the first thing I’ve said to him is ‘I’ve got nothing to lose, man, I’ll give you everything.’ So I threw everything at him, every idea, and he’ll whittle it down to get what he wants, but that’s your job, to offer and offer and offer. If you’re designing one of the plants or one of the spaceships, the guys who give him 100 or a thousand different designs and Jim can go and say, ‘That and that and this and this’ then put it all together to get Jim Cameron’s space, his Samson, his dragon, and he’s the ultimate at that, then.”

We also got Sam’s take on the internet reaction to Terminator Salvation, which seemed mostly negative. “It was dark, there is no humor. That is what we set out to do,” he chuckled. “It’s kind of humbling the way they’ve described your performance against Christian’s, but we have no control over that. We just have try and do the best character we can do at that time. I can nitpick with the best of them, man, and go down the list of things I saw on IMDb where they found holes in it and go, ‘You ARE f*cking right. If there was a big ten-ton robot coming outside that gas station, surely we would f*cking hear it!’ And I missed that! So I go, ‘I gotta be a bit better when I’m looking through my scripts!’ So that kind of raises my games a bit, ’cause I feel like an idiot for not saying it to McG.” (Worthington’s delivery of this last bit had the entire group laughing.)

You can certainly look for more with Worthington over the next seven months, as he will have two new movies released in that time, James Cameron’s Avatar and Louis Letterier’s version of Clash of the Titans, both of which you will be able to read a lot more about right here on