Here’s what I’ll say for the stars of “Terminator: Salvation,” a Hail Mary pass of a summer movie: they are intense. That’s the adjective that most readily describes the film’s entire aesthetic. Or the challenge of following up arguably one of the best original/sequel one-two punches in SF/action history. It’s the genre equivalent of making both “The Godfather” and “The Godfather Part II”. Cameron set the bar higher than high. He made two great films, one a clever big-budget twisted comment on the original, an extension of the idea that also managed to invert it completely. Following that… intense.
But Christian Bale and Sam Worthington were cast specifically because they are able to turn that on, and stand toe-to-toe. Sitting down to talk to them, I was curious to see if they would bring that same degree of intensity to things. When I was asked if I wanted to sit down with the cast a few weekends ago, I was pleased to do so, curious to talk to them about the challenges inherent to anyone crazy enough to make this film.
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First up was Sam Worthington. who is also starring in the film I am most curious about right now, “Avatar.” And so of course I’d love to ask him about it… but of course he can’t answer. It poses an unscratchable itch for me as an interviewer, and it’s funny that it’s a Cameron film that’s making me crazy as I sit across from Worthington for this talk:
Strikes me as a really grounded guy heading into the next seven or eight life-changing months of his life. Didn’t really sense much guile about him at all.
Christian Bale, on the other hand, played me a bit as I wrote about in my article last week. I asked him about “John Carter Of Mars,” the upcoming Andrew Stanton film, and I ran the story about his denial at that point. Tonight was the first time Greg Ellwood saw the piece, as he was putting the video up. He thought Bale pretty much failed in hiding a reaction to the title. I’m still not sure because I felt so off-balance in the conversation, just one of those where I never felt like I got into any sort of rhythm with the guy. You be the judge of what his smile is saying as I bully my way through my question:
We’ve got more of these interviews, as I promised, coming up as the week progresses, and I think there’s some good stuff ahead, including a fairly epic showdown between myself and the film’s director, the always (as I mentioned) intense McG, which seemed to be brewing for the entire press day at the Beverly Hilton. I’ll have that full story for you when I put that video up as our coverage of “Terminator: Salvation” continues here on HitFix all week.
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