Sam Worthington Explains The Trouble With Killer Robots

Illustration for article titled Sam Worthington Explains The Trouble With Killer Robots

Shooting with a giant metal monster that wants to rip you in half can't be all that easy. Terminator Salvation star Sam Worthington talks working with the metal giants and avoiding on-set explosions. Spoilers attack!


Worthington plays Marcus Wright, a mysterious character who gets executed in the 1990s and then wakes up — naked — in the scary warzone of 2018. And yes, if you've seen the recent trailers and clips that have been released, you'll already know that Wright, himself, is an experimental cyborg. We asked him about playing a half-man, half-machine, all-badass character.

What was the toughest thing filming for Terminator

Because it is so physical and it is action orientated, I think the toughest thing is trying to find a sense of grit and gravity and weight in your performance, that actually isn't just kind of being overshadowed by all the explosions and the action. You've got to bring out — for want of a better word — the heart of this character. I think the hardest thing was making sure that I was on the right track and that it wasn't melodramatic.

Was there a lot of makeup or CG going on with your look?

It's been, depending on how un-repaired we were. Anywhere from four to six hours where they do the outline and then paint you blue so you look like a Cirque du Soleil Terminator. But that wasn't a hard one. You're sitting there for six hours. I would pity the poor guys doing it. They're the ones having to work for six hours. I just have to sit there, and they make you look good.

Are you worried Marcus [your character] won't be back for the next movie?

Well, we only made one movie, and we set out to make Terminator Salvation. You're not really thinking of five and six and seven and eight and nine, so you're just trying to make the best movie you can at that time.


Are you signed on for the next movie?

Me? No.

Do you think Marcus should, or could, come back?

Well, I've got an idea. I dunno. They don't know it yet. I'll tell McG during this junket. In my head, it's crazy, it's unbelievable. We'll figure it out. The good thing is we've got the luxury of time travel, which was introduced in the first and the second one, so who knows? It depends if people want Marcus to come back. That's the other thing.


How many different endings did you shoot?

We discussed about three or four, I think, depending on the day and what sat well with all the actors and the people involved, depending on which one we went with. But I know we discussed a hell of a lot of endings.


Have you met Arnold yet?

I haven't met him yet. Hopefully I'll meet him this week (at the junket).

What's your favorite Arnold movie?

Pumping Iron, I love. I think he's in top form in that isn't he? Lou Ferrigno fucking turns him up, doesn't he? Don't want to bring that up though, do I?


This is a very intense movie with lots physical stunts. Were you ever scared?

No. It's making movies, you just dive into the world. I'm pretty lucky, you do things that you don't normally get to do, like kiss beautiful women and jump off an exploding building. And you try to do as much as you can because that's part of the fun.


Were the action sequences in Terminator more organic than in Avatar?

They are more tangible on Terminator, you've got things blowing up around you. With motion capture, you try to get as much as you can but you're not going to get full-on explosions that fill the place with water. That sense of putting us in that gritty visual world helps the story along. You see us going through it so you think, "man these people are really in this war zone." Oh man they blow shit up all around us on Terminator, it's not hard to run faster. You get the hell out of there when things are gong bang, bang, bang.


Go see Worthington, the man who fears no robot, in Terminator Salvation on May 21st.



The question Are you signed up for the next movie? sends a little twinge of pain to my heart. I hope that this franchise revival actually works, or else I'll have to clutch my T2 DVD even tighter and assure myself that they're all what-ifs after that flick.