Kellan Lutz, best known for his role as Emmett Cullen in The Twilight Saga, now stars in The Legend of Hercules, directed by Renny Harlin, opening on January 10th.
The movie re-imagines the hero’s origins, from the perspective of a young man struggling with his destiny, as the son of Zeus.
Kellan recently completed voicing the lead role in Tarzan, an animated 3D CGI feature, and he will be seen onscreen in Expendables 3 with Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham.
I spoke with Kellan at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills about his new persona as a Greek hero.
Can you talk about the training process for playing Hercules?
I live quite a natural lifestyle, just love being active, growing up in the household that I did, being outdoors, running away from my brothers who would try and kill me every day.
Preparing for this, I had to learn how to ride a horse very quickly. That really works your legs, my legs have never been so big, because you’re squeezing them into the saddle. I’d rather snowboard or play basketball than be in the gym.
As far as working out, that’s my preference, but I loved riding the horse, they are beautiful animals.
What about training with the swords?
I had Liam McIntyre’s help (who plays Sotiris in the movie), He is an amazing actor and an amazing man at heart. He [played] Spartacus, so he already had two years under his belt of using the double swords.
I came to him humbly, ‘Please, teach me your ways.’ We would play fight, and he taught me to draw lines on the mirror and to act like I’m killing myself, because your opponent is about your size.
When you are ripping the camera and you’re doing phantom shots in slow motion, you want to make sure your lines are as straight as possible.
The fake blade wobbles, so when you have the real one you want to have the straight shot so it looks like you’re going for his neck, not his shoulder, [so you don’t go], ‘I think I might have killed him.’
Which movie had Sylvester Stallone seen you in to cast you in Expendables 3?
His girls saw Twilight, so they already loved me and they’re Sly’s casting directors. Also Liam Hemsworth was in the second one, and he’s a good friend of mine. Also Sly watched Arena, and he told me he really loved what I did in it. I’m very proud of that movie.
Did you have to keep up the physical training for Expendables 3?
No, you’re working with all these iconic legends, and I’m taller than most of them. So I’m trying to slouch in shots, trying to honor them and not standout.
And Sly’s like, ‘Stop working out.’ I’m like, ‘Yes, sir.’ So I’m skinny now because of Expendables 3, I didn’t want anyone to get mad at me. But all the guys are super cool, and just legendary to work with.
There were no A-type personalities on board, everyone was just there to make a great movie.