Watching Australian Sam Worthington about to be unleashed on Hollywood for the first time is kinda like when a top young footballer from your home town is drafted into the major league.
You mightn’t know him personally but you’ve watched him come through the local ranks and can’t help but hope he makes his mark against the best, kicks a few goals so to speak.
The 32-year-old, while a little old for rookie status, has begun his first season in the big time having been selected as the No.1 draft pick by the action genre.
Worthington is a true product of the Australian Film and Television Industry, and not someone who was on a plane jetting out of the country to find fame and fortune overseas before they’d even learnt to drive a car, having appeared on local screens for the past decade. He’s done the hard yards.
After minor parts in episodes of Aussie cop shows Water Rats and Blue Heelers, Worthington came to be noticed in domestic cinematic releases Bootmen (2000), Dirty Deeds (2002), Getting’ Square (2003), Thunderstruck (2004) and Somersault (2004).
He got a foot in door the door in the States through low-budget picture The Great Raid (2005), but not before a return to television in a hit, Love My Way, and a miss, The Surgeon.
He then further impressed the top talent scouts with eye-catching performances in Australian-made pair Rogue (2007), battling a giant croc, and in Macbeth (2006), battling Shakespeare.
It was then he got a knock on the door with offers to appear in two of the most anticipated sci-fi/action movies in recent years, the fourth installment in the Terminator series, Terminator Salvation, and the said-to-be revolutionary Avatar, James Cameron’s first movie since Titanic.
He plays co-lead (with Batman’s Christian Bale) and lead (opposite Sigourney Weaver) respectively in the two movies.
It’s just the start of things for Worthington with him already lined-up to take on the likes of Medusa and the Kraken as Perseus in Clash of the Titans remake, to be released 2010. He’s the only cast member confirmed so far. Worthington in the Australian-made Macbeth.
Worthington, who has shown a capacity to be badass on screen, has entered the game at the perfect time, with Hollywood crying out for leading male actors to stand up and take on the big action hero roles.
He follows Bale and to a lesser extent Gerard Butler (soon to be seen in The Game) and Jason Statham (signed to appear in Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables) and bypassing the likes of Vin Diesel andDwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson who have never really been able to establish themselves in the top echelon. For one, the guy is a much better actor, capable of real depth, no offence Vin, Rock.
And then there’s Hayden Christensen, Paul Walker and Shia Leboeuff, who, while possessing their own special qualities, are hardly actors who can portray your man’s man tough guy.
In Avatar, to be released later this year, Worthington plays a paraplegic (but I’m wondering for how long) war veteran who becomes embroiled in a battle on an alien planet, called Pandora.
In Terminator Salvation (released this May), he is Marcus Wright (see above in this recently released image), who it appears is a Terminator – but may not know it – who joins forces with Bale’s John Connor, leader of the human resistance against the Skynet’s machines.
Can’t say I’ll be making any banners for Worthington to run through, but I’ll certainly be watching the Aussie star with great interest for the next couple of seasons as he becomes involved in some massive plays.