Sam Worthington Interview For ‘Man on a Ledge’ – Also Talks On ‘Wrath of the Titans’
An ex-cop and now wanted fugitive (Sam Worthington) stands on the ledge of a high-rise building while a hard-living NYPD negotiator (Elizabeth Banks) tries to talk him down. The longer they are on the ledge, the more she realizes that he might have an ulterior objective. Directed by Asger Leth (Ghosts of Cité Soleil), ‘Man on a Ledge’ stars Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Anthony Mackie, Ed Burns, Titus Welliver, Genesis Rodriguez, Kyra Sedgwick, and Ed Harris. The film is set for release January 27th in the US, and Febuary 3rd in the UK.
What was it that drew you to play Nick?
Sam Worthington: It was Lorenzo di Bonaventura (producer) actually. I’ve known Lorenzo for along time, I was looking for something to do with him. I love the movies Lorenzo makes, not only ‘Transformers’ and ‘Red,’ but he helped put together ‘The Matrix’ back in the day, his movies with Mark Wahlberg I like. I also like his sense of….that he wants to make movies that entertain an audience, his primary goal is to entertain an audience, give them their moneys worth – and that’s my primary goal as well. So, we kind of found one that I was really interested in, sort of an amalgamation of ‘The Negotiator’ and ‘Phone Booth,’ and they were entertaining movies so I thought lets go ahead and make it.
How was it for you filming on the ledge?
Sam Worthington: It’s weird, it’s not really a vertigo experience, it’s more of a sense of your brain going, “You shouldn’t be here.” I never really got spinney circles….it was like a weird picture. And yeah, you always have a hand on the wall without even thinking about it because your bodies just reacting. Also, the adrenaline up there is so high that by the end of the day you’re exhausted.
Performance wise, does all that adrenaline make it easier to act or harder to act?
Sam Worthington: Your in an authentic situation so I think it definitely adds to the dynamics of the scene. I find it that anything that helps with imaginary circumstances is great. At the end of the day you’re making a movie, but having something that helps to ground it, and being out there on that ledge, it does really help. You can ride the adrenaline, see where it takes you, that’s what I kind of did – rather than contain it. But the journey I had was that he starts off cool, then he ends up crazy. Whereas a normal jumper will be crazy at the start and end up cool and calm. So it was a reverse journey, I just used the adrenaline, especially when we started running around.
What was it like working with Elizabeth Banks? You two have this great chemistry where there’s flirting and there’s manipulation, there’s all these levels constantly changing.
Sam Worthington: I really like Elizabeth, I’d watched all her movies where she’s funny, and I’d seen her on ‘30 Rock.’ But then I saw her in ‘The Next Three Days’ with Russell Crowe. I thought that was a sensational performance. Then when you join the two, you have someone who has gravity and grit, but then also has a sarcastic whit, you know that you can throw anything at her and she’s gonna bounce it each way. That’s a formidable actress.
Was there a lot of improvisation, or was it mostly scripted?
Sam Worthington: It was pretty much scripted. We had a lot of chats beforehand, me and her, about where we wanted to take it. When it comes to it, even though you’ve got a lot of this craziness happening and desperation in a dire situation, we wanted it that….in reality, people would start laughing with each other, joke around, flirt, it’s inherent to do that, especially in a pressurised situation. It takes your mind off the desperation.
You’ve also got ‘Wrath of the Titans’ coming up in a few months?
Sam Worthington: ‘Wrath of the Titans’ comes out in March, which I’m really really excited about. I saw it and I think it’s awesome. I think Jonathan Liebesman (director) is a genius (laughs). He’s took what we did from the first one and bent it a bit, put his own stamp on it. He created something really cool. Personally, I didn’t like my performance in the first film, I don’t think I satisfied the audience as much as I wanted to. So to get a second chance, it’s very exciting and it’s a great opportunity. We really looked at Perseus as a hero and thought, “What makes a hero?” And then what was the slant and edge we wanted to put on that, rather than it being just a generic action conduit of a person.
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