Did you know Australian actor Sam Worthington was homeless when James Cameron cast him as Jake Sully in ‘Avatar’?
The story is quite incredible. When Sam Worthington was offered to pass the cast of Avatar to embody the character of Jake Sully, he was … homeless! In the midst of an existential crisis, the Australian actor indeed lived in his car!
Before being called to audition for the SF feature film, Sam Worthington, an actor who had been quite popular on his land until then, had sold all his possessions at auction and left his studio. A new house ? A car equipped with a mattress. Son every day? The road.
“I sold everything I owned to my friends because I didn’t like who I was”he says at the microphone of the Variety site. “I needed to get the hell out. I lived in Sydney, and every time I went to a bar, they recognized me. I rebelled against that.”
In 2006, when he is homeless, Sam Worthington therefore receives a call to pass the casting for a top secret film. He goes to the audition, but it doesn’t go very well. The actor must read a scene in which a certain Jake Sully lands on a fictional planet, but he is not told what film he is there for or even who the director of the project is.
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Frustrated by the course of operations, Sam Worthington rebels: he does not read the supposed lines, preferring to chew a chewing gum in front of the camera as a challenge. “I was just angry”he declares. “I was not told anything, I felt like it was a waste of time. Later, when they told me that james cameron wanted to meet me and it was all for his movie, I thought I was going to be in trouble.”
But of troubles, Sam Worthington will know none, quite the contrary. His provocative attitude during the audition indeed seduces Cameron, who only sees him to play Jake Sully, while much more renowned actors are nevertheless in the running for the role.
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The actor then passes many other auditions in Los Angeles. “We were faced with a somewhat difficult challenge because he had an accent like Crocodile Dundee,” says James Cameron. “I saw a lot of actors, names that would impress you a lot. But Sam is the guy who made me want to follow him into battle. The others Nunca didn’t quite make it.”
Sam Worthington is therefore chosen for the main role of a film which will become the greatest success of all time, while he lived a few months earlier in his car, assailed by doubts. How did he hear the good news? Jon Landau, producer of the Avatar saga, reveals: “It took us several days to reach him because he was somewhere on top of a mountain without a phone. That’s what kind of person Sam is.”
Sam Worthington returns with Jake Sully in Avatar: The Waterway, in theaters now.
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