News culture From homeless to Hollywood star, the incredible destiny of the hero of Avatar 2
Published on 14/01/2023 at 10:10
Reality often surpasses fiction, and offers us destinies more incredible than each other. If in 2022, the life of Sam Worthington, hero of the Avatar saga, is akin to a “success story”, there was a time when this Australian actor was homeless. From homeless to Hollywood star, here is the extraordinary destiny of Sam Worthington.
Once upon a time in… AustraliaA nomadic lifeRebellious spiritA discreet “after”
Once upon a time in… Australia
The story of Sam Worthington begins far from the Australian wilderness, on the other side of the globe in the city of Surrey located in the United Kingdom. Born August 2, 1975, the one who will become Jake Sully on the big screen 34 years later moves to Perth at the age of six months (state capital of Western Australia). Subsequently, he joined the John Curtin College of the Arts, a school specializing in the teaching of dramatic arts from which he emerged without a diploma.
He leaves the family home on his father’s orders with the modest sum of 400 Australian dollars in his pocket, then does a series of food jobs, mainly in the construction industry. At the age of 19, he applied to the National Institute of Dramatic Art located in Sydney where he was accepted and even obtained a scholarship. His acting career really began in 2000 in Bootmen alongside Adam Garcia. After having chained the secondary roles, even tertiary in several televised series (JAG, Brigade of the seas, Blue Heelers), it burst the screen in 2004 in Somersault. His performance was hailed with the Best Leading Actor award by the American Film Institute (or AFI).
On the track of success, he became known in his adopted country through his role in the series Love My Way broadcast between 2004 and 2007. Meanwhile, he played Lord Macbeth in the Australian “remake” directed by Geoffrey Wright of the famous tragedy born from the pen of William Shakespeare. It is common knowledge that Sam Worthington is trying to get the role of James Bond in Casino Royale directed by Martin Campbell. However, the new adventure of the famous British secret agent 007 finally goes to Daniel Craig.
A nomadic life
Now in his thirties, the Australian actor, hit by an existential crisis, makes the decision to drop everything, sell his property and his studio, and leave Sydney with a car equipped with a mattress as his only foothold. This incredible situation makes him a “Sans Domicile Fixe” (or SDF). His daily life is then reduced to the road during this period which precedes his audition for the role which will make him an international star. Sam Worthington expressed himself in the following terms during an interview with our colleagues from Variety.
I had sold everything I owned to my friends because I didn’t like who I was. (…) I needed to get the hell out. I lived in Sydney, and every time I went to a bar, I was recognized. I rebelled against that. -Sam Worthington
Traveling the roads of the Australian bush and living in his car like Mad Max, Sam Worthington receives a call that will change his life forever. In 2006, he goes to an audition for a “top-secret” film which, according to his words, turns into a balance of power. Frustrated by the conditions of the audition, he defies the production in his own way, refuses to read his lines and is content to chew gum in front of the camera in front of a perplexed “jury”.
They didn’t tell me anything, I felt like it was a waste of time. Later, when they told me that James Cameron wanted to meet me and that it was all for his movie, I thought I was going to be in trouble. -Sam Worthington
His provocation catches the eye of James Cameron who sees in him and in his rebellious side the hero so much sought after for his revolutionary science fiction project, despite renowned actors still in the running. After several additional auditions held in Los Angeles, California, Sam Worthington is officially chosen to play Jake Sully in what will become the greatest success of the 7th Art of all time with no less than 2.9 billion dollars in worldwide box office receipts. James Cameron himself, director of Avatar, is full of praise when he talks about Sam Worthington.
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 one who made me want to accompany him to hell, which the others never quite succeeded – James Cameron (Avatar – Director)
True to form, the Aussie actor hits the road again, heading inland, and to the top of a mountain with no way to be contacted at hand. He ends up learning the good news all the same, and accepts the role. The legend of Jake Sully is on. Released on December 16, 2009, Avatar takes everything in its path and becomes a real social phenomenon. History will also remember that an Australian actor and his sharp accent defied Hollywood and won.
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. – Jon Landau (Avatar – Producer)
A discreet “after”
2009 is a pivotal year for Sam Worthington. In the space of twelve months, he successively played Marcus Wright then Jake Sully in Terminator Renaissance (June) and Avatar (December). Nevertheless, the Aussie actor struggles to capitalize on his newly acquired fame, to finally disappear slowly, but surely from the cinematographic landscape. Certainly, he is the headliner in the diptych of fantastic peplums The Clash of the Titans (2010) and The Wrath of the Titans (2012), but the reception, both critical and public, has the effect of a cold shower.
In parallel with cinema, he is interested in video games, and lends his voice to the character of Captain Alex Mason in Call of Duty: Black Ops and Black Ops II. Finally, his last notable role dates back to 2016. Sam Worthington takes up arms alongside Andrew Garfield in the war film You Shall Not Kill (Hacksaw Ridge from its original title) directed by Mel Gibson (Braveheart, Apocalypto, The Passion of the Christ). Rich but ultimately unmemorable, the career of the most Australian representative of the Na’vi people resumes in December 2022 in Avatar: The Way of the Water. With a third episode already filmed and more than 1.7 billion dollars in box office receipts for the second, the saga imagined by James Cameron still has a bright future ahead of it. Sam Worthington is not ready to leave Pandora and even less his avatar body!
About Avatar: The Waterway