Thursday 28 August 2014

An Aussie to Remember: Sam Worthington

Sam Worthington - Terminator Salvation

Born in England, Sam Worthington grew up in Australia where he started his acting career when he was 24. Only five years later his talent was noticed by the producers of war movie The Great Raid and, since then, Worthington has gone on to become one of the most promising action stars in Hollywood.

With more than ten films currently in production, this Aussie is looking at a bright future on the big screen. His latest endeavour is director David Ayer’s action thriller Sabotage, in which he partners with none other than one of the biggest action heroes of our time, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

An intense story of a group of special task force agents hunted by a mysterious assassin, Sabotage is set to be released on Blu-ray, DVD and digital platforms on 15th September 2014 by Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

To celebrate the release, we are taking a look at Sam Worthington’s career development, picking out his 10 best films to date:

The Great Raid (2005)

Sam Worthington The great Raid

Directed by John Dahl, The Great Raid tells the true story of the raid at Cabanatuan in the Philippines during World War II, attempting to release 500 American soldiers who had been entrapped for three years. Sam Worthington joins a densely populated cast of handsome Hollywood stars, including Benjamin Bratt (Miss Congeniality), James Franco (127 Hours) and Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare In Love). The film did not enjoy massive box office success but it received praise from revered critic Roger Ebert for being one of the few movies to depict the hardship and cost of war realistically and not just for entertainment purposes.

The Debt (2010)

Sam Worthington - The Debt

Another war-related film, The Debt is an edge-of-your-seat thriller about three Mossad agents sneaking into East Berlin in 1965 to capture a notorious Nazi criminal only to find out, 30 years later, that their successful mission may not have been so triumphant after all. The film jumps back and forth in time slowly revealing the shocking truth behind the unfolding events. Sam Worthington plays the younger agent David Peretz and is just one of the highlights in a brilliant cast consisting of Helen Mirren (The Queen), Tom Wilkinson (Batman Begins) and Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), among others.

Last Night (2010)

Keira Knightley Sam Worthington Last Night

In this romantic drama written and directed by Iranian filmmaker Massy Tadjedin, Sam Worthington and Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean) play husband and wife who both flirt with the idea of being unfaithful to their spouse. The movie explores the issue of monogamy ultimately asking the question whether marriage is a sustainable long-term situation or merely an outdated mode of protection from the pain that comes with being alone. To help answer this question, the main cast is joined by Eva Mendes (Hitch) as Worthington’s seductress and Guillaume Canet (Love Me If You Dare) as Knightley’s ex-boyfriend.

Somersault (2004)

Abbie Cornish and Sam Worthington Somersault

An independent film, Somesault received rave reviews from critics worldwide and won every single feature film award at the 2004 Australian Film Institute Awards, including Best Actor for Sam Worthington. Written and directed by Cate Shortland, the coming-of-age drama follows 15-year-old Heidi (played by Abbie Cornish) who runs away from home and meets Joe (Worthington) who has a hard time expressing his feelings for her casting doubts over the nature of his sexual orientation. Worthington received global acclaim for his role, demonstrating that he is not just another pretty face in the world of cinema.

Man on a Ledge (2012)

Sam Worthington - Man on a Ledge

Sam Worthington takes centre stage in this action thriller playing Nick Cassidy – a former policeman turned conman threatening to jump to his death from his hotel room’s window. However, viewers soon realize that things are not as clear-cut as they appear to be, as it turns out that, while he is keeping the police, the fire brigade and the SWAT team occupied, the biggest diamond heist in history is being carried out. Joining Worthington in the Asger Leth-directed film are Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games), Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot), Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer) and Ed Harris (The Truman Show).

Dirty Deeds (2002)

Sam Worthington - Dirty Deeds

Dirty Deeds is an Australian comedy starring Toni Collette (The Sixth Sense) and John Goodman (Coyote Ugly). Set in the 1960s, it follows an Australian mobster whose seemingly unwavering gambling empire begins to crack under pressure from the American mafia. Surrounded by incompetent allies, a grumpy wife, a dirty cop and a needy mistress, the underworld boss goes through a hilarious string of events trying to maintain his business. As one of Sam Worthington’s earlier films, Dirty Deeds helped establish him on the Australian movie scene which was shortly followed by a call from Hollywood.

Terminator Salvation (2009)

Terminator Salvation

Director McG’s 2009 sci-fi hit Terminator Salvation gave Sam Worthington his first leading role in a major Hollywood blockbuster. The Aussie actor shared the spot with none other than Christian Bale (The Dark Knight). By stepping into the shoes of criminal Marcus Wright who comes back in time as a humanoid, Worthington filled the spot made famous across the globe by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the previous three films from the Terminator saga. Even though the film did not enjoy rave reviews by critics, Worthington’s performance was highlighted by many as the best part of the ride.

Clash of the Titans (2010)

Sam Worthington - Clash of the Titans

Sam Worthington’s next big role came with Louis Leterrier’s box-office hit Clash of the Titans. Set in the world of Greek mythology, the film revolves around Worthington’s character Perseus who accepts a plea from King Cepheus to help him defeat an attack unleashed by the vengeful god of the underworld, Hades. The film may have been blasted by the critics but it certainly demonstrated Worthington’s box-office power as it grossed almost $500 million worldwide.

Avatar (2009)

Sam Worthington - Avatar

Perhaps Sam Worthington’s most famous role to date is that of paraplegic marine Jake Sully in James Cameron’s big-budget sci-fi production Avatar. Highly publicized throughout the world, the movie went on to bring almost $3 billion at the box-office. As a result, Worthington became a house-hold name and attractive bait for all major studios in Hollywood. Following the massive success, plans for three more sequels are already in motion with Worthington signed up for all three of them.

Sabotage (2014)

Sam Worthington - Sabotage

Sam Worthington’s latest film Sabotage puts him face to face with his Terminator predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Australian actor portrays James ‘Monster’ Murray, one of the DEA agents on Schwarzenegger’s team that are hunted by a ruthless assassin after robbing a drug cartel safe house.

Sharing the screen with an ensemble of tough guys, including Josh Holloway (Lost), Joe Manganiello (True Blood) and Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow), Worthington skilfully demonstrates exactly why he is sought after action film producers – his talent mixed with his bad boy charisma make him a perfect addition to the thrilling experience that is Sabotage.

Make sure to see that for yourself as Sabotage comes out on Blu-ray, DVD and digital platforms on 15th September 2014 by Lionsgate Home Entertainment.


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