Movies

Published: Saturday January 11, 2014 MYT 11:25:00 AM
Updated: Saturday January 11, 2014 MYT 11:29:28 AM

Kellan Lutz in 'The Legend Of Hercules'

The buff actor sheds his Twilight image to play a Greek demigod.

Actor Kellan Lutz is shedding the vampire teeth to don the breastplate of Greek demigod Hercules in his newest film, as he leaves the Twilight franchise behind to embrace the action genre.

The Legend Of Hercules, now playing in cinemas nationwide, sees Lutz exploring the hero’s origins. A second film, Hercules, starring Dwayne Johnson, will focus on the hero later in life, after he completes the legendary 12 labours.

Born to a mortal woman and Zeus, king of the Gods, Lutz’s Hercules faces challenges early on in his life from his human father King Amphitryon, who never accepts him as a true son, and his half brother Iphicles, who is jealous of his super strength. Hercules finds himself torn away from his love, Hebe, and sent to war, only to be sold into slavery.

“It’s the hero’s journey – you have the wizard, you have the antagonist, that’s the king, and you have the different missions he has to go through and the love interest in Princess Hebe. Story-wise, it’s all there, that’s what drew me to it,” Lutz told Reuters.

Not that playing a superhero is unfamiliar territory for 28-year-old Lutz, who played Greek god Poseidon in 2011’s mythological action film Immortals and has been drawn to the larger-than-life heroes from childhood. “I knew when I saw the superheroes that I wanted to fight against injustice. So from a young age, I always wanted to make the world a better place like Captain Planet would do, or He-Man, or Tarzan or Hercules,” the actor said.

Lutz (right) as Hercules in the movie. The actor will also be appearing in another action-packed film later this year.

Lutz rose to prominence as the hunky vampire Emmett Cullen in the Twilight film franchise, based on the young adult novels by Stephenie Meyer about a teen romance between a human girl and vampire boy, which has grossed more than US$3bil at the worldwide box office. As well as starring in Hercules, Lutz will be in this year’s action extravaganza The Expendables 3 alongside Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Harrison Ford.

The actor also has a long list of varied roles he’d like to play, from villain Venom in Spider-Man to secret agent MacGyver, animated hero Jonny Quest and of course, the sword-wielding He-Man.

“If everyone saw me as an action guy and gave me action movie after action movie, I’d be fine with it, it’s one of those great genres that you always have fun doing,” Lutz said. “I don’t care to win an Oscar or anything like that. ... I love doing action movies. I love doing comedies and dramas,” the actor added, saying he aspired to a career like Matt Damon’s, who has flitted between drama, action and comedy on both independent and big-budget productions.

But while Lutz is building a portfolio of roles that capitalise on his model good looks and muscular physique – he was part of a 2010 Calvin Klein underwear campaign – the actor said he wants to be taken seriously as a filmmaker as well, writing and producing scripts for upcoming projects.

“I’m a very intelligent man. I went to college for chemical engineering,” the actor said. “A lot of roles have shown off one of my other strengths, my physique, but now that I’m a producer, I can create my own material, so a lot of the books I’m going after, you probably won’t even see me topless. ... I don’t get offended if people call me a beefcake, they just don’t know me.” — Reuters

Tags / Keywords: Entertainment, Actor, Films, Movies, Kellan Lutz

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