Exclusive Interview: Kellan Lutz on Java Heat and Hercules 3D
Kellan Lutz is a busy man racing to get his Hercules 3D filmed before The Rock’s Hercules: The Thracian Wars. He’s also got two movies opening in theaters and VOD. We put in interview requests for both Java Heat and Syrup and Java Heat happened to come through first, but we asked Lutz about both. Java Heat is an action movie where Lutz plays an American teaming up with an Indonesian detective (Ario Bayu) to find the perpetrator of an terrorist attack. It opens New York May 10, LA May 17 and VOD May 13. Syrup is now on VOD and opens theatrically June 7.
CraveOnline: You’ve gotten to do a few action hero roles. Was this a tough sell on producers or directors at first, and has it gotten easier since you did Arena and Immortals?
Kellan Lutz: Yes and no. Doing independent movies, they have the freedom and we had the freedom and some people aren’t available, some people really just think you’re the guy. When you meet on them, I know for Arena my management company was producing that one as well, so it was kind of easy to be like, “Hey, I want to do this one.” And they’re like, “Oh yeah, okay. Let’s see what your take on it is and let’s see if we can do it.” By no means did they feed it to me, but I was like, “I really like this.” It’s just all about selling yourself.
With Java Heat, it’s all about passion I guess. I want to do all the stunts but I just loved the character of Jake and what he represented and what his journey was. The whole throwback to the buddy cop movies of the ‘80s that I love, having that passion and having the directors and producers see that you have that passion. They want to work with someone, like you said there’s a whole list of actors that can probably do it, the physique and acting chops that go with it, but I would want to work with someone who’s very passionate about it, who wants to travel, who doesn’t mind leaving their home for two months to live in Asia. So there are a lot of factors that go into it but I think passion really played a big part in it.
I’d imagine it would. Did you see Java Heat as a classic fish out of water story?
Oh yeah, oh yeah. I just love how my character just didn’t really care, he’s trying to get away with it even though he’s quite terrible.
Was the Twilight joke in the script?
No, we decided, because when I got there, there were so many bootleg movies. I was like, “This is crazy.” Some movies that weren’t even out yet in the States, you had all these DVDs for super cheap. While [director] Conor [Allyn] wanted to showcase the culture of Indonesia with the warias and the language and the DVD sellers, all these different things to show the culture itself. That was a funny little line that we were just messing around with, because I was like how funny would it be if they have Twilight? So it was just a fun little throw to it and it worked out really well. It was one of my favorite scenes to watch with an audience because they were just cracking up.
I think girls are going to really like your massage scene. How did you feel about that scene in the script?
[Laughs] I’m not for nudity. Again, I’ll get topless. That’s one of my strengths but by no means am I like, “Hey, can I be topless in this scene?” or am I topless in my life when I’m at home being normal. I don’t love to take my shirt off, but for that scene, I love the comedy behind it. I think when I read the script, I actually laughed at that scene in seeing myself do it. So I was talking to Conor, I was like, “I’m cool doing this. Can we do it this way?” That was probably the funniest day on set, seeing Ario Bayu’s face and bringing that scene to life.
If you like the ‘80s buddy cop movies, you must appreciate the value of a good butt shot.
Yeah, yeah [Laughs] I definitely didn’t love the movie because of that but they had a lot of fun with it.
Was the story of Jake’s military brother also important to you?
Yes, yeah. The military is very near and dear to my heart. I just love ‘em and I think they’re the heroes from my time growing up because I didn’t really watch tons of movies or look at tons of action heroes or watch tons of sports or have my heroes of Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan or Brad Pitt or anything like that. My heroes growing up were the guys out in tanks and flying jets. The ones on camera just weren’t being a hero to me. While being an actor, I just really love military projects because they are the hero role and I love being the hero.
This might be a bit of a spoiler but I think people can imagine if Mickey Rourke is playing the villain, it will climax with you facing off against him. When someone has that much history in the genre, let alone movies overall, what is a fight scene with Mickey Rourke like?
I really expected it to be crazier than it was. I think at the end of the movie, you see me just really pissed off at him and I spit on him unintentionally, like vengeful for him killing my brother. He just took it. He didn’t comment. He was down for the stunt. I think he really enjoyed the opportunity of being in Indonesia. I think he’s calmed down from whatever people say he might’ve been wild to work with. He really respected everyone on set and I think he had a lot of fun shooting and being this character.
Does Java Heat prepare you at all for Hercules?
Oh man, this one pushes me beyond. It’s a lot of work in every regard. Just more stunts and rehearsals. We’ve only had about two weeks to rehearse and I have to be an ace at riding a horse and swinging the sword. These are all things that I grew up wanting to do and it’s such a dream to be able to do it, but I’ve never been so sore in my life. You’re doing yoga and every mixed martial arts in one day. Your muscles are growing muscles that you never knew existed. It’s work but I’m loving it. It’s a good day when I can’t walk when I get home.