Exclusive Interview: Kellan Lutz on Java Heat and Hercules 3D

Hercules is the role of a lifetime, but you knew The Rock is doing a Hercules movie too. Was there any pause for you about embarking on another one?

No, no, and I love The Rock. I grew up watching wrestling. He’s such a great actor. I wish them the best. They have a great cast but the story is completely different. He’s much older and our Hercules is the man’s journey from him being a boy to a man, and it’s very real and human. Our character goes through being lovestruck and then heartbroken and then anguish and loneliness, sadness and remorse. It’s really a story about a man, a man and the journey to get back to his love. So it’s not a man with super powers. A man not understanding the strengths that he does have and he’s in denial because he doesn’t believe in gods at first and doesn’t believe that he’s the son of Zeus and just really feels rejected by who he thinks is his father. It’s just really going through the story of what a normal boy would go through and the situation that he’s forced into.

I saw a picture of The Rock’s costume and he’s unrecognizable with long hair and a beard. What is your look going to be?

You know what, I wish I had the long blonde locks. I was really fighting for that just because I always envisioned Hercules as that but we have so many fight scenes that are beyond epic. And riding a horse, if it’s not your natural hair, it’d be a lot of work and we don’t have time for that. So my look’s just, I have short hair in this. It’s very cropped and manly.

Will you have any mythological powers at all?

Well, even Renny [Harlin] himself, he’s like, “Kellan, I don’t want you getting bigger. Just get your abs to pop more.” I’m like, “All right, cool.” And I like being bigger. Even I saw Hercules as this giant guy, but the powers that he harnesses, it’s not like he’s throwing bears into the sky or really fighting off any of the monsters like Clash of the Titans or anything like that. It’s really just Gladiator pretty much.

Have you tried on the loincloth yet?

Yes, we walked around all day in that today and did some camera tests.

We haven’t seen your Tarzan yet either.

Yeah, that comes out in October. I was very happy to be a part of that one and do that, another dream come true. That one is motion capture and animated, so quite different. No hair, no makeup. You’re wearing a wetsuit with a bunch of pink balls taped to you. I didn’t have to wear a loincloth which I auditioned wearing one, with my underwear pulled really high and a wig. They’re like, “This is animated and motion capture so no need for that next time you come in” and I’m like, “Really? What’s that mean?” Then I had the time of my life doing it.

Is that in the original period of Tarzan or a modern update?

It’s very modern and contemporary. It’s very up to date and just smart. It deals with the situation with being green and not ruining the earth, being eco friendly.

Even though it’s motion capture, do you get to swing on a vine?

We had to fake it. We had ropes in the studio and we had a pool, a toy alligator I had to wrestle with that they then will create and make it real, so it’s tough acting. It really is acting in the round and you really have to envision the world. There would be a pole in the middle that you had to act was like a giant branch from a tree that you had to move. They built the world it definitely wasn’t the jungle that you will see in the movie. When I was doing ADR, I was just really blown away because I remember being there and I remember playing with the alligator or just being in my treehouse. That was just a frame of a treehouse that they then create. You just sit back and you’re like, “Geez, we’ve come so far with technology and being able to create a world that’s real.”

Do you do the Tarzan call too?

Yeah, yup. That was a lot of work and we can’t share that yet.

You also have Syrup coming out. What type of character do you get to play in that?

An antagonist. I very seldom play an antagonist and that’s all about marketing and the advertising world and how sex sells. It’s the story of two companies and it’s not really the taste that matters or the presentation or what consumers might like, but how it’s sold and the idea behind it and how marketing is so important. My character is Sneaky Pete. The book that Max Barry wrote is so smart and satiric. I loved it and I loved the script that Aram [Rappaport] wrote. My character was supposed to be Japanese I believe so it was just really great to play that character and that they were able to tailor it to me. It’s fun playing a character that doesn’t say much but you have to act with your mannerisms and your facial expressions to sell a feeling. That’s what I got to do with that one. I just really loved embodying a character.

Do you have some dramatic face offs against Amber Heard?

Not dramatic but I definitely get to frustrate her with how I am presenting myself I guess. I’m sure her character just is annoyed because I am her boss and I screw with her. 

Fred Topel is a staff writer at CraveOnline and the man behind Shelf Space Weekly. Follow him on Twitter at @FredTopel.