You may remember Kellan Lutz as one of the dreamy Cullen boys in the “Twilight Saga” films, playing Edward’s brother Emmett. However his TV and film acting career extends well past the realm of vampires and werewolves, including films such as “Expendables 3” alongside heavyweights Syvester Stallone and Jason Statham, “The Legend of Hercules” as the main man himself and “The Osiris Child”.
His latest film is “7 Guardians of the Tomb”, which could very well be an arachnophobic’s worst nightmare. The Australian-Chinese sci-fi horror thriller sees a swarm of deadly man-eating arachnids confront a team looking for their lost colleague.
Katie spoke to lead actor Lutz about the film, filming in Australia, other creepy crawlies and other fun topics!
Katie: Congratulations on “7 Guardians of the Tomb”! What drew you to the film and the role of Ridley?
Kellan Lutz: Kimble [Rendall], our director. I met him when he was trying for the movie, and I really enjoyed what he did with “Bait 3D”, the shark movie – we met on that movie. He’s such a fun visual director, and he had mentioned a spider movie that he had wanted to do – and I was like “oh yeah, a spider movie, sounds cool.” Then like a year later, he sent it to me and I was like “oh this is actually pretty good!”, it’s like my own Indiana Jones. I really liked the character of Jack Ridley, I like that he’s a determined rescuer. He has a fear of spiders, and when we were filming I was like this is cool, we need to have a kryptonite moment – so it was really great that we created him with a fear of spiders in a spider movie!
It was also great working with Kelsey Grammar, I got to work with him on “Expendables 3”. And then Li Bingbing is like a massive superstar in China. It was just a fun adventure movie, and I got to shoot in Australia – and it’s always fun shooting there!
KT: Speaking of spiders, the film does really play on that fear of spiders. Are you an arachnophobic, or what would be the worst thing you’d have to confront?
KL: I don’t mind spiders so much, I know they have their place in the world. But for me – I grew up in Arizona, and we had some big cockroaches. One night, there was this cockroach, and I felt it on my arm while I was sleeping. I woke up – and you know when you’re in a dream state, and you think this isn’t real, and you feel something move between your fingers and the feeling wakes you up? So I woke up, and I swung this thing on the ground – and I run, trying to get around this cockroach on the ground. So I think I’d have a really hard time doing a cockroach movie.
KT: I’m the same, I’d have a really hard time with cockroaches. I had a similar incident, woke up and there was a cockroach on my arm.
KL: Oh really?! Where was that at? They’re so gross.
KT: That was in Queensland. They’re everywhere. So, you filmed at the Gold Coast, how long where you there for? Did you enjoy it?
KL: I was there for like, 6 weeks. I loved it there, I love the Gold Coast. I’ve always loved Byron Bay. I love being able to be close to Byron Bay, and I was only about an hour’s drive away. So I was able to see some friends, do some surfing. It’s one big party, being at the Gold Coast!
KT: How did you unwind at the end of each day to get out of the headspace of being in your roles? Did the cast hang out?
KL: Yeah we hung out all the time. It was one, honestly…you know we didn’t shoot for 18-hour days so we’d do our normal shooting schedule and then hang out, do dinners. And being at the Gold Coast, it’s a tourist hub so there’s loads of great restaurants and places to drink, there’s heaps to do. And the beach is just there, so we could go out and just enjoy being out in Australia.
KT: So there was a good vibe on set?
KL: Yeah great vibe. And that was really helped by Kelsey Grammar, he was kind of the legend on set – he was really cool to work with, so open and available to all of us. We laughed, it’s probably the most I’ve ever laughed on set. There was Yasmin [Kassim] and Shane [Jacobson], and Stef [Dawson] – you know just great actors.
KT: Can you tell me about your career highlight?
KL: Oooh my career highlight. I just love action movies and action stars. I just loved being able to work with the “Expendables 3” cast. All those guys were my childhood legends to work with, and all of the characters they played. Being in the helicopter, I remember, was by far one of my top 3 favourite moments ever in my career. All strapped in the helicopter with all those legends making jokes – I was like a kid in a candy store!
KT: Have you got any upcoming projects?
KL: Yeah I have two movies. I’m leaving in April to Puerto Rico to shoot this assassins movie, and then this bank robbery movie called “Arizona” right after that.
KT: Thank you so much for chatting to me today!
KL: Thank you so much!
“7 GUARDIANS OF THE TOMB” is in theatres, VOD, and Digital HD on February 23, 2018.