Exclusive Interview: Liam Hemsworth (Independence Day: Resurgence) [p2]
How was it hanging out on set with the cast?
We had a really good group of people. For the first few months of the shoot, most of my scenes were with Jeff Goldblum, which was an amazing experience. With Jeff, you never know what he’s going to do next. He’s constantly doing & saying interesting things, and I mean that in the most complimentary way. He has such an amazing ability to walk into a room and put a smile on everyone’s face and disarm everyone. He’s such a loving, kind person and he really cares about everyone on set. He goes out of his way to learn everyone’s name and he makes an effort to engage with everybody. As an actor, he’s incredibly giving. He’ll constantly ask, “do you need this, do you need that?” He’d ask me for advice on what he should do! He’s very collaborative that way and a lot of fun to work with.
A few times he’d turn to me and say, “What should I do?” And I’d say, “why don’t you try one like this?” “That’s good.” And Roland would tell him it was great and he’d say, “told you!”
I also had a lot of scenes with Maika – she’s a great actress. Unfortunately, for the first few months of the shoot I didn’t’ have any scenes with Jessie, so I didn’t have the opportunity to work much with him.
Because we were shooting in New Mexico and we’re all away from home, we did do a lot of cast meals together. There was also a period of time during the shoot, when Jeff brought in the manuscript for Death of A Salesman and we’d take turns reading it between takes, which was interesting. Jeff would read six different parts and Travis (Hammer) and I, would each play a part. It really lightened up the mood. Another game we played was called the Actor Director game, which is where one person says the name of an actor and the next person has to say a film that the actor was in. Then, you have to say the name of another actor who was in that film, or the director, and it just keeps going on and on. While we were shooting scenes on the set of the moon, we played this game non-stop for three full days. Honestly, Jeff knows every film title, actor and director past and present. He’s so knowledgeable when it comes to film, there would be times when I couldn’t come up with the name of the next actor or director because I didn’t know what film he was talking about so Jeff would start rattling off names and film titles and he’d go on for five minutes, connecting every actor, director and film. It was amazing to witness.
Did it feel like the returning cast members were taking everyone under their wing?
It was great working with the members of the original cast. Jeff’s amazing. I had a few scenes with Bill (Pullman), he’s such a genuinely kind and fascinating guy, I really enjoyed spending time with him after work. As President Whitmore, he gave one of the most iconic speeches we’ve ever heard in film. I always relished listening to Bill talk about things because I always felt like I was listening to President Whitmore. Similar to the speech his character gives in the original film, Bill is so commanding in what he says that I believe whatever is coming out of his mouth.
“I was seven years old when I saw the original film, so to be doing the second film 20 years later, it’s something I never dreamed of.”
You’ve had experience with movies that have effects, but this would seem to be on another next level. Was it?
It wasn’t too different from The Hunger Games. Some amazing sets were built and then there’s also a lot of special effects that come into play, which for an actor you don’t see it initially until you do it. You get a rough idea; you get pre-visualisations of what it will look like. The flying scenes were always tough because you’re sitting in a spaceship set and then you’ve got to navigate your way through the scene just hoping for the best, and a lot of the time you’re just trusting that the people watching on the screens are letting you know what needs to happen. But you do feel quite vulnerable and out of place, because most of the time you’re not reacting to another actor, you’re reacting off what someone is telling you is happening, which is a whole different art. It’s harder in some ways, but then in others its easier, because you don’t have to wait for something to happen to react to it, you can just react whenever you want and make it as big as you need. I think the best thing for this was just to go as big as possible. You don’t want to underplay anything in this film! Nothing subtle about it.
Was there any physical movement to help you get into the scene – sets moving on gimbals etc?
There was a bit, but it was mostly camera tricks. Jeff & I did some wirework stuff on the moon. We wore these giant spacesuits that cost a ridiculous amount of money to make and it took a team of people to help us get in and out of these spacesuits. The gloves on our suits had to be screwed on and off and our helmets had to be screwed onto the body portion of the suit, so we were literally sealed into these spacesuits. It was not an easy or fun process. We’d get so hot inside the spacesuit that sometimes we’d wear cool suits underneath. You didn’t want to get dehydrated, but at the same time, you didn’t want to drink too much because it took so long to get the suits on and off that you couldn’t go to the bathroom! Because the spacesuits were so stiff, it made it very difficult to move around so in between takes I’d go and lay down on the floor, but I always had to have someone with me to help me physically lay down and then help me get back up on my feet. It was an experience.
It’s a sequel to a movie that was made 20 years ago. How strange is it to appear in a sequel to something you watched as a child?
It was definitely a bit of a mind trip at first. I was seven years old when I saw the original film, so to be doing the second film 20 years later, it’s something I never dreamed of. It was a fun, exciting day turning up to work with Jeff and being part of this special, big, epic movie.
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Independence Day Resurgence is out now on Digital
Available on 3D, 4K UHD, Blu-ray & DVD from October 19
Grab a copy (Digital): iTunes
Grab a copy (3D Blu-Ray): Sanity | JB HiFi
Grab a copy (4K UHD Blu-Ray): Sanity | JB HiFi
Grab a copy (Blu-Ray): Sanity | JB HiFi
Grab a copy (Blu-Ray Steelbook): JB HiFi
Grab a copy (DVD): Sanity | JB HiFi
Grab a copy (2-Movie Collection Blu-Ray): Sanity | JB HiFi
Grab a copy (2-Movie Collection DVD): Sanity | JB HiFi