Kellan Lutz recently spoke to press about the role of a lifetime in The Legend of Hercules, the newest interpretation of the mythological Greek hero’s origin. Lutz talked about his childhood aspirations, the honor of playing Hercules, his intense work outs and his interesting battle scars.
You go from one god [in Immortals] to another [Hercules], and you’re an Expendable in between. Have you been able to distinguish all the scars on your body yet?
Kellan Lutz: I do, they are my tattoos. I have no tattoos. I really view my scars as my memories. I’m not a journalist but my body tells a story. As people ask ‘What’s that from?’ I have a really good story with it. I can distinguish my scars from what project [they're from].
What is your best scar from this film?
Kellan Lutz: Riding a horse you get a lot of butt chafing which I learned and is not quite fun when you’re wearing skirt and you don’t have jeans on. So I have on my ass, two lines, as my scars that I had to put a lot of body oil on to kinda get them to heal as fast as I could. So yeah, those are my most iconic scars.
What did you do to push yourself further when you were training for this character? Were you prepared for the epic undertaking of becoming a demigod?
Kellan Lutz: I live an active lifestyle. I enjoy living outdoors. I’d rather play basketball or snowboard than be in the gym. I have fun in the gym, I’m very creative with myself but soon as it becomes work? I don’t like working. I call it funning-out not working out. That’s why I choose projects that are fun to me, that my heart’s invested in… I grew up on a lot of land with a lot of farm animals so I had a lot of alone time. So I was able to use my imagination to create the world of Tarzan or Mowgli or He-Man or Hercules. Of Ninja Turtles so to speak. I was playing by myself and a lot of times my mom would come out and see the animals with paint on them or like weird stuff tied to them. The cow with crazy spikes on it, like a dinosaur and I’d always light fires. I’d always be the hero that blew the fires out. It was a lonely time that I filled up with my fantasy world. Hercules was always that original hero for me, and now that I’m an actor – I never had the dream to be an actor – I found this passion that I get to re-live, and fulfill this childhood dream of bringing this character to the big screen.
How much work did you do with your stunt coordinator in terms of training for individual disciplines (swords, horseback riding, etc.)?
Kellan Lutz: God, that man he’s like Indiana Jones. He’s our main stunt coordinator and just such a great lad. You can either have a stunt coordinator who knows his stuff, but doesn’t know how to work with actors, much like directors. I was blessed on this movie because Renny [Harlin] is such a visually stunning director who knows how to work with actors. Rowley [the stunt coordinator] is the same way. He’s done James Bond. He’s done all of these amazing movies… He made me feel like an all-star! Towards the end of the movie, he was like ‘I don’t know how you did it!’ He really built me up. I think that’s all it takes, especially for like, any father to son… It’s like if a kid falls, you don’t go ‘Oh…blah, blah blah,’ you don’t react, you go ‘It’s all right. Get back up.’ He waits for you to see if you are being emotional. Rowley was just very encouraging. I get in my head a lot, because I’m a perfectionist, and if I’m told to correct five different things at once, then I can’t do it. Rowley just really encouraged me and built me up by telling me ‘Good job,’ and making sure I was loose. Mentally, I knew that if I could correct that one thing, then I could correct the next thing. He really knew how to speak to me, and to actors and the stunts that he built.
How many of the stunts did you actually get to do yourself?
Kellan Lutz: Yeah. I had a stuntman named Danko that looked like me, and had the most boring time on the set because I did everything. There were a few times when, due to my rigorous schedule I couldn’t work they would step in, because I was in every single shot, which I loved. A big difference from the Twlight days where I wanted more, but script-wise, this was all I was doing. I love working, I love being on set, and time goes by the fastest when you’re on set. It’s when you’re sitting in your trailer, like on Twilight, when you kind of lose your brain sometimes. I did 99 percent of the stunts. I wanted to make sure that I would, and the producers loved that I would.
What is it like watching yourself play such an iconic character?
Kellan Lutz: I’ve never felt such a sense of accomplishment. I’m so proud of the work that I did and for me, for the inner child that’s always in all of us, you know, we should still stay youthful. I’m proud. I’m just really proud, especially because I’m drawn to this script, and what we have. I’m a man of faith, and to be a part of a script that I got teary-eyed reading, especially the part where Hercules is being crucified, and reaches out for the strength of his father for strength. I was just so connected to this movie. There’s a lot of Biblical references, that I just felt it. I’m very proud of the hard work that everyone put into it. Of course I want it to do well. I want it to allow me to do the sequel, but that won’t deter the personal feeling that I have for all of my hard work, and that’s all I can do. I give myself, and that’s how I sleep good at night. I sleep great!
What’s next for you? What Superhero would you want to play?
Kellan Lutz: I love He-Man, so that’s one I’d love to play. That would again be another childhood dream. I got Tarzan and did Hercules, let’s get the third one! I’d been chasing Hercules for three years. Then Aquaman because I love water. I’ve always wanted to play the Venom villain because he’s awesome and a villain. Then I love Johnny Quest, love Rowley from Street Fighter.
The Legend of Hercules opens in theaters January 10.