Five Favorite Films

Five Favorite Films with Liam Hemsworth

The Hunger Games star also chats about losing weight, his favorite actors, and brotherly love.

by | March 22, 2012 | Comments

If things had gone just a little differently for young Australian actor Liam Hemsworth, it might have been his steely grip — as opposed to that of his brother Chris, who ultimately got the role — clasping the hammer of Thor. At the same time, if things had gone just a little differently, he also might not have worked on The Last Song, the Nicholas Sparks adaptation in which Liam starred opposite his girlfriend-to-be, Miley Cyrus. The youngest of three Hemsworth brothers — actors all — 22-year-old Liam decided to pursue acting at 16 and, after a few stints on Australian television, made the leap to Hollywood in 2009. Though his career has thus far been somewhat overshadowed by those of his brother and famous significant other, this week he embarks on an epic new adventure as Gale Hawthorne, one of the central characters in The Hunger Games, which will certainly thrust him into the spotlight. RT spoke with Liam recently about his involvement in the film, his strong family ties, his favorite actors, and the career he’d like to craft for himself, but before we get into all that, here are Liam Hemsworth’s Five Favorite Films:


A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (Dito Montiel, 2006; 75% Tomatometer)

The first one would be A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints. I saw that years ago when it first came out, and I just thought it was really interesting. I loved the way it was shot. All the actors in it were just awesome. I was a really big fan of Dito [Montiel], the director, and I actually get to do a film with him this year called Empire State, so I’m really excited. I think I’m going to shoot mid-this year, so I’m very excited about that.

The Goonies (Richard Donner, 1985; 63% Tomatometer)

Second one would be The Goonies. When I was a kid, I used to watch nonstop movies. I used to always watch movies, and I think I watched Goonies about a thousand times.

The Departed (Martin Scorsese, 2006; 93% Tomatometer)

The Departed is one of my all-time favorites; I just love that movie. Everything about it is ridiculously good. Every actor in it is just stupidly awesome, and the way it’s shot is awesome. Yeah, I love that movie; it’s great.

Step Brothers (Adam McKay, 2008; 55% Tomatometer)

Step Brothers would be another one. I think I only say that because I think I’ve watched it a billion times. I watch it probably once a week, just, you know, a regular thing. [laughs]

Are there hints of that kind of relationship between you and your brothers?

Yeah, a little bit. [laughs] Yeah, yeah, when we were younger, for sure. But I think it’s funny because the relationship is like they’re young kids, but they’re just old men. That movie is ridiculous, so funny.

James Dean (Mark Rydell, 2001; N/A Tomatometer)

There’s a movie called James Dean. It’s about James Dean’s life, and James Franco played James Dean. I love that movie. I just thought James Franco was so good in that. He was so interesting, and it’s just a really cool independent film. I really like that movie. It was weird; he just looked and sounded and acted so much like James Dean, it was ridiculous.

Next, Hemsworth talks about joining a massively popular franchise, his favorite actors, and having a strong support system in his family.


So let’s talk Hunger Games. For those who aren’t as familiar with the phenomenon, can you start by talking a little bit about your character?

Liam Hemsworth: Sure, yeah. I play Gale Hawthorne, and he’s grown up in District 12. District 12 is one of the twelve cities or towns that make up this place, and it’s basically a post-apocalyptic world where these twelve towns or cities — districts, they’re called in the books — are run by this extremely corrupt, powerful government, which is the Capitol. That city has all the technology and the craziness of the future, and the towns around it are basically living in period. You know, they’re closer to the 1900s than the future, so they’re very poor. The town that Gale is from is very poor; he has to hunt for his food.

Katniss Everdeen is his best friend who he’s grown up and who Jennifer [Lawrence] plays. They basically are an escape for each other from this horrible world that they live in. They help each other to survive and they feed their families. They’re basically keeping each other alive and keeping each other in their right mind.

In the story, Gale doesn’t actually get selected to participate in the Hunger Games.

No, he does not.

So you probably didn’t have to go through the same extensive training that Jennifer did.

Well, she did a lot of the combat training and that kind of stuff. For my character, it was more about losing weight. Like I said, he’s hunting for his food, and also, he’s trying to provide for his family and Katniss’ family with her. You know, they’re providing for other people as well, and trying to keep other people alive as well as themselves. So, you know, he’s not eating that much. He’s going to be hungry, and I wanted to look somewhat hungry. So it was more about… You know, I’d sweat for an hour a day doing something — not lifting weights, but just something active — and then eating a lot less. I’d kind of binge it and then not eat for a while, just to feel what it’s like to be hungry. You know, get grumpy over not eating and all that kind of good stuff. [laughs] It does really help to relate to the character when you get to kind of feel a sense of what they go through.

Were you familiar with the books before you joined the film?

About a year before they went into production, I had lunch with a producer at Lionsgate, and she told me about these books that they had and that they were going to make into movies, and it was The Hunger Games. A year went round and I heard they were going into production, so I quickly read the books and ended up loving them. I couldn’t put the first one down. They’re just gripping and intense, and you’re on the edge of your seat, and you’re flipping the next page to find out what happens. Great writing. But when you read them, they’re written like a movie; you read it and you can see everything happening, you can see it on the screen. It’s very visual. So yeah, I read the books, and I went in and read with Gary [Ross] and really connected with him. A week later, I came in and read with Jennifer and ended up having great chemistry with her.

Was it daunting at all, entering into a franchise that has such a dedicated existing fanbase?

Yeah, absolutely. It is nervewracking because you know these books have so many different fans, and everyone has their own image of what they think the character should look like or should be, and what the world should look like. You’re not going to please everyone, you know? The best you can do is just be honest in the scenes and try to stay as true as you can to the script and the books, and hopefully it turns out well and everyone likes it.

At this point, people have gotten a taste of the film’s aesthetic from the trailer. Have you been made aware of any negative feedback from hardcore fans?

No. I mean, I haven’t heard anything negative about it. I haven’t actually seen the full film cut yet, but no one’s told me anything negative about it. It’s all been very positive. Honestly, I can’t wait to see it myself.


Shifting gears a little bit, how does it feel to have been tagged as one of Details Magazine’s “Next Generation of Hollywood’s Leading Men” back in 2010? It’s a pretty bold proclamation in your favor.

It feels good, man. It’s a really nice thing to hear, to have someone think of you like that. You know, I love acting, I love this job, and I want to be doing it for generations to come. I want to keep working because I love it and I love working. It definitely makes you feel good.

Are there any actors you particularly admire and whose careers you’d like to emulate?

I love Leonardo DiCaprio. His films are amazing. From when he was a kid up to now, he makes great choices. Heath Ledger was one of my favorite actors; I think he obviously was incredible and was at the peak of his game. I think all his work was great. I also look up to a lot of the old actors like Paul Newman and guys like that. And if I can keep working and keep making films that I relate to and stuff that I think is new and inventive, and work with great, passionate directors that have a new, exciting vision of something, then that’d be great.

Your first two films, Knowing and Triangle, are both kind of mindbending psychological thrillers, and now you’re doing this futuristic Brave New World-esque film. Do you particularly enjoy the genre or those types of themes?

I definitely like thrilling, edge-of-your-seat movies. I like suspenseful stuff. But it’s not like I’m making any sort of clear decision on sticking with one genre or anything like that. I read scripts that I relate to, and if there’s a character in there that I relate to or, you know, a new kind of fresh idea or theme, then I’m all about it. I love meeting directors who are excited and passionate and have some kind of — like I said — some kind of fresh, new, inventive, pushing-the-boundaries view on a film and what they want to make. I think the more films get made, the more creative they can get, and the more we can push it in different directions.

You definitely gained some mainstream exposure when you starred in The Last Song with Miley Cyrus, and now with The Hunger Games, you’re going to inherit a whole bunch of new fans. Has your sudden rise prompted any adjustments in your life?

Hmm… Stop being an idiot? [laughs] Yeah, you know, I’m a pretty straightforward guy. I consider myself a good person, and I’m pretty honest. What you see is what you get. I’m not really trying to be anything I’m not. You know, I got into this because I love making movies; it’s fun and creative, and I love the whole process. I don’t think I’ve changed, and I don’t really want to change. I surround myself with good people and I have a great family, so that all kind of keeps my head in a good place. I think as long as you have good people around you that bring the best out of you, then nothing can go wrong, really.

Have your brothers sort of helped you along in the process?

Absolutely, yeah. My two older brothers are my best friends in the whole world and my idols, and so is my dad. I’ve looked up to those guys my whole life. They’re my biggest inspirations and my first source to go to when I’m in a pickle or I need advice on something. They’re all there for me all the time.

Are you sick of people asking you questions about your brothers and Miley Cyrus?

No, no. [laughs] You know, I mean, my brothers are a big part of my life, and so is she. I think, you know, there’s a part of my life that needs to be private, and that’s the only way you stay sane. You know, you still need to have that part of your life that is normal and is private that is not the rest of the world’s business.

Well, now you’ve had someone ask you about being asked about Chris and Miley.

[laughs] Yeah, that’s good.

The Hunger Games opens in theaters this week.

Tag Cloud

hollywood Arrowverse Pop GIFs green book Comic Book video Animation award winner Musicals transformers Mudbound singing competition latino Television Academy spanish language twilight crime drama A24 cops LGBT franchise ITV mutant IFC spain Writers Guild of America Heroines stand-up comedy FX on Hulu science fiction crossover comic Nominations Superheroe DC streaming service sequels serial killer Elton John spy thriller diversity technology Starz X-Men BBC Box Office laika supernatural news best A&E psychological thriller worst Song of Ice and Fire Infographic NYCC Food Network comics teaser Peacock historical drama 21st Century Fox GLAAD hist Epix ESPN cancelled television RT History sequel Netflix Christmas movies sag awards mockumentary aliens christmas movies quibi Acorn TV comedies cooking war police drama toy story movie YA Rom-Com Nat Geo Apple TV+ Shondaland ABC Family social media Apple TV Plus Pirates game show Best and Worst 2018 Syfy name the review canceled Sundance Now Horror TruTV sports AMC anthology fast and furious Crackle Captain marvel E3 book what to watch Turner Classic Movies Hallmark Christmas movies Sneak Peek kids VICE Amazon Prime Video DirecTV MTV vampires Trailer period drama crime Pop TV Superheroes Cosplay Teen theme song discovery screenings Trophy Talk Year in Review Emmys Christmas series Crunchyroll screen actors guild Comedy The Witch Lionsgate Holiday HBO romance USA Network spinoff 24 frames Spectrum Originals indiana jones Red Carpet movies San Diego Comic-Con Fall TV revenge Dark Horse Comics TCA Winter 2020 TV Land New York Comic Con TLC 71st Emmy Awards Avengers SXSW Star Wars DC Universe dogs Vudu WGN HBO Go PBS DC Comics mission: impossible slashers independent Britbox Set visit El Rey werewolf adaptation TCA 2017 Valentine's Day emmy awards canceled TV shows asian-american tv talk Showtime Brie Larson Ellie Kemper cinemax anime PaleyFest documentaries facebook Mindy Kaling disaster strong female leads Interview Cartoon Network travel Funimation streaming Toys reboot Extras richard e. Grant Holidays criterion Sundance TV Esquire game of thrones Disney streaming service Ghostbusters political drama FX 20th Century Fox casting BET Disney Plus jamie lee curtis E! doctor who The Purge Schedule television 45 Amazon Logo Lifetime Christmas movies Fox News adventure YouTube Premium witnail dragons classics docudrama TV renewals stoner 2020 Certified Fresh Paramount critics CMT BAFTA 007 FXX Podcast Star Trek Travel Channel Spring TV joker BBC One Tumblr SDCC Adult Swim dark Baby Yoda psycho Rocky nature parents zombies dc IFC Films Polls and Games President Character Guide Columbia Pictures video on demand Tarantino Binge Guide universal monsters medical drama unscripted Western YouTube Red Photos hispanic Film Festival YouTube satire Freeform children's TV ratings HBO Max Disney Channel CBS Video Games Masterpiece Winter TV Women's History Month justice league finale 4/20 Tomatazos Martial Arts cancelled 2015 OneApp Marvel festivals The Arrangement Film Awards Tour golden globes natural history MCU Kids & Family Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Music cats zero dark thirty FOX History American Society of Cinematographers Super Bowl cancelled TV shows CNN romantic comedy south america 2017 batman Disney Mystery 2019 robots Endgame Ovation Amazon Prime CBS All Access Family TCA Awards Anna Paquin obituary VOD TCM Marvel Studios breaking bad PlayStation child's play cars VH1 Reality Tubi zombie Election blaxploitation Paramount Network superhero Mary poppins SundanceTV concert comiccon documentary LGBTQ Awards all-time Pet Sematary National Geographic Television Critics Association dceu reviews TBS DGA Chernobyl BBC America Apple MSNBC blockbuster Marvel Television cults ABC TNT Premiere Dates renewed TV shows WarnerMedia Pride Month Warner Bros. TCA TV Emmy Nominations cancelled TV series animated Countdown Turner Musical politics based on movie Trivia nbcuniversal directors Summer Creative Arts Emmys stop motion Stephen King die hard Biopics rotten Watching Series miniseries Cannes films OWN Disney+ Disney Plus The CW crime thriller Bravo Pixar a nightmare on elm street elevated horror dramedy TIFF Hallmark Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Black History Month composers scary movies RT21 Sony Pictures harry potter Walt Disney Pictures talk show Country chucky Rock true crime halloween Hear Us Out sitcom Thanksgiving versus Fantasy Comics on TV Mary Poppins Returns Rocketman rotten movies we love Spike binge Grammys Discovery Channel CW Seed Mary Tyler Moore Lucasfilm The Walking Dead Universal NBC Lifetime Oscars Black Mirror Winners space thriller Drama Nickelodeon biography foreign Action Calendar Quiz GoT cartoon See It Skip It Sci-Fi First Look 2016 APB Comedy Central Academy Awards spider-man free movies Amazon Studios Netflix indie boxoffice ghosts Marathons First Reviews USA Shudder Opinion Hulu Reality Competition 72 Emmy Awards BET Awards Classic Film Sundance