Jackson Rathbone: Things are finally going a good way for me. It was time!
I don’t do the same thing twice.
Aside from the character he plays in The Twilight saga, Jasper Hale, Jackson Rathbone is currently on the poster of The Last Airbender from M. Night Shyamalan. A role that allows him to show the whole extent of his talent in the field of martial arts.
One magazine: In the United States Eclipse and The Last Airbender are out at the same time. What movie do you want to see at the number one spot in the box office?
JR: To be honest, I consider myself lucky just to be in two movies at the same time! Before that, I enjoyed a quantity of projects that nobody went to see in theaters. Things are finally going a good way for me. It was time!
ON: How did you land the role of Sokka?
JR: When I met M. Night Shyamalan, the film director, three years ago, we immediately got on. Initially, I auditioned for the role of Prince Zuko and he told me he was thinking of another role for me. Then I never heard of the film for a year. Then he got back to me and asked me to play Sokka and I was hired. I’m a fan of the animated series, I’ve always loved fantasy stories with such rich mythology. And with this role, I finally have a chance to show that I can do more than just to play a vampire. It also gives me the opportunity to be much less serious than Jasper, as Sokka has many comic scenes.
ON: Are you tired of the role of Jasper?
JR: No, but I try to play very different characters from film to film. I don’t do the same thing twice. I gravitate naturally towads to projects in which the public don’t expect to see me.
ON: What kind of training have you followed for this movie?
JR: I studied a form of kung fu called Gong Li Quan based on the teachings of Shaolin monks. The movements of the fists are extremely rapid and aggressive. I also learned to fight with stick and even a boomerang. Then we had to make me look less experienced to look like the real Sokka, a rebel who engages in battle with everything he has and no special technique. I loved my training for the role several months in advance before the filming. It was a fascinating experience.
ON: What is your favorite memory of filming?
JR: All the scenes we filmed in Greenland. I had never been there and it is a truly magical place. It was very physical, since climatic conditions are extreme, but the nature is wonderful. This isn’t the kind of place where you can go on vacation in general and I think I’d never go there without the film. So it is an experience in itself which I will remember until the end of my days. It’s precisely to live this kind of thing that I’ve become an actor. We started every morning landing on the top of an iceberg by helicopter. We can’t imagine a more exotic destination than that.
ON: You have not suffered too much from the cold, right?
JR: I had to wear seven layers of long leggings under my clothes not to freeze and I had gloves made of neoprene to avoid frostbite. One can easily lose a finger or two without realizing it in such a climate. (Laughs)
ON: In your opinion, are there any similarities between Twilight and The Last Airbender?
JR: Yes, because both films are about family and, more specifically, stepfamilies. In both cases, the characters are from very united clans that go beyond beyond blood ties. And then, as it should and Twilight normally see several suits at The Last Airbender. I, in both cases, signed for trilogies and I hope that day will come.
ON: What are your new projects?
JR: Soon I intend to return to the studio and to the concert halls with my band 100 Monkeys. We released a new single called Future Radio and we will continue touring in the United States. Then, I intend to make further appearances on the TV screen in several shows. I loved playing a role in an episode of Criminal Minds and I’ll repeat this experience. The television offers fascinating perspectives for an actor like myself who likes to vary in his roles. I dream of playing in such a comedy like the sitcom Philadelphia.
ON: Was it strange for you to act with actors you didn’t know after Twilight, in which you’re
friends with everybody?
JR: Yes, it was a bit strange to arrive on a set and to see that there were unfamiliar faces. But it’s more in line with the reality of an actor than the reverse. In Twilight, we are a great group of friends with the actors and crew. We meet together periodically and to returm is like returning to a summer camp. But in The Last Airbender, I also made friends and was very emotional to say goodbye to everyone at the end of the shooting.
Scans thanks to The Lost World of Lola