BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD: So now that you’re almost on the other side with Eclipse, how has everything been for you? It’s all been a little wild, right?
XAVIER SAMUEL: Yeah, it has. It’s kind of like being struck by lightning in a way, because it all seems so improbable.
HOWARD: Eclipse is your first American film.
SAMUEL: It is. I’ve been doing American auditions for a while, and it always felt sort of like sending these audition tapes off into the ether. So just
hearing anything back from anyone was kind of startling.
HOWARD: When we were shooting Eclipse, it was amazing for me to see how the girls all went berserk over you.
These girls were totally losing their minds—and much like everyone else
in the cast who experiences those sorts of things, you dealt with it
really graciously and wonderfully. Were you at all startled by that?
SAMUEL: I mean, it’s kind of bizarre, isn’t it? Having that kind of attention.
I’m not under the microscope in the same fashion that a lot of the
other cast members are, so I think I can slide under the radar a little
bit more, but getting any attention at all is completely new for me.
HOWARD: Well, it’s been interesting to see how these young women have responded to you and your hair and your accent.
SAMUEL: My hair and my accent are sort of my main assets.
HOWARD: I’ve found, just from working with Australians like you and Mia and Sam
Worthington—actually Gus Van Sant, who directed the film [Restless]
I worked on with Mia, also noticed this with Nicole Kidman—that you
guys have such a sturdiness. I don’t know if it’s just the terrain in
Australia or the kind of training you do or the way acting is taught
over there, but there’s a sturdiness that we as Americans could
definitely learn something from. There’s also a sense of gratitude.
SAMUEL: Well, I think it’s the training coupled with the fact that the films that get
made are so few and far between. In Australia, getting an audition can
be a rarity. There just aren’t as many opportunities. So I guess the
mentality is that you kind of give your all whenever you get a chance
to work. When you put that in the American context, where you’re
getting a substantial number of auditions a week by comparison, I guess
your strike rate is a bit better, in a way. I mean, being in a film
like Eclipse is such a great opportunity—and there’s a massive fan base with these Twilight movies that you need to respect. So I don’t think I could sleep at night if I didn’t give it my best shot.