On the cusp of his 30th birthday, Clash of the Titans star Sam Worthington made a fateful decision to drastically reorganize his life.
“I loved my career. I just didn’t like things about me,” Worthington, now 33, says of his life in Australia. “I woke up, looked in the mirror one day, didn’t like what I saw, so I sold the f—ing mirror. I sold everything to my friends. I had an auction at my house — had a gavel and everything. Four bucks for the TV, even sold the gavel in the end.
“It’s like that Rudyard Kipling poem. Risk it all on a pitch and toss and lose, tell no one about your loss, and you, sir, are a man,” Worthington explains. “And I thought that poem was quite inspiring. I just got in the car and drove and thought, well, something’s got to give, someone’s got to crack. And little did I know there’d be a man who could come along and change my life.”
That man, of course, was James Cameron, who cast Worthington in a little movie called Avatar.
And while he hasn’t felt the need to hold another auction, the Australian actor isn’t taking things for granted.
“Every day you pinch yourself. I’m extremely humbled by the experience of what Avatar has done,” he says. “I’m a very lucky boy.”
When Metro spoke with Worthington before the release of Terminator Salvation, he said he was living out of two suitcases, one full of clothes and one full of books. A year later, not much has changed.
“And I’ve still got the same now. Don’t own anything,” he says. There has been one addition, though: a bicycle, which he rode to the Four Seasons this morning, past spectators waiting for the L.A. Marathon.
“Me and my mate bought a bicycle for me because he said it’s easier to get around L.A., especially the way I drive,” Worthington says, grinning. “So I ride around like the witch in The Wizard of Oz — little basket on the front. It’s pretty funny, to be honest. I’m not a very good bicycle rider, either.”
While Worthington has quickly become a household name, he insists he isn’t interested in fame.
“I’m not in this profession to be famous. That’s a byproduct of the size and the scope of the movies I do,” he says. “You want to be famous, you go on Big Brother. This job’s too hard. And it requires a lot of skill and a lot of passion.”
Since big-budget popcorn movies have been so good to him, don’t expect to see Worthington applying that skill and passion to any small, character-driven films anytime soon (aside from the upcoming Last Night, co-starring Keira Knightley).
“I like doing movies that I would go and see. And I think that’s a good barometer for how I choose my movies,” he says.