Jackson Rathbone might be set to make tween girls and middle-aged woman squeal with delight next week in the new Twilight movie, but that’s not the film that he’s most excited to be a part of this summer.
Instead, Rathbone is looking forward to audiences seeing his role in the upcoming M. Night Shyamalan movie, The Last Airbender, which is based on a popular TV series.
“My friends were always huge fans of the show, and so was I.” Rathbone told Metro. “While they weren’t quite so excited when they learned that I was in Twilight, now I’ve got my guy friends thinking I’m kind of cool. So, it’s nice to get some credibility. After all, I know kung fu now.”
The film is based on the Nickelodeon animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender (part of the title was dropped for the movie for obvious reasons) about a world separated into distinct populations based on their ability to control one of the four elements.
When a young child is discovered who can control all of the elements, he is cherished because he could bring peace to the divided world. Rathbone plays a member of the water tribe who helps the young boy on his journey. It’s not exactly the type of movie that you’d expect to see from the director of tense thrillers like Signs and The Sixth Sense, but Rathbone revealed that M. Night Shyamalan’s daughters played a role in convincing the director to stretch.
“Apparently his daughters were big fans of the show and it was their idea to do this movie. So he spread his wings and made a family film,” said Rathbone before clarifying, “Well, not a family film in a sense that it’s G-rated and cows are talking to pigs. This is a film with so much action that everyone’s going to love it.”
Much like the TV series that inspired it, the film will be filled with complex action sequences guaranteed to thrill audiences. It’s a big part of what drew Rathbone to the project and he was thrilled to play an action hero.
“I probably did about 90 per cent of my fights and it was a blast,” said Rathbone.
“I got to work with some of the premiere stuntmen and stuntwomen in the industry. I met guys who played James Bond back when it was Sean Connery and would jump out of airplanes and do the most amazing things. It was such an honour to be working with people of that calibre.”