Next Movie recently spoke with Xavier Samuel about his film, Anonymous, and also squeezed in a few Twilight questions.
“Anonymous” isn’t your first experience with Shakespearean drama. How did the Bard help shape your early acting experiences in Australia?
I studied Shakespeare all through high school. Both of my parents teach English and history, so it has always been around my experience as a young man. When I started acting school, we did a production of “Hamlet” with an American director who was visiting. So, yeah, Shakespeare has been a big part of my experience so far. I think when you are working with writing like that, you’re amazed at how contemporary it is. It really does still speak to today’s audience. It hasn’t been dated at all and it’s still relevant. …
What prompted you to mail an audition tape from Australia to play Riley Biers in “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” and how surprised were you to get the part?
It was like being struck by lighting and was totally surreal! I had done a few auditions that way by sending tapes over from Australia, and you kind of get into a habit of not really thinking about it. You send them off into oblivion and you think, I wonder if anyone is going to watch this? It was a total surprise, so I flew myself to Vancouver to meet [director] David Slade and it snowballed from there. They were very secretive about the story. I don’t think I read a draft of the film until three weeks before we started shooting.
You won an MTV Award for Best Fight for playing Riley. How has being a part of “Twilight” altered the course of your career?
It’s hard to gauge, really. It’s certainly opened a lot of doors that never would have been opened and presented a lot of opportunities. You meet really interesting people that you become friends with, and that’s been the main advantage for me. Also, coming back to Australia, it kind of changed the temperature of the way people perceive me. It’s been very positive.
Read the rest of the interview at Next Movie.