by Dov Kornits and Chelsea Wick

Kellan Lutz has made a strong impression on Hollywood in his thirteen years in the industry. While he is best known for his role in The Twilight Saga as the beautiful, brawny vampire Emmett Cullen, Lutz boasts a diverse resume. From legendary creatures, Gods and heroes, leads and side characters, Kellan has been everywhere and continues to search for more. His latest role is the lead in the Australian made The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume One. We sat down with the multi-talent and discovered that he is much, much more than just a pretty face.

How did you get into modelling?

In high school when I was about fourteen, a buddy on the basketball team came out in a Dillard’s newspaper article posing and we were making fun of him. We were hazing him because he looked like a model and being fourteen, you are not even allowed to work until you’re sixteen in Arizona where I grew up. As we were making fun of him, he says ‘I got paid 500 bucks! What kind of job are you guys doing?’ He had money and the nice car and it got me thinking, ‘hey, can I get into that?’ He kind of educated me a little bit, told me how he did it and then one of my best friends, Natalie and my other buddy Doug told me to try out for Ford Models. I just sent in some scanned photos, they soon called me up and I had an interview and shortly after, I began being a model. I had fun doing it and then as the modelling career grew, I started booking jobs around the country  in LA, Chicago, New York and even started to travel overseas to London.

How did you transition into acting?

The modelling jobs I did were mainly print but when I was in LA, there were often TV commercial auditions. Before I went to college, I already had some acting experience by auditioning for commercials for Baskin Robbins, music videos and stuff like that. When I was going to college in California, I studied chemical engineering and played football. Once I was there, I wasn’t passionate about school. Then, when I’d audition for more modelling jobs which led to more commercials where you got to talk and use your personality, I was really finding passion in this acting thing. Even though I had no idea what it was, I decided that I’d rather do something that I love versus being successful in something I wasn’t really into. In regards to schooling, I could always go back if I wanted. It was a hard choice quitting college but I just knew it wasn’t right for me. My mother was like ‘What are you doing?!’ It was tough for her, it really was. For that first year, I just had faith, I didn’t have a plan B, I didn’t want something to fall back on. People are either one way or the other. They have one plan where you are going to succeed or you live life safely and you have a plan B just in case. But I am just not a ‘just in case’ person. I am going to succeed and I’ll find a way to succeed in whatever way I can. This came true to me in this career so I am really blessed and I thank God for allowing me to succeed. I just love acting. From there, I pursued commercial acting, I got into acting classes, saw acting coaches, started learning about acting then found great agents and managers that started setting me up.

Did you begin working in television shows before films?

Well this was the time of One Tree Hill, The OC, a lot of these shows where all you had to do was be semi-good looking and have a personality and you’d probably get a role. For me, I used my entrepreneur side and my business mind. I told my agents ‘Guys, I have no money. I’m supporting myself, throw me at any audition and see where I stick.’ They told me ‘you aren’t ready’ and I said that I wasn’t getting into acting to win an Oscar. I didn’t care if they got me in some stupid scary movie, I needed money. I said that if I didn’t have money then I wouldn’t be able to do this, throw me out there. I booked Heroes and I booked Summerland, CSI and I was like: ‘see?’ Those sorts of things are pretty easy to get, just walk in, be confident in how you say the lines. Then once I was kind of able to pull back from, well, not really desperation, I just needed to work, I was able to start making decisions that will last forever because it’s all about longevity in this career. You never want to be burnt out yourself and with your audience. It’s just business sense. You never want a shortage or a surplus. Just like a product, you don’t just want to put it all out there, you want to have dignity, quality over quantity. You always see examples where in some people’s careers and jobs, it’s clear they took that for the money, and suddenly, they haven’t worked for five years. Everyone’s different, some people are just money hungry, some people are fame hungry but for me, if I don’t need the money, I don’t do the money job. I’d rather just not work for a couple of years and keep busy in my own life then choose to do great work that I will love to do.

What do you like to do apart from acting?

I always have something going on. So, usually with the movies out of LA, the offers come in but I haven’t been very excited for them and I just don’t want to do something that I’m not excited for. I’m not desperate to work and I understand the flow of it all throughout my thirteen years in this career so I always have little projects and inventions. I’m an entrepreneur so I like creating small businesses. The big dream would be to be in a Toys R Us, Mattel or Hasbro alliance. A product I have out now is my Blackout Bands which are these dark sunglasses. They are completely blacked out so instead of using a sleeping mask on planes, you use these glasses that look like sunglasses but you can’t see out of them. It’s been great working with the Hudson News group in travel and leisure which is kind of that store at every airport where you can get your neck pillow and stuff. We met with them in New York two years ago, they loved the product so they brought us in. It’s been great just creating these products when I do have time to work on them.

Do you prefer to play the lead over a supporting role?

I love playing the lead. It’s just more time on set. I love ensemble movies because you get to work with great actors like in The Osiris Child but films like Twilight, if it wasn’t Twilight, I would just get bored and I don’t like being bored. I love doing different things and gaining new experiences. I’d rather work on a soap opera and have tonnes of dialogue and have like 30 seconds to learn these lines and you have to cry right now. I’d rather have a lot of that kind of pressure than sit here and be a mannequin. It would be in some cool movie but you have one line or two lines like that’s where it becomes work, it’s just not fun. Taking two weeks just to say one line, that’s not acting to me. But that’s our industry, the whole hurry up and wait mentality and I love when I’m the lead because there’s no time in my dressing room. There’s no time to just sit around waiting. I love independent movies because they have such a short budget and they can only shoot so many hours so you get one take and you’re done. I like that pressure.

Have you been to Australia before?

I’d dated an Aussie actress named Sharni Vinson. We auditioned for Step Up 3 and I liked her. She was just awesome so when we were dating, I came here, visited Cronulla, that’s where she’s from. I’ve been here a few times and I sort of fell in love with Australia. Since she was Aussie, she had an awesome accent. It was just fun, I really liked coming here and then Twilight took us to a lot of fun conventions. I have a lot of fun memories here. However, I really wish I knew about Guardians of the Tomb [his next project, also shot in Australia] before I left back to LA [after shooting Osiris Child] because I would have left my bags here. I came back to LA and then I got the offer for the movie and it was a lot to pack and bring so I wish I had just left it there. Unpacking takes a long time too. For me, it takes me like a day to unpack because I clean up everything, I’m usually pretty tidy then I have to go through every drawer. I definitely over pack. I just like feeling at home wherever I’m at.

The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume One is in cinemas May 18, 2017

Read our review of The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume One.

Shares:

Leave a Reply