Ever since he sent in an audition tape to the casting offices of the Twilight films was cast as the vampire Riley Biers in ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’, Xavier Samuel's stock has been rising.
After nabbing a MTV Movie award for his part in a fight scene with Robert Pattinson in that film, he quickly followed it up with a role in last year's ‘Anonymous’, the film about whether Shakespeare truly did pen the plays we have all come to know so well.
His new film, ‘A Few Best Men’ is a comedy about a brief whirlwind holiday romance that results in a rushed wedding and a stag party that goes oh so wrong. The film also stars Laura Brent (‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’), Olivia Newton-John (‘Grease’) and Kris Marshall (‘Death at a Funeral’).
Now based in Los Angeles, inSing.com caught up the Sydney-born actor over the phone where he talked about the movie, working with his co-stars and what the future holds for him.
No ‘Twilight’ talk though, strict instructions prevented us from asking him any of that and we’re sure he's answered more than enough of them.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, Xavier.
At the moment, I'm in Los Angeles. I'm just visiting, I'm originally from Sydney. I studied acting at a place (Rostrevor College) called Adelaide and now I spend my time half in Sydney and half in Los Angeles.
So this movie, “A Few Best Men”; what drew you to it and how did you end up doing it?
Well, I knew the director, Stephan Elliot, he did a film called ‘The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’ and I knew that he was a very exciting talented director and I always wanted to work with other talented people, you know? Also, I hadn't done comedy before. I've always wanted to do new things and I got to do it on a comedy, which was a lot of fun.
It definitely looks like a very zany comedy.
Yeah. It is. (laughs)
'A Few Best Men' trailer
Tell us about working with your co-stars, Rebel Wilson who we've seen popping up in quite a few comedies these days and Kris Marshall, who we're sure many people remember fondly from his bit in ‘Love Actually’. Were there many hijinks on set or things of that nature?
It was very funny working with those actors. I think the hardest thing for me was trying to keep a straight face -- because they kept trying to make me laugh when you're not supposed to laugh. So, they're troublemakers like that. We had such a great time working together and also, they're very talented comedians who're always doing something funny. I laughed from beginning 'till the end.
'A Few Best Men' being an Australian/British co-production, how did that play out in the actual production of the movie?
It's always good to work with them (the British actors) because I was playing a British man in the film, and it's always nice to be surrounded with fine British actors. They let you know if your accent is right (or wrong). I only spent about a week in London because we shot some scenes in London but for the most time it was set in Australia and yeah, I think they had a fun time travelling over to Australia, seeing the beautiful beaches. It was a really great co-production.
Xavier Samuel as David and co-star Laura Brent as Mia
Working with Olivia Newton-John, she has a pretty hilarious role in this. Is she funny or is she more of a serious person in real life?
Oh, she has a great sense of humour. She's very funny. Also I don't think I've met a person as nice as Olivia. She's one of the nicest people I've ever met. I remember her from “Grease” so I kind of grew up watching her. I never really dreamed that I'd be working with her. It was a wonderful experience working with such a talented and very nice actress. And, she's always singing.
Just umm, when the cameras weren't rolling, she just breaks into song which is very nice. (laughs)
Okay, so in the trailer... there's a scene with a ram? Right?
Oh yeah, with the sheep, yeah.
So how was filming with the sheep on set?
(Laughs) Oh, the sheep was trouble. It didn't know its lines, woke up late for shooting... it was very hard to work with the sheep. I think that after a while, we got along okay and we managed to survive. It's very unpredictable working with animals.
There was a scene where someone shoots the sheep with a crossbow, right? How was that done?
Thankfully we didn't have to shoot the sheep with it (the crossbow). But there was also a dummy sheep which they made that was easier to work with.
So, what are some of your future projects? I understand that you're working with Sam Worthington on a movie named ‘Drift’?
Yeah, ‘Drift’ is a really cool film about surfing set in the 1970s. It's basically about these two brothers that decided to set up a surfing company and they faced with a lot of difficulties.
It's a family story – about struggling to do something very special and change the world. It was very exciting for me because I had to learn to surf as I wasn't a surfer before this so I had to learn to ride some pretty big waves but it was a lot of fun. Pretty cool.
Dexian or just Dex if you have an inability to pronounce Chinese names, is a fervent film lover who's known to read up on the most inane pieces of cinema trivia just so he has something to talk about when he's drunk. When he's not watching something, he can be found reading other useless Wikipedia articles on things like Nebulaphobia.