Young actor Liam Hemsworth is entering a new phase in his career with Touchstone Pictures’ teen drama The Last Song, based on Nicholas Sparks’ bestselling novel of the same title. A budding star in his native Australia , Hemsworth is starting over as an actor in Los Angeles . Landing the role of Will Blakelee for his first major role in an American film and opposite Miley Cyrus was a huge leap for him.
“Liam has fantastic charisma on screen and he’s got great energy,” says director Julie Anne Robinson. “He reminds me of one of those old-time movie stars, like Gary Cooper. He has a laconic nature and is very relaxed on camera, but there’s a lot going on behind the eyes.”
Like many of Sparks ’ characters, Will has secrets of his own that are weighing him down. “My character is charming and charismatic on the surface,” says Hemsworth. “But his secrets are getting in his way. He acts the part of a cheerful, popular guy, when in reality he’s not happy at all. When he meets Ronnie, Miley’s character, he finds someone equally confused who has lost something important. As the summer goes on, they help each other grow as people. She doesn’t make it easy for him, but in the end, she’s worth it.”
Liam Hemsworth talks further about “The Last Song” in the following interview:
Q: What do you think about Nicholas Sparks and his work?
Hemsworth: I think he is amazing. He can make you feel both happy and sad at the same time. There are so many emotions, one minute it’s sad, then you’re laughing and it’s happy, then there’s romance. It’s all very emotional. I think when people come out of seeing this movie, they’ll probably be crying. Maybe laughing at the same time, but definitely crying. But they’ll be happy tears!
Q: Your character is an avid beach volleyball player. Are you?
Hemsworth: I learned to play volleyball, which I’d never done before and probably will never do again! When I auditioned they asked me if I could play volleyball and I said, “No, but I’ll learn.” Then the first session, I turn up and the volleyball coach was a really good player, I think he played in the Olympics. We played twice a week, two hours at a time, and that was the longest two hours of my life. It was excruciating! Even when I’d do something good, like I’d get a really good spike or pass, and I’d think I’d really done it well. I’d look at the coach and he’d just say, “Yeah, that was okay, do it again.”
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Q: What’s it like working with Miley Cyrus?
Hemsworth: Miley is great! We had a lot of fun, she’s always bright and happy and it’s a pleasure to work with her. We got along really well and became good friends during the shoot.
Q: Did all the kids on the set hang out after the cameras were turned off?
Hemsworth: Yeah, absolutely. We’d all go out for dinner and hang out together. They’re all great people and it’s nice to get along with everyone and be able to be friends, because otherwise it would be pretty lonely on a set like this. And I think the chemistry shows in the movie.
Q: Did you enjoy working with Greg Kinnear?
Hemsworth: Greg’s a really funny guy and always doing odd stuff. I sent a message to Miley one day when we were on set to see if she was there, too. And she wrote back that she was, and Greg is such a handsome, amazing actor and she thinks he’s just so great. I read it and thought it was kind of an odd thing to say, so I wrote back that yeah, I agree. But of course he had her phone.
Q: What was filming in Savannah and Tybee Island like?
Hemsworth: Hot! One of the days we shot the volleyball scene, it had to be 600 degrees or something. The sand was so hot, at one point I was jumping from foot to foot, trying to say my lines. It was crazy! I looked like I’d literally had a bucket of water poured over me. But it’s really beautiful and the people have been so nice to us.
Opening soon across the Philippines , “The Last Song” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International.