Teresa Palmer recently hit the headlines for leaving a party on the arm of newly single Zac Efron, but this actress is no mere Hollywood arm candy. In the sci-fi action film "I Am Number Four," Palmer stars opposite Alex Pettyfer and Dianna Agron, and kicks enough evil alien ass to rival Ripley.
omg! caught up with the Australian actress on set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she was just beginning to perfect her warrior skills. Palmer plays Number Six, one of nine aliens who come to Earth as children after their home planet is destroyed. The nine are being hunted one by one by the evil Mogadorians, and can only be killed in order. Three are already dead, and Pettyfer plays Number Four, the next target in line.
Tell me about your character, Number Six. "I have the coolest character. If you've seen 'Tomb Raider' or 'Wanted,' it's very much like an Angelina Jolie kick-butt role. She takes no crap from anybody. She's a highly-skilled martial artist. She drives around on her bright red Ducati, and she's a tough chick. She's had to deal with a lot of strange events in her life, and she's now sick of being hunted by the Mogadorians. It's time to fight back -- the hunters will now become the hunted."
You get to keep your Australian accent in the film. That must have been fun. "Six is an alien, but she's been living in Australia for the last 22 years, so I've been Australian-izing some of my lines in the script. For instance, one of my lines was, 'Who is this tool?' I felt like that wasn't really an Aussie thing to say, so I changed it to, 'Who is this wanker?'"
You look incredibly fit. Did you do a lot of training for the role? "After I signed on to the movie, they said, 'Get ready for the physical training.' This morning I was training for three hours. I had sword work, flipping and rolling, and then jumping on the wires. It's a lot of choreography. In one scene, I have to land on the enemy's shoulders, and then use my sword to cut off his head! I've never had to be this physical for a role before, and I'm loving it."
Do you and Alex get competitive in training? "I usually play the damsel in distress, so this is the total opposite. I see Alex train, and I want to do what he's doing. He's a really physical guy and [the stunt work] comes naturally to him, so it really lifts my game. But then Alex is like, 'You get to do all the cool stuff!'"
Being an actress, do you relate to Six's nomadic lifestyle? "Yeah, totally. As an actor, you lead a very gypsy lifestyle. You're living out of a suitcase. It's sort of like a getting a new family on a film set, then all of a sudden, it's done, and you're off to the next one. It can be very stimulating, but at the same time, it's an upheaval in your life. You're always moving and changing, so I can relate to her in that way."
Check out more behind-the-scenes action from Teresa Palmer: