‘Twilight’ actor Kellan Lutz goes from the hits to a myth
By Cindy Pearlman For Sun-Times Media January 7, 2014 9:35PM
Kellan Lutz in “The Legend of Hercules.” | SUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT
Updated: February 9, 2014 6:17AM
Kellan Lutz has been reading a few rumors about himself. Herculean ones, if you ask him.
“Gossip just cracks me up,” says the star of the new film “The Legend of Hercules.” “I love how people quote ‘insiders.’ You just write ‘an insider told me this’ and then guess on everything.”
That brings him to this idea that he’s dating one Miley Cyrus.
“I adore Miley,” he says during a phone interview from his home in Los Angeles. “She is such a close friend of mine and just a brilliant woman and fun to be around.
“The tabloids have made up some story that we’re dating and that’s just not the case. I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t go after this kind of publicity. I’d rather hang out on the sidelines and I have a new view from there.”
In the end, Lutz might prove to be the “Twilight” actor with the biggest post-franchise career. His other upcoming work includes “Tarzan” and “The Expendables 3.”
The Hercules movie, opening Friday, is an origin story about the son of Zeus in ancient Greece 1200 B.C. It’s not an easy life for Herc, who is betrayed by his stepfather, the king, banished and sold into slavery. He must fight his way back to power in his own kingdom and secure the love of Hebe, Princess of Crete (Gaia Weiss).
“It was my dream role because I was a big Hercules fan growing up. I love mythology,” says the North Dakota native who grew up in Arizona. “Hercules is the perfect hero: half human, half god.”
To play the role, Lutz had to make a few personal adjustments. Take his diet. “I started the Paleo diet and ate according to my blood type,” he says. “This meant, I went gluten-free and got rid of all processed sugars.
“I had my candy drawers in the past. Candy was my fix. Now, it’s gone. I don’t reach for a bagel in the morning. Changing your diet is like stopping smoking. Once you realize what you’re doing to your body, you stop the bad habits.
“It’s about caring about yourself and wanting to be a better person. I do want to jump higher and run faster. That’s why you’ll see me buying sugar-free candy at Whole Foods. I’ve never felt so energetic.”
Lutz, 28, has channeled that energy into an unexpected career. Originally, he attended Chapman University as a chemical engineering major. The acting bug bit, and soon he was in the “Twilight” franchise.
Is there life after vampires and werewolves?
“Those movies paved the road,” he says. “The hardest thing in this business is to make a name for yourself and create a secure life.”
He admits to turning down a slew of things once the franchise ended.
“I don’t need a mansion or a nice, fancy car,” he says. “After ‘Twilight,’ I decided to chill and wait for the right thing. It was a blessing not to have to take a job for the money.”
The wait was worth it.
He will play the new character Smilee in “The Expendables 3,” due out this summer, and starring Sylvester Stallone, Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“I killed 20 birds with one stone,” he says of working with all his movie icons. “The director would say to me on the set, ‘Kellan, you’re smiling again. Look tough.’ I’d think, ‘Oh dang it. But I’m standing next to Sly and Arnold.’ ”
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