Charlie St Cloud started as a book – how did you approach it?
I took the script to the director. There were so many similarities between Charlie and my own philosophy. He’s about to go to school, which is where I found myself a couple of years ago, and I had the mentality that if I put my mind to it I could accomplish anything. That was the mantra that’s responsible for me being here.
You have a brother and the film’s about brothers. Did that resonate with you?
Sure. It was so well written. When the accident, the devastation happens, I could really relate to Charlie in lots of ways. But me and my brother…When we’d watch The Matrix or Three Ninjas we’d beat each other to a pulp. He’s 18 now and off to college. Not my little brother anymore. We’re at a new place, starting to become even better friends.
Ray Liotta saves your life early on in the film. He’s often the bad guy!
I’ll never forget that scene. The takes were long. The more we got into it, Ray’s saying “Come on, fight me, fight me”. And I was like, “I don’t want to!” He was really going for it with those heart starting paddles. At the level Ray’s at, I realised there’s no inhibition. It was cool being willed to do more by him.
How do you choose which roles to play? Some must be more ideal than others?
I’d say this turned out to be an ideal role. I certainly wouldn’t trade the experience for the world. Did I know it was an ideal role before I read the script? Not at all. There’s nothing that’s not appealing to me right now.
You’ve started your own production company, remaking a Swedish crime thriller.
Yeah. The film’s called Snabba Cash. I really liked the story. It’s about a guy who for very innocent reasons finds himself in over his head. It just about explains everything in my life up to this point! The movie was incredibly well done and we’re having a great time adapting it, making it more American.
What’s life like at this point in your career?
It’s exciting. The stakes are high. I’ve a lot to learn. But at the same time I feel hungry and ambitious. In no way does it seem daunting. I’m just trying to navigate the twists and turns right now. With the production company, it really feels like we’ve got the ball moving.
Do you ever think your good looks are holding you back?
It’s a big part of why I’m here. And why my fans come to the movies. But at the same time it makes me more driven to reach people who aren’t swayed by that. I’m just testing this beard out by the way. Simply to see what it’s like. And of course to set fire to the internet!