Teresa Palmer in I Am Number Four Alien Action!
By: Lynn Barker
Ever have dreams of busting a move in an action movie? Hot star of the moment Teresa Palmer (is she dating Zac Efron?) gets to tear up scenery in the new Sci Fi actioner I Am Number Four based on a popular young adult novel.
Teresa looks great in cool leather outfits riding a sleek Ducati motorcycle and mixing it up with hot Alex Pettyfer. Both actors play undercover alien survivors of a defeated race. Now their enemies are on Earth and after them. Teresa plays feisty Number Six who rides into town to aid Alex’s Number Four character in the fight.
Kidzworld sat down in Beverly Hills with friendly Teresa to talk dangerous stunts, a possible romance (for her character. We’re not talkin’ Zac Efron here) funny doings on set and just how great she looks walking away from an exploding building! She’s wearing a fluffy and very feminine silk dress.
Kidzworld: Do you prefer this dress to what you wore in the movie?
- Teresa: No, I’m actually more of a rocker like Number Six but I’m wearing a girlie dress today. I wanted to sort of mix it up. But I channel that rock star look in my fashion.
Kidzworld: Did they let you keep anything?
- Teresa: No. I wanted to keep the jacket bigtime but they usually hold on to the clothes just in case you have reshoots. But hopefully, in a few months I can ring up and see if she [the costume designer] will give me one. There were like ten of them so she can spare one.
Kidzworld: Have you gotten on a motorcycle? When we talked with you earlier, you said you really wanted to ride one.
- Teresa: I did, yeah! It was in Cambodia so that was a different experience, riding a motorbike in Cambodia. It was crazy and I was filming as well; shooting a film called "Say Nothing". It’s very different from shooting in American movie. They just put you on a bike and there’s a crew of like ten people and they’re ‘Alright. Start riding and we’ll film you’. I said ‘Wait! Is there a stunt team?’ It’s crazy but I let everyone know ‘Don’t worry. I know how to ride a Ducati so I’ll be fine’.
Kidzworld: Is your wardrobe for "I Am Number Four" easy to do stunts in or is it kind of restrictive?
- Teresa: We had to make some outfits with extra stretch in them under the arms. And in between the legs we had extra stretch because I had these huge kicks that I’m doing and, in such tight pants, I can’t do that. We had lots of different copies of things.
Kidzworld: Number Six really kicks butt. What is it like to play a character like that?
- Teresa: It was very empowering to play Number Six. She’s intimidating but also I think equally as alluring and charming and sassy. There’s definitely something mysterious about her too. I think when we’re introduced to her, we don’t really know if she’s one of the good guys or one of the bad guys. Could she be a Mogadorian [bad aliens]? And I like that about her. It was such a blessing to play such a cool character.
Kidzworld: You are set up for a sequel. In the movie, unlike the book, the Loriens fall for or bond to only one person so is there no chance for Number Six to hook up with Number Four? I mean he’s kinda stuck on the Sarah character [played by Glee’s Dianna Agron].
- Teresa: Who knows? [laughter] Just putting it out there. There may be a love triangle. I think it was hinted at in this movie and there’s definitely a bit of sexual chemistry between them. There’s also some animosity and competitiveness between Number Four and Number Six but, under all of that, I think there’s a little bit of a romantic spark, as much as neither of them would want to admit it. I always think about that line. Maybe it’s that they are only going to fall in love with one human but maybe the alien romance is the real deal.
Kidzworld: Have they talked to you about a sequel?
- Teresa: They’ve discussed it. It just really depends on whether audiences enjoy the film and embrace it and if they do then I would welcome it with open arms. I’d feel so excited to play Number Six again and just develop her character further.
Kidzworld: Was the explosion and fireball all green screen or were you actually fairly close to any of that?
- Teresa: No. Movie magic.
Kidzworld: When you are walking away, it’s great.
- Teresa: And the hair is like whoosh [she flips her hair]. What happened was I just walked out of the house and I was doing my swagger and [her director] D.J. Caruso was like ‘Go get ‘um, girl! This is your shot. [we laugh] Remember it’s in slow motion’. I was like ‘Okay’. I was trying very hard to make it hot and alluring but I’m wearing these high combat boots and I’m walking in sand so I kept rolling my ankle and he was like ‘Stop wobbling! You’re wobbling so much’. I was like ‘Oh no’.
Kidzworld: That’s so funny but hard for you.
- Teresa: Yeah. Then my sunglasses would fall off and I’d trip over. Everyone is like ‘What are you doing? This is supposed to be the iconic shot of the movie’. The one that’s actually in the movie is probably the only take that worked. You’d walk off and two guys would run in very quickly with a big green screen. Then you would cut then they’d walk out and we exploded the house.
Kidzworld: Are all those bloopers of you wobbling going to be on the DVD?
- Teresa: Probably. I actually saw it recently and, at one point I do my hair flip and it gets caught in my sunglasses [she indicates by covering her face with her hair] and I tried to keep it up by walking with my hair across my face. D.J. is like ‘What are you doing? That’s not sexy.’
Kidzworld: Weren’t you impressed with how that scene looked in the final film?
- Teresa: I was. I couldn’t believe how epic that was. It was very exciting and I think it was a very cool introduction to my character and that music by Adele comes in and it’s pumpin’ and she’s so tough and I felt very proud of Miss Six.
Kidzworld: You don’t know who she is at that point; a good guy or a bad guy.
- Teresa: Exactly and I think D.J. did a good job of just placing her in the movie at sporadic points. She comes on screen and then she goes just as quick as she’s there and it makes you wonder ‘Who is she?’.
Kidzworld: You got to keep your Aussie accent. How did you convince them to let you do that?
- Teresa: I did. It was awesome. It was actually very refreshing to use my natural dialect because I don’t usually get to do that. I auditioned for the film in my Australian accent and the casting directors said ‘She doesn’t have to be American and you can use your natural accent’ so I did. However, after we were done, I got a call saying ‘Everyone loves the character and the accent. The only problem is we can’t understand you in some of the words.’ So, I had to go in and [re-record] it and Americanize some words.
Kidzworld: What was your most difficult stunt in this?
- Teresa: I had two stunts that were pretty hard. One of them was just scary. I was on the ground and I was picked up by my leg and flung upside down sixty feet up in the air whilst kicking and screaming. That was really petrifying because I’m scared of heights usually and D.J. said ‘Alright, harness up. This is where you’re going’ and I went up there on a huge crane and I remember just thrashing around up there and I looked down and all the crew were like little ants. That was so scary just being held up by my leg. I was like ‘Imagine if this snapped right now. I would be mincemeat’.
Kidzworld: You do a cool sword fight as well.
- Teresa: Yeah. The other difficult one was just the scene in the cafeteria where we’re fighting alongside each other; Four and Six and I’m trying to fight these seven foot tall stunt guys with my alien sword. Everything was choreographed but you have to hit your marks very precisely because they are swinging at you and you’re counting beats in your head. At one point, I missed my mark. I was just there too long and I swung back and he hit me in the mouth with the sword. I thought all my teeth had fallen out! Then I realized my mouth was just numb and that would actually happen to Number Six. She would get injured. So, we just kept going.
Kidzworld: Ouch! What kind of funny stuff happened on set that we don’t know about?
- Teresa: There was always a lot of laughter. Guillermo, our D.P. was so funny. He’d always be dancing with us and doing the salsa in between [takes], with me and Dianna [Agron] and he’d spin us around and flip us upside down. That was so funny. Everyone was goofing around a lot. Alex would play pranks on me every now and then.
Kidzworld: What did he do?
- Teresa: He’d knock on my trailer door and be like ‘You’re wrapped’ and I’d be ‘Oh cool’ and get out of my outfit and put on my casual clothes, head to driver’s car and be ‘Ooo, I’m done for the day. Awesome’ and I would hear Alex running off like ‘Mowahahaha’. And, one of the P. A’s. would run up, ‘What are you doing? Where are you going?’ Alex was a bit of a prankster.
Kidzworld: So were you working in a mall and got discovered?
Teresa: I was working in a mall but I was doing character work so I would go to the supermarket and dress up as Strawberry Shortcake or Santa’s Little Helper just to get extra money on the weekends and I signed up with an acting agent to do that because that was the extent of the acting work you could get in Adelaide at the time.
Because of that, I ended up meeting this director called Murali Thalluri. He was eighteen years old and wanted me to be in his movie [called /2:37/]. It had its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and that’s what kick-started my career.
Kidzworld: When we spoke to you before you were pretty homesick. Are you living here now or in Australia?
- Teresa: Both. I come back and forth between Adelaide and L.A. but mainly my base in here. I have a dog here so that solidifies my residence.
Kidzworld: Awwww. What’s its name?
- Teresa: Luna. Luna Palmer. First name and last name.