Teresa Palmer Talks "I Am Number Four," "Take Me Home Tonight" and Hip Hop
Fri, 17 Dec 2010 17:41:58
When talking about her character in I Am Number Four, Teresa Palmer lets out a devilish smile, "Number Six is intimidating and ferocious. She can swoop in and kill people with the swipe of a sword. Because she's a warrior, I had to become a warrior!"
Watching the trailer for I Am Number Four, it's clear Teresa turns into quite the heroine. She got the chance to throw down in the movie, and she couldn't be more excited about it. Based on the novel of the same name, I Am Number Four will most definitely be locked and loaded with all kinds of thrills and chills when it hits theaters on February 18, 2011. Alongside Alex Pettyfer and Callan McAuliffe, Teresa gets into a ton of otherworldly action.
Teresa Palmer sat down for an exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author about kicking butt as Number Six in I Am Number Four, how much she loves hip hop, why Florence + the Machine rules and going back to the '80s in Take Me Home Tonight.
What spoke to you about Number Six?
I liked the fact she's a hero. She's been dealt these cards in her life, and she's now been thrust onto earth after her planet Lorien was destroyed. She's a survivor. I think there's something really beautiful about that. She's had to do it on her own and she's sick of being hunted. She makes the hunters become the hunted. She's also sassy, smart, calculated and a force to be reckoned with. I was very attracted to those qualities in her.
What were you listening to while making I Am Number Four?
I was listening to Mobb Deep and a lot of underground New York '90s hip hop like Masta Ace, Big L, KRS-One and even A Tribe Called Quest. I had this sort of urban upbringing in Adelaide South Australia listening to vinyl of underground hip hop. I felt like that was closest to the sort of music Number Six would be cranking. I would listen to my gangsta rap at home, go on set and feel really badass. I was freestyling in my trailer [Laughs].
When is your record coming out?
[Laughs] No! I'm a bad freestyler. I can beatbox; I can't freestyle. I try to channel Rahzel with my beatbox though.
Is your iPod an acting tool?
Well, I usually don't take my iPod on set, but I did buy an iPad while we were making I Am Number Four. Alex and Callan both had iPads, and they'd sit there reading scripts. I was like, "That's a really cool idea!" I'd listen to music on mine. I made a playlist called "Six" that has Gangstarr and EPMD. I'd listen to the playlist, shoot the scene and listen more. Music transforms you in the way you act and feel. I would put on that outfit with the black fingerless gloves, get on the motorbike and I'd feel so tough. I even walked differently [Laughs]. Whenever I had the outfit on, the crew would be like, "We're so intimidated." It worked!
What are you listening to right now?
I saw Florence + the Machine live, and she was the most incredible performer I've ever seen in my life. She was so phenomenal. I also love the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs. At the moment, I started working on my own film which I hope to co-direct in Adelaide next year. It's sort of about my upbringing and the hip hop world. It's like The Wackness meets 8 Mile. I've been back listening to hip hop again. I just listened to the seven minute freestyle between Jay-Z and Big L. It was from the time before Jay-Z was big, and it's the most incredible freestyle I've ever listened to in my entire life. It's the most amazing thing!
Was hip hop the first music that spoke to you?
Hip hop was the first music I was introduced to. Then I got more into punk. I'd be skating and I'd be listening to punk. I love Australian punk bands. I had a short lived metal phase in there. My mom was like, "Turn that off." I'm a massive fan of Pearl Jam and Nirvana. I'm all over the place in terms of my musical tastes.
Do you feel like you got to tread new territory with I Am Number Four?
It was different than anything I'd ever done before. I also put a lot of pressure on myself. I knew the option was there for me if I wanted to have a stunt double, but I really wanted to become her. I knew she would do the fighting so I would do the fighting, It was challenging in the best way. It took me to a really dark place, and it was interesting for me to explore that side of myself.
What was the experience like going back to the '80s for Take Me Home Tonight?
I was born in 1986 so I didn't get to experience much of the '80s. Topher Grace and Anna Faris filled me in on what it was like though. Take Me Home Night has been hands down the best film experience I've ever had. We bonded so well, and it was such a fun movie. We were listening to '80s music and I've got crazy '80s hair and outfits. There's more of a chance that the audience connects with these character-driven films because we understand what these characters are going through—especially in Take Me Home Tonight. The movie really explores the notion of having to know what you want to do for the rest of your life at 22- or 23-years-old. To have to figure it out is a really overwhelmingly scary thing, especially when your parents are saying, "Well, just work out what you want to do!" How do I know what I'm going to be passionate about for the rest of my life though? The movie explores that. I think a lot of people feel connected to it.
Will you be seeing I Am Number Four when it comes out?
For our interview with I Am Number Four director D.J. Caruso click here!
For our interview with Callan McAuliffe click here!
Watch the trailer for Take Me Home Tonight here!