It takes strength not to let it change you. Growing up in Australia’s secluded Phillip Island, his every move now scrutinised by media as one of Hollywood’s most known Actors - Liam Hemsworth has a rawness unaffected by success.
With a bold determination that landed him lead roles in films Hunger Games and Independence Day, Liam’s formidable path is forged by innate passion. His success a reminder that something remarkable happens when at the core of your work, lies a pure love for what you do. A fixation that doesn’t rest solely on the end game.
We spent the day with Liam in the dusty desert backroads of Malibu to shoot this editorial, and discover what drives him...
Innately there’s trigger that drives each of us individually. At a soul level, what is it that drives you?
Passion is what drives me. In high schools I never considered doing something that I wasn’t passionate about. From a young age I wanted to make movies because I simply loved movies. It never made sense to me to go off and do the standard 9-5 job in something I didn’t enjoy. I think it’s why I became successful. If you’re truly passionate about something you’ll make it happen. If I lose the passion I’ll move onto something else.
Where do you think that drive comes from? Growing up what shaped those characteristics?
The drive definitely comes from my parents and how they raised my brothers and I. They always taught us to be open minded about all walks of life and to work hard at something we love. They gave us the freedom and responsibility to make our own choices. Which I think was one of the greatest gifts you can give a child. Something I’ll pass onto my children one day.
What inspired you to tell stories through film?
Growing up I always loved watching movies but I think what really inspired me to pursue acting, came from watching my brothers.
When we look back, often the defining moments in our careers aren’t always the bigger goals we were initially fixated on. What was one of the little moments you’re most proud of personally?
Being successful in this industry usually means that you’re able to help out family or friends in need. It also give you a platform in which you can bring attention to issues or charities you care about. Helping out always feels good.
One your favorite directors, and why their work inspires you?
Taika Waititi. Every single film he makes I absolutely love. His sense of story telling is incredible. No one does comedy like he does. Not only do his films make you laugh but they often make you cry. Nothing like laughing and crying your way through a movie haha. Since my brother Chris shot with him he’s become a close family friend. I freakin love the guy.
A life lesson, that had a big impact on your path?
None of us on this planet choose the cards we are dealt. But we always have the choice of how we move forward. I like this because it forces you to take responsibility for your life and not play the victim.
Who in your life embodies the kind of drive that inspires you, and why?
In my eyes I’ve never seen someone work harder or care about something more than my brother Chris. There’s never a time where he would cut corners or half ass it. He puts absolutely everything into his work. When I first started auditioning, he always made sure that I knew my lines. He would say, “Make sure put the work in now, when you get to set it’s easy but right now is when you fucking work!” Chris has true passion for making films. And he’s fuckin good at it.
The juxtaposition between life growing up in Phillip Island Australia, and now living in LA in the public eye as a world known celebrity, must be pretty jolting. How have you dealt with the transition, and do you think it’s impacted on who you are?
Moving to LA from Australia was pretty weird at first. I think the best thing you can do in that situation is stay focused and healthy and remember why you’re there. It’s really easy to get caught up in that town and just go out and party all the time. Lucky for me I booked a job pretty quickly and got sent to a different state and started working. Over the years after some films came out I started to feel the changes in terms of people noticing me on the street. At first it was kinda scary and gave me a lot of anxiety. I would sit in and the house and not wanna go do anything cuz we’d have paparazzi waiting out front and that was really hard to come to terms with. I’d get angry and sad and it would really eat away at me. These days I’ve learnt to embrace it and not make my decisions out of fear. I do the things I want to do and I do it with an open mind. Less worrying. It’s a lot easier this way. And I’m much happier. As the very wise Van Wilder once said “worrying will give you something to do but it won’t get you anywhere”.
Do you ever see yourself back there in Phillip Island?
Phillip Island will always hold a special place in my heart and I’ll always go back to visit. It was such a great place to grow up. I loved the small town feel and being surrounded by good waves. I really do miss living there and just being a kid. Only things that mattered we’re waves and food haha.
What’s an escape for you in your downtime? Rumour has it you recently outshone your brothers on Kelly Slater’s surf ranch?
Yes I did get to surf Kellys surf ranch! Honestly it was the best day of my life. Never smiled so much in one day. At one point my brother Luke was on the back of the jet ski face timing Chris while I was getting barreled in front of him. Word has it around the ranch that no one yet has surfed quite as good as me. ;)
What’s next for you?
Shooting a movie called Killerman right now. It’s a pretty dark and stormy kind of film but I think it’s gonna be cool. After this...probably call Slater, tell him to clear the water at the ranch so I can show him how’s it done haha ;)
Advice for anyone when pursuing a path that is deeply important to them?
If you love something enough you’ll make it happen. Embrace every part of the journey.