The film, directed by veteran filmmaker Renny Harlin (“Die Harder,” “Deep Blue Sea”), is a new take on the ancient myth, focusing on the story of a young man conflicted with his identity. Hercules is a demigod, the son of Zeus and a human woman, and possesses extraordinary strength.
Lutz, 28, previously starred in the “Twilight” series as Emmett Cullen, a vampire with mindreading capability. In “Hercules,” Lutz's character has to rely on his brute strength to fight his enemies.
The blond, blue-eyed hunk, rumored to be dating Miley Cyrus, recently spoke about his new role and what it meant to him to play such an iconic character.
Q: Did you go back and study your mythology before making this film?
Lutz: Renny (Harlin) and I found that the Getty Villa in Malibu (California) has a Hercules exhibit. It was all fate, and it was very serendipitous that it all came together like that. So my knowledge of Hercules was already there and it very much mimicked Renny’s passion for it. I think that’s what helped him decide that this kid loves this role and he’s going to work hard towards it. So yes, I am very knowledgeable but there’s always something new to learn. I was just in Rome and I learned something new about Hercules. There are many tales.
Q: How much green screen was used and how much was actually there?
Lutz: Most of the scenes had practical sets. The amphitheater was all built and the mud pit. No CGI there. The one where the spikes and snakes are is CGI and maybe the outside of it, but we had that whole arena. In the other arena, we had it but maybe only up three stories, so when you see me fighting six gladiators, it looks like it goes up 25 stories. It was only half an arena so we could just flip it and shoot all one way. It was nice having all these physical buildings to play off of.
Q: When you first enter the film, you’re on horseback and you have a big smile on your face. How did you get to that happy place?
Lutz: Did you see my love interest? I mean Gaia (Weiss, who plays Hebe, the princess of Crete) is stunning. It was really hard not to smile. Renny would say this. “Kellan, stop smiling!” During the battle scenes, I would take the helmet off. I was just a kid. I really felt little Kellan come out because I was fulfilling this childhood dream. I really was. Every day, I was just excited to be on set. The costumes weren’t functional, by the way. You are doing these scenes and your skirt is just riding up.