Actor Kellan Lutz’s buff bod certainly lends itself well to the slew of muscle-bound movie roles he’s portrayed over the years.
It all began with his breakout role on the Twilight film series in 2008 as the strongest of the Cullens, Emmett. Lutz’s muscular physique definitely fit the bill in portraying a vampire who made lifting logs and fighting off baddies look as easy as swatting flies.
The 31-year-old Lutz, who was born in North Dakota in the US, says being fit comes naturally for him.
“From a young age, I’ve always just lived an active life so I think my body just grew accustomed to it,” he says in a phone interview from Los Angeles.
“Also, I have some good genetics thanks to my family, so it’s easy for me to maintain because I live a healthy lifestyle. I eat pretty healthy, I try to do some sort of activity every now and then.”
With good genes and hard work, Lutz later proved he had the body of a Greek God, landing the role of Poseidon in 2011’s Immortals.
And of course, in 2014, Lutz portrayed perhaps the most quintessential strongman of all time, Hercules, in The Legend Of Hercules, besides playing a former US marine alongside veteran action hero stars Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Expendables 3 in the same year.
Despite having built a steady career playing these brawny and some even, iconic characters, Lutz says he wouldn’t mind changing things up, forgoing his ripped physique to play a role, especially if the right one comes along.
“What draws me to roles is not that I get to take my shirt off or that I get to be fit. It’s the material itself. So if I’m passionate about the character, the story and the character development, I’m drawn to it.
“It just so happened that I’m drawn to playing the hero sort of role, but I would love to do a movie like The Machinist that Christian Bale did, and he had to lose all that weight. And you’ve got Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club which was brilliant. So I definitely wouldn’t mind doing it.”
Bale lost 28kg and McConaughey lost 21kg to play a factory worker suffering from insomnia and an AIDS patient respectively.
However, Lutz stresses he wouldn’t compromise on his health in the process: “I won’t do a movie that would harm my health per se … I care about my health and there’s a way of losing the weight in the right way.
“If I had one month to lose 50lbs (23kg), there’s no way I can do it – that would kill my body. If I had enough time, sure. As long as everything is done in a healthy way, I’d be up to the challenge.”
Prior to Lutz’s success on the big screen, the actor got his start playing small roles on TV shows such as The Bold And The Beautiful, CSI: NY, 90210 and a recurring role on The Comeback.
And since many have dubbed the era we’re living now as the golden age of TV, does Lutz see himself back on the small screen?
“For me, it’s all about the work, it doesn’t matter if it’s movies, TV or animation as long as it speaks to me and I’m passionate about it. But my passion right now is travelling around the world and playing different characters and for me, it has to be a very interesting piece,” he shares.
“But it doesn’t interest me to play the same character for 10 years of my life.”
Let the games begin
One of Lutz’s recent projects, Bullseye, does see him on TV actually, though not as an actor.
Bullseye is an eight-episode reality game show where four men and four women battle it out in three extreme challenges that all have one thing in common: Hitting a bullseye. The winner walks away with US$50,000 (RM201,000).
For instance, in the first episode, contestants must hang from a helicopter and wait for the right moment to drop a “bullseye bomb”, hoping it will land right smack on a target marked on the ground. In another challenge, contestants driving an ATV in a dirt track must ram through three bullseyes.
“I love stunts. That’s why I wanted to be part of this show,” Lutz says. “I thought that when they came to me, they wanted me to be a contestant on it. I was really excited about it and then they said ‘No, we’d like to see if you wanted to host it with Godfrey, who is just a comedic genius. That was really fun.’”
Still, Lutz, who shares hosting duties with comedian and actor Godfrey on the series, did get a chance to take part in one of the challenges, Human Slingshot. Contestants are launched into the air by a giant slingshot and they must drop the bullseye bomb on a target on the ground.
While on the Human Slingshot, Lutz sustained an injury when the carabiner (a metal component of a harness) hit the back of his head. The scalp wound required five staples.
“It was a freak accident. I’m fine, I’m good, still got my brain up in there. I would still do it again. They aren’t scary. We have the best stunt teams, the best coordinators and safety teams there so no one else would have got hurt at all. It just so happened that I got hurt.”
Lutz also shares about what it feels like hosting a TV show for the first time: “I’ve worked with a lot of charities where I host different galas and different events here and there. So for this one, doing a TV show was way easier than those, because those are live.”
He adds: “It’s really different from my action acting because I’m playing a character. But on this show, I got to be me. I got to be a contestant, I got to be just blown away by seeing the stunts take place live.”
As for revisiting the film that started it all for Lutz, Twihards would be happy to know that the actor would be up for starring in a Twilight reboot.
“If they ever did a reboot, which they easily could, say five years from now, they just want to rebuild it all again, sure,” he says. “Even if I couldn’t play Emmett, maybe I could play (the Cullen patriarch) Dr Carlisle.”
Bullseye premieres April 6 at 8pm on Universal Channel HD (HyppTV Ch 612).