In Perth last week for the media launch of his latest film, Drift, Community spoke to the star of blockbusters like Terminator Salvation and Avatar about life since stardom hit and he had a special message for his Warnbro peers, past, present and future.
‘Some people didn’t like school growing up; I loved primary school at Warnbro,’ Worthington said.
‘You can achieve anything you want if you put your mind to it; you’re not conditioned by Warnbro. You can dream big and hopefully it comes true.’
Worthington’s name still graces a timber honour board in the Warnbro school’s reception area, a permanent record of his 1988 Boy’s Dux award.
Worthington went on to commute daily from Warnbro to John Curtin College of the Arts in Fremantle after finishing Year 7. The rest is history, the latest chapter of which is his involvement in a movie depicting the home-grown story of the origins of Margaret River’s now famous surf industry.
Filmed down south, Drift will conjure nostalgia in most locals as it did in its home-grown stars, Worthington and McLeod’s Daughters‘ Myles Pollard, formerly of Kingsley.
But will the tale of two WA brothers who turn their devotion for surfing into a global business wash with international moviegoers? Seems the answer is yes considering it recently won Best Narrative Feature in Puerto Rico, of all places.
‘I didn’t even know we were in a Puerto Rico Film Festival. I think we won 25 bucks and a bag of fish ” fantastic,’ Worthington laughed.
A more serious Pollard, also the film’s producer, added: ‘Drift has a universal theme: a couple of knock-about larrikins trying to create a better life for themselves.
‘They do that and become pillars of the modern surfing community, but really all they were trying to do was establish more security for their family. People can appreciate that storyline.’
Despite appearing like chalk and cheese ” Worthington boyish and candid despite his fame and Myles warm and judicious like a forgiving father ” the two have been friends for 16 years, auditioning for drama school in Subiaco and going on to NIDA together.
‘We didn’t know each other until we were 19 and we’ve been laughing all week at how many stories we share from before then,’ Worthington said.
‘Our tales of down south are almost identical ” going to beach parties, trying to hook up with some chick at 14 at Prevelly Park, drinking West Coast Coolers and breaking into the Caves House Hotel to play pool.’
Worthington, who now calls Hawaii home, said despite the distance, he and Pollard spurred each other on.
‘When Myles first talked to me about this movie, I said, ‘mate, you’ve got to go and develop it a bit more and really work out why you want to tell this story’. Seven years later, he comes back chatting about it and I said, ‘can I now be in it, please?’;’ the Aussie A-lister revealed.
– Drift opens on May 2.