It’s not every day you speak to a former (fictional) vampire. And it would be a lie to say that this particular editor didn’t read the entire ‘Twilight’ series, much to their own shame.
We spoke for a total of 12 minutes, and I think it’s safe to say that Xavier Samuel and I will be lifelong friends. I’ve even got him lined up to share some kind words at my (currently non-existent) wedding.
And that makes for an incredibly obvious transition to ‘A Few Less Men’. Sequel to ‘A Few Best Men’, the film tells the tale of a couple of good, English lads as they transport their dead friend from rural Western Australia to his funeral in London.
VERTIGO: So, a couple of us caught the premiere the other night. The film had you literally crawling through some beautiful Australian landscapes. What was the best travel you were able to do while shooting?
XS: We were in so many stunning spots in WA. We went up to Lancelin and The Pinnacles, we saw some special, sacred parts of the world. We usually arrived on-set in the morning, just as the sun is coming up, so we were never exactly sure what we were going to see, or even where we were going to be.
VERTIGO: It looked incredible. Tell us a bit about yourself, Xavier. We’d love to know what you were like as a student, given we’re a student publication ourselves.
XS: I went to Flinders University in Adelaide, attending the drama centre there. I don’t really know what I was like… I think I was still figuring it out, just like everyone else.
VERTIGO: I think we can all relate to that awkward, in-between phase. Is there anything you miss from those days?
XS: I can tell you what I don’t miss: looking for a park. I remember there was a parking lot we nicknamed ‘Siberia’ because it was so far away from everything else. There are some good parts though. You really meet so many great and interesting people, and the things they say and the lessons you learn really stick with you. I still keep in contact with some of the lecturers I had and definitely the friends I made along the way. I look back on it with really fond memories. I had a great time.
VERTIGO: Any memories in particular you can share with us?
XS: I did a radio show with a friend. Usually we were doing it at the very last minute, as is the nature of university life in general! Walking into the studio unprepared, our only plan was to ‘wing it’. It was a lot of fun.
VERTIGO: There are so many students wanting to pursue something creative, be it acting, design, writing, or whatever. Do you have any advice for them, considering you’ve been there yourself?
XS: If you feel like you have something to offer you should keep doing it, especially if you enjoy it. That’s the best advice, really. Just keep doing it and keep showing up, and if it’s meant to be it will be, y’know?
VERTIGO: For sure. So your character, David Locking, required you take on a bit of a posh accent. What’s an accent that you love to do, but probably never get cast as?
XS: [Laughs] Great question. I was working in Ireland for ‘Love & Friendship’ a little while ago. I did a lovely little accent; the Irish accent is such a cool one. But I did study with these Irish twins, so I like to think that I could pull it off.
VERTIGO: Everyone I speak to wants to hear about ‘Twilight’. What’s the best thing that has come from that role?
XS: It’s hard to say what was the best thing with an experience like that. I think it opened a lot of doors that may not necessarily have been opened. It has certainly given me a lot of opportunities. Also, we were shooting in Vancouver which was a nice little city; a good place to spend some time in.
VERTIGO: Has it helped with your dating life?
XS: [Laughs] Yeah, probably.
VERTIGO: So how was working with Kris Marshall? Everything I see him in he plays a bit of a ladies man, ‘A Few Less Men’ included. Do you think it’s the English thing?
XS: He’s a pretty charming guy, not to mention a great actor. I get why he is cast in those types of roles, for sure.
VERTIGO: Did you and he get up to any mischief off-set?
XS: We had a great time. We were hanging out off-screen and getting up to all sorts of mischief. We stayed in Perth during shooting, so we hit the town on our nights off. That said, we were shooting so quickly and had so much material to cover. We didn’t have a lot of time off. I think we shot it in about 30 days.
VERTIGO: I like how Ryan Corr channelled a Guy Ritchie-esque character in the film. Who are some up-and-coming Aussie actors we should be on the lookout for?
XS: Good question. I watched Odessa Young in ‘The Daughter’, and I thought she was great. There are so many young actors. My brother is also working over in New York at the minute. I guess I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled.
VERTIGO: We’re well into 2017 now but the UTS university year is just starting off. Do you have any particular goals for the rest of 2017?
XS: I’m just happy to keep working and having a good time. I didn’t make any resolutions this year, I’m just going to see what happens really. Maybe I’ll enrol in something. Any good courses you can recommend?
VERTIGO: That really depends on your interests! What are you into outside of acting?
XS: I dunno. What about something like ancient history?
VERTIGO: Well, not much has changed there, mate.
VERTIGO: What about something to do with radio?
XS: [Laughs] Yeah, yeah. Maybe I will!
‘A Few Less Men’ releases on 9 March. Use the brochure you received on Clubs Day 2017 to claim two tickets for the price of one.
*This interview has been edited for length and clarity.