|Brian Austin Green as Green Lantern, as depicted by Jamie Tyndall|
Brian Austin Green wants to play Hal Jordan in the Green Lantern live-action film and he wants to know how fans of the character would feel about that?
The actor best known for his TV work on the original “Beverly Hills 90210” and most recently as Derek Reese on “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” is actively campaigning for the role of Hal Jordan, and he wants to gage fans’ excitement and earn their approval. However, actors campaigning for superhero roles in films don’t always work out -- Sean Young for Catwoman or Tomas Jane for Jonah Hex come to mind. But once in a while, these things work out, as in the case of Tobey Maguire, who auditioned several times for Spider-Man, or even more recently with Oscar-nominated actor Jackie Earle Haley sending in his own homemade audition tape for the role of Rorschach in “Watchmen.”
Green is also busy producing a live-action version of the popular Aspen MLT book, “Fathom” at Fox-Atomic with actress Megan Fox (“Transformers”) set to play the lead role. “Fathom,” created by the late Michael Turner, is the story of Aspen Matthews, a mysterious girl with amnesia that is discovered to be a member of a race of aquatic humanoids called the Blue, who posses the ability to control water.
CBR News spoke with the busy actor and producer. In this first installment of a two-part interview, Green talks candidly about his campaign for Green Lantern, his love for the character, how he would approach the role of Hal Jordan, and what fans can expect from the film version of “Fathom.”
CBR: Let’s get right to it, what’s going on with Green Lantern?
Brian Austin Green: Well, nothing’s going on right now. I’ve been sort of throwing myself into the mix and trying to get in to sit down with the producers and see what’s going on. I mean, from what I’ve heard and the response so far from what most people have heard, they’re planning on skewing younger with the character. I’ve heard somewhere in like the mid-twenties, which, being a Green Lantern fan, I don’t necessarily agree with. I’ve always kind of felt that Hal Jordan needs to be a man. He needs to be somebody who lives a little and experienced a lot. So right now I’m just sort of trying to throw my name in and make it something that they might consider. That’s about what I got.
Have you read a script yet or talked with the producers?
No, I haven’t seen a script yet. I haven’t talked to producers but my agent and my manager have talked to producers and casting. It’s just a tough thing. I understand that I’m kind of a tough sell. I wouldn’t be what somebody would normally be looking for in a film like that. I mean I don’t have film draw. I haven’t been in anything that has gotten people into a movie theatre. So it would be a big risk for a company to take, I get it. But at the same time, sometimes those risks are the things that seem to work and pay off the most. Instead of just going for the names that seem to be drawing people into the theatres now.
As an actor and as a fan, it seems like a risky process to put yourself out there like this. Are you scared or nervous at all about the outcome?
You know, it’s the first time I’ve ever done it. It’s the first time I’ve ever really pushed for something the way I’m pushing for this. It’s odd, I was talking with someone about the way this all came down for me and it wasn’t something that was necessarily on my mind at the time. I didn’t even completely know that the film was in the process and that they were getting it together. A friend of mine just randomly sent me a text message and he was like, “Dude, I just saw a picture of you as the Green Lantern online and it was awesome.” I was like, “What are you talking about?” He sent me the link, I went on and some kid had just put my face on a classic Green Lantern shot, the one of him standing, making the fist with the ring on the finger.
It was funny because I saw it and I thought that it was pretty cool. At the same time, I’ve been playing a lot of “Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe” and Green Lantern is one of my favorite characters. Then Megan [Fox] and I were sitting talking about it and it just kind of clicked. It made sense and I found it odd that somebody had mentioned it to begin with.
How do you see the character of Hal Jordan and how would you play the part if given the role?
Well you know, Hal’s always come across to me a bit like Iron Man in the sense that he ends up being a hero and fighting for good, but I think there is an internal war going on with him a lot like what I’m doing now on[“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”]. I think he’s a guy who has a lot of demons and he’s fighting them constantly. Having a past fighting and coming out of it, I think he’s one of those guys that with as much power as he has, he doesn’t necessarily always respect it. He’s always sort of riding the line of what should and shouldn’t be done. I enjoy that. I always enjoy the characters that aren’t just the straight-up heroes and aren’t just always on the straight and narrow.
I always like guys who have that internal battle. I mean that’s how I would feel if I was suddenly given the power to do whatever I wanted tomorrow, you know, how far would you go with it? What’s the first thing you would do? Would you go beat the shit out of somebody that you always wanted to beat up? Would you go destroy something you always wanted to destroy or would you go save people? It’s an odd place to be, what you do with all that power? How dose an average person that gains that power, learn to live with it and do right? How do you learn to balance it with still being normal? Still having the normal human feelings but having the power to do what ever you want. That’s a tough line to ride and for me that’s a fun character.
It’s the same dimensions as the character I get to play on “Terminator.” You have this guy who is in the fight for the greater good but at the same time he’s fucking lost so much. He’s so angry and so frustrated that it’s a hard line to walk. It’s hard to look every situation in its eyes and make the right choice. I just love that internal struggle anytime I see it on camera. Even in the slightest ways. It just creates something extra. It adds life to the character.
Were you aware of the history and origin of the Green Lantern from the comics or did you have to do some research?
I’ve looked it up a little bit. I read comics here and there. I used to ride the bus to school and one of the kids always had comics so that’s kind of why I picked those up. But I always had the toys and I was always watching cartoons. I was very television and science fiction parented. I knew Hal more in relation to the Justice League. There wasn’t as mush straight Green Lantern information as I would have wanted as a kid. But I love the fact that if you wanted to pick someone to go head to head with Superman, that would be the guy. To me, anybody who could go head to head against Superman, well, that’s my guy. That’s who I’m going to roll with.
Have you had an opportunity to read “Green Lantern: Rebirth” or any of Geoff Johns other “Green Lantern” work from the last several years?
No but I’m going to go get it tomorrow.
Rumor has it that Guy Gardner appears in the current script, would you be interested in that role or perhaps another part if you were not cast as Hal?
Absolutely. I wouldn’t say no to any of it. The reality is, and it has been in my career for a long time, is that I’m up against a lot with almost every part I go in for. I was up against a lot for “Terminator.” It’s sort of become the theme of my work now and it’s become the driving force for me. I’m not really afraid to put myself out their anymore because every time I really do, and I just bust my ass to do something whether people think I can or not, I end up succeeding in one way or another. So for me this is just part of the game. I know that to be able to do films and to be able to do the films that I really want to do, I’m going to have to fight. I’ve been an actor since I was nine. I’ve been doing this forever.
Is that the next step for you after “Terminator,” moving on to film?
Well I think it’s always, everyone in televisions next step. Television is an interesting thing. I’m really lucky on “Terminator” because I love the show and I love playing the character that I play. But most of the time, one of the tough things with television is it can get kind of be tedious playing the same character for multiple seasons because you start running out of stuff. You know, you want to creatively do other things. In film you have the opportunity to spend five months shooting something and then you’re done with that. You move on to a completely different character and get to create all new things.
For me, I love auditioning. I just love having sides for a bunch of different characters and getting to come up with all sorts of crazy ideas and then go in and see whether I get hired based on them or not. I think there’s something to (auditioning). It’s you’re job when you’re not acting. When I’m not on a set acting, my job is auditioning. You have to find a passion for it if you really want to do well. If you really want to be able to crossover into things people don’t see you for. You know, it’s odd how fast someone can type cast you as one character.
I’m sure I’m going to run into that coming off of “Terminator” if I ever want to do a comedy again. I did a sitcom before (“Freddie”) and now people say, “No he’s the drama guy, he’s the one with the guns on ‘Terminator.’” It’s like, “No, I do comedy also.” People are very quick to put you in a specific category and stick to it. They think they know what you can do. So you have to put your self out there. You have to audition and you have to do the best fucking work you can when you’re in there doing it, then just hope for the best.
Let’s talk about “Fathom.” What stage is the project in right now and how are you involved with the film?
Well, Jordan Mechner (“Prince of Persia”) is writing the script now. I think we’re expecting the first draft within a couple weeks but we’re in the early stages of pre-production. Fox-Atomic is completely on board and they’re excited by it. All of our paperwork is done so it’s cool. It came together rather quickly. It’s something that Megan and I have been talking about for years. Like when we first met, you know, she always talked about “Fathom,” loving the comic and loving Aspen.
It’s kind of the project that I’ve wanted to try to get together for along time. I’ve met all the guys from Aspen MLT at WonderCon and Comic-Con and sat down with them and talked. Then I was introduced to a guy named Steve Bessen. Steve said he had a buddy that was looking to make some comic book properties that hadn’t been picked up yet and I said, “Well, I got one that Megan wants to do.” So Steve and I sat down with Peter Safran (“Meet the Spartans”) and then we went up to Fox-Atomic and pitched it to them and they were on board. It’s basically Peter Safran, Steve Bessen and myself producing with Megan playing Aspen Matthews. It’s going to be badass man. It’s going to be a fucking kick-ass movie.
What was it about “Fathom” and Michael Turner’s artwork that spoke to you and Megan Fox and inspired you to make the film?
Well, you know, Megan grew up drawing and she was kind of an artist first. Oddly enough, she was an artist and a swimmer. She used to compete and had plans of going to the Olympics, competing and going as far as she could. She ended up not being able to do that but she’s always been really in to Aspen as a character. Then she’s been really connected to Michael Turner’s artwork just because she loves the lines, the coloring and the way he created what he did. She’s just a huge fan of his style and it’s what she studied growing up. She would always look at all of his different work from “Fathom,” “Witchblade,” his DC stuff and all his different takes on everything. He was an incredibly impressive artist.
The story of “Fathom” is just such a great story. I think oddly enough, right now in present day with what’s going on globally with the environment, I think it’s a film that is being made and coming out a perfect time. I think it’s something that people will, on many different levels, be drawn to. And I have no intentions of acting in it at all, just producing. I’ll be on the set everyday and I’ll be there for all of post-production. We have a lot of work ahead of us but we’re just trying to get the script done first, then we’ll start going out to some of the directors we have in mind.
In conclusion, any final thoughts on Green Lantern?
I’m just intrigued and curious to see what the fans think. Ultimately, fans of the comic and the history should decide. If I’m not the right guy then I shouldn’t be playing the character but if people think that there’s something there, then lets see where it can go.
Check back with CBR News tomorrow for Part II of our interview with Green about the future of “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.”