The Meet & Greet with Callan McAuliffe: From Down Under to 'I Am Number Four' – Exclusive Interview
Welcome to Celebuzz's new feature, The Meet & Greet, where we sit down and chat with rising young stars of film, television and music before they hit the big time. Watch out for these future A-listers!
Callan McAuliffe, the 16-year-old star of I Am Number Four, may not have a famous ex-girlfriend like fellow Australian transplant Liam Hemsworth, but the young star is primed to take over America with his good looks, undeniable acting skills and funny, easy-going attitude.
Celebuzz got a chance to chat with Callan about his upcoming role in I Am Number Four and his upcoming American takeover. Read on to find out more about this handsome young actor before his cute mug gets plastered inside the lockers of young women all across America.
What was it like transitioning from Australia to America?
In all honesty it's not that different. I mean people obviously have different accents [in the US] and we all sound like castrated cats over in Australia but I mean it's really not that different. The people are all just friendly and everything is fantastic. I really just sort of melted into it and i've made a lot of friends over here so it feels like home already.
Was it difficult to learn the American accent?
No, not really! I just watched TV and copied other people with American accents. I think that's the way that most Australians are able to mock American people.You watch them in TV and you watch them in movies and you know we have all of the American music over in Australia so we just hear it a lot and we just, you know, pick it up.
Have you always known that you wanted to be an actor?
No I never, ever wanted to be an actor it always looked like it would be a pain in the a**! [laughs] But no, I injured myself during a basketball game and my school was really sports intensive so we had to commit to a team and go and play against other schools on the weekend. So, I dislocated my kneecap in basketball which I wasn't very good at anyway so I needed to find something else to do on the weekend so I joined an agency and I guess by the time my kneecap healed I forgot to leave said agency and I just kept doing auditions and eventually got sent here.
Sound like a lucky injury...sorta.
Yes, it was a positive injury! [Laughs]
Watch Callan in his first American role, Flipped, below.
Who do you play in I Am Number Four?
I play Sam who is your average high school American kid who gets picked on by the more popular crowd so he's sort of an outsider. Both he and John (Alex Pettyfer) are both outsiders so they bond. My character is basically the third-wheel-comic-relief-get-in-the-way character so I'm just there to piss people off basically.
He's always trying to pick up the guns and trying to kill stuff and it doesn't turn out very well but he was super fun to play. It was great to play something different to the role in Flipped where I played this heartthrob, this really normal American kid, and now I get to play this wacky idiot. What was it like working with the rest of the I Am Number Four cast?
They were all fanstastic. I couldn't ask for better people. Alex, Dianna Agron, Teresa Palmer, they were all really fantastic. They were all really professional but as soon as they would call 'Cut' everyone would be making jokes and having fun but then when they'd call 'Action' everyone would be super serious and they'd get straight into it.
Watch the I Am Number Four trailer below. Were you a Glee fan before you worked with Dianna?
I did know Glee but being a teenaged Australian boy I'd never watched it. [However, when] I met Dianna she was just such a lovely person, such a beautiful warm aura, so I did watch Glee after that and I did enjoy it funny enough.
So does that mean that we'll be seeing you as a Glee guest star soon?
[Laughs] I'm not a very adept dancer so I'd probably turn down that offer to avoid the inevitable embarrassment.
A lot of people are saying that I Am Number Four could be the next Twilight Saga or Harry Potter – do you have any thoughts about that?
A lot of people seem to be comparing it to Twilight but it is absolutely nothing like Twilight at all. It's not like Harry Potter either. They're completely different things. I Am Number Four is something in itself. Just because something else is a franchise doesn't mean that every franchise after it has to be labeled the same.
As a young up-and-coming actor are there any actors that you look up to?
Definitely Johnny Depp. Just because of the versatility he has in his roles and all the different characters that he plays, I just think that he is amazing. Do you have any upcoming projects that you are working on?
At the moment I'm making up schoolwork [from Sydney] so I've been working through my History and my English and my Science and all that sort of stuff. So you're still following your Australian schoolwork?
I've been on the Australian curriculum for 10 years so there's no point in getting off it now [that I've moved to the US].
Considering that you are a young actor in this big new movie, are you prepared to take on a teen idol status?
[Laughs] I have no idea, we'll see what happens, we'll see how the movie goes and if it goes well that's great. I'll keep going on auditions and stuff like that and we'll see what happens.
I Am Number Four opens in theaters on Friday, February 18. Find out more about Callan at his website, CallanMcAuliffe.com.
Photo Credit: Getty Images.