Avatar star was completely homeless before James Cameron begged him to audition


Although Avengers Endgame was a stunning success at the box office making over $2.7 billion, Avatar is still the film with the biggest box office to date, having made more than $2.8 billion. ​But the extraordinary success ​of the franchise ​could not have come at a better time for Worthington, who just six months prior was living in his car.

Worthington revealed that, almost a year before Avatar started production, he got a phone call to audition for a secretive new film.​ ​He revealed: “They wouldn’t tell me anything about the script or even who the director was. And I thought: ‘Well, here’s another waste of my time.’ Then, a week later, I got another phone call: ‘Look, Jim Cameron wants to fly you to LA to audition for him.’ And I said: ‘Yes, but for what?'”​ ​

After receiving another phone call from Cameron himself, Worthington was asked: “Are you ready to start the adventure?”​ ​His response was hilarious.

Worthington ​recalled: “I told Jim, yes, of course I’ll join him on the adventure – but first I’ve got to get the brakes fixed on my car.”​ ​

After the film had been released – and smashed the box office expectations – the actor opened up on how the Aliens director helped him out of a tight spot.​ ​He said: “I do admit that James has changed my life. I am extremely proud of being a part of his legendary film. Right now, I don’t think that I will repeat those days but nobody has witnessed the unseen. That’s why I am always ready for that also. The journey has just started; I have to go far away in my voyage and have seen a lot of ups and downs so far and I am ready for anything, anything that could happen – irrespective of good or bad.”​

​Cameron also helped Worthington out ​again ​by recommending him for another director’s movie. The actor said: “It’s not a matter of now or then. He has changed my life and I’ll always be grateful to him for giving me a larger than life role in Avatar. That’s not enough, he also recommended me to ​[director] ​McG for Salvation.”​ ​Despite ​now being worth more than $30 million, Worthington has noted how he would never be too good to go back to being homeless.

READ MORE: ‘Will we make any money?’ Avatar 2 director James Cameron ‘worried’

Worthington laughed: “I can still live in my car, and I am not at all trapped with stardom.”​ ​He has also since revealed he “preferred” living on the road. The 45-year-old explained he isn’t “very responsible when it comes to mortgages, bills, paperwork”.​

​The actor has since gone on to star in a number of big hits, including the aforementioned Terminator: Salvation, Clash of the Titans, Wrath of the Titans, Hacksaw Ridge, Everest and many more.​ ​But he would not have had such great success if Cameron didn’t give him a chance to star in Avatar.​ ​Luckily for Worthington, the director passed on some hugely popular Hollywood actors before he auditioned.

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In 2019 Cameron revealed Channing Tatum and Captain America star Chris Evans auditioned for the role of Jake Sully – but he decided to go another direction.​ ​He said: “I really liked Channing’s appeal, I liked Chris’ appeal. They were both great, great guys. But Sam had a quality of voice and a quality of intensity. Everybody did about the same with all the material throughout the script except the final speech, where he stands and says: ‘This is our land, right now, go as fast as the wind will carry you.’ That whole thing, I would have followed him into battle and I wouldn’t have followed the other guys.”​ ​

One unlucky actor decided to turn down Cameron in the early stages of casting, however.

Matt Damon last year revealed how he, regretfully, turned the multi-million dollar franchise down.​ ​He told fans at a screening: “I was offered a little movie called Avatar. James Cameron offered me 10 percent of it. I will go down in history… you will never meet an actor who turned down more money.”

​Avatar is available to watch on Disney Plus now.

Avatar 2 hits cinemas on December 16, 2022.

Avatar 3 does not yet have a release date.

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