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Sam Worthington

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Sam Worthington
Worthington in 2022
Born
Samuel Henry John Worthington

(1976-08-02) 2 August 1976 (age 47)
Godalming, Surrey, England
NationalityAustralian
EducationNational Institute of Dramatic Art (BFA)
OccupationActor
Years active2000–present
Spouse
(m. 2014)
Children3

Samuel Henry John Worthington (born 2 August 1976) is an Australian actor. He is known for playing Jake Sully in the Avatar franchise, Marcus Wright in Terminator Salvation, and Perseus in Clash of the Titans and its sequel Wrath of the Titans.[1]

He has taken other dramatic roles, appearing in The Debt (2010), Everest (2015), Hacksaw Ridge (2016), The Shack (2017), Manhunt (2017), and Fractured (2019). He has received Australia's highest film award three times for his leading roles in Bootmen (2000), Somersault (2004), and Avatar (2009).

On television, Worthington appeared in his native Australia as Howard in Love My Way and as Phillip Schuler in the television drama mini-series Deadline Gallipoli, for which he was also an executive producer. He voiced the protagonist, Captain Alex Mason, in the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010), as well as its sequels Call of Duty: Black Ops II (2012), and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (2018).

Early life and education[edit]

Worthington was born to English parents in Godalming, Surrey, in South East England, UK.[citation needed] He moved to Perth, Western Australia, as an infant.[citation needed] He grew up in Warnbro, a suburb of Rockingham. His mother, Jeanne J. (née Martyn), is a housewife, and his father, Ronald W. Worthington, is a power plant laborer.[2] He has a sister, Lucinda.[3][4]

Worthington attended John Curtin College of the Arts, a high school specialising in the dramatic arts, located in Fremantle, Western Australia, where he studied drama but did not graduate. When he left the college, his father gave him $400 and sent him on a one-way trip to Cairns, Queensland, telling him to "work his way home". He began working on construction and odd jobs, eventually settling in Sydney. At age 19, while working as a bricklayer, he auditioned for the National Institute of Dramatic Art and was accepted with a scholarship.[5]

Career[edit]

2000–2008: Early roles[edit]

Worthington played a small role alongside Adam Garcia in the Australian dance film Bootmen (2000).[6] He played a lead role in the low-budget Australian comedy Gettin' Square.[7][8]

Worthington had a major role in Somersault (2004), for which he won the AFI Award for Best Lead Actor. He was well known in Australia for his role as Howard in the acclaimed TV series Love My Way, in which he played the main love interest of the female lead. In 2006, he played the lead in a modern retelling of Macbeth.

Worthington in 2010

Worthington's international film career began with a series of small roles in Hollywood production The Great Raid (2005), which was filmed in Australia. He auditioned for the role of James Bond in Casino Royale, but lost the role to Daniel Craig.[9] He starred in the Australian creature-feature film Rogue (2007), which gained a 100% fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes.[10]

2009–present: Avatar franchise and other work[edit]

In 2009, Worthington starred in James Cameron-directed science-fiction film Avatar, in which he played the role of Jake Sully, a paraplegic former U.S. Marine who is at the centre of a war between his own species and the indigenous Na'vi people of Pandora. The film was a success, amassing critical acclaim and several accolades. It became the highest-grossing film of all time, grossing more than $2.8 billion ($3.9 billion adjusted for inflation) worldwide.[11]

In November 2010, Worthington told GQ Australia[12] that when he auditioned for the role, he was not told what it was for, which annoyed him. "I was a bit pissed off, and I think that came across. I think Jim saw a spark and liked it because that's Sully's character – a guy who doesn't like to be bullied and a guy who just wants to set things right."[13] He later said that Cameron "changed his life" and he will always be grateful to him.[14]

After auditioning for Cameron, Worthington consequently landed the part in 2009's science fiction action film Terminator Salvation, thanks to Cameron's personal recommendation to fellow filmmaker McG.[15] In the film, Worthington co-starred alongside Christian Bale and played Marcus Wright, a human-terminator hybrid. Terminator Salvation was released on May 21, 2009 and grossed over $371.4 million and received mixed reviews.

Worthington in 2014

In early 2010, Worthington appeared in Clash of the Titans, an action fantasy film directed by Louis Leterrier and produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Worthington headlined the film. It received generally negative reviews from critics, and grossed $493 million worldwide and was the 11th highest grossing film of 2010.[16] He provided voice work for Captain Alex Mason, the protagonist in the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops. Some gamers criticised Worthington's inability to mask his Australian accent, as in Avatar.[17] In November 2010, The Hollywood Reporter named Worthington as one of the young male actors who are "pushing – or being pushed" into taking over Hollywood.[18] Also in 2010, Forbes named Worthington among Hollywood's highest grossing actors.[19] He was selected as one of the entrants to the Who's Who in Australia 2011 edition.[20]

In 2012, Worthington starred in Wrath of the Titans, the sequel to Clash of the Titans. The film received mostly negative reception from critics and although it grossed $302 million at the box office, the film underperformed compared to its predecessor. He reprised his role as Alex Mason in Call of Duty: Black Ops II.[21] Also in 2012, Worthington starred as Nick Cassidy in Man on a Ledge, a suspense-thriller film directed by Asger Leth. Though the film received mixed reviews from critics, Worthington's performance received praise, with The New Zealand Herald describing him as "suitably terrified".[citation needed]

In 2013, Worthington worked in Drift (2013), an Australian film about the birth of the surf industry in the 1970s. He starred alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Hollywood action thriller film Sabotage (2014).[22] A loose adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel And Then There Were None, it received generally negative reviews and was a box office bomb. Worthington next appeared in the drama film Cake (2014). Headlined by Jennifer Aniston, it debuted in the Special Presentations section of the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.[23] In the same year, he played a supporting role in the western film The Keeping Room.[24]

In 2015, Worthington starred in Paper Planes, an Australian 3D children's drama film directed by Robert Connolly. The film tells a story about Dylan, a young boy who lives in Australia, who finds out that he has a talent for making paper planes and dreams of competing in the World Paper Plane Championships in Japan.[25] He followed it up by playing Willem Holleeder in Kidnapping Freddy Heineken (2015), based on the 1983 kidnapping of Freddy Heineken. He portrayed a character in Baltasar Kormákur's Everest, based on the 1996 Mount Everest disaster;[26] the film was a commercial success, grossing $203 million worldwide.[27]

In 2016, he played Captain Jack Glover, a stern army officer, in the Mel Gibson directed biographical war film Hacksaw Ridge. The film focuses on the World War II experiences of Desmond Doss, an American pacifist combat medic who refused to carry or use a weapon or firearm of any kind. Hacksaw Ridge was released in the United States on November 4, 2016, grossing $180.4 million worldwide, and received critical acclaim. The film was awarded several accolades.[28][29][30]

Worthington worked with Stuart Hazeldine on The Shack, a 2017 American Christian drama film. Based on the 2007 novel of the same name, it opened to mixed critical reviews and was a success as it grossed over $96 million worldwide. That year, Worthington portrayed Jim Fitzgerald in the Discovery Channel television series Manhunt: Unabomber.[31]

In 2018, he starred in the Netflix original science fiction thriller film The Titan. In 2019, Worthington starred as Ray Monroe in the Netflix thriller film Fractured.[32]

Worthington reprised his role as Jake Sully in Avatar: The Way of Water (2022). Much like its predecessor, it was a critical and commercial success. Upon release, it broke multiple records and grossed over $2.320 billion worldwide, making it the highest-grossing film of 2022 and the third-highest-grossing film of all time.

Personal life[edit]

Worthington and wife Lara at the 2014 AACTA Awards.

Worthington has reported that, when he was about 30, he sold most of his possessions, bought a car with the proceeds, and was living in it before he auditioned for Avatar.[33][34]

On 18 October 2013, Worthington confirmed his relationship with model Lara Bingle.[35][36] They married on 28 December 2014 and have three sons born in 2015;[37] 2016;[38] and 2020.[39]

Worthington is a Christian[40] and recovering alcoholic. He says that he began drinking heavily as a means to cope with his loss of privacy following his increase in popularity after Avatar's release, and stopped after his wife Lara gave him an ultimatum.[41] He has been sober since 2014.[42]

Legal issues[edit]

On 23 February 2014, Worthington was arrested in New York City for assault, after punching a paparazzo, Sheng Li, who followed Bingle to get a "perfect picture". After the incident Worthington claimed that Sheng Li kicked Bingle and he had to step in. Video footage of the incident depicts Worthington referring to Bingle as his "wife", furthering speculation about the pair's marital status.[43] Worthington was initially released on a desk appearance ticket, while Li was arrested on charges of reckless endangerment, assault, and harassment.[44]

On 26 February 2014, Worthington appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court, where he was ordered to stay away from Li for six months. The case was adjourned until 8 May 2014, with the actor to face charges of assault in the third degree, attempted assault, and harassment.[45]

On 1 April 2014, Li blamed Bingle for starting the fight and called for her to be arrested.[46] Later that month, Worthington secured a conditional discharge deal on a misdemeanour assault charge, thereby avoiding any jail time, while the charges against Li were dismissed "in the interest of justice".[47] Li then filed a $3.7 million civil lawsuit against Worthington, which was settled out of court before going to trial in September 2015.[48]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2000 Bootmen Mitchell Okden
2001 A Matter of Life Our Hero Short film
2002 Hart's War Corporal B.J. "Depot" Guidry
Dirty Deeds Darcy Ryan
2003 Gettin' Square Barry "Wattsy" Wirth
2004 Enzo - Short film; Director, Writer, Music and Cinematography
Somersault Joe
Thunderstruck Ronnie
2005 The Great Raid Private First Class Lucas
Fink! Able
2006 Macbeth Lord Macbeth
2007 Rogue Neil Kelly
2009 Terminator Salvation Marcus Wright
Avatar Jake Sully / Tom Sully
2010 Clash of the Titans Perseus
Last Night Michael Reed
Love & Distrust Miles Segment: "Blue Poles"
The Debt Young David Peretz
2011 Texas Killing Fields Detective Mike Souder
2012 Man on a Ledge Nick Cassidy
Wrath of the Titans Perseus
2013 Drift J.B.
2014 Sabotage DEA Agent James "Monster" Murray
Cake Roy Collins
The Keeping Room Moses
2015 Paper Planes Jack Webber
Kidnapping Freddy Heineken Willem Holleeder
Everest Guy Cotter
2016 Hacksaw Ridge Captain Jack Glover
2017 The Shack Mack Philips
The Hunter's Prayer Stephen Lucas
2018 The Titan Rick Janssen
2019 Fractured Ray Monroe
2021 Lansky David Stone
The Last Son Isaac Lemay
2022 9 Bullets Jack
Avatar: The Way of Water Jake Sully
2023 Transfusion Ryan Logan
Simulant Kessler [49]
2024 Lift Huxley
Breathe Lucas
Horizon: An American Saga – Chapter 1 First Lt. Trent Gephardt
The Exorcism Joe Post-production
Horizon: An American Saga – Chapter 2 First Lt. Trent Gephardt
2025 Avatar 3 Jake Sully
2029 Avatar 4 Filming
2031 Avatar 5
TBA Alphas[50] TBA Post-production
Relay TBA Filming
Key
Denotes works that have not yet been released

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2000 JAG Dunsmore Episode: "Boomerang: Part 1"
Water Rats Phillip Champion Episode: "Able to Leap Tall Buildings"
Blue Heelers Shane Donovan Episode: "Bloodlines"
2004 Love My Way Howard Light 10 episodes
2005 The Surgeon Dr. Sam Dash 8 episodes
2006 Two Twisted Gus Rogers Episode: "Delivery Man"
2015 Deadline Gallipoli Phillip Schuler 4 episodes; Miniseries
Executive producer
2017 Manhunt: Unabomber Jim Fitzgerald Main role, 8 episodes
2021 Fires Glen Findlay 2 episodes; Miniseries
2022 Under the Banner of Heaven Ron Lafferty 7 episodes; Miniseries

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2010 Call of Duty: Black Ops Alex Mason
2012 Call of Duty: Black Ops II
2018 Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Specialist HQ and Blackout Character

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
AACTA Awards 2000 Bootmen Best Actor Nominated [51]
2004 Somersault Won [52]
2010 Avatar Best International Actor Won [53]
Empire Awards 2010 Best Actor Nominated [54]
Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards 2002 Dirty Deeds Best Supporting Actor Nominated [55]
2004 Somersault Best Actor Nominated
2014 Drift Nominated [56]
Giffoni Film Festival Awards 2010 Honoree Won [57]
MTV Movie & TV Awards 2010 Avatar Best Fight (shared with Stephen Lang) Nominated [58]
Best Kiss (shared with Zoe Saldaña) Nominated
Biggest Badass Star Nominated
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards 2010 Avatar Cutest Couple (shared with Zoe Saldaña) Nominated [59]
Satellite Awards 2023 Under the Banner of Heaven Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated [60]
Saturn Awards 2010 Avatar Best Actor Won [61]
2024 Avatar: The Way of Water Nominated [62]
Scream Awards 2009 Terminator Salvation Breakout Performance – Male Nominated [63]
ShoWest Awards 2010 Male Star of the Year Won [64]
Teen Choice Awards 2009 Terminator Salvation Choice Movie: Male Fresh Face Nominated [65]
2010 Avatar Choice Movie Actor: Sci-Fi Won [66]
[67]
Choice Movie: Fight (shared with Stephen Lang) Nominated
Clash of the Titans Choice Movie Actor: Fantasy Nominated
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards 2022 Avatar: The Way of Water Best Motion Capture Performance Nominated [68]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]