Teresa Palmer may have gotten her face on the DVD box cover for “I Am Number Four,” but the Australian actress has surprisingly little screen time in this sci-fi release from February that hits home video Tuesday. She talked recently about writer James Frey, her lack of knowledge about Mogadorians and her hopes for a sequel. Apparently, her character — Number Six — will be around a whole lot more in the sequel, as you might have expected from the ending of the first film.
TP: Oh yeah! I mean the whole reason I started on Twitter [was that] I was meeting so many people who were fans of the movie and the books and they wanted to ask questions. Then someone suggested I get on Twitter. So what I’ve been doing is that every now and then I’ll do a Q&A on Twitter. But the majority of the questions are about the film and Number Six and the sequels. People have really embraced the movie, which is exciting.
PKD: Do you get lots of questions about the mythology behind “I Am Number Four”?
TP: About the Mogadorians? Yes, I get those kind of questions on Twitter, which are really scary. They’re these people who have read the book five or six times, and they’re so in the know. They know more about it than I do, and they ask very, very specific questions. You don’t want to give them the wrong answers, so it can be daunting as well. It’s really nice to have that interaction with the fans and hear how passionate how they are.
PKD: So no one ever sat you down and gave you a primer on the Mogadorians?
TP: No, we were never really given a huge lecture on where we come from or what the planet’s about. We were just given a book and told “Read this. You guys can figure it out.” I didn’t want to be swayed by the book in any way, since I knew there some difference between the book and the script. So I decided to not read the book until after I’d finished shooting the movie. So it’s only been recently that I learned more about Number Six after I’d already completed doing the movie.
PKD: You signed on for three of these movies?
TP: I think that’s standard procedure in Hollywood. You sign on for three in case the first one makes money. For us, I think the film was relatively successful, and people seem to like it. The fans on Twitter have been asking for a sequel, and I don’t know if there is a sequel planned. But if there is, I’d certainly love to play this character again. There’s so much more I’d love to explore with her. She’s very enigmatic and mysterious in this film. You don’t really know if she’s one of the good guys or the bad guys. It would almost be a tragedy to leave it unfinished. So I hope they get it together and make a sequel.
PKD: Can’t you call Michael Bay and ask him about the sequel?
TP: Yeah, I’ve got Michael Bay on the speed dial. [Laughs] No, I don’t. I don’t know how much input Michael will have in whether or not this goes to a sequel. It just depends on if it makes money on DVD sales and the accumulation of people’s interest. If there’s enough, then I’m sure there will be a sequel. But either way, I had such an amazing time making this movie. And if it’s just the one, I’m so blessed to be a part of it.
PKD: There were a lot of bigwigs behind this movie: Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay, James Frey. Were they all hanging around during the making of the movie?
TP: I met Spielberg for the first time at the premiere. He was calling me Number Six. He was very sweet and very humble and down to earth. Unaffected by his great level of fame and success. Michael Bay I’ve known for a couple of years now. He was shooting his own movie while we were shooting “Number Four.” He was making the latest “Transformers,” so he wasn’t around. But James came to set. And he hung out and he pitched us the idea for the second book and definitely had a say in the film. He’s obviously seriously talented.
PKD: Did you talk to him about the “Million Little Pieces” controversy? Was he open about it?
TP: Yeah, he was open about it. He certainly didn’t try to brush it under the carpet. He’s a really good guy and did an amazing job on the film. It was a pleasure to work with him.
PKD: Do you still live in Australia and commute to Hollywood?
TP: No, I’m based in Los Angeles now. I try to get back to Australia as much as possible. It’s not really a commute that makes sense for me.
PKD: Did you try to make it work for a while?
TP: Yeah, 2006, 2007 I tried to live there and fly back and forth for auditions. It didn’t make sense financially and also logistically it’s so far away. I made that transition, which was scary at first. But now I’ve embraced it. And it’s my second home and there’s such beauty to this place. I love living in California.
PKD: Tell me about the zombie movie “Warm Bodies”? Are you going to be in that?
TP: I am! Well, it’s in negotiations at the moment. I am so excited about that. I love Nicholas Hoult. I think he’s a super talent. “The Wackness” is one of my favorite movies. And Jonathan Levine is directing. If all goes to plan, I’ll be shooting that in the fall.
PKD: Is it a disgusting zombie movie or a sweet zombie movie?
TP: It’s a sweet zombie movie. There’s a lot of heart in the story. It’s not your typical zombie film, even though it’s set in that post-apocalyptic era. It’s a real love story. It’s a drama. The heart of the story is this strange love story between these two people: one’s a human and one’s a zombie battling with his nature. I really liked the script. It was different from things I’d read before. Now that I’ve had a bit of downtime, I’m antsy to get back to work.
– Patrick Kevin Day
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