She Knows: July 2010

The magic of Teresa Palmer

She Knows   |   Written by Lynn Barker

Oh, Teresa Palmer, that gorgeous Aussie girl who deflowered Harry Potter.” Beautiful, blonde actress Teresa Palmer hears about her breakthrough role as Daniel Radcliffe’s beachside “fling” in the indie December Boys a lot! Hey world, she’s moved on in a big way. This smart and friendly gal is now helping Jay Baruchel and Nicolas Cage save the planet in the magical Disney adventure The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

After December Boys, Teresa Palmer took on comedy in the Adam Sandler picture Bedtime Stories and her long-awaited film Kids in America will be released next year.

On a break from shooting the Spielberg-produced sci fi film I Am Number Four, Teresa Palmer sat down with SheKnows in Beverly Hills to chat dating nerds, getting advice from Daniel Radcliffe, doing stunts, hanging out off-set with good bud and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice star Jay Baruchel and she revealed which iconic movie star she would love to play some day.

Picture pretty Ms Palmer all summer chic in vintage halter dress with black and white striped bodice and wildly colorful skirt.

We gather from something you said earlier that you are really homesick. Why is it so bad for you right now?
[Sad expression] I just miss my family. I haven’t seen them for six months. I miss my mom especially. She looks after my Nana who is like 91, so mom can’t come here.

Awww, well, you’ll get a break in work and go visit her soon we hope. You knew Jay from working together on Justice League of America. What can you tell us about your relationship on The Sorcerer’s Apprentice set or off set?
Jay and I became friends really quickly because we’d known each other previously, so after set we’d hang out with each other. I would go hang out at his house and he would have pizza everywhere and candy and he ate really unhealthily and plays video games. We’re so different [laughs]. He had his Xbox out. Then he’d come over to my house and I’d have my books and my scripts and I had my little dog there. We spent a lot of time together outside of the movie as well which was great. It’s so nice to have a friend on set, too.

Would you date a so-called nerd?
I feel like the certain nerds that I’ve met, I’ve always really loved them. They’re endearing. There’s something amazing about a person who doesn’t try very hard to fit in but just embraces that side of them. Most boys have got such egos and they want to be the cool guy or the “footie” (football) guy or the jock. That’s not appealing to me at all. What’s appealing to me is someone who loves who they are and if they are dorky and into physics or maths, so be it. That is the most refreshing thing.

If you’re a dork, own it!
Exactly!

You are the female lead of this movie and your character Becky is smart and strong. Did you feel a responsibility to set a good example for women?
I definitely always feel a responsibility because I know that young girls and teens and people my age and older women, too, will be looking at my character and saying “What will Becky do in this situation?” She was written in the script originally as being very standoffish with Dave (Jay’s character) at the start and I wanted to be true to that but show that she has vulnerabilities and insecurities, too.

And she is kind and open to Dave’s attraction to her.
Yeah. There is something about Dave that touches her heart. That’s important because a lot of girls these days have a very particular idea about the sort of guys they go for. I don’t really think that’s healthy. Women should be open to all types of different guys. Had she not been open to it, she would not have been in this relationship with Dave and never fallen in love like that.

Or gotten to fly to Paris on an iron eagle! (You’ll understand when you see the movie).
Yes! Exactly.

You had instant popularity after working with Dan Radcliffe on December Boys. Was that a career booster or were fans just mad at you for “hooking up” with Harry Potter?
[Laughs] I still get asked questions about it a lot like “What’s it like to be the deflowerer of Harry Potter?” But, December Boys was a pivotal point in my career. It opened up a lot of doors because of the exposure that came with Daniel Radcliffe being attached to the film. It didn’t hurt. I found the controversy quite hilarious actually. Daniel was like, “Get ready. It’s gonna get worse from now on in.” He was like, “The girls will probably hate you but it’s funny. You just have to laugh it off” and I did. I know there were a lot of people upset out there because I was kissing their Harry.

Growing up way down under, were you familiar with Fantasia and the magical mop scene with Mickey Mouse that is recreated here with Jay as the apprentice?
Of course, yeah. I loved Fantasia, especially I remember the music. It really stuck with me. I was really happy to see that they kept that in the film and they paid homage to the music, the same classical music and sort of made the modern version of it. It’s a special, iconic scene and I’m almost in it. I’m standing at the door trying to get in.

Is there a character in literature or someone in real life that you would love to play some day?
If they ever made a movie about Lauren Bacall, I’d love to do that. I read her autobiography, everything about Frank Sinatra and Bogie and Hollywood back in the 50s and 60s. It’s a whole different world. It was one of the most compelling books I ever read. If they ever decide to make that into a film, I would love to play Lauren Bacall. I’ve just started my own production company so…

Did you enjoy taking on an action role, or at least climbing a tower and running and saving the day along with the sorcerers?
I love being physically challenged in a role and especially in this movie. I felt like, “Oh, the boys get to do all this cool stuff. When does Becky get to do the cool fun stuff?” Then I got told I got to do that scene and had a stunt double for me that day but I was like, “No! Let me do it. Please let me do it! I don’t have a magical power but I want to be able to climb up something and save the world.” And she does. The movie I’m working on now I Am Number Four, is such a physically challenging role. I’m doing martial arts.

Tell us about your character in that and the story.
I play an alien called “Six.” She’s one of nine aliens dropped down here from our planet and we’re hiding out on Earth. An enemy alien found out that we’re hiding here so they come to kill us. They can only kill in our number order. They’ve killed One, Two and Three and they’re up to number Four.. thus the title but I decide to take matters into my own hands. If they’re going to try to kill us, I’m going to hunt them. Let’s get together and beat them!

That sounds awesome! What ever happened to Kids in America? That’s been awaiting release for a while.
Yeah, that will release on January 28 and I’m so excited about that–Topher Grace, Anna Faris, an 80s comedy. We just did some reshoots for it. It’s so much fun. It’s got a Superbad feeling. One night at a party and crazy stuff happens and there is romance and you can’t get better than the 80s.

Why do you think women would enjoy seeing The Sorcerer’s Apprentice?
Typically people say, “Guys love the action. Guys love all the special effects.” I know that women are really enthralled by action as well. I love the incredible special effects and I also think the dynamic between Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel is really special. I like the banter that they have and then obviously, the romance. Women are suckers for it, of course. The good guy gets the girl and he’s a good person. Women will like that. It’s an epic journey, an adventure and I think it’s great for everyone.