Twenty years after the original movie, Independence Day: Resurgence sees the world faced with a new alien threat. Luckily Earth has a new hero, and he’s Liam Hemsworth…
When iconic FX-fest Independence Day was first released, Liam Hemsworth was six. He remembers watching the alien invasion epic on VHS but says he had no idea he would be starring in its sequel exactly twenty years later.
But every Independence Day needs its hotshot, cocksure hero, and Hemsworth fills Will Smith’s boots perfectly as Jake Morrison, a US pilot serving in the Earth Space Defence (ESD) unit who lost both his parents in the original attack.
“He’s a little bit more outspoken than I am. A little bit more of a rule breaker than I am. His ego is a little bigger than mine – I don’t really take myself too seriously,” says Hemsworth, reflecting on the role. “We begin the film with him being a forklift driver on the moon. And because his ego got in the way, he made a bad decision.”
Independence Day: Resurgence – which is out next week on DVD and Blu-ray – sees the planet much changed in the two decades following the first attack. Having harnessed some of the advanced technology from the spacecraft wreckage, a global defence programme (ESD) is in place to prevent further invasions, with a military base established on the moon. The trouble is that in the meantime, the aliens have also greatly advanced their technology and are hungry for revenge.
The film sees Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman return in their respective roles, and, like the original, it’s directed, produced and co-written by Roland Emmerich, who delivers the same combination of explosive action, global devastation, and heartfelt humour.
Hemsworth admits that working with the esteemed German director was partly what drew him to the role.
“I was a huge fan of Roland’s,” he says. “He’s an amazing director who pioneered this genre and does this sort of film so well, so I was happy to be a part of it.”
“He manages to create a great balance in these epic scenarios. He creates very chaotic, literally out-of-this-world scenarios with very real human relationships and situations that show you how humans would really react in that situation – he nails that really well by finding what cuts to the core of audiences and really making it heartfelt.”
Playing the charming, maverick is not new to Hemsworth, who is best known for his role as the rebellious Gale Hawthorne in The Hunger Games franchise. Growing up as the youngest of the Hemsworth dynasty on Phillip Island, Victoria, he is also used to defending his corner and admits that whilst he and brother Chris are close now, as kids it was a different story.
“We’re both so like-minded and so stubborn that we would constantly fight for whatever we thought was right!” says the 26-year-old. “There was one time when my parents went overseas for a couple of months and me and my brother Luke stayed at my grandma and grandpa’s house, and Chris had to stay at my uncle’s house because we were too much trouble for my grandparents. We couldn’t be together without having a fight.”