Sam Worthington Followed in the Footsteps of His Character from “Avatar” and Changed From a Rebel to a Model Family Man
After the release of the first Avatar, Australian actor Sam Worthington became famous overnight. But as a result, fame almost ruined him. The star was well-known for having an explosive temperament and a difficult personality. All the while, Worthington was masking a deep insecurity through his behavior. It was only meeting his wife-to-be and having children that helped Sam to find himself and get out of his dark streak.
Filming Avatar nearly ended Worthington’s career
When the actor was preparing for his first audition for the acclaimed film Avatar, he knew nothing about the project he planned to participate in. He wasn’t told the name of the director or the approximate plot outline. As a result, Worthington was already being difficult during the audition, which is what won the director over. Sam himself, at the time, had sold most of his possessions and was living in a car with all his modest belongings and a mattress.
After the film release, Worthington’s fame exploded. He started getting offers for major roles, but the action movie genre and the role of a tough hero quickly got boring for the actor. Most importantly, he was extremely discouraged by how people spoke to him in interviews. The press had little interest in his new roles; they wanted to know the details of his personal life.
Sam tried to drown out his frustration and disappointment in every way possible. His only consolation were his addictions, but they turned him into an irritable and argumentative man, with whom it was difficult to communicate. Without realizing it, Worthington slowly started sinking to the bottom.
Sam Worthington and Lara Bingle
No one knows how his career would have ended up had it not been for a fateful encounter in Central Park, New York. Like his character in Avatar, Sam was saved by love. Worthington came to an event with some friends and suddenly noticed a bright blonde in the crowd. It was Australian model Lara Bingle.
The young pair got to know each other and soon started dating. Lara felt straight away that she had finally found her soulmate, and even told her parents that the wedding was just around the corner. Her mother was puzzled. Lara didn’t usually get along with people very easily and wasn’t quick to trust.
His wife helped the actor overcome difficulties
It was Lara who persuaded Sam to give up his addictions. She wasn’t threatening or angry, simply admitted that she would not be able to be around someone like that. So Sam managed to pull himself together. About a year after they met, the couple got married. They rented a house in Melbourne, invited ten of their closest friends and relatives, and had a quiet ceremony that the rest of the world would hear about much later.
The Worthington family soon grew. In 2015, the couple’s first son, Rocket Zot, was born, followed by Racer in 2016, and then River in 2020. Sam decided that his children’s names had to have a meaning behind them.
Rocket symbolizes rising, and he found the name Racer in a poem about a toddler who embraces life to the fullest. After having two energetic offspring, the parents decided to give their third son a calmer name: River. But the little one turned out to be the lively one. He’s always active and gives his parents a lot of headaches.
Lara says fame brings ups and downs to their lives, but it’s their marriage that helps the couple cope. Sam is always supportive and inspires her to do new things. With him, she doesn’t have to pretend and can simply be herself.
From the beginning, the couple decided to never be apart for long periods of time, so they try to not spend more than two weeks away from each other. If work requires Sam or Lara to be away from home for a long time, the whole family goes together. Both support each other’s career aspirations, and although balancing family life with two parents’ work is not easy, so far they’re doing a great job.
The Worthingtons went to great lengths to give their sons a peaceful childhood
From the beginning, Sam and Lara have tried to shield their personal lives from media attention. Both believe that their children have a right to a normal childhood, away from flashing cameras. The actor remembers how tough the burden of sudden fame was for him and wants his sons to grow up as normal kids, playing sports and watching cartoons.
The boys don’t yet fully understand what it is that their famous father does. They’re sure that his main job is just to be a daddy. They have little interest in his films. The most important thing for them is that Sam takes them to football practice or watches cartoons with them.
The family even moved from Australia to New York at one point so that the children could freely go outside, as there are stricter laws about paparazzi there. And the choice of schools, for the older boys, seemed better to Lara at the time.
In addition, both parents are careful not to post photos of their children on Instagram. Lara admitted that now she only writes about her work on social media, and prefers not to mention her family life. She believes that the fewer details people know about her family, the better. Besides, her husband and three children don’t leave much time for social media, and she doesn’t want to waste a single minute of family time on writing posts.
Worthington admits that he also sometimes makes mistakes in raising his sons, as children don’t come with an instruction manual. But he tries to find a balance between work and family life. Moreover, bad decisions can be made by any parent, and that’s perfectly normal. After all, this is how people learn and develop.
He and Lara act as a united front in the parenting process. It helps a lot that both parents were born in Australia and share the same values. Parenthood has changed Sam immensely, and he tries to spend as much time with his sons as possible. Neither of them could be described as overly strict parents.
Having children helped Worthington get into his role in Avatar: The Way of Water
The actor notes that during the filming of the first Avatar he was very much like his character — the same fearless troublemaker, ready to sacrifice even his own life for victory. But between shooting the two films, Worthington’s life changed. He became a family man and a father of three. It was this that helped him to authentically portray Jake Sully.
The character has also undergone a change in his life. In the film, the former Marine is now more concerned with the safety of his five children than his exploits. Sam said: “His (Jake) kids want to be like how Jake used to be, and he has to turn himself into a pacifist to try and stop his family from destroying themselves. It’s pure emotion.”
When Sam was young, he was willing to risk anything. But his sons have made him look at his own life differently. Now he always worries, trying to keep an eye on his children, which can be a challenge. This new family experience has also helped him in his acting career, allowing him to take on more complex and three-dimensional characters.
Have you seen the new Avatar yet? Did you feel that the character has really changed?