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IMMORTALS

Casting Immortals: Gods and Goddesses
Singh had an original take on casting the gods of Mount Olympus, who watch with interest the action taking place on earth. "I wanted all the gods to be young,” says the director. "Wisdom is implied with age, so Renaissance painters gave the gods the features of older people, but then painted a perfect body beneath that. In a film, you can't do that unless you make all the characters CGI. But my idea was that, if you are a god, there's no reason to look old. If I were up on Mount Olympus and I could look any age I wanted, I wouldn't want to have that white beard.”

A posse of beautiful up-and-comers, including Luke Evans, recently seen starring opposite John Cusack in The Raven, Kellan Lutz of the Twilight series and Isabel Lucas of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, play Singh's gods and goddesses. As Zeus (Evans), the head of the gods, attempts to keep his fellow Olympians from interfering in the problems of humankind, his daughter Athena (Lucas), goddess of wisdom and war, is strategizing ways to help find peaceful resolutions for the humans, and his brother Poseidon (Lutz) is mischievously aiding the humans by devious means.

Zeus' role as king of the gods is to observe, not act, notes Evans. "Whatever nature's course is, that's what has to happen. He sticks to it as much as he can and tries to keep the other gods in order, but they don't listen.”

The young actor was excited to be working with both Cavill and Singh. "I have a lot of respect for Henry,” Evans says. "I've known his work for a while and we've known each other for a while as well, it's always nice to work with somebody you've met outside of a job. And I defy anybody to watch Tarsem's work and not be astounded by the visuals. He has an ability to tell a story I've never seen before in a director. Working with him was a very enticing prospect.”

Kellan Lutz grew up reading Greek mythology and had developed a particular fondness for the avuncular Poseidon. "I'm a Pisces and I love swimming,” he explains. "My parents used to call me a fish. Poseidon is like the favorite uncle. He's the brother of Zeus and uncle to all the younger gods. He and Zeus have a brotherly rivalry. Zeus can tell him not to do something, but as you see in the movie, he finds ways around it.”

Lutz particularly likes the way the script takes an idea from Greek mythology and gives it a fresh slant. "It's original, dark and edgy,” he says. "The movie has amazing visuals, great fight techniques, and great fight scenes. And it's a new twist on the stories I love.”

As played by Isabel Lucas, Athena tries to sidestep her father's prohibition against helping Theseus and his comrades. "In all the stories, Zeus and Athena are always very close. She's always her father's daughter and the favorite of his children, so she thinks she can get away with it.”

Lucas describes Singh as generous and extremely patient. "With all he was dealing with on set, just before he called action, he would always say, ‘In your own time.'”

The ensemble Singh and the producers assembled helped make the sometimes arduous shoot a pleasure for actor Henry Cavill. "It was a stunning group of people to work with,” he says of his Immortals co-stars. "It was a grueling shoot and I enjoyed every second of the exhaustion, all because of who I got to work with.”

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