‘I Am Number Four’ Star Teresa Palmer Talks Aliens, Explosions

Palmer tells MTV News how she gave her alien character equal mix of sex appeal and swagger.

Yes, Hollywood actresses can rely on teams of stylists, makeup artists and lighting technicians to keep them looking glamorous onscreen. But even offscreen, these starlets always seem so put-together. How do they do it? MTV News set out to find some answers when we caught up with rising star Teresa Palmer, who has two films on the way, this week’s alien adventure “I Am Number Four” and next month’s “Take Me Home Tonight.”

In “I Am Number Four,” Palmer plays the very kick-ass, smoldering alien warrior Number Six. Palmer’s character, along with Number Four (Alex Pettyfer), are two of nine extraordinarily gifted aliens sent to Earth from their dying planet, Lorien. Unfortunately the evil beings that destroyed Lorien, called Mogodorians, have come to Earth to hunt them. In the film, Palmer has a series of intense battle sequences and, one in particular involves her character walking away from a house she’s just set on fire, as it explodes behind her.

We asked Palmer about the technicalities of filming that scene and, more important, how she managed to look so calm, cool and sexy while doing it.

“There was a real explosion,” Palmer revealed. “How we did it was I walked out of a house, and had to do this sort of sexy swagger as I walked out,” she recalled. “I did like a hair flip, had my aviator sunglasses on, and then there would be two guys running behind me with a big green screen running and putting it in. And then we’d call cut and we’d move away and then they’d blow up the house,” she said. “Then they composited it together so it looked like I was walking away from the fire.”

Movie magic at work! We also wondered whether the Aussie actress had channeled anyone or listened to any particular songs to pull off that swagger.

“Not really for that walk in particular. I mean, that was very difficult compared to how it looks onscreen,” she admitted. “I had to do that about 12 times because I’m walking in these really high combat boots, and I’m walking on sand and I’m trying to make it look sexy and do the whole like head thing and sunglasses, and they kept falling down,” she explained. “Then I would fall over, so it just wasn’t fluid at all! I think that was the only usable take that they got, [the one] in the movie.”

Palmer added that she did use music to get into Number Six’s combat mood.

“In terms of getting into my character, I would listen to a lot of underground rap and hip-hop like Masta Ace, Mobb Deep. Very badass stuff,” Palmer said with a smile.

Check out everything we’ve got on “I Am Number Four.”

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