As if we weren’t already psyched that an “Independence Day” sequel is coming our way next year (a full two decades after the original!), we found out Wednesday (March 4) that Liam Hemsworth has been cast in a major role.
We’ve already explained why this is seriously stellar move — in a nutshell, Liam was practically born to be an action star — but the film has also made another big casting decision that shouldn’t be overlooked.
It was announced Tuesday (March 3) that newcomer Jessie Usher will play the son of Will Smith’s character Steven Hiller from the 1996 original film. Sadly, Smith isn’t expected to return for the sequel, which means Usher has big shoes to fill. On the upside, though, this could potentially be Usher’s star-making break. After all, the original “Independence Day” kickstarted Smith’s blockbuster career, and the sequel could certainly do the same for Usher, a.k.a. Will Smith 2.0.
First thing’s first, let’s take a look at who is this stud is. The 23-year-old Maryland native’s early acting roles include the Cartoon Network series “Level Up” and last year’s football drama “When The Game Stands Tall.” But his breakout role was in the Lebron James-produced Starz series “Survivor’s Remorse,” which premiered last year and has already been renewed for a second season. In it, Usher plays a basketball player who moves to Atlanta after signing a pro contract.
So could this new leading man give Hemsworth a run for his money as the movie’s breakout hero? Let’s take a look at what Usher brings to the table.
His stellar athleticism makes him tailor-made for an action movie.
Playing a pro basketball player on TV has already showed us what the six-foot-one actor is capable of doing. But one look at Usher’s Instagram account and it’s clear he takes his training mentality seriously off-camera as well (the dude has hella muscles, just sayin’).
Director Rolan Emmerich — who helmed the first “Independence Day” and is also tackling the second — even revealed this nifty piece of trivia on Facebook: “My producing partner Harold Kloser noticed Jessie in between sets of pushups at the gym and gave him an audition. As they say, the rest is history!”
He’s also fearless and adventurous, two qualities any action star needs.
Judging by his recent skydiving trip, Usher’s not afraid to do his own big stunts, on or off camera. We could totally see him channeling Smith and fighting off some aliens in the most badass ways.
But besides all that, he’s also a dang good actor.
At the end of the day, Usher will only win the world’s hearts as a charismatic movie hero if he’s actually a solid actor. And, news flash: he’s really effin’ good! As Cam Calloway in “Survivor’s Remorse,” Usher brings complexity and sensitivity to a character trying to balance money, love, and newfound stardom. And he does all that while also nailing layup after layup.
So there you have it; Jessie Usher might just be the next big movie star we’ve all been waiting for.