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Coming off her starring role as smitten zombie lover Julie Grigio in the well-received rom-zom-com "Warm Bodies," stunning Australian actress Teresa Palmer is quickly cementing a reputation for being a versatile team-player who can effortlessly hop from sci-fi action films ("I Am Number Four") to lighthearted comedy roles ("Take Me Home Tonight") without a moment’s hesitation. "Love and Honor," a romantic drama that opens today in theaters, showcases her dramatic chops as activist Candace, a supporter of the 1960s counterculture movement amidst the turmoil of the Vietnam War. She co-stars alongside "Hunger Games" actor Liam Hemsworth, who plays an American soldier who secretly ventures home from the war to reunite with the girlfriend he previously left behind (Aimee Teegarden).
"I just hope people really connect with the movie and that they understand that it’s a beautiful love story," Palmer tells NextMovie about her latest film. "We had a lot of fun doing it. I just hope that it ends up finding an audience."
NextMovie had a chance to chat with Palmer, who was in a car halfway around the world that happened to hit a bit of turbulence right as the conversation began. After overcoming her sudden bout of car trouble, she clued us in on the fun she had working alongside Hemsworth, growing up with kangaroos on her dad's private animal refuge, and what goes through her mind when she's mistaken for another young actress whose name starts with a "K" and ends with "risten Stewart."
Hi, how you doing?
I’m good, thank you. I'm in Adelaide, and I'm driving with an American driver who just veered off into the curb!
Oh man, right now? Be careful out there…
Oh my gosh, I know, hilarious…
Everything safe for the interview? You guys need to get back on the road?
No, it’s fine. I’m just gonna keep my eyes open and make sure he doesn't crash off.
First off, let me say congratulations on the new movie.
Oh, thank you.
So, your movie is called "Love and Honor," but if you had to choose one, would you choose love or honor?
Oh, love. (laughing) Love, for sure, for sure. Yeah, I’m a huge romantic, I definitely am, so love.
OK, fair enough. So, in this new movie you’re acting alongside "Hunger Games" star Liam Hemsworth. Are you a fan of the books or the movies?
I saw the movie, and it was fantastic, I haven't read any of the books. I've only seen the movie but I thought he was so fantastic in it, and I think he's definitely a movie star and I think that he’s great. I'm actually going to be working with him again on "Cut Bank."
Oh, cool. So I take it you get along.
Yeah, definitely. He's a hilarious guy. I think he's super talented, and he's also a good person, and in this industry that really goes far.
This movie takes place during the whole counterculture of the '60s, so there's a lot of sticking to the man throughout the whole thing. What rebellious moment in your life are you the most proud of?
Oh, golly. Probably going to America and pursuing my dreams of becoming an actor, because my family certainly wasn’t that keen in my leaving Adelaide and pursuing my dreams. I think it was my rebellious spirit that led me out to L.A., and I'm so glad that I did that and followed my instincts.
Oh yeah, definitely. Clearly, you’re a natural born Aussie. That in mind, how many cans of Foster’s can you polish off in one sitting?
(laughing) Oh my God, you’re hilarious… I don’t even drink beer, even at all!
Not at all? So what’s your drink of choice?
Well, to be honest I don’t actually drink very much, ever, but if I had to, red wine. But even then, I don't really drink very much. I have a health awareness blog called Your Zen Life, and it's all about wellness and balance, and there's not too much room in there for alcohol. But every now and then I'll cut loose and have a glass of red (laughing).
I read online that you grew up on your father’s farm and at one point you were planning to work for an animal rescue agency.
Yeah, I'd still love to do that.
So you clearly have a special fondness for animals.
Oh yeah, I’m a huge animal lover. I'm really kind of obsessed with that, and it's something that's very dear to my heart. I grew up with Australian endangered species on my dad's private wildlife sanctuary, which was the quintessential Australian upbringing.
So, most Australians grow up around a bunch of endangered species?
Well, no, it's quite funny because I had pet kangaroos. Most people don’t actually, but it’s the idea of what an Australian upbringing would be like. "Oh, they jump to school on their kangaroos!" Well, the funny joke with that was that I actually did have pet kangaroos. It was very typically Australian, my upbringing. It was really fantastic.
If you had a spirit animal, what would it be?
The owl is actually my spirit animal because I do medicine cards, and animal cards, and that intuition and instincts and, it’s sort of the magic card, which is cool, so yeah, that is my spirit animal.
Have you ever been mistaken for another celebrity in public?
Kristen Stewart, all the time.
So what happens? Have you ever thought about just rolling with it and being like "Yeah, I’m Kristen, what’s up?"
I have been recognized for her on the street, and I've just gone ahead and signed her name. I've been like "You know what, whatever, I'm just gonna sign her name," because the person was so crazy excited and so I decided to just go along with it.
How often does that happen? A lot?
No, I've only done it once. Usually I'll be like "Oh, I'm sorry to disappoint you! You actually wouldn't know who I am, but whatever, I can totally pretend to be her!”"
What would be your porn star name?
It would be Bark Davenport.