She’s had parts in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” and “The Pacific,” but sylphlike 26-year-old Isabel Lucas is probably still best known in her native Australia for her three-year stint in the continuing drama, “Home and Away.” She can currently be seen as none other than the goddess Athena in Tarsem Singh’s bloody sword & sandals fantasy, “Immortals.” She will also be featured in the upcoming, long-awaited remake of “Red Dawn.”
In her spare time, Ms. Lucas is also an activist for the environment and animal rights. Her activities on behalf of dolphins actually caused her to run afoul of the Japanese government some years ago and she can be seen briefly in the Oscar winning 2009 documentary, “The Cove.” We managed to grab enough time during the recent “Immortals” junket to ask her, you guessed it, five questions.
1. I’m sure you’ve been called a goddess once or twice. What’s it like to actually play one?
Isabel Lucas: I don’t think I’ve been called a goddess before. Maybe. I don’t know. Athena is a very special archetype. She’s the goddess of wisdom and runs around in the wartimes providing counsel. It was a really amazing opportunity. Big shoes to fill, in a way.
2. So, now, you’re a goddess — the goddess of movies. Which leading man would you choose to be in a movie with? It can be anyone who’s ever been onscreen from any time period.
3. What was the best thing, and what was the worst thing, about being an Australian soap opera star?
IL: The best thing is probably the learning experience. You have a creative outlet every day and you’re working with really great directors and you have a very tight schedule, and you have a lot of obligations… a lot of dialogue and there’s a lot of things you’re learning on the job. So, that’s a great thing.
What are the negative things about working on a soap opera? It’s probably a boring response, but I think actors can pick up patterns from working on a series like that. [They] find acting tricks that they can repeat — you’re not really stretching yourself. There may only be a certain amount you can learn on a series like that.
4. You were voted one of PETA’s “Sexiest Vegetarians.” Who would you vote for “sexiest vegetarian”?
IL: I don’t know if I really know that many sexy vegetarians. I have a really good friend of mine. He’s been a bit like a big brother. He is a really diligent vegetarian. He’s actually a vegan, and that’s why he came to mind. He’s a free surfer. His name is Dave Rastovich. He does a lot of really great environmental activism. I just did a sail with him and a whole bunch of our friends along the California coast, sailing on kayaks….I went with my boyfriend, who is not a vegetarian. We sailed down — it was basically doing beach clean-ups along the way. Dave organized the whole thing. If you want to check it out, it’s called TransparentSea Voyage.
5. Speaking of your aquatic adventures, you were, of course, involved in an effort to protect some dolphins from fishermen. Is it true that you’re still a wanted woman in Japan?
IL: I would kind of chuckle if they threatened that. I think it was more just to sort of make a scare, to scare us from coming back. At this point, I don’t really have any plans to go back right now. I think that Japan obviously has a lot of issues that need to be dealt with and doesn’t need this right now. However, I actually don’t think it’s very serious because I did return to Japan for the “Transformers” premiere [in 2009] and it was fun.
And nobody tried to arrest you?