Adore Exclusive: Xavier Samuel on Naomi Watts Wisdom

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Australian actor Xavier Samuel had a virtual master class in acting from his co-stars in Adore, Naomi Watts and Robin Wright. The film, teased in this Adore trailer, is out now on Video on Demand and will find its way to home video on December 10.

Adore Xavier Samuel

Samuel, recently seen in America in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and The Loved Ones, phoned Movie Fanatic for an exclusive interview to talk about the finer points of working with such exquisite talents in the most exquisite of locales in Adore.

Movie Fanatic: You work with two seasoned veterans in this film, Naomi Watts and Robin Wright. What did you take away most from them and what impressed you most about them?

Xavier Samuel: I think they’re both really generous actors. I know that term gets thrown around a lot. They were very present and very tuned into where you were or what you were doing. I think that was a great lesson for me is to be relaxed and focused on what you are shooting that particular moment. To have that level of focus is really impressive. It’s amazing to see. I found it hard to now [laughs] just being simply in awe of these two! But also, specifically, Naomi would always say, “Trust your gut.” I will never forget that.

Movie Fanatic: Do you have a favorite Naomi Watts movie?

Xavier Samuel: I think in general, she’s made so many choices in her career. If you look at that audition scene in Mulholland Drive, it’s like on another level really.

Movie Fanatic: What did you like most about playing Ian?

Xavier Samuel: Tackling a character that’s dealing with a whole bunch of different emotions. Tackling the complexity of his particular situation, his love for this woman -- I enjoyed exploring that terrain.  

Movie Fanatic: When you’re tackling a character, do you have to find something you identify with them to adequately do your job?

Xavier Samuel: You inevitably share something in common with the character because they’re human [laughs]. I think it’s especially true with a love story. This particular guy happens to be in love with someone who is much older than him. It wasn’t like I had to go, “I’ve never been in love before.” I just had to think about being in love with someone that had been unrequited. There’s a way you can morph your own experience that resembles what your character is going through.

Movie Fanatic: Adore is so gorgeous. Did you have any time even to personally enjoy the scenery?

Xavier Samuel: Absolutely! We shot in a place called Seal Rock, which was an untouched part of the Australian coastline. I always tried to get there a little earlier and walk on the beach. We were truly spoiled when it came to the scenery to set the story.  

Adore Xavier Samuel Robin Wright

Movie Fanatic: What was the most compelling aspect of the story when you first read it?

Xavier Samuel: The dynamic of the relationships. Everyone had a different perspective in the foursome. That makes for an exciting story -- the fact that this guy loses his notion of having a relationship end when it didn’t have to. That’s a pretty powerful thing and a rare thing in storytelling.

Movie Fanatic: Without your director, Anne Fontaine, Adore wouldn’t be half as strong or powerful. What surprised you most about her?

Xavier Samuel: She’s got a really wicked sense of humor [laughs]. That was surprising! She has an extraordinary ability to tune into the frequency of each actor she’s working with at the moment she’s filming. That’s a unique talent. 

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