Liam Hemsworth, who has rocketed to fame following his 6.8 seconds of screen time in The Hunger Games, will be making another appearance in a adrenalized action movie this year, albeit one with a little more testosterone and a lot less social commentary. In The Expendables 2, Hemsworth plays Billy the Kid, a new addition to the shoot-‘em-up (bad guys, not steroids) gang headed by Sylvester Stallone. He’s not a kid anymore — the actor is 22 years old — but compared to the median age on set he’s practically a toddler.
Hemsworth was actually supposed to have a role in the first film, but script modifications eliminated his character. “It was a weird moment because I had celebrated with everyone,” says Hemsworth, “and told everyone I was going over to shoot this film, and then it didn’t happen.” Luckily, when it came time for a sequel, Stallone remembered to save a spot for him.
The experience of working alongside all those action icons was a bit of a strange one for Hemsworth, who had watched their movies as a child. “It was weird at first, you have to pinch yourself every once in a while,” he says. “I was working with all these guys I grew up watching—it was nuts. Once Jean-Claude [Van Damme] kicked me in the chest by accident. It was like a present, one of the most awesome kicks you could ever receive.”