Kellan Lutz stars opposite legendary action star Bruce Willis in the 2015 thriller Extraction, directed by Steven C. Miller.

Kellan Lutz On Extraction

Extraction follows Lutz’s Harry Turner, who, as a little boy, saw his mother killed by a man who was after his CIA operative father Leonard Turner (Willis). The encounter with the home intruder shaped his life. While it inspired him to follow in his dad’s footsteps, it convinced his dad that becoming a CIA operative was the last thing he wanted for his son.

“[Bruce’s character] saw what happened with the loss of his wife, with my mother, and he has so much regret for it that he does not want his son to be in that same position one day,” Lutz explained in an exclusive video interview with uInterview. “So, he thinks by being a fatherly, protective man and Dad, that if he can be a roadblock and not allow his son Harry to be in the field and keep him just at the desk job, that he’ll be safe from harm and danger.”

Unaware that his father is leveraging his power to keep him from becoming a CIA in-field operative, Harry remains undeterred – even after he’s inexplicably been denied multiple times. Fit for the field and at the top of his class, Harry puts his skills to good use when his father gets kidnapped.

“There’s a lot of bull-in-the-china-shop sort of action in there because he’s ‘act first and think last,’ so to speak. He’s very calculative,” Lutz said. In the effort to find his father, Harry partners with CIA agent Victoria (Gina Carano). “He’s smart, top of class analytics, but as far as him and his teammate… She’s more of the straight shooter – like we have to do it by the books,” said Lutz, who describes his character as “rogue.”

Lutz, who loves working on action movies, grew up with six brothers, which he thinks prepared him for the grueling training that comes along with his physical roles. “It was just constant fighting for your life – for food, for bathroom time, for the toothbrush, for a pillow to sleep with and yeah they gave me a thick skin,” he said of his childhood. “That’s why I love action movies.”

In adulthood, Lutz describes himself as “an adventurer, action junkie,” and he likes pushing himself to new limits on the sets of action flicks.

“You’re always working with a new team or a new script that allows you to drive cars faster, flip cars different, fly with a motorcycle, fight in a helicopter, fight with swords or guns or knives or horses,” said Lutz, who was especially excited about a fight sequence in a bathroom in Extraction. “[In] the bathroom scene, I felt very much like Matt Damon in Jason Bourne, like working with the knife fights and the fluid snaps and breaks. I was impressed when I watched the movie.”

In addition to the stunt choreography, Lutz also had the pleasure of working alongside Willis in Extraction – after suffering the disappointment of learning that the Die Hard star wouldn’t be sticking around for Expendables 3.

“When Extraction came around, I just really jumped at that opportunity to work with Bruce,” said Lutz. “So, Extraction is kinda my Die Hard. I felt like I was a McClane and Bruce was awesome on set. He’s so easy to work with. He and I had such amazing conversations about the characters and his thoughts of it and just life in general.”

Extraction will be available on DVD Tuesday, Feb. 23. Get it here!


Q: Where is your character at the start of the film? -

At the start of the film, he’s a little boy. And, opening up, there’s an intruder in the house, and it ends up with this bad guy who kills his mom. This bad guy was actually looking for his dad, who is a CIA Operative played by Bruce Willis. That kind of starts the journey for the character. My character wants to follow in the footsteps of Bruce Willis’ character and be an in-field CIA Operative. Now Bruce, there’s a bit of a dichotomy there because Bruce saw what happened with the loss of his wife, with my mother, and he has so much regret for it that he does not want his son to be in that same position one day. So, he thinks by being a fatherly protective man and Dad, that if he can be a roadblock and not allow his son Harry to be in the field and keep him just at the desk job, that he’ll be safe from harm and danger.

So, throughout that, my character, he just wants to save lives. He wants to work for the government and he wants to be like his Dad. He doesn’t realize that his Dad is putting these roadblocks in, so every time he’s trying to submit – doing everything, all the tactical training, sniper school, just everything to be a CIA in field Operative – he gets denied. One time, two times, three times, four times; it’s like ridiculous. He’s the head of his class, he’s the best and he can’t make it. Then his Dad gets hijacked, gets kidnapped and Harry takes his own initiative. He goes after his Dad, he’s like, ‘Screw it. You won’t let me in field, I’m already in the field in here [points to head]. I’m just gonna go, this is family now. I’m gonna go rescue my Dad.’

There’s a lot of bull-in-the-china-shop sort of action in there because he’s act first and think last, so to speak. He’s very calculative. He’s smart, top of class analytics, but as far as him and his teammate Gina Carano, she’s playing… She’s more of the straight shooter, like we have to do it by the books and I’m like, alright fine. Because you’re an in field operator, you have to do it by the books. I’m not, I’m rogue so I could do it whatever way, and we have 24 hours, so I’m not gonna waste time talking this out. So that’s who he is, and he never kills anyone until the very end, once he gets the guy who killed his Mom. That’s kind of his vendetta and he pulls the trigger there. But, he’s a really good guy.

Q: What was it like working with Bruce Willis on the film? -

Well, let me take you back to the The Expendables days. What a dream it was to work with all those icons and legends. I mean, it was just such a hoot on set and I grew up – not idolizing the actors because, frankly I didn’t know the actor’s names – I just knew Rambo, The Terminator, you know, He-man, you have Blade in there, you have, Puss in Boots, Zorro, you have all those guys, you have Braveheart, so for me it was really exciting. Now, when I read online that Bruce Willis wasn’t gonna be in this one, Expendables 3, I was like where’s my John McClane, just something felt missing. So then, when Extraction came around, I just really jumped at that opportunity to work with Bruce. So, Extraction is kinda my Die Hard. I felt like I was a McClane and Bruce was awesome on set. He’s so easy to work with. He and I had such amazing conversations about the characters and his thoughts of it and just life in general. I know a couple of his daughters. I’ve known them for a while, so it’s just great working with him. It was easy.

Q: How did you get in shape for the film? -

My whole life is training, I feel like. I grew up with six brothers and one sister. There were six boys in the house at one time, and it was just constant fighting for your life – for food, for bathroom time, for the toothbrush, for a pillow to sleep with and yeah they gave me a thick skin. That’s why I love action movies. I live a pretty fearful life, and I’m an adventurer, action junkie. For this movie... That’s the great thing about action movies, I just love action movies because I’m a very physical guy. I love just being active, but action movies, you’re always working with a new team or a new script that allows you to drive cars faster, flip cars different, fly with a motorcycle, fight in a helicopter, fight with swords or guns or knives or horses. Whatever it is, it’s always new, always different. It’s always fun because that’s like a new strength I get to add to it. For me, the thing I was really excited about for this one was the bathroom scene. If you watch the movie, it’s about halfway through. I’m not critical of my work, I just love what I do. I don’t have to watch my stuff, and I’m not one of those who's like, ‘Hey guys, let’s throw a party, let’s watch my movies.’ If it’s on TV and someone wants to watch it, cool. I kind of wanna rewatch my movies and laugh at how much I’ve grown as an actor, and also the little boy that I was when I started. But you work on a movie so much, you live and breathe it that it replays in your head over and over again. It’s like you watch the movie 30 times. But for me, the bathroom scene I felt very much like Matt Damon in Jason Bourne, like working with the knife fights and the fluid snaps and breaks. I was impressed when I watched the movie. I sat, I remember watching it and I hadn’t seen the scene yet, and I’m like on the edge of my seat like, ‘Oh, that looked good, yeah!’ It’s fun when I can get excited about stuff that I do and not see me in it, but just recognize the hard work that the fight choreographers put together. And it was cool because we had toilet water flying around and the knife placements and breaks and takes. It was really cool. I really got to learn.