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'Airbender' star says film has great appeal

July 1, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
"The Last Airbender" is one new box office alternative to the latest "Twilight" film "Eclipse." The special-effects filled film features a young man who captured a lot of attention with his last movie. "The Last Airbender" is a live action version of a popular Nickelodeon cartoon.

Co-star Dev Patel has learned that fans have been eagerly anticipating this incarnation of the action-packed story, which is directed by M. Night Shyamalan.

"I can feel it bubbling right now because there is a massive fan base for the cartoon," said Patel. "M. Night Shyamalan has his fans and there are martial arts fans. It's gonna touch on so many different audiences. It is going to be exciting to see what happens on the premiere day."

Patel plays a disgraced prince who is sent on a mission to try and find the last person who can harness the four elements: air, water, fire, and earth into a weapon.

Patel's experience shooting action and effects filled "The Last Airbender" is what he calls a complete "180 degrees" from his first big film, the Academy Award winning "Slumdog Millionaire."

"Sometimes it strikes on the weirdest moments, 'Oh my God, I can't believe, I'm here in Greenland shooting a scene and I've got a samurai sword in my pocket.' It's a real far stretch from what I've done before. That's the amazing thing about being an actor, being allowed to be in these situations that you never would be normally."

And for Patel, those situations have also included plenty of red carpets, including going to the Oscars with "Slumdog Millionaire."

"It was hard at the start because everyone's asking you a million questions and you're in front of cameras," said Patel. "But once I got into the flow of it I started really enjoying it, and for the most part, everyone was accepting of the film and excited so it was an easy process for me."

"The Last Airbender" is rated-PG. The film also stars "Twilight's" Jackson Rathbone, who plays "Jasper" in the vampire saga.


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