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Hollywood break for Adelaide's Xavier

Article from: Sunday Mail (SA)

OLIVIA WATSON

September 20, 2009 12:01am

FIRST there was Robert Pattinson, now there's Adelaide's Xavier Samuel.

The former Rostrevor College student has set Hollywood tongues wagging recently, with comparisons to the famous star of the Twilight movie series, after being cast in the next instalment of the hit franchise.

With his dazzling smile and tousled blond locks, Samuel, 24, has seen his star rise rapidly after landing a role in Eclipse - the third film adapted from Stephenie Meyer's popular novels and now filming in Canada.

Internet fan sites are buzzing about the Flinders University drama graduate after he was cast as the vampire Riley.

The film is not released until next June but US fans have been quick to jump on the Xavier bandwagon.

Celebrity gossip sites refer to him as "our favourite Aussie vampire" while US celebrity gossip TV show, ClevverTV, asks "is Xavier copying Robert's style?"

His every move is checked by paparazzi, and blurry photographs snapped of him on the set of Eclipse have been offered for sale at $500 each.

This week, Samuel happily posed for photographers as he stepped out on the red carpet at the Toronto International Film Festival with Jessica McNamee (Packed to the Rafters) and fellow cast members, for the screening of their Australian-made horror flick The Loved Ones.

Samuel's Adelaide friends have told of his down-to-earth and cheeky nature, and say they doubt he will be seduced by the hype. School friend Chris Kelly, 25, said Samuel was a "really nice guy" and "one of those people who could've done anything".

"He's an absolute champion guy . . . a great mate."

Samuel was the singer in Kelly's band Hyatus for six months in 2002.

"He was a good singer and a good frontman and he still plays guitar," he said.

Kelly said Samuel was not the type to get caught up in the Hollywood lifestyle: "If anyone can avoid it, he could. He won't just forget about friends - we'll catch up next time he's in Adelaide."

In the film, his character - a good-looking college student and new vampire - is recruited by villainous vampire Victoria in her quest to kill heroine Bella, played by the latest Hollywood darling, Kristen Stewart.

Eclipse is Samuel's first Hollywood film. The first Twilight film made $478 million at the box office and its sequel, New Moon, is due in cinemas in November. A two-minute YouTube clip of Samuel being transformed into a vampire has had almost 40,000 hits.

Flinders University drama professor Michael Morley - who taught Samuel for four years and keeps in regular contact - described his former student as "extremely funny" and "very bright".

"He wouldn't (be where he is) if he didn't have the brains and the hard work," he said.

"He's not someone who's inclined to coast."

Professor Morley, 66, said the young actor was down-to-earth with a cheeky side. On his desk is a photo of Samuel dressed in an academic gown, posing in front of a bookshelf with a mock pompous expression on his face.

Professor Morley said this photo perfectly demonstrated Samuel's funny and "irreverent" nature.

Adelaide actor Michaela Cantwell, 37, taught Samuel voice at Flinders and starred with him in a local production of Two Weeks with the Queen in 2006. "I've always said I'm waiting for the day for Xavier to become a superstar," she says. "He's an extremely hard worker and a really nice guy."

Xavier gallery at adelaidenow.com.au

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Latest Comments:

I'm so happy for Xavier. Being a crazed Twilight fan living in his home town I just had to make a Twilight Website based around our new Adelaide megastar in the making. Vamp it up Xavier from your number one fan, Twilighters Australia.

Posted by: Monique Stagg of Somerton Park 9:48pm September 20, 2009

I'm so happy for Xavier. Being a crazed Twilight fan living in his home town I just had to make a Twilight Website based around our new Adelaide megastar in the making. Vamp it up Xavier from your number one fan, Twilighters Australia.

Posted by: Monique Stagg of Somerton Park 7:44pm September 20, 2009

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