You might not know Brenton Thwaites‘ name now, but you certainly will a year from now when he plays Prince Charming in the Angelina Jolie/Elle Fanning film “Maleficent.” But if you want an early introduction to the young Australian actor, he stars alongside fellow Aussie Indiana Evans in Lifetime’s “Blue Lagoon” remake, “Blue Lagoon: The Awakening.”
Thwaites stars as Dean, a slacker high-schooler who winds up on a deserted island with his goody-goody classmate, Emma, after an accident on a school trip to Trinidad. The film shot in Maui, which Thwaites tells Zap2it he loved since it reminds him of his home in the tropical North Queensland town of Cairns.
“Hawaii’s awesome. It kind of reminds me of home. It’s so beautiful and clean, the people are amazing there,” he says. In Cairns, which is one of the gateways to the Great Barrier Reef, “the water’s so clear, and it’s kind of like that in Hawaii. The waves are awesome. I’m a water baby. It was just my thing. We always swam on the beach, and I surfed when I was a kid.”
While Thwaites says he’s seen the original “Blue Lagoon,” his reboot is different — especially considering the two young lovebirds return home halfway through the film.
“It follows the story of our two main characters, Emma and Dean, and at first we establish them in their normal lives at school. Their school class goes on a humanitarian trip to Trinidad. On the way, there’s a party on a boat, there’s a storm, and Emma and Dean manage to escape, and they are washed onto an island,” Thwaites explains. “The next journey of the film is them learning to survive in this new environment. They fall in love and they learn how to survive, and then the next part of the film is them trying to fit back into their normal lives in society.”
Frankly, Thwaites says “The Awakening” has a very different focus. “It was such a different film. It’s probably 50/50, what was shot on the island and what was shot back in L.A. — or back in ‘Michigan,’ so to speak. A massive part of the film is establishing that contrast between island and home, and what it’s like to come back and try to fit in.”
But don’t worry, that romantic element is still there. “There’s a little [romance]. I mean, there’s a lot! That’s pretty much what it’s about, the two characters and the development of their relationship.”
So it’s a good thing that Thwaites and Evans got along. “She’s lovely, she’s great, she’s beautiful,” he says. “We had a good time. It’s good to connect with someone like that on a film, especially this one — you need to when the relationship obligation is so pinnacle.”
Denise Richards co-stars as Emma’s mom, and “Blue Lagoon” star Christopher Atkins cameos as high school teacher Mr. Christiansen. “Blue Lagoon: The Awakening” premieres Saturday, June 16 at 8 p.m. on Lifetime.