Nineteen-year-old Australian actor Liam Hemsworth has had a peculiar year in Hollywood. After notching a few seasons in Australian TV, the youngest in a family of acting brothers was flown to Los Angeles to screen test for the lead in 2011's Thor; the role went to his older brother, Chris Hemsworth (Star Trek), but before long Liam landed a decidedly different gig with which he makes his Hollywood debut this week: the Nicholas Sparks drama The Last Song, opposite musician-actress Miley Cyrus.

It may seem an unexpected move for a young actor who might have been the face of action heroism for a new generation, but Hemsworth takes it all in stride. Fully embracing his role as Will Blakelee, a college-bound teenager who falls for rebellious teenager Ronnie Miller (Cyrus) one summer on Georgia's Tybee Island, Hemsworth makes for an engaging (and yes, strapping) love interest and All American foil for Cyrus's sarcastic, guarded Ronnie.

Cinematical caught up with Hemsworth to discuss his burgeoning career, his on-set first kiss with real-life girlfriend Miley Cyrus, and the undeniable power of Nicholas Sparks. He also discussed his recently-announced action movie debut in Chuck Russell's Arabian Nights, offered some of his favorite films and actors, and shared with us what he learned from watching Nicolas Cage at work on the set of Alex Proyas's Knowing.