James Cameron says 'Avatar' star Sam Worthington 'had me at 'Uh huh' '

The Dish Rag's intrepid Red Carpet Guerrilla caught up with acclaimed director James Cameron at the Australians in Film awards Friday night.

He talked about his groundbreaking new film, "Avatar," the special effects and the risk of casting Aussie newcomer Sam Worthington, who also stars in "Terminator Salvation."

Sam-worthington Cameron was there to present the AIF Breakthrough Award -- fittingly, a yellow boomerang -- to Sam.

Later, he told the audience about the moment he decided to cast Sam.

"We were making a $200 million-plus movie and it's all about the journey of one guy, Jake, and he's in every scene in the film, from beginning to end. It all hangs on that one piece of casting."

Cameron saw hundreds of actors, established and unknowns, but he needed someone who fit the role.

Then he saw Sam's audition tape with a scene in which he has one line, "Uh huh."

"Sam had me at 'Uh huh,' " Cameron told the laughing audience.

"He's an old-school tough guy, and that's what I needed for this film," Cameron said, adding that while he has seen only the trailer of "Terminator Salvation," he's sure that Sam is gonna "blow Christian Bale off the screen."

Let the smackdown begin! 

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Video reporting: Sal Morgan

Photo: WireImage