Based on his movie roles, the actor says, "A lot of people see me as dim-witted ... but I have the brains"

By Lanford Beard
Updated May 27, 2015 06:55 PM
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Kellan Lutz found fame as Twilight‘s brawny badass Emmett Cullen and, while he appreciates his superfans, he warns them not to expect more of the same when it comes to his new hosting gig on Fox’s reality competition Bullseye.

“Emmett wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, he was the protector of the family,” Lutz says of jacked-up vampire Emmett. “I do a lot of roles with my shirt off, so a lot of people see me as a dim-witted beefhead. I can play those roles, I’m glad it’s believable – but I have the brains.”

Lutz, 30, says his mind for science was one of many aspects of his personality that drew him to Bullseye, a series from the designers and crews of Wipeout and Fear Factor that puts eight thrill-seekers through outrageous, extreme and dizzying stunts for a $50,000 prize.

“I get to talk to the contestants about the science behind these stunts afterward,” says Lutz. “I get my little nerdy science background out and talk about velocity, speed and trajectory, and I really break it down scientifically how I might go about doing it.”

No surprise: Lutz confesses that he’s “an adventurous, risk-taking junkie at heart. Any time I can do something that really makes me push my comfort zone to the max, that’s what real life living is to me.”

Of course the very thing that drew the Hercules star, who is no stranger to complex stunt work, to the series was also what got executives tugging at their collars when he began negotiating how actively he, while hosting alongside comedian Godfrey, could participate.

Lutz says he was was attracted because many of the show’s challenges “excelled way past any stunts I’ve ever done in my movies. So, being a part of the show, I wanted to be on the show and I said, ‘When can I do the stunts?’ ”

When it came time to hash out “if I’d be able to participate and partake in some of the stunts, they were hesitant at first, but they knew that that was the deciding factor for me. I couldn’t just sit on the sidelines and watch everyone else have fun. So, they agreed, and we were off to the races.”

As for the contestants themselves, Lutz insists they “aren’t all fearless, they aren’t all adventure-seeking daredevils.” Still, the first season maintained a perfect record, with no one balking at the more death-defying feats.

And, much to Lutz’s surprise, one of his favorite competitors from the show’s freshman season turned out to be no spring chicken: “Brent will always forever be memorable because this guy, he’s 70 – 7-0 – years old. And on the show he could do the splits. … I can’t even do the splits. I’m like, ‘What the heck?’ Then he had the most amazing, beautiful energy I’ve ever seen. And I just pray that when I’m 70 that I can look like him, have the energy like he does.”

He adds, “It warms my heart [that] I get to be personable, just chat with these people from every walk of life.”

And that’s where Lutz thinks he’ll shine as a host, ensuring that people will see beyond Emmett Cullen: “I think the audience will see that I am just a guy who loves driving fast cars and flying through the air and lighting stuff on fire. I’m a guy from the Midwest, very personable. That’s just me bein’ me.”

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Bullseye

premieres Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.