Cheat Sheet: Guy Pearce
Date of Birth:
5th October 1967
Place of birth:
Memento, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, The King’s Speech
What you probably already know:
Guy Pearce is very probably the best thing ever to be produced by one of those bloody awful Australian soaps. Since breaking into the big time way back in 1994 with his deliciously camp role as Felicia in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, he has charged across our screens with reckless abandon and a marvellous eye for good roles, popping up in acclaimed pictures as diverse as Memento, The Hurt Locker and The King’s Speech, in which his performance as the playboy Prince of Wales (and briefly Edward VIII) made history as the first time an Australian had ever played a British royal onscreen.
Pearce has also turned his hand to more explicitly commercial projects, including L.A. Confidential, Rules of Engagement and (Christ help us) Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler. He has starred in biopics as both Andy Warhol (Factory Girl) and Harry Houdini (Death Defying Acts). He had a small but critically acclaimed role in The Road and, lest we forget, was all over last year’s frankly superb Animal Kingdom. We almost hope he cocks up a film sometime soon – he’s making everyone else look bad…
What you might not know:
There are enough mad facts about Guy Pearce to fill up an article all on their own. Did you know, for example, that his father was a test pilot who died when he was nine and precipitated his family’s move to Australia, at which point his mother started a deer farm? Or that his body-building led to him being crowned Mr Junior Victoria whilst a teenager? Or that he’s appeared in music videos for Silverchair and Razorlight, and that he starred in that odd Aussie western written by Nick Cave? No, you bloomin’ well didn’t.
Returning to vaguely film-based trivia, Pearce has shown quite an interest in historical dramas of all kinds – as well as The King’s Speech he played the villainous Fernand Mondego in an adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo and a Yankee lieutenant in Ravenous, a film about cannibalism during the Civil War. Obviously. He also starred in an utterly mental ‘re-imagining’ of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, which might be the closest thing he’s ever come to a poor career decision – and if that’s the worst we can come up with, things are looking pretty rosy. After all, everyone knows that films about time travel are a bare minimum of 47% awesome at all times, unless they have ‘Hot‘, ‘Tub‘ or ‘Wife‘ in the title. Bravo, Guy Pearce.
Guy Pearce quote:
“I’ve got a T-shirt that says, ‘Jesus saves,’ and the ‘s’ in ‘Jesus’ is a big dollar sign… I’ve worn it here [in America] and had people come up on the street and go, ‘You can’t wear that.’ People in Australia think it’s funny. I’m fascinated by religion. I don’t believe in God, but the thing I do believe in is that we’re all connected. Nothing like an actor with a totally incoherent view of spirituality, is there?
What to say at a dinner party:
“Of course, Pearce’s inexorable rise to stardom really began with 1998’s Woundings, a stark and brutal portrayal of the aftermath of war. Oh, have you not seen it? I thought not.”
What not to say at a dinner party:
“I saw that Priscilla film, and I really must question whether the man’s a quare.”
Might he be able to save forthcoming project The Hungry Rabbit Jumps from the curse of Nic Cage’s dread interference? Only time will tell…
Anything else you think the world should know? Drop us a comment below!