Wild at heart
The Rover’s Guy Pearce talks about his love of the Outback and praises his Hollywood co-star
GQ You have a definite look in the movie. Who came up with that? Did you do it? GP I did it myself. But the director came up with the idea. He said, ‘‘I want it to look like you have just found some blunt scissors somewhere and you just hacked UY PEARCE is no stranger to the Outback, not with his wild over-the-top drag queen performance in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994). Nor is the 46-year-old unfamiliar with playing really bad guys, as we saw most recently in Iron Man 3 (2013).
But in The Rover, in which he stars opposite Robert Pattinson, the English-born, Australian-raised actor gets to combine the two.
Pearce lives in Melbourne, where he grew up, and has been married to Kate Mestitz, a psychologist since 1997. He's a long-standing supporter of Geelong. Amiable and funny, Pearce is wearing jeans and a checkered shirt for our interview at the Cannes Film Festival. Ruggedly handsome, he seems to tolerate the interview process a lot more than some of his Hollywood counterparts. your hair off.’’ (laughs) So one drunken night in Adelaide I hacked my hair off. Q There are so many films about the Apocalypse or the end of civilisation these days.
GP Are there are lot? Q Generally. It must mean that people are really thinking about it. Do you think about the collapse of civilisation? GP Absolutely, and I think you think about it more when you go and make these movies. I just think about the fact that the population is increasing at the rate it is, then how on earth, literally on earth, are we going to sort this out? It’s just crazy to me. So I am very curious to see where we are going to be in 100 years’ time.
Q Does it keep you awake at night? GP I am probably old enough to think I probably won’t be around for the end of it, but I do really wonder what it might lead to. And you have only got to sort of look at the variety of disturbing things that are going on around the world. To think it’s not that far away for some folk, some GP I don’t know. I don’t know that I could actually, but who knows, I think we become very different people in different situations. You hear about somebody having done something horrendous like a murder and whatever, and you think to yourself, ‘‘How on earth could they do that?’’ And you are trying to rationalise it with your very rational brain that’s living in this very civilised world that doesn’t want to ruin that civilised world that you are living in. You are not running for your life, etc, etc, and if you are in that situation, like if you are in a car accident for example and adrenaline runs through your body and you behave differently after that situation and you think, ‘‘Who was I at that particular moment?’’ And it was just like a car accident, like a minor car accident, what would happen if suddenly a bomb went off? It’s incredible to think of how different we possibly can be in different situations that are extreme. And so to me, that’s what this film is all about on some level. It’s not that far away, however which way you cut the pie, that we can be sort of unhinged. Q How aware of Robert Pattinson were you before the film and how was it working with him? GP I was very aware of his fame, and I had only seen him in Water for Elephants, which I really enjoyed, and I really enjoyed him in it. That head is just incredible really isn’t it? That face really. And the sensitivity, it’s a beautiful sensitivity. And when David (Michod) mentioned that he was interested in him for the role, and I went, ‘‘Oh wow, OK,’’ because I think the vulnerability was something that was really crucial for me as far as I was concerned. And I didn’t want it to be, not that I am a big brute of a guy, but I didn’t want it to be too equal; I wanted it to be obviously top heavy, so that people would feel sorry for him if I really took it out on him. And I wasn’t aware of how good he was going to be, to be honest. Not that I didn’t think he would be, but certainly, on that second day, when I was watching some stuff on the monitor, and he did that scene where he crawled out of the truck and he was sitting against the tree at the beginning and he had just been shot and watching the way he was sort of trying to work out how he was going to deal with this situation, I just found it heart-breaking. So it was a great moment for me, to be honest and it just got better and better as far as I was concerned. So, it was exciting because one, you forget about all the fame business and you concentrate on the work that you are doing, but just to kind of work with somebody who is really delivering is fabulous, it’s always been inspiring. Q Are you glad you never quite experienced that level of fame? There were years where you were pretty well known.
GP But it wasn’t that sort of thing. Q Are you glad you didn’t have to deal with that in your career? GP Yeah, I haven’t had to deal with it. I would certainly enjoy the benefits that
Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson in a scene from The Rover