Wild at heart

The Rover’s Guy Pearce talks about his love of the Out­back and praises his Hol­ly­wood co-star

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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

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