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Sin­gle­ton Joel Edger­ton has his sib­ling Nash for com­pany on the set of their big-screen hit Gringo.

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Lo­cal hero Joel Edger­ton has his sib­ling Nash along for the ride on the set of Gringo.

“We’re very dif­fer­ent peo­ple... We’re yin and yang!”

Drugs. Money. Laugh­ter. The se­cret to Gringo’s big-screen suc­cess isn’t the mar­i­juana pill at the score of the story, it’s the ther­a­peu­tic power of broth­er­hood! Yes, the Edger­ton broth­ers are medicine for the soul. OK, maybe not – but Hol­ly­wood is ( nally) tak­ing no­tice of the lit­eral bro­mance that is Joel and Nash.

Both Aussie ex­ports have taken their turn be­hind the cam­era. Nash made his di­rec­to­rial fea­ture de­but with The Square a decade ago, be­fore Joel fol­lowed suit with 2015’s The Gift. Gringo is Nash’s sec­ond time at the helm of a movie, with Joel en­joy­ing the lime­light back in front of the cam­era, op­po­site Char­l­ize Theron and David Oyelowo.

“I love work­ing with Nash,” says younger bro Joel. “We will al­ways be close. I can’t imag­ine a sit­u­a­tion that would pull Nash and I apart as friends.”

Not that these two Syd­ney boys from Down Un­der have al­ways been buddy-buddy. “Our child­hood con­sisted of a con­stant strain of punch­ing each other and then be­ing friends in be­tween,” Joel re­calls with a lov­ing smile at the Clar­idge’s Ho­tel in Lon­don. “We were too close in age, I think, for us to not get into the punchy part of be­ing broth­ers. But we some­how man­aged to never get com­pet­i­tive in a neg­a­tive fash­ion with each other. And Nash has been an in­cred­i­bly sup­port­ive per­son.

“I en­joy his com­pany. I think we en­joy each other’s com­pany.

“We are very dif­fer­ent peo­ple. We are very dif­fer­ent peo­ple. Nash is supremely or­ga­nized, and he’s got a re­ally good kind of ethic just in terms of keep­ing on top of things. Film­mak­ers like Spiel­berg or J.J. Abrams, I sus­pect, have got pro­duc­ers and di­rec­tors brains. That means they are able to be right and left brain, and they can be or­gan­ised and spin off into their creativity at the same time. And Nash is one of those guys. He is a pro­ducer and a di­rec­tor in nice, equal mea­sures.

“I’m com­pletely dis­or­gan­ised. We’re very yin and yang!”

Joel took a dif­fer­ent path to the screen by­pass­ing the tra­di­tional route of home­grown soaps, get­ting his big in­ter­na­tional break as Luke Sky­walker’s fu­ture un­cle Owen

Lars in Star Wars: Episode II – At­tack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III – Re­venge

of the Sith. Nash kicked off his ca­reer as a stunt­man in block­busters such as The Ma­trix tril­ogy and Su­per­man Re­turns – and even dou­bled for his younger brother’s stunts in the crit­i­cally ac­claimed Zero Dark Thirty.

Joel has plenty to say and show for him­self. He’s charm­ing, irty and quite like a teddy bear, es­pe­cially when rock­ing a beard. And while sib­ling ri­valry does not ex­ist in the Edger­ton clan, there’s one thing Joel cov­ets. “I now have a new in­ter­est in him and an envy and a healthy jeal­ousy be­cause he’s got a fam­ily,” the hand­some sin­gle sighs, re­fer­ring to Nash’s fairy­tale that in­cludes wife Carla Ruffino and daugh­ter Zumi.

“I love watch­ing him be a dad. When I Skype with him, his twoyear-old is jump­ing all over him, say­ing swear words and stuff.”

While the suc­cess­ful ac­tor is still await­ing his own mar­i­tal bliss, he practises be­ing a fam­ily man by play­ing Un­cle Joel. “They call me Un­cle Bro,” Joel re­veals, “be­cause Nash calls me ‘bro’, so some­how my nice Chika (Carla’s daugh­ter from a pre­vi­ous re­la­tion­ship) just started call­ing me Un­cle Bro.”

Not that there isn’t a lot of love for sweet Joel, who calls him­self a “sucker” – pos­si­bly for love, but de nitely for pain. “I had a very good up­bring­ing, so the rst thing I do is as­sume that ev­ery­body is telling the truth,” he ad­mits about his tough run with the fairer sex.

“I guess you could call me gullible some­times. And this is the weird thing: in a boyfriend/ girl­friend or mar­i­tal or sex­ual re­la­tion­ship, peo­ple give each other sec­ond and third chances. Some­times in the right way, but other times they get suck­ered, right? If some­one stole money from you, would you go into busi­ness with them a sec­ond time? No, thankyou! But, for some rea­son, with some re­la­tion­ships in the past, I’ve gone: ‘Oh, yeah, you hurt me re­ally bad, now let’s keep try­ing this out and see what hap­pens.’ That’s not to say that I’m al­ways the best per­son in the world, but I am a bit of a sucker!”

Of course, it doesn’t help to be shy when on the quest to nd one’s true love. “I need to be in­tro­duced to peo­ple,” Joel con­fesses. “I’m not the guy that sort of sees a girl across the room and just goes, ‘Hold my drink. I’ll be back’. I can’t; I would’ve found an in­ter­est in the re­place and cir­cled back with­out com­plet­ing my mis­sion! There’s a scene in

Gringo where Char­l­ize is do­ing a fake se­duc­tion with Alan Ruck and talk­ing about why the moon land­ing went the way it did. That’s me when a woman goes, ‘Hey Joel, what about it?’ I try and keep my cool, may even do a good job, but in­ter­nally I fall to pieces.”

Be­sides, Joel is cur­rently fo­cus­ing on an­other pas­sion: his sec­ond stint as a di­rec­tor. “Act­ing is a great free­dom. As an ac­tor I can turn up to set wear­ing my py­ja­mas if I want. Ac­tors are grown-up chil­dren. We get to play dress-up, we don’t re­ally have re­spon­si­bil­ity ex­cept for our char­ac­ters. But di­rec­tors have to be adults. I loved that ex­pe­ri­ence. I loved hav­ing the con­trol of the whole story, pup­peteer­ing the whole thing,” he says. After the mar­i­juana pill es­capades of Gringo, his next baby is called

Boy Erased, out later this year, star­ring Lu­cas Hedges, Ni­cole Kid­man and him.

“I en­cour­age any­body in­ter­ested to read a book or have a look at the 20/20 ex­posé about gay con­ver­sion ther­apy in the South in Amer­ica,” he says, with a sparkle and some fury in his eyes. “I based my lm on Gar­rard Con­ley’s book and story. The Bi­ble says, or in the Bap­tist faith any­way, that ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity is a sin. And post-1973, when the Amer­i­can Psy­chi­atric So­ci­ety had de­clared ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity no longer a men­tal ill­ness, the church needed their av­enue to solve that ‘prob­lem’. And, yes, it was a mon­e­tised thing, but there was also a true be­lief that they were to help young boys and girls get back to faith, get back to God, to be able to live in their com­mu­nity. But these in­sti­tu­tions felt like pris­ons, and the locks were the be­lief, they weren’t al­ways nec­es­sar­ily barbed wires and bars. What I found so fas­ci­nat­ing is that it felt like I was read­ing a kind of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest story where the war­dens were more messed up than the in­mates. On the other hand, his story man­aged to be one that opened the space up for in­cred­i­bly re­demp­tive con­ver­sa­tion about the mis­judg­ment in the treat­ment of LGBTQ kids and the ques­tion, whether they were bro­ken or not.

“I think it’s a good con­ver­sa­tion starter to some­thing that I felt very rmly – even as a straight guy grow­ing up in Aus­tralia – be­cause when I read it I went, ‘This re­ally needs to stop!’”

 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ?? THE BRO SHOW The Edger­ton sib­lings chat be­tween takes.
THE BRO SHOW The Edger­ton sib­lings chat be­tween takes.
 ??  ?? THREE OF A KIND Joel and co-stars Char­l­ize Theron and David Oyelowo.
THREE OF A KIND Joel and co-stars Char­l­ize Theron and David Oyelowo.
 ??  ??
 ??  ?? IT’S A DEAL The flick cen­tres on a Mex­i­can drug car­tel.
IT’S A DEAL The flick cen­tres on a Mex­i­can drug car­tel.
 ??  ?? Anke & Joel.
Anke & Joel.
 ??  ?? BROTH­ERS IN ARMS Nash and Joel rock a Gringo pre­miere.
BROTH­ERS IN ARMS Nash and Joel rock a Gringo pre­miere.

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