Profile: Guy Pearce
- Eddie Harrison
- 19 March 2009
Name: Guy Pearce
Born: 1967, Ely, Cambridgeshire, UK.
Background: Raised in Australia, Pearce came through the Ramsay Street acting school on long-running soap Neighbours before The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert propelled him towards a breakthrough role in Curtis Hanson’s thriller LA Confidential. Since then, Pearce has shone brightly in tough, intelligent fare including Memento, The Hard Wordand The Proposition, while somewhat less luminous in The Time Machine, The Count of Monte Cristoor his humiliating role as Adam Sandler’s boss in cheesy kids’ flick Bedtime Stories.
What’s he up to now? Pearce’s latest film is Traitor, a tense, political thriller produced by and starring Ocean’s 11 and Hotel Rwanda star Don Cheadle. Cheadle plays Samir Horn, a special operations officer under investigation by Pearce’s character.
On playing a government agent: ‘We had an FBI expert on the set who we were able to reference from, and there were also a few books I read. The thing I really wanted to examine was the bad communication between the FBI and the CIA, that’s something that’s prominent in the script. I think it’s also one of the major problems in the world – bad communication between nations. Once I got a sense of that, I let the research go. I don’t really like to do it. I like to rely on the script. If I have to do a lot of research for a film, it is usually because there’s something missing in the script. In this case the script was so detailed and the information I needed was very much there.’
Interesting fact: Traitor is based on an idea by comedian Steve Martin. ‘Funnily enough, I did meet Steve many years ago because his wife was working on a TV show in Australia I was involved with,’ says Pearce. ‘He was out in Australia and did a workshop of one of his plays... it would be interesting to talk to him and see how much his original idea had changed.’