Guy (I) Pearce filmography and biography
Date of birth: 5 October 1967, Ely, Cambridgeshire, England, UK
Guy (I) Pearce biography
Born in 1967 in Cambridgeshire, England, Guy Pearce emigrated to
Australia to live in Geelong, Victoria, with his family when he was
three years old. Five years later, his father, a New Zealand pilot,
died in a plane crash leaving his English schoolteacher mother to care
for him and his older sister Tracey.
Even as a youngster, Guy seemed to have a clear idea of what he would end up doing in his life, shunning subjects like math and science in favor of art and music. Guy joined local theatrical groups at the age of eleven, where he appeared in amateur theater productions of "The King and I", "Alice in Wonderland", and "The Wizard of Oz". Guy became involved in body building in his early teens as a way of dealing with his insecurities about himself and his naturally thin body. At the age of fifteen or sixteen, he won the "Mr. Junior Victoria" body building competition. Just two days after his final high school exam in 1985, Guy started his four-year stint as hunky student-turned-teacher Mike Young on the popular Aussie soap Neighbours, which helped turn him into a major teen idol. After his television successes in such Australian TV programs as Neighbours, Home and Away and Snowy River: The McGregor Saga, Guy has since carved himself an illustrious film career which includes a contemporary rock drama Heaven Tonight, a comical romantic fantasy Dating the Enemy; portraying a young Errol Flynn in Flynn.
Most recently he has amazed film critics and audiences alike with his magnificent performances in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, L.A. Confidential, and Ravenous. Next to acting, Guy has had a life long passion for music. In addition to singing and playing the guitar, saxophone, and piano, he has written hundreds of songs, including several that were featured in the movie Hunting.
Guy likes to keep his private life very private. He currently makes his home in Melbourne, Australia which is also where he married his childhood sweetheart Kate Mestitz in March 1997.
Guy (I) Pearce trivia
- Was ranked #17 in E's Most Sexiest Men in Entertainment 2002.
- Was ranked #20 in E's Most Sexiest Men in Entertainment 2003.
- Growing up in regional Victorian town Geelong; he now resides in Melbourne, Australia.
- Turned down the title role in Daredevil.
- In one scene of L.A. Confidential, he accidentally drops his American accent, and briefly reverts back to his native Australian accent.
- During the filming of _Factory Girl (2006)_ (qv, he became good friends with co-star Sienna Miller.
- Father was a military test pilot who died in a crash in 1976.
- Has an older sister.
- He sings with a friend's jazz-funk band, the Unconscious Brothers.
- His eldest sister, Tracy, has Cornelia de Lange syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects both intellectual and physical development.
Guy (I) Pearce quotes
- You meet these people who are confident all the time. They annoy me. And I wonder if it's because I'm envious or if it's because they're shallow.
- "Well, if you'd like to get technical, I'm English, and Russell's from New Zealand." (when asked about the studio's reluctance to hire "two Australians" for roles in the period piece L.A. Confidential.)
- I always look at films as real stories with real people in real situations. That's why I struggle with the whole notion of calling someone the 'good guy' or the 'bad guy,' because I think we all have potential to do good things and all have the potential to do bad things.
- A lot of people are going to hate me for saying this, but one of my least favorite kinds of music, or the kind of music that I feel I've so got out of my system, is musicals music.
- I love being at home in Melbourne, reading scripts, doing the gardening and running around after my wife.
- I don't want to be a celebrity. The little amount that I've had in the past - it was fun going into it. But once you realize you're in, you realize you don't actually want to be in it anymore.
- I don't act because I'm some supremely confident being. I don't want to be that guy. There are leading men who tell producers, 'I do my thing. Do you want me or not in your movie?' I still see acting as getting into character.
- [2007, on his music] I don't want to make music to get into the pop charts and make a career out of it. I just want to play music with other people. Sometimes I record it. I think there is a value in recording it in the same way that you might write a diary. Writing a diary does not mean that you want to publish it. If this is my diary, I'm not sure that I want it to be read. And anyway, I think there is an automatic disdain for somebody who is too ambitious. People think as an actor you are gifted and don't have any troubles in life. You are lucky to be doing this thing where all you have to do is go around telling lies and you get to kiss beautiful women. So how dare you want to be able to do this other thing. I am not interested in releasing music to a skeptical audience.
-  Most studio films don't end up being a pure experience because you're not working with the director. You're answering to producers who have a lot of money at stake. Corners will be shaved off to make something slightly safer so they can make back their $100m.
- [2007, on his sister with Cornelia de Lange syndrome] The fact that my sister is intellectually disabled, that in itself has played a huge part not only in my relationship with her, but in my relationship with anybody. I know I have achieved things that she could never hope to, and I have a huge sense of responsibility for her.
- [2007, on not wanting children] I don't even need them. There are enough babies in the world. Besides, I don't think I would be good for babies. I'd be on and off. I think they need more consistent affection than I would be able to give.
- I'm a cat person actually, and my dogs are a lot like cats because they don't bark, they hate water and they climb trees. They are aloof and very feline. I see myself as a cat. I grew up with such an affinity to cats. I adore the way that they think and operate.
-  On stage, you've got dialogue you've learned. You've got a paying audience. It couldn't be better, you know? My therapist would say it's probably because of having lost my dad when I was really young and, that being a really tragic thing, that [I was] worried about what was potentially around the corner being really disastrous. So in doing a play or doing some structured work as an actor, it's set. That's probably why I was drawn to it, in a way.
- [2003, on what keeps him passionate about acting] Making sure that I've had time off in between things. I really need to regenerate and rejuvenate my batteries, and learn from the experience I've had when I get back to being me at home. I like experiencing how different I feel, which I think inspires a desire to go off and work again. It's the shift back and forth between being somebody else, then coming home and being myself
- [2003, on turning down a lot of movies after L.A. Confidential] I did the things I wanted to do-the things I found interesting. I certainly got offered all sorts of big studio movies, but I found most of them pretty stupid and predictable. I kept thinking, 'I can't do something interesting with this. This is not really interesting on the page.' I'm sure there are actors out there who can turn something dull into something really interesting, but I can't do that. I've tried and I end up pulling tricks out of a box of tricks that are just lame. I feel like I need great inspirational directors and great inspirational scripts in order for me to say, 'Okay I will surf this wave with you.' Don't expect me to invent anything. I can't invent stuff. I have to latch onto the character that you've presented me with. And once I understand it, I'll do it...I have very little self-confidence, anyway. I'm not one of those people who can go, 'Yeah, I'm going to take the film and I'm going to turn it into this and that.' If there's nothing there, all I'm going to show you is that there's nothing there. And that's going to be bad for all of us. I just felt like I couldn't do anything with those big films. Of course, I'm quite fascinated by a lot of those roles that require the actor to be the hero. But I so don't feel like a heroic leading man. I just don't have the confidence to do them. I'm getting better, don't get me wrong. I'm not as insecure as I was when I was 24. But that stuff is what led me to do the things that I did.
-  I find it so much easier to work at home (in Australia) because I understand the communication we have between each other. Even though Americans speak English, we all speak a very different language. There's a real difference in the way we relate to each other. I guess there's just a bit of shorthand that I slip into when I'm working in Australia. It's also more intimate. There are smaller crews. Basically, we don't have the money for 300 people on a set.
-  I'm always saying to my Australian agent that I want to know what's going on in Australia. I think the more time I spend and work away, my urge to actually express myself through Australian characters becomes stronger. To be part of the industry at home and to express myself through it is really important to me.
-  People think to be an actor, you have to study your back story and remember all these elements. I don't operate like that at all. I read something and feel completely inspired by it and for some reason or other, it just kind of takes over and I move with it. Doing 'Memento,' I could let go of everything; it was a really freeing experience because Leonard was the one doing all the acting; it's not me at all...I find it a really difficult thing to explain, but it was a really pure experience making that movie. When they'd call 'cut' I'd kind of come out the other side and go, 'What happened?'
- [On starring in Neighbours] It can do something for one's ego, good and bad, to have teenage girls chasing after you trying to rip your clothes off and offer you sexual favors.
-  I look at my two cats and I can see myself evenly distributed between them. One is quite insecure. Needing constant attention. Very fragile. The other is a real arrogant shit. Of course they piss each other off continually.
- [2002, GQ Magazine] I can get pretty angry. I have a lot of people say, 'You're so nice,' then three days later they see. It's all about myself. My inability to deal with arrogance or narrow-mindedness. If I'm in an intellectual corner with somebody, my natural response is to get quite childish. Or, you know, shitty. That's why I became an actor, I suppose. People pay you to do it."
-  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. And I guess that's what other people might call God. I don't know enough about religion to really say, but on some level, doesn't everyone just believe in a different version of the same thing?
-  I love to wake up in the morning and smell the fresh air, go and potter at the piano, and feel relaxed. I'm a really nervy person, so I need to feel calm and so on. Part of being an actor is to learn about as many people as I can, to take it all on board...and there is a need for me to do that. But when that need has been fulfilled I guess I won't do that anymore.
- [1996, on Los Angeles] I like to just go there for a short time, I don't think I could live there. I go there for two weeks and do 20 auditions. At school I was always the sprinter, not the long distance runner. I sort of go in, hit hard and get out of there.
-  If I can just find a line somewhere between the independents and the mainstream, I'll be happy. Quite often people will say to me that this or that is not a good career move. But the people who work for me know I will do what I want to do. And when I come across something like Memento and see that it takes me into another world, that it's original and innovative, well of course I will want to go there. It's funny, you know, a lot of people say to me, 'Oh God, you've obviously given up acting after L.A. Confidential. Russell went on, but you didn't?' 'No mate. You've really got no idea why I do what I do, or how I operate at all' I just love the idea of coming out of the woodwork, saying, 'Here I am, this is what I am offering: whammo! Seen it? OK. Goodbye'.
-  I actually had Gary Oldman tell me he was a big fan of mine, and I'm like, 'I don't know if I can accept this'. I just never thought, for some reason or other, that I would ever get that respect, let alone work with people like Kevin Spacey and Tommy Lee Jones.
-  The thing is I have a lot of pride in is my ability to be responsible. But I must admit that as I get older I am wanting to be the 18-year-old I never was. Which is embarrassing: I'm 33, and now I want to do irresponsible things? As everyone else I know is getting older and becoming responsible, I'm going, 'Fuck kids. I'm not having fucking kids!
- [1997, on playing Ed Exley in L.A. Confidential] To contain everything like Ed does, and keep it really still, is difficult. Ed suffers from pent-up emotions. I felt like I was a block of wood sometimes. I was desperate to see the dailies. I don't know whether I should be giving away my acting insecurities, but I always find it difficult to have faith in what I do.
- [1997, on his early fame in Australia] It's embarrassing. I mean you spend your life dealing with your insecurities and your paranoia's and your fears and you go out in public and people scream and do crazy things and say crazy things, like 'sex symbol,' and you go, that's not me they're talking about. I've had girls want me to sign their breasts. I guess it made them feel a little closer to me. It made me feel a little closer to them, that's for sure.
-  Most American movies are about some guy that's kind of living on the edge and saves the world and has the chick and does the gun stuff. And it's full of all those stupid one-liners that mean nothing. I want something a lot more than that. Have you seen Face/Off? I hate slagging off other movies but I thought it was fucking ridiculous. Banal chase scenes, trained shooters missing their targets.
- [On The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert] People ask what it was like playing a woman but I don't think I was actually playing a woman. I was playing an over-the-top queen who likes to dress up in drag and has his own insecurities and problems with women. Adam is a misogynistic little brat, anyway, so I wasn't playing someone who is openly a woman. He is less open about being a woman than I, Guy, could be. Often, when playing other characters, you look to your feminine side to find out what you might be wanting to play. But this is not a real perception of a female character, because it is an exaggerated, colored, colorful view of a female. It was a very liberating experience for me. The boundaries were completely left at home and a lot of that was to do with the nature of Stephan Elliott. I think what he wanted to do was to bring along with him and with us this openness, this complete life experience rather than saying, 'This is the film crew, you are the actors and we are filming now.' It wasn't like that at all. Some of Stephan's direction was incredible. He would stop the camera, tell us we were awful and demand we ham it up. We had to get into a completely different way of thinking. But once we got on the merry-go-round, it was great. As an actor, you are constantly trying to get away from yourself, which is the same as trying to find yourself. This thing that you're trapped in, you get to leave behind, and do stuff that you would normally get arrested for.
- [On getting into drag for The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert] You sit there looking at yourself in the mirror for two hours in the morning while they are making you up and you think, 'This is the female version of me.' It's really complex because you can see yourself but it's female. I can really see my mother. I didn't feel like a woman as such, but getting into touch with your feminine side was really at the forefront. It was an amazing experience, it was actually fantastic, I really enjoyed it. But I'm not sure if I'm good-looking. I don't think I'd fancy myself if I saw myself walking down the street looking like that. I would probably look twice because I looked more odd than anything.
- [2001, on finding roles] There are so many films out there, if you can't find stuff that's interesting, then there's got to be something wrong with you. There's a certain sort of aim that certain actors have, which is to get yourself in a No. 1 position where they think they'll get offered everything, you know? I'm just happy to flit around in the background and find stuff that interests me. It's not necessarily about a career choice, it's finding stuff I'm interested in.
-  I'm more than happy to do little independent films for the rest of my life. Interesting and unusual films, because I really get off on doing it and I feel much more confident in that sort of surrounding.
-  After I did LA Confidential, I had a lot of people say to me, 'Right so you're now an A-list American actor?' You say, 'No, Tom Cruise, who earns $20 million a movie is an A-list American actor, I am one of the six gazillion actors who people have seen in one movie and who they kind of liked.
- [2000, on living in Melbourne] I'm much happier spending more time at home, I just love it here. There is a competitive quality to LA, and by the time I leave I always feel a bit anxious. I never really realized what it was about Melbourne I liked until I spent time away. I don't like the smog in LA, I don't like the fact that there is no real community anywhere, I don't like the fact that people don't look at you when they are talking to you and get so frustrated with you because you have an Australian accent. They're very narrow-minded as far as other cultures (go) and I don't have the energy to play the game.
-  I was a small, skinny guy and had a lot of insecurities about my body, so I got into weight training when I was young. I won the Junior Mr. Victoria bodybuilding competition when I was 15, which is a really odd claim to fame.
- [On playing roles with a different accent] I don't look at it as hiding my accent, I look at it as putting on another accent.