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Cannes: Guy Pearce Talks Playing Camp & Shaving His Eyebrows In 'Lawless'

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist May 25, 2012 at 11:01AM

It takes a fair amount of talent to appear in a film alongside practiced scene-stealers like Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, Jason Clarke and Shia LaBeouf. But of course, as audiences have been aware of for getting on two decades, since he came to attention in "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert," Guy Pearce is possessed of an unusual amount of talent.
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You were talking about him as a foreigner; what's your take on this kind of American story? Do you have a certain fascination having that cultural detachment from it?
Well, I probably I don't know if I understand any more then just doing a contemporary American story. I have a fascination with different cultures generally, and religions, and a variety of other worlds that are different to my own. It's nerve-wracking though, delving into other worlds, because you're not doing something organically. You're having to make sure you don’t stray. But I don't know whether I have an interest in that particular genre or time period necessarily any more then any other. Even if we made this movie and it was set in Australia in that time, it would still be as much of a stretch. I mean John’s got a fascination with the Western and has had a fascination for quite some time. I mean Nick obviously does to a certain degree. "The Proposition" could have been set in America, really. But the reality is that John realized before he made "The Proposition" that those stories occurred in Australia as much as they happened in America. No one had really done it before. We make Bushranger movies in Australia, those criminal stories from that time which on some level are the same, but it doesn't really take in the desert, those vast landscapes, riding horses across hundreds of miles to survive. So John likes to do a bit of cross-genre work. I feel like I respond to the people in it ultimately.

Lately you've had so many high profile roles. Do you think there's any reason why these things have come out all at once?
I don't know, it's funny isn't it? You can find yourself having a period in your life, and you go "Is this me, is this something I'm making happen? Is the universe bringing stuff to me?" So I'm not really sure what it would be. It could come down to the fact that I'm you just slowly becoming more and more confident of what I'm capable of doing. I know with the machinations of the film industry, someone sees you in one thing and that means you get a job in something else, and therefore you get another job in something else. And then if that last one you did didn't get seen so much, then that person doesn't ask you to be in their movie because you weren't in that movie, then suddenly you weren’t in that movie, and you’re having a lean period as well. So it's a bit hard to say to be honest.

Is there anything you're hoping to see at Cannes?
I'm not going to get to see anything. Last night was the exciting night really just getting to hang out with John and Nick, you know and Tom and everybody was good to see but I think I might have a free night tonight, I might go to dinner or something like that. I'm going to fly out early tomorrow morning.

"Lawless" hits theaters on August 29th. Interview by Aaron Hillis

This article is related to: Guy Pearce, Lawless, John Hillcoat, Nick Cave, Cannes Film Festival, Interview


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