Guy Pearce ('Two Brothers')
'Twice As Nice'
Born in Cambridgeshire England, in 1967, Guy Pearce immigrated 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 school teacher 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 got into 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 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 'Man From Snowy River', 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'. Other films include 'LA Confidential,' 'Memento,' 'The Count of Monte Cristo,' 'The Time Machine,' 'Till Human Voices Wake Us' and his latest indie event, 'Two Brothers'.
'Two Brothers' is the story of twin tigers, one bold and one shy, who are born in a city of ruins in French Indochina and are soon captured. The bold brother is forced to become a circus performer, while the shy sibling becomes the companion of a governor's son. But an accident leads the governor to sell the animal to an adventurer (Guy Pearce), who reunites the beasts as combatants pitted against each other in a fighting match.
Settling down with Guy Pearce in a trendy LA hotel as he promotes his latest film 'Two Brothers' - the new Jean-Jacques Annaud film that chronicles the lives of two tigers, from childhood to adulthood, as they do battle with human imperialism in Cambodia - it's hardly 'Spider-Man' territory, but the film has already been a huge success in France!
So, why did he take on such a differing career character as this? "It is different things for different jobs and obviously I am feeling different things at different times," Pearce explains. "So I don't necessarily have that same desire anymore to do 'Time Machine' for example, because I have experienced that now. There are more questions that I need to have answered before I say yes to a movie now," Pearce adds laughingly, referring to the drubbing 'The Time Machine' received when released. "There was a series of things that drew me to this film, such as just the film itself, particularly the way it was. I really got a sense that it was going to be something quite unique and sort of odd in a way. Because I had been trying to take some time off and I had managed to take about six months off, this came along, one of my cats had just died and I had just been on a holiday with my wife to Thailand and funnily enough Cambodia and I got back from there and I got this script, so I was swimming in all this emotion of my cat having died," Pearce half-laughingly concedes.
Pearce says that he wasn't sure what kind of film 'Two Brothers' would end up becoming, but having seen the international version of the film, says "it has a real fable childlike quality to it, but also a real sense of reality to it as well, I think, because of the footage of the tigers and getting inside their head, will hopefully resonate with people more than just for the time that they're watching the movie."
Actors do films for a variety of reasons. For Guy, in the case of 'Two Brothers', he admits that he gained more by doing the film than merely playing a character. "I mean, it certainly became about playing the character at some point, but my draw to it was I think the lack of importance of the characters in the film or the lack of focus on the characters. I am really happy to be a cog in a really interesting machine, rather that being the captain of the machine."
Yet films like 'Two Brothers' are still being released by a giant corporation, competing with the more special effects extravaganzas that cater for today's adolescent audiences. Pearce hopes that 'Two Brothers' "might be some kind of antidote to that in a way, but I don't really know because I don't really know what else there is out there to be quite honest. I guess, on one level it is that obvious family thing where parents can take kids to a film who are too young to see 'Van Helsing', 'Troy' or whatever who might get something out of this film as well as the parents being able to get something out of it as well. I am really bad at trying to figure out marketing."
Pearce may well have succumbed post-'LA Confidential', to stardom, but says that he has more than happy not to have followed the Russell Crowe route. "I definitely don't want to be at the top of the A list," says the emphatic actor.
Guy still calls Melbourne, Australia, home, and is philosophical about keeping a realistic perspective by remaining based in Australia. "I don't even know that it is such a rational or an intellectual analysis of it. I just feel like that is where I want to be. I don't feel comfortable when I am away from there and I can't imagine wanting leave there. I mean, Kate [Kate Mestitz, his wife] and I sort of joke, about just living in London, and how strange that would seem. I think it relates to a youthfulness, or an eagerness and because I experienced a whole lot of ooh aah when I was doing TV's soap opera 'Neighbours', I have grown through that so now if I'm going to keep working as an actor I only want it to work like this."
Guy finally concedes that these are definitely the best of times for him, both personally and professionally, "because I am always reflecting on what's gone before and what I can learn from it, I suppose. But I feel really good now because I am recharged."
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