Guy Pearce about The Rover: “the effect of the movie goes much deeper than what’s there on the screen”

Guy Pearce was in Austin earlier this week and did a Q&A with the audience about The Rover. The local paper took this great shot of Guy with moderator, Holly Herrick, and wrote a brief article about his appearance. Check it out below followed by a fantastic interview with Guy on Den of Geek.

From Austin Chronicle:


The Rover, which opened in Austin last Friday, is a gritty Western that takes place in the Australian Outback, some “10 years after the collapse,” according to the opening title card. Pearce plays the lead character, Eric, who is on a mission to retrieve his stolen car. Along the way, he meets a young man named Rey (Robert Pattinson), who accompanies Eric on this thrill-filled mission.

After the screening, Pearce sat down with AFS Associate Artistic Director Holly Herrick. He commented on Austin’s changing skyline – the last time he was in town was 16 years ago, when he was filming A Slipping Down Life – then got down to talking about The Rover, Pearce’s second collaboration with director David Michôd (the first was 2009’s Animal Kingdom). As Pearce related it, Michôd simply gave Pearce a call about a script he wanted him to read and the rest is history.

The majority of the Q&A was devoted to audience questions. Although most questions dealt with the film itself (too many spoilers to relate here), other questions prompted anecdotes about his Australian heritage and production horror stories.

Someone asked what was exactly the “collapse” disclaimer was referring to? “You know, it’s funny, everyone has been saying this ‘post-apocalyptic drama’ but that’s not what it is,” Pearce explained. “It actually refers to the economic collapse a few years ago. There was no meteor that hit the Earth, or anything like that.”

Pearce still lives in Australia, so when a chance to do productions in his home country pops up, he can’t help but take advantage. He says he has “radar” on for projects and doing films that deal with his country in any way are meaningful to him.

Pearce wanted it known even though The Rover is a dark and bloody tale, at its core it is about finding empathy and about the human need to connect and see love through, no matter whether we want it or not.

Click HERE to keep reading


From Den of Geek:

The Australian actor gives one of his sharpest and most poignant performances in David Michod’s near-future mood piece.

Guy Pearce has been one of the screen’s most consistently compelling actors ever since his major breakout roles in 1994’sThe Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and 1997’s L.A. Confidential. He has managed to shift easily between leading roles and character parts, both in larger films and quirkier, smaller ones, and his resume includes the period horror/comedy Ravenous (1999), Christopher Nolan’sMemento (2000), the brutal Western The Proposition (2005), Best Picture winner The King’s Speech (2010), and last year’s Iron Man 3, in which he played nemesis Aldrich Killian.

In The Rover, Pearce is Eric, a man whose disheveled appearance, brooding presence and thousand-yard stare define life in the 10 years since “the Collapse,” an unspecified event that has brought civilization to its knees in Australia and presumably elsewhere. Eric exists in a kind of ennui that is broken by the theft of his car — and his implacable pursuit of the men who took it brings him into contact with Rey (Robert Pattinson), a simpleton with whom Eric strikes up an unlikely and co-dependent relationship.

Animal Kingdom director David Michod’s post-Collapse world is unyieldingly harsh and bleak, and Pearce’s Eric is a man who has had almost all his humanity and compassion stripped away — but not all. There are moments in The Rover where emotions surface on Pearce’s face like gathering storm clouds, making Eric one of the most oddly moving anti-heroes in recent memory. We had a chance to talk with Pearce about the part, working with Pattinson, and shooting in the tough Australian desert.

Den Of Geek: Congratulations on your tremendous work in this film. It plays almost like a tone poem.

Guy Pearce: Yeah, it’s a pretty interesting piece. It’s a funny one because it’s one of those ones that is almost difficult for me to get my head around too, because I think the effect of the movie goes much deeper than what’s there on the screen, and it’s hard to be objective about that stuff when you’re in a movie. You often deal with the sort of literal stuff. I mean obviously you’re talking about the big ideas and how you want an audience to be affected and what you want them to think about, but the work that I do, the actual work is about just being convincing in the character that I’m playing. So it is an interesting one because there’s not a lot offered up as far as who the character is.

But David and I had some work to do before we started shooting for me to understand not only who the character was now as we see him in the movie but who he used to be before he went through the experience that he’s been through. And I think as an audience member when you’re not sort of spoon-fed everything, every detail and every kind of reason behind everything in every sort of aspect of a character, (it’s) like reading a great book where you have to use your imagination. So it’s an odd one, I think, because you don’t know how audiences are sort of responding to it. Even if people say that they really get something out of it, I think everyone kind of responds kind of differently to this film.

How did David initially present it to you and what did you see in it? Because from what he told me it started out as kind of as a car chase movie and evolved into something different.

Yes, and I didn’t know all that. I didn’t know any of that stuff. I mean he just emailed me one day or called me, I can’t remember, but said, “I have a script and I want you to have a look at it.” I was so excited because I think he’s a great filmmaker and obviously did a great job at Animal Kingdom. And he said he had written this thing with me in mind, which is hard to believe at first but he’s a really honest guy so I believe him, but it was a pretty flattering that he thought like that. And so I read it and I was really sort of struck by it and it kept sort of sitting with me day after day. I couldn’t get it out of my head. I didn’t really understand what it was he was going for. There’s obviously the literal stuff about the world, the collapse and the objective of this man to get his car back for a particular sort of reason. But I called him straight away and said look, let’s talk, seriously let’s start talking about this because obviously I was really interested in working with him again. I really wanted to say yes, but it just took a little bit of a process to get through. And then when I hear him talk now about having had worked on it for some time and having had me in mind I was thinking why didn’t you tell me earlier while you were doing it? But I get that as well, you want to get something right before you start handing it out to people.

Is it important to you to have a fully fleshed-out back story for the character yourself, even though we only get little bits of it in the film?

No, to be honest. Only if there are questions that I need answered. I think sometimes for me personally I can go too far with that back story stuff because if you ask me certain questions about my own personal life I’d have trouble trying to remember them, and as a character you don’t remember everything from your history, but obviously you need the stuff that informs the performance that you’re giving now. For me it’s more about understanding personality then say a series of events that had led to a particular point. Obviously the series of events in this film led to the version of the man we see at the start of the movie, but the personality of the man that was fully formed before the series of events, that’s what I had needed to sort of get my teeth into so I could then go okay, I feel comfortable and confident with who he was. He was a moral man. He had ethics. Now I can actually let that stuff go and see who he’s become now. So yeah, it was an interesting process.

You don’t have a lot of dialogue in this movie. Is it any more challenging or difficult to prepare for a role where you have to rely much more on just your face then what you can say?

It’s less challenging for me to be honest. I’d rather play something than have a character sort of say what he’s going through. I mean obviously if the writing’s great and it’s beautifully articulated, then fantastic. Because sometimes you can actually learn a lot by character through what it is that they’re saying even if what they’re saying contradicts what they’re feeling. But I was never a great talker when I was young anyways so the playing of things is generally more natural for me I think.

Click HERE to continue reading! Great interview.

For an updated theater list starting Friday, click HERE and go see The Rover!

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