Guy Pearce candidly reflects on his career in Hollywood

Guy Pearce

Guy Pearce is a rare sort of actor, one who is comfortable reviewing his career and very candidly noting the high points and the low. He speaks freely of the benefits of working in Hollywood and the inevitable challenges that arise for anyone with a career in entertainment.

When Pearce was on set filming the soon to be released  Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark”, he says interviews became one of the challenges he preferred to avoid while in character. “Yeah, I really struggle. It’s funny, though – I’m probably better at having the moment of trying to talk about it, but it’s afterwards that I feel really regretful that I’ve even attempted to, because all of my energy in trying to be successful in what I’m doing is in trying to understand what I’m doing. And if I’ve stepped off to the side and tried to explain that, I feel like I’ve used something up, so I just make it a blanket rule.” When one Producer expressed concern, Pearce had an answer ready, “I’m like, listen – I’ll do it a week after we’re finished. Let me finish the shooting and then I’ll give it to you. So that’s my policy.”

In retrospect, Pearce says his resume includes experiences on film sets, both positive and negative. “Well, the first thing is that when you watch the film, is [you want to know] am I in the right movie? Did I land tonally where I should have landed? And you either do or you don’t, and then if you don’t, you’ve got to sort of assess why that happened – it might just be bad communication between you and the director, or you may have been pushing for something that isn’t right, your personality was stronger than the director’s, or the director kind of got it wrong and they guided you in a direction that wasn’t right. Or sometimes I think directors can have an idea about what they want to do, and then once they get the footage all up there in front of them, and then get inspired in a different way and start filling it with different music and it becomes a different thing, and some people get left behind – and that’s some of the actors, they end up in the wrong movie. So there’s a variety of things that can occur, but I think that if you are in the right movie, then I’m just looking to see whether I’m believable or not. Did I deliver what I should have delivered? I can be as objective as I can be about it, and I’ll be honest about it – if I’ve done a good job, I’ll say I’ve done a good job, but if I haven’t then I’ll say I haven’t.”

He laughs, when he adds, “When I say to people, oh, I’m terrible in that movie, they say, oh, you wouldn’t be able to tell, and I go, well, I can tell you that I was good in “LA Confidential” and “Memento,” but I was crap in such and such, whatever. I just think, let’s not waste time, let’s just say how it is.”

To read more of the interview, go to: wsj.com

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