Joel Edgerton on Success: “The Moment I Get Swept Up, It Can Come Crashing Down”

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Joel Edgerton has been grinding it out in the movie industry for the past 16 years. However, despite the fact that he’s appeared in more than four dozen films and television series during that time, the Australian hasn’t quite reached household-name status.

“I’ve been banging the drum for so long, I figure at some point it would all culminate into something, except that ironically it sort of feels like the opposite, in a way,” he told Movie Line in a recent interview. “I just keep doing my thing and try not to get swept up in it, because I think the moment I get swept up in it all, it can easily evaporate and come crashing down.”

Edgerton stars in The Thing (now in U.S. theaters) and Warrior (which came out last month), and is also due to appear in 2012 films The Great Gatsby and The Odd Life of Timothy Green. With his Hollywood profile on the rise, he said he’s become more selective in the roles he takes.

“When you first start out, or when I first started out, it was just work — do whatever you can. You can’t really be picky when no one is offering you anything,” he explained. “If you’re lucky, things start to roll along. You’ve got to be really careful that you’re not falling into the Hollywood trap, you know? For me, it’s just like I have to remind myself of what keeps me going and what kind of challenges.”  

The 37-year-old is also a screenwriter and director and made his directorial debut with Monkeys, a quirky short film about a man and his unique hair. “Being a writer has taught me a lot about being an actor, and being an actor has taught me a lot about being a writer,” he said. “So I feel like the whole creative process, one thing feeds another. And it keeps me in love with what I do, which makes me just an all-around happier person.”

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