What Kinds of Things Does Guy Pearce Look For So He Can Make a Character “Feel Real”?

“I think for me as an actor, I’m always looking to find just those really emotional human things.” – Guy Pearce

Though many audiences likely didn’t get an opportunity to see Bloodshot before most movie theaters closed across the world, those interested in the adaptation of the Valiant comic book series can watch it when it gets its early on-demand release. One of the highlights of the film is Emmy Award-winning actor Guy Pearce, who portrays the villainous Dr. Emil Harting.

While many actors who play villains in superhero movies frequently resort to the scenery-chewing, one-dimensional portrayals, Pearce spoke with Collider about the importance of finding a character’s depth when considering how to perform as the character:

“I think for me as an actor, I’m always looking to find just those really emotional human things. Like what’s a character’s insecurity? What are they confident about? Where are they putting blinkers up? What are they open about? What are they closed off about, etc. And there are things that you can have sort of general conversations with your director etc., but quite often those things just kind of come to the surface and I end up playing them and I’m not across all of them necessarily, but they just sort of occur based on feelings that I have when I read something and I work on it more. You really get a sense that, ‘Oh, maybe this character’s really quite anxious about – maybe he’s quite socially anxious.’ That’s a result of the genius versus the pressure he’s under etc., etc. So all that sort of stuff comes into play in order to make a character just feel real, like a real human being.”

More: Guy Pearce on Playing Villains

About Author

In college, overachiever Christopher McKittrick double-majored in Film and English because he loves to read, write, and watch movies. Since then Chris – who was born and raised on Long Island, New York and currently lives in Queens – has become a published author of fiction and non-fiction, a contributor to entertainment websites, and has spoken about literature, film, and comic books at various conferences across the country when he’s not getting into trouble in New York City (apparently it’s illegal to sleep on street corners...) For more information about Chris, visit his website here!

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