A great actor is defined by the roles he or she plays, constantly switching gears to deliver a versatile body of work that any like-minded performer could admire. There are several great, under-appreciated people embedded in the cinematic landscape that fit within this categorization, but to me, none have done so as effectively as Mr. Guy Pearce.
The Aussie actor is a genuine star, often taking on roles that would make a lot of actors recoil; happy to play the villain or the hero, the boyfriend or the killer, the detective or the criminal. Over the years, Pearce has offered up a menagerie of eclectic movie characters, all as rich and engaging as the last. Now into his late 40’s, he continues to deliver on the promise of greatness by attaching himself to several terrific projects with famed directors like Ridley Scott and Kathryn Bigelow, as well as offbeat filmmakers like John Hillcoat and David Michod.
We decided to take a look back at six of Pearce’s best roles. Maybe you’ll agree, and maybe you won’t. Sound off with your favorites in the comments below.
THE ADVENTURES OF PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT
Stephan Elliot’s 1994 gem The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert follows the quest of two drag queens – Adam aka Felicia Jollygoodfellow (Pearce) and Anthony aka Mitzi Del Bra (Hugo Weaving) – and a transsexual named Bernadette (Terence Stamp), as they travel across the Australian desert in their beat-up bus they lovingly dub “Priscilla”, in order to fulfill a drag show contract at a resort. Along the way, they meet a host of interesting people, and help each other cope with their own insecurities.
This was not my first introduction to Guy Pearce, but it was the film that started getting people to pay attention to his unique abilities. Here, he shows off his flamboyant side, filling the screen with colorful and memorable moments that please even the grumpiest movie-watcher.
His chemistry with co-star Hugo Weaving is magnetic, and it was way ahead of its time, taking on a taboo topic and making something beautiful and pleasing to the senses. Eventually, the film’s cult popularity paved the way for a Broadway musical that also earned rave reviews.
If you have time, check out the film’s soundtrack, which features a collection of some timeless disco hits.
The Rover is out on DVD and Blu-ray from the 5th of January, we loved it – you can win a copy here.