It's all happening for Joel Edgerton
The Aussie actor is having great success in Hollywood as well as here back home and Philippa Hawker chats with him about his latest movie projects.PT6M6S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-1vmcm 620 349 March 22, 2012
FROM Wish You Were Here and The Great Gatsby to Zero Dark Thirty. In a strong year for Australian actors internationally, Joel Edgerton is having an especially memorable time.
A fortnight ago, he was nominated for an Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Award for Wish You Were Here, about an ill-fated Cambodian holiday. Since then, Zero Dark Thirty, the Hollywood action-drama about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, has emerged as a contender for the best picture Oscar.
And it doesn't end there. Having played opposite Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan in Baz Luhrmann's coming The Great Gatsby, Edgerton has been shooting a new film around Sydney that he wrote, stars in and is co-producing.
''A workaholic'' ... actor Joel Edgerton with director Matthew Saville on the set of Felony in Sydney. Photo: Mark Rogers
Directed by Matthew Saville, best known for Noise and TV's The Slap, Felony is described as a gripping drama about three detectives caught in a tense struggle after an accident leaves a child in a coma. ''Yeah, it's going good,'' is Edgerton's understated take on a big two years during a break in filming.
While best known for roles in TV's The Secret Life of Us, two Star Wars episodes, Animal Kingdom, Warrior and the Sydney Theatre Company's A Streetcar Named Desire, Edgerton has been a member of the prolific Blue-Tongue Films collective who all write, direct and do whatever jobs are required on each other's films.
Other members include his brother Nash (The Square), David Michod (Animal Kingdom) and Kieran Darcy-Smith (Wish You Were Here).
Joel Edgerton pictured with Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby.
''I write because I just like it a lot,'' Edgerton says. ''It's evolved now to the point where I feel compelled to do it. I want to write roles that I want to do.''
In Zero Dark Thirty, made by The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal, the Edgerton brothers play Navy Seals on the final mission to kill bin Laden.
''We were in Jordan together and it was a tough shoot but we had a great time,'' says Edgerton, who knew it could have been a politically divisive movie.
''I thought in the hands of Kathryn and Mark, it was going to be objective. That's the only reason I was going to do a movie about that subject matter.''
Working with Edgerton on Felony, Saville describes him as a workaholic.
''When I'm writing, another draft takes six months,'' he says. ''It takes him about six days and he'll be doing it between set-ups on Gatsby. Like all those Blue-Tongue guys, it's their hobby as well. It's not just a job.''
Edgerton, who stars alongside Tom Wilkinson (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) and Melissa George (The Slap), has enjoyed seeing his words come to life. ''A couple of times I've looked around and pinched myself thinking everybody is here because I spent so much of my time banging this out in my head.''