ESQ&A: Joel Edgerton

The Aussie actor on surfing accidents, Australia’s cinematic crime spree and working with Ridley Scott

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The Australian actor known for Animal Kingdom and The Great Gatsby talks surfing accidents, Australia’s cinematic crime spree and working with Ridley Scott.

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What’s been the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Do what you love if you have the luxury of pursuing it.

What moment in your career are you most proud of?
I think one great moment for me was performing on-stage at the Opera House in Henry IV as “Hal.”  It was the same theatre that I had sat in the audience of when I decided I could maybe be an actor myself.

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Have you ever cheated death?
I had a scary time surfing in Sydney. The surf was big and while I surfed (I'm far from a pro…) it got a little out of control. I'm not sure how close I was to actually giving up and going under but I remember having the clear thought that I was done… and that thought was not good.

Which Australian crime films should we be looking out for?
I’ve been away for a bit, but I have my ear to the ground. I think Rob Connolly's Paper Planes is a promising film. Son of a Gun gets a good rap.

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What advice would you give to your twenty-year-old self?
Smoking is for idiots. Put it down. I don't smoke anymore. But did for a while.

What was the best thing about working with Ridley Scott on Exodus: Gods and Kings?
I find doing all movies can be strange, pretending to be a part of a world so far removed from my own experience. But on one hand I could view the whole thing as a massive fable and I just rolled with it and enjoyed it.

What’s your drink of choice?
Vodka. If I have too much of that… my next drink of choice is water.

Desert island film, book and album?
Maybe just give me the longest film, the longest book and the longest song… and I'll just read/watch and listen to a small piece every day. Parcel it out.

What song did you wake up to this morning?
No song. By mid-morning I had listened to some Nas though. A collaboration with Damian Marley.

When were you last star struck? 
Sports stars affect me more than movie folk do. One night ten years or so ago I met Sergey Bubka. Boris Becker, Martina Navratilova, and Nadia Comaneci. Sergey was my favorite because I got to tell him that I had created a pole-vault situation in my yard with elastic as the bar and a sapling branch as my pole.

What’s next?
I'm directing a small movie. Wish me luck. I'm excited and terrified.

Felony is out now on all video-on-demand platforms

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