When he’s not on set, the star of Death Defying Acts – a romantic thriller based on Houdini – loves to explore the locations he’s filming in
“THE physical side of playing Houdini was a real challenge. I had a lot of preparation, learning to hold my breath for a long time, to hang upside down for a long while – it was astounding the stuff that I learnt in terms of what we can actually do to transform ourselves. I had quite a serious physical routine on this one.
“Usually, when I escape from work I want to go home to Melbourne. But I like to take on new ideas and one of them is to not be so selfish, to think of my wife for a change. I’d always said when I finished a film, ‘if I’m away I have to come home, that’s all there is to it. How can I go off and enjoy a holiday somewhere?’.
“But I’ve basically changed my viewpoint on that, so now I’m really quite excited at the idea of taking advantage of wherever we happen to be on a job, and going ‘well, it’s not just a hop, skip and a jump to’ wherever happens to be close by. This last 12 months has been really unusual because I’ve been in Jordan, Queensland in Australia, Toronto, Marseille and Morocco.
“And I’ve just finished filming in LA, I had to do a re-shoot in Chicago, a few weeks ago, and then my wife Kate and I decided to go to Istanbul and Sicily. I found Istanbul really fascinating. The whole idea of not being a victim of circumstance, of deciding that you’re prepared for something, you can take something on and that you’ve got the time to explore. I suppose that’s a sign of maturity.
“In Istanbul, people were offering to do things for you, and you wonder if they’re doing it just because they want your money. But they really want to help you out. In America they brag so much about having the best service industry in the world, but really they don’t. If you fail to tip them there can be all sorts of problems.
“Filming, like travel, broadens the mind. You take stuff on at the time. But stories that you’ve delved into in films end up having more of an effect on you than you thought they might. Some don’t, some you end up thinking it was just a weird, fleeting experience. Maybe these experiences are connected with the people that you’ve worked with. You obviously become more worldly, I guess, experiencing different things with all sorts of different people.”
INTERVIEW BY ANWAR BRETT
DEATH DEFYING ACTS STARRING GUY PEARCE IS OUT ACROSS EUROPE NOW