I thought it would be nice to pay special attention to Joel Edgerton, if only because out of all the Star Wars actors, I think he’s had the most interesting rise.
Harrison Ford is the only other actor who has had a similar rise to fame situation that Edgerton has had, but with Ford, he shot up fast with leading roles in Indy and Star Wars and has never turned back.
Edgerton, on the other hand, has had a slow and methodical rise in Hollywood since Attack of the Clones. He’s worked hard to build his reputation in the film industry and I’ve begun to see him in more critically acclaimed films and stronger roles.
Now, I’m not a big movie watcher but I have definitely seen Joel Edgerton in more movies than anyone else in the Prequels, including Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, and Natalie Portman. Note that I have seen him in more movies, not that he’s necessarily been in more movies than those three.
For instance, looking at his acting history on IMDB, here are the films I’ve seen him in (chronological order based on when they were released):
- Ned Kelly
- King Arthur
- Smokin’ Aces
- Animal Kingdom
- Zero Dark Thirty
- The Great Gatsby
- Exodus: Gods and Kings
- Black Mass
Look at the rise of the movies, the directors, and their reputation. When glancing at IMDB, he is in an average of 3-4 movies a year. 3-4 movies A YEAR! Do you know how tiring that must be? Plus he recently directed a movie as well.
What got me thinking about Edgerton was how he completely transformed in Black Mass. Being from Boston, it was a
must-see for me, but I was so surprised at how transformed Edgerton was. In most of the movies I have seen with him, I have had a flicker of recognition, thinking, “Hey, there’s young Uncle Owen.” But with Black Mass, I couldn’t figure out if that was him. Every once and a while, I’d think, “But is it? Is it young Uncle Owen? Nah, maybe it’s just someone who looks a lot like him.” It really bothered me. When I saw his name in the credits, I began thinking about writing this blog post and tipping my hat in his direction to say, “Hey dude, I’ve noticed how far you’ve come from your AOTC days and that is awesome.”
Think about how small a part he played in AOTC. He was hardly in it and barely talked. Most of his work prior to Star Wars had been in single episodes for TV shows, made-for-TV movies, or shorts. After Star Wars, he did another movie, a few episodes in TV series and then – bam – Ned Kelly. (For those that don’t know about Ned Kelly and who aren’t Australian like Yours Truly, it’s an Australian movie with all the big named Hollywood accented (English or Australian, mostly Aussie though) actors like Heath Ledger, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, etc. It’s a fun watch, if only to learn about the most notorious Australian gangster of all time – Ned Kelly.)
I’d like to see Edgerton in more leading roles, but he seems unconcerned about that.
I think part of my obsession is, “How far is the spectrum of what you can play?” Looking for the edges of that spectrum. Not to be stuck playing a hero all the time. I don’t feel comfortable in that role, so much. Looking for those weirder, quirkier, edgier parts. They just become more fun. Often times, they’re not the leading role. I think it’s good to be able to not be the star of the movie. The upside of that is getting to play really interesting questions.
The few movies where he does play a leading role have not done too well box-office wise, but I think his acting has still been stupendous. It may just be more about getting his name out there and getting it recognized…though again, he doesn’t seem to care about the leading role as much as I do, haha.
Finally, what made me really want to write this quick post, was when I read an article that Jane Got a Gun is finally getting released this upcoming February. The movie has been plagued with quite a few difficulties and though I love the premise, I had kind of written it off as a never-going-to-happen. Well, it sounds like it will be! And guess who stars in it?
Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, and Ewan McGregor.
You’re making the connection right? All three of these people have met up separately in the Prequel Trilogy. Portman interacted with Edgerton when she goes home with Anakin to Tatooine to find Shmi. Portman and McGregor obviously have a lot of interaction from TPM through ROTS. And Edgerton and McGregor meet up at the very end of ROTS (kind of) when he gives them Luke to take care of. I fully acknowledge Edgerton and McGregor may not have actually met up and it could have been filmed separately, but I like to believe they were all there at the same time.
How about them apples?
So even if the movie isn’t very good, I’m still going to see it if only for the fact that it’s got 3 Star Wars PT actors back in the same arena.
I’m sure Edgerton will shine as he always does and I just hope I see him in many more movies to come.