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Joel Edgerton ‘wasn’t pretty enough’ to star in Aussie soaps


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JOEL Edgerton has emerged as one of Australia’s most successful actors in recent years.

But he’s one of our few homegrown talents who bypassed the Neighboursand Home and Away training grounds on his way to the top.

Unlike fellow Aussie film heavyweights Guy Pearce, Russell Crowe, Chris Hemsworth and Ryan Kwanten, the 41-year-old wasn’t able to secure a role on either of our iconic soaps because he “wasn’t pretty enough”.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Edgerton admitted he was slightly judgmental of actors who did the soapie thing, and was happier taking on roles in theatre.

“I just wasn’t that pretty, to be honest! They didn’t want me on a surfboard. And back then I was a little bit judgmental about the soapy stuff,” he told the publication.

“I was working happily in the theatre, but I was losing the occasional really cool job to actors who’d been in those shows, because they sold tickets and I didn’t.

Edgerton, who got his start in popular Aussie drama The Secret Life of Us, soon after landed a role in Ned Kelly alongside Heath Ledger, Geoffrey Rush and Naomi Watts.

“I remember thinking, ‘f***, I’ve got to go out and get myself a profile’ so I cut that lifeline off, and then Secret Life as well, and went off to do [Gregor Jordan’s] Ned Kelly,” he said.

But the Sydney-born actor’s major break came when he got the call-up from George Lucas to play Owen Lars, Luke Skywalker’s future uncle, in Star Wars episodes II and III.

“Star Wars was the canoe that took me across the river, really,” Edgerton explained. “There was this 18-month period after I shot it, when no one knew that I was only in the movie for five minutes. I wasn’t being deceptive, but it meant that people were interested enough to go, ‘oh, you’re in Star Wars, show us your wares.’”

Following that career-making role, Edgerton has gone on to star in a string of successful Hollywood films, including The Great Gatsby, Exodus: Gods And Kings,Black Mass, The Gift, Zero Dark Thirty and Animal Kingdom.

He also has his long-delayed Western, Jane Got a Gun, co-starring Natalie Portman, due for release in early 2016.


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