Guy Edward Pearce (born 5 October 1967) is an Australian actor and musician. He is well known for having starred in the role of Mike Young in the Australian television series Neighbours and in films such as The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994), L.A. Confidential (1997), Memento (2000), The Count of Monte Cristo (2002), The Road (2009), The King's Speech (2010), Prometheus (2012), and Iron Man 3 (2013). In Australian cinema, he has appeared in The Proposition (2005), Animal Kingdom (2010), The Rover (2014), Holding the Man (2015) and The Wizards of Aus (2016). He has won an Emmy Award and received nominations for Golden Globe Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and AACTA Awards. Since 2012 he has played the title role in the TV adaptations of the Jack Irish stories by Australian crime writer Peter Temple.
Pearce was born in Ely, Cambridgeshire, UK His mother, Anne Cocking (born as Pickering), was from County Durham, England; she was a schoolteacher specialising in needlework and home economics. His father, Stuart Pearce, was a New Zealand-born RAAF test pilot who died flying a GAF Nomad when Pearce was eight. When he was three years old, Pearce moved to Geelong, Victoria, Australia, where his mother ran a deer farm. He attended the Geelong College, a local private school, and was a member of the GSODA Junior Players. From the age of 15 to 22, he was a competitive amateur bodybuilder, leading to the title of Junior Mr. Victoria. He also took part in fencing. He lived in Box Hill North, Victoria in the late 1980s while working on the Australian drama series Neighbours.
Pearce starred in several theatre productions when he was young. At 17 years of age, whilst still at school at Geelong College, he auditioned for his first film role; a part in "Life and Study at University", a promotion for university study produced and directed by Peter Lane of Deakin University. The lead part called for a 23-year-old university student and at first he was turned down due to his young age, but his mother insisted that her son could play the part.
Pearce transitioned to television when he was cast in the Australian soap opera Neighbours in 1985, playing the role of Mike Young for several years. Pearce also found roles in other television series such as Home and Away (1988) and Snowy River: The McGregor Saga (1993).
The director/producer/writer Frank Howson cast Pearce in his first three films, "Heaven Tonight", "Hunting" and "Flynn", and paid for him to go to the Cannes Film Festival in 1991 for the premiere of the Howson-directed Hunting. The accompanying Howson-funded publicity campaign brought Pearce to the attention of the international film industry. He made his first major film breakthrough shortly after, with his role as a drag queen in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in 1994. Since then, he has appeared in several US productions including L.A. Confidential, Ravenous, Rules of Engagement, Memento, The Count of Monte Cristo, and The Time Machine.
Pearce portrayed pop artist Andy Warhol in Factory Girl and Harry Houdini in Death Defying Acts. He also appeared in The Road and in Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler.
Pearce continues to perform in Australian films, such as The Hard Word (2002) and the critically lauded The Proposition (2005), written by fellow Australian Nick Cave.
In January 2009, Pearce returned to the stage after a seven-year absence. He performed in the Melbourne Theatre Company's production of Poor Boy, a play with music, co-written by Matt Cameron and Tim Finn.
In 2010, he appeared as playboy David, the Prince of Wales, who became King Edward VIII, in the award-winning film The King's Speech. He is the eponymous lead in the Australian TV miniseries Jack Irish, an adaptation of the detective novels of author Peter Temple broadcast on the ABC network in 2012. In May 2012, Pearce was cast to star in David Michôd's The Rover. In 2013, Pearce portrayed the villain character Aldrich Killian in Iron Man 3.
Pearce had a supporting role in the Neil Armfield's romantic-drama film Holding the Man, as Dick Conigrave. The 2015 film stars Ryan Corr and Craig Stott, with supporting performances from Pearce, Anthony LaPaglia and Geoffrey Rush. Holding the Man was adapted from Timothy Conigrave's 1995 memoir of the same name.
Next to acting, Guy has a lifelong passion for music and songwriting. He released his first album, Broken Bones, in November 2014. Pearce appeared in a documentary special celebrating Neighbours' 30th anniversary titled Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite, which aired in Australia and the UK in March 2015.
Videos and awards
Pearce appeared in Australian band Silverchair's music video for "Across the Night" and in Razorlight's video for "Before I Fall to Pieces." He recorded the soundtrack for A Slipping-Down Life, singing and playing guitar on cover versions of songs by Ron Sexsmith, Vic Chesnutt and Robyn Hitchcock.
On 18 September 2011, Pearce won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries for his work in Mildred Pierce as Monty Beragon opposite Kate Winslet.
Pearce married his childhood sweetheart, psychologist Kate Mestitz, in March 1997. In October 2015, Pearce confirmed he and Mestitz had ended their marriage after 18 years.
An Australian rules football fan who supports the Geelong Football Club in the Australian Football League, Pearce has done media work with the club, including a documentary narration.
He supports a number of charitable organisations for many causes such as animal rights, animal welfare and protecting ecology.
Pearce and his actress girlfriend Carice van Houten had their first child, son Monte, in August 2016.
|1990||Heaven Tonight||Paul Dysart|
|1994||Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, TheThe Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert||Adam Whitely/Felicia Jollygoodfellow|
|1996||Dating the Enemy||Brett|
|1997||L.A. Confidential||Ed Exley||Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture|
|1998||Brand New World||Jimmy Compton||aka Woundings |
New York International Independent Film Award for Best Actor
|1999||Ravenous||Capt. John Boyd|
|1999||Slipping-Down Life, AA Slipping-Down Life||Drumstrings Casey|
|2000||Rules of Engagement||Maj. Mark Biggs|
|2000||Memento||Leonard Shelby||Won – San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor |
Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
Saturn Award for Best Actor
|2002||Hard Word, TheThe Hard Word||Dale||Nominated – Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Actor|
|2002||Time Machine, TheThe Time Machine||Alexander Hartdegen|
|2002||Count of Monte Cristo, TheThe Count of Monte Cristo||Fernand Mondego|
|2002||Till Human Voices Wake Us||Dr. Sam Franks|
|2004||Two Brothers||Aidan McRory|
|2005||Proposition, TheThe Proposition||Charlie Burns||Nominated – Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role |
Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Actor
Inside Film Award for Best Actor
|2006||First Snow||Jimmy Starks|
|2006||Factory Girl||Andy Warhol|
|2008||Death Defying Acts||Harry Houdini||Nominated – Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role|
|2008||Winged Creatures||Dr. Bruce Laraby|
|2009||In Her Skin||Mr. Barber||aka I Am You|
|2009||Road, TheThe Road||The Veteran|
|2009||Hurt Locker, TheThe Hurt Locker||Staff Sergeant. Matt Thompson||Won – Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Ensemble Cast |
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble
|2010||King's Speech, TheThe King's Speech||King Edward VIII||Won – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture |
Nominated – British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
|2010||Animal Kingdom||Det. Nathan Leckie||Nominated – Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role|
|2011||33 Postcards||Dean Randall||Nominated – AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role|
|2011||Don't Be Afraid of the Dark||Alex Hirst|
|2012||TED 2023||Peter Weyland|
|2013||Breathe In||Keith Reynolds|
|2013||Iron Man 3||Aldrich Killian|
|2013||Hateship, Loveship||Ken Gaudette|
|2014||The Rover||Eric||Nominated – AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role|
|2015||Holding the Man||Dick Conigrave|
|2016||Genius||F. Scott Fitzgerald|
|2017||Alien: Covenant||Peter Weyland||Post-production|
|1986–89||Neighbours||Mike Young||496 episodes|
|1991||Home and Away||David Croft||12 episodes|
|1994–96||Snowy River: The McGregor Saga||Rob McGregor||65 episodes |
Nominated – Logie Award for Most Popular Actor (1996)
|1997||Devil Game, TheThe Devil Game||Michael||Movie|
|1997||Halifax f.p: Deja Vu||Daniel & Richard Viney||Movie|
|2011||Mildred Pierce||Monty Beragon||HBO miniseries |
Won – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
|2012||Jack Irish: Bad Debts||Jack Irish||Movie|
|2012||Jack Irish: Black Tide||Jack Irish||Movie|
|2014||Jack Irish: Dead Point||Jack Irish||Movie|
|2015||Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite||Himself||Documentary|
|2015||Between a Frock and a Hard Place||Himself||Documentary|
|2016||Jack Irish||Jack Irish||Six-part series|
|2016||Wizards of Aus, TheThe Wizards of Aus||Morgan Wright||TV series/web series|
|2017||When We Rise||Cleve Jones||Upcoming miniseries|