Joel Edgerton finds magic in ‘Odd Life’ before keeping secrets in ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

08.15.12 5 years ago

My interview with Joel Edgerton was mostly about his new Disney family flick “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” but When the cameras weren’t rolling it was clear that there was one movie the “Warrior”-star really excited about and that’s “Wish You Were Here.” The 2012 Sundance Film Festival thriller is finally hitting theaters in the U.S. this January and the home-based production is close to the Aussie’s heart.  So much so, he brought it up twice during the five minutes or so we had to chat. And considering the indie has a tough road ahead of itself on the art house circuit, you can’t blame him for making sure we in the media don’t forget about it. Mission accomplished Mr. Edgerton.

As for “Timothy Green,” this is a seminal project for Edgerton.  It’s his first major role as a dad in a family film, but it was the magical elements of Peter Hedges’ screenplay that appealed to him the most.

“I never imagined myself in a movie with magic. I liked the idea of the movie. It grabbed me,” Edgerton says.  “But then what really got me was that I could be in one of those movies that moved me as a child. ‘E.T.,’ ‘Big.’ Later ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ when I started revisiting older movies.  Where you learn a lot about what’s going on through you and your heart through a little bit of magic.”

Most moviegoers probably recognize Edgerton from his role opposite Tom Hardy in last year’s action flick “Warrior” (which many likely caught on DVD or NetFlix) and he admits there was something freeing about playing a role in “Timothy Green” where he wasn’t forced to train every day.  Edgerton jokes, “I didn’t have to eat a chicken not once if I didn’t want to. I didn’t have to do a single push up.”

After years of obscurity working Australia and mostly being known in the rest of the world as Owen Lars (Luke Skywalker’s Uncle) in “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith,” Edgerton finally caught the the of Hollywood with his role in the breakout indie “Animal Kingdom” two years ago. A terrible “The Thing” remake, “Warrior” and “Timothy Green” followed, but his dance card got a prestige upgrade with the recently delayed Baz Luhrmann adaptation of “The Great Gatsby” and Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty” arriving in December.

Bigelow’s chronicling of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden recently revealed its first teaser trailer which features Edgerton and co-star Jessica Chastain’s voices, some “Bourne”-esque images, but not much else. Our interview was the day before the preview was released so it seemed like the perfect opportunity for the 38-year-old actor to finally shed some light on the secretive project. Instead, Edgerton wouldn’t reveal anything about his character or the film or his place in the storyline.  Although, he did admit he’s a fan of Bigelo and her screenwriting and producing partner Mark Boal, however.

“I can’t tell you who I play, but I’m fascinated by them as filmmakers and their approach to subject,” Edgerton stays. “But I can tell you I had a great time making it and it was a very fascinating experience. I look forward to seeing the movie myself.”

As do we.

You can watch our entire interview embedded at the top of this post.

“The Odd Life of Timothy Green” opens nationwide this Friday. “Zero Dark Thirty” is set for release on Dec. 19.

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